Baklava baked brie

Baklava baked brie

A baked brie topped with walnuts, pistachios and honey, wrapped in phyllo pastry, baked and then soaked with flavoured syrup.

This week, it’s all about cheese! Carnival season is in full swing in Greece and as we head into the period of Great Lent, a time of fasting before Pascha (Orthodox Easter), this week is considered to be somewhat of a bridge between pre-lent and lent.

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White bean stuffed artichoke hearts (Αγκινάρες γεμιστές με λευκά φασόλια)

White bean stuffed artichoke hearts

Artichoke hearts stuffed with smashed white beans and Mediterranean flavours

A while ago when we were cooking with our parents and learning how to make their artichokes and peas in an egg-lemon sauce we realized that frozen artichoke hearts are shaped like perfect little bowls. And little bowls just beg to be filled up. So since then, we’ve been finding all sorts of ways to stuff artichoke hearts and we think we’ve developed a recipe that is going to bowl you over!

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Chicken wings with a feta dipping sauce

Chicken wings with a feta dipping sauce

Baked wings inspired by Greek flavours and served with a tangy and spicy feta dipping sauce

When we go to the movies, we want popcorn. When we attend a Greek wedding, we hope for diples. And when we’re watching the game, any game actually, we want wings. Sports and chicken wings go hand in hand. Any sport, and any kind of chicken wing, are a perfect, winning, combination.

We love all sorts of wings, and we especially love them when they are crispy, but not greasy. With this recipe, we have just that; crispy wings that are baked instead of fried, and served with a feta dipping sauce. Whenever we serve these chicken wings and dip, we score big points!

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Plakopites

Plakopites

A traditional savoury crepe-like recipe from the Peloponnese

We have previously posted photos on our Facebook page of our dad making plakopites. Reading through the comments, we heard from so many people who were asking (begging) for the recipe, so we anticipate that this is going to be a pretty popular post. Most individuals told us that they remembered their parents or their grand-parents making these savoury crepe-like treats, which are typically served in a pile with grated mizithra and a bit of olive oil between each one. Many of the comments also suggested that this was a recipe people had forgotten about; plakopites are pretty regional, common in the Peloponnese, and very old-school fare.

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Chickpea fritters with a lemon tahini sauce (Ρεβυθοκεφτέδες με σάλτσα ταχίνι)

Chickpea fritters with a lemon tahini sauce

Vegan fritters made of chickpeas and fresh herbs, served with a tangy lemon tahini dipping sauce

Hungry people everywhere seem to be flocking, more than ever, to menu items which feature plant-based goodness and stuff-that-isn’t-meat-but-is-made-to-taste-and-look-like-meat.  Because of that, we think that this vegan recipe for chickpea fritters served with a lemon tahini sauce is going to make many of these hungry people, very, very happy.  Why?  Because these chickpea fritters are naturally beyond delicious.

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Spanakopita no. 2 (Σπανακόπιτα no. 2)

Spanakopita no. 2

Home made phyllo dough filled with spinach, herbs and feta

Spanakopita no. 2

 

Summer is almost over! How can that be?! As always, the months when school is out, the days are at their longest, and the sun smiles down warmly, pass all too quickly.  We try to hold on to the season by enjoying every moment left and by looking back at our June picnics, July getaways and August pool parties and barbecues, recognizing that although quick, our summer was blessedly full.

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Salted sardines and anchovies (Σαρδέλες)

Salted sardines and anchovies

Salt preserved sardines and anchovies prepared for meze

Salted sardines and anchovies

 

We are grateful to our parents for so many things.  They supported us, financially, emotionally and nutritionally, throughout all of our schooling.  They showered us with love, attention and encouragement every day, and they balanced their praise with enough well-deserved disapproval to keep us humble and in check.  This of course does not mean that we are perfect, but as parents, they kind of are.

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Cretan dakos (Κρητικός ντάκος)

Cretan dakos

A traditional Cretan salad of tomatoes, feta and herbs on top of a barley rusk

Cretan dakos

 

Oh Crete, how we love you!  We’ve both had the great pleasure of visiting this largest and southernmost island of Greece,  spending weeks exploring the cities, beaches, gorges and of course, the tavernas and restaurants.  Cretan cuisine, like all Greek cooking, is based on fresh, local ingredients and the regional specialties often showcase food items you can only find there.  Fortunately however, much of what is loved and devoured in Crete can be replicated off the island, and this dakos salad is a perfect example of that.

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Grilled vegetables (Λαχανικά στη σχάρα)

Grilled vegetables

A medley of marinated and grilled vegetables 

Eat your vegetables!  Who hasn’t heard this, or uttered it, over and over again.  Sometimes getting your kids, your spouse, yourself to eat vegetables seems like an uphill battle.  Let’s face it, not everyone goes crazy for luscious greens like vlita or okra, or is satisfied with a meal whose main star is cauliflower. In fact, today we crave vegetables but there was a time when we would plan covert operations to stealthily dispose of the grossness that our parents put before us; our spanakorizo disposal tactics were legendary.  Still, even in the throes of our vegetable-hating youths, we never rejected vegetables that were marinated and grilled, and which usually happened to be served along with grilled souvlaki or steak.

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Sauteed green peppers (Πράσινες πιπεριές τηγανιτές)

Sauteed green peppers

A simple side full of green bell peppers, red onion and a few herbs

If you’re a gardener, you might be like our family who feels that there are some basic vegetables without which a garden could never be complete.  Oh sure, we like to experiment and occasionally try to grow watermelons, asparagus, and brussel sprouts, with varying degrees of success, but some things are non-negotiable.  Bell peppers are included in that category of must-grows.

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