Potatoes yahni (Πατάτες γιαχνί )

Potatoes yahni

A traditional Greek potato stew

Potatoes yahni

 

Raise your hand if you love pototoes! You there, in the back, holding a fist-full of french fries, we see you!  And we love you!  And, we too love potatoes.  Whether they are roasted in the oven, bathed in all sorts of beautiful Greek flavours, or boiled and mashed and then transformed into the very distinctive Greek garlic spread called skordalia, we adore them.  Potatoes are so versatile, so available, so economical, that it’s no wonder that the rustic cuisine of Greece has taken this commonplace vegetable and made it the star of a stew which we know will find a happy place in your hearts and stomachs.

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Vegan rizogalo / Vegan rice pudding (Νηστίσιμο ρυζόγαλο)

Vegan rice pudding

A simply perfect non-dairy rice pudding

When we first posted our parents’ rizogalo recipe we explained that this was a food which was so deeply connected to our childhoods that we couldn’t help but find comfort in a bowl of warm, creamy, simply delicious rice pudding.  And that is still so true; rizogalo, the way our parents make it (and the way we now make it), is comfort in a bowl.

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Frappé coffee with chocolate and mint liqueur (Φραπέ με σοκολάτα και δυόσμο)

A perfect marriage of Greek coffee and Irish spirit!

Mint chocolate frappe

March in Montreal is a lovely time; the snow promises to begin melting, the days are longer and the weather warmer.  Although we look forward to seeing green grass again, even if winter is stubborn and decides to stick around, by mid-March we are seeing green elsewhere, and everywhere.  And, we’re all Irish, even if it’s just for a little while.

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Calamari and rice (Καλαμάρι με ρύζι)

Calamari with rice

A one skillet meal which is so easy and flavourful that you’ll find yourself making it over and over again.

Calamari and rice

 

Any meal that can come together in one pot, one pan or one baking tray is a winner in our books.  When that meal happens to be delicious, and also requires little to no culinary skill, you know it’s going to be on the menu pretty often.  This one skillet meal of calamari and rice also happens to be perfect for periods of Orthodox fasting, when dairy, eggs and meat are usually avoided, but seafood like calamari is perfectly appropriate.

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Marinated olives

Marinated olives

Olives warmed up with herbs and spices!

We have a difficult time understanding people who don’t care for olives; a challenge because one of us is married to one of those people.  It’s hard to wrap our head around why anyone would turn their nose on fruit (yes, olives are fruit!) that comes in so many wonderful varieties, colours and flavours.  We’ve come to accept that perhaps the tartness, bitterness and occasional spiciness of olives is an acquired taste, and growing up in a Greek household, it was a taste that we acquired quite young.

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Kefalograviera crackers with sesame seeds (Κροτίδες με κεφαλογραβιέρα και σουσάμι)

Kefalograviera crackers with sesame seeds

A crisp, crunchy cracker made with Greek cheese and a bit of cayenne heat.

Cheese and crackers are a universal snack, and the vast array of both cheeses and crackers means that the combinations are endless.  The only thing better than cheese and crackers is cheese in crackers, and so we thought it would be a good idea to create a cracker recipe which uses one of our favourite Greek cheeses.  And guess what?? We were right!

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Thea Voula’s pizza

Thea Voula's pizza

A lovely thinnish crust pizza with a spicy kick!

If you have been following us on Instagram you may remember the saga of the lost pizza recipe.  Okay, perhaps it was less saga than a panicked hiccup in our posting plans, but in these Instagram stories, the one of us responsible for writing up recipes shared that she had somehow misplaced the recipe for Thea Voula’s pizza.  This admission of scatter-brain-ness was in part meant to convey relate-ability (hey…we’re ALL human!) and in part to let the other one of us know that the story had gone public, and that any sisterly retaliation could possibly go public too.  Not that this was a real concern…really.

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Marble cake (Κέικ βανίλια και σοκολάτα)

Marble cake

A swirly vanilla and chocolate cake made with olive oil 

We admire professional bakers, and those non-professionals who have spent years perfecting their fondant skills and can transform flour, butter and eggs into edible works of art, like toilets and Chanel purses.  Having tried our hand at sculpting with gum paste and molding with chocolate, we certainly recognize the talent that is behind baking and creating this way.  Amazing!  But, the truth is, while we can appreciate and marvel at these jaw-dropping desserts, we tend to crave the mouth-watering desserts we grew up with…and let’s be clear, our parents wouldn’t know fondant if it hit them in the face.

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Trahana soup with chicken (Σούπα τραχανά με κοτόπουλο)

Trahana soup with chicken

An Greek alternative to chicken noodle soup

Cold winter months, bone-chilling rainy days, and work weeks so long that they make you feel beaten down, are all made better with a nice bowl of comfort.  In many families, that often means chicken noodle soup, and although we would never dispute the claim this popular soup can cure many ills, we would like to add another option to the mix.  This trahana soup with chicken was the chicken noodle soup of our childhoods;  the meal we were presented with when under the weather, stressed from school or just needing a quick way to be nourished and satisfied.

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Stewed rooster with okra and potatoes (Κόκορας κοκκινιστό με μπάμιες και πατάτες)

Stewed rooster with okra and potatoes

A poultry dish loaded with flavour

Yes, we eat rooster.  And you know what?  We think you should to!  Although we recognize that rooster might seem to be an odd choice of poultry for many of you, we really want to convince you that in fact, it makes perfect sense.

But first, a little bird biology.  If you are thinking to yourself, “Yeah, thanks Mia Kouppa… but no thanks…I’ll stick to eating chicken”, guess what?  Rooster IS chicken.  That’s right.  You see, what you (and we), usually refer to as chicken is in fact hen; the female version of chicken that is most commonly found in grocery stores and markets.  Roosters are male chickens.

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