Grilled octopus

Grilled octopus

Grilled octopus

 

Here it is….our first entry in Our Kouppes, the space we have carved into Mia Kouppa to share our own recipes.  As we mentioned when we introduced Our Kouppes, many of the recipes you find here will be inspired by the food that we grew up with, and this grilled octopus is definitely that!  We have vivid memories of summers in Greece, where we would see freshly caught octopus drying in the sun by the port, and sun-kissed fishermen eager to sell their bounty to locals and local restaurants.

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Eggplant dip (Μελιτζανοσαλάτα)

Eggplant dip (Μελιτζανοσαλάτα)

Eggplant dip (Μελιτζανοσαλάτα)

 

We don’t know about you, but in our homes, melitzanosalata often plays second and third fiddle to some of the other, more popular Greek dips like tzatziki and taramosalata.  This is a shame, and every time we do have melitzanosalata, we vow to make it again very soon; it is so good, so easy, and pretty good for you too.  It is also a great way to use up any eggplant surplus from the garden when you don’t feel like eggplant chips (actually…we always feel like eggplant chips), or you don’t have the time to invest in making moussaka.

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Baked squash fritters without cheese (Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες χωρίς τυρί)

Baked squash fritters without cheese (Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες χωρίς τυρί)

Baked squash fritters without cheese (Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες χωρίς τυρί)

 

So, here’s the thing.  When we first posted a recipe for baked squash fritters, we told you that there were many variations of squash fritters out there.  We also told you that our parents made several versions; some fried, some baked, some with cheese, others without.  And, we also mentioned that the type of squash used was going to greatly affect the outcome of what was ultimately cooked.  What we didn’t really think through was the confusion which could result when sharing these recipes.  What the heck do we call all these squash fritter subtypes?  How to easily differentiate one squash fritter from another? We thought about starting a series of recipe entries, like Squash fritter 1, Squash fritter 2, Squash fritter 3 … (you get the picture), but decided against that boring and generic nomenclature.  We are much more descriptive, so brace yourselves for a future of very wordy recipe titles.

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Sesame coated fried feta with honey and walnuts

Sesame coated fried feta with honey and walnuts

Sesame coated fried feta with honey and walnuts

This dish looks so impressive, so fancy, that it is hard to believe that it can easily be whipped together in a moment’s notice.  The sweetness of the honey, paired with the saltiness of the feta and the crunch of the sesame seeds and nuts, creates a dish which is rich in both flavour and texture.  Pretty impressive for a recipe which has only a few basic ingredients and can be ready in under 10 minutes.  We wish everything in life was this easy, and this tasty!

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Fried eggplant chips (τηγανιτές μελιτζάνες)

Fried eggplant chips (τηγανιτές μελιτζάνες)

Fried eggplant chips (τηγανιτές μελιτζάνες)

 

Remember when we shared our fried zucchini chip recipe and you were so thankful that you were sending us cards of gratitude and telling all your friends to follow Mia Kouppa? That wasn’t you?  Well, why not?  You should really think about getting on that bandwagon! 🙂  In any case, we think that this recipe, similar but different to the summer squash chips, might just have you running out to pick up some stamps.

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Fried eggplant bruschetta

Fried eggplant bruschetta

Fried eggplant bruschetta

 

Gardening is a joy, and it really is a blessing to be able to walk into your backyard and pick supper.  Sometimes however, everything seems to ripen at once, and you find yourself with a surplus of vegetables.  This is never really a problem, as the non-gardeners in our lives very appreciatively relieve us of our excess.  But we have learned that some veggies are less popular than others; eggplant seems to be one of those vegetables. No one has ever turned their nose at a bag of vine-ripened garden tomatoes. Cucumbers are welcomed with a smile, and zucchini are greeted with glee…but eggplant?  Eggplant often gets a “it’s not you, it’s me” reaction.

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Warm feta packages

Warm feta packages, with tomatoes and olives

Warm feta packages

We love food; we love to eat food, write about food and talk about food.  It must run in the family, because we have recently (like right now) been enjoying a visit from our Australian cousin.  Along with showing off our beautiful city,  hanging out with all of our cousins, and hearing about the perils of living down under (we have decided that Aussies are much braver than us Canadians!),  we have found ourselves constantly talking about food…possibly because we are always eating.  We have been having a truly beautiful time.

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