A vegetarian meze that is slightly sweet, light and crispy; perfect two-bites!
We think that phyllo is the answer to most of life’s food problems. Although rolling out your own phyllo is a skill which is honed over years of practice (or much quicker if you have a great recipe like this one), store bought phyllo is a breeze! Seriously! Don’t listen to the stories about how it dries out too quickly or tears easily. In fact, once you get used to working with store bought phyllo, you’re going to find yourself searching for things to wrap up in it! True story!
A bite-sized sweet party in your mouth… wrapped in bacon
Greeks love mezes, little bite-sized (usually) appetizers that you can serve before a meal, or in place of a meal. It is not unusual to be served several platters of mezes, along with a lovely glass of ouzo or ouzo-infused cocktail, and be fully satisfied. The mezes are usually plenty, and they are so delicious that you are never wanting for a complete and formal meal. Common on the meze table are spanakopita, tyropita, meatballs (keftedes) and dips or spreads. Less common would be something like these dates, stuffed with feta enhanced with orange zest and mint, wrapped in bacon. These bite-size morsels of sweet, salt, savoury and awesomeness will definitely make you smile.
We have a lovely relationship with figs, and so many warm fig memories. One of our father’s sisters (who has passed away) lived in a beautiful spot in Greece called Chrani. This was our favourite place to visit and spend our summers. Our aunt was joyful, exuberant, generous and full of life. Her home was simple but perfect, and connected to a small convenience store where she sold cold drinks and snacks to travellers getting off the bus which stopped at the corner of her property. For those who think that all of Greece’s glory is found on the islands, we can tell you that the mainland is equally stunning. In fact, over the years we saw our aunt’s town change from a relatively secluded oasis to a tourist hub, with hotels popping up all around her.
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.
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.
It’s hard to know exactly what makes these meatballs so delicious, but we have a few ideas. These bite sized morsels are made with a mixture of two types of meat, are perfectly spiced, and because they are fried you end up with a meatball which is crispy on the outside but soft and juicy on the inside. Meatball perfection.
Our parents often serve these meatballs as meze (appetizers) or as part of a buffet dinner. Occasionally they will be an easy lunch or supper, served with a batch of homemade French fries and some feta cheese. So good! The only problem with these meatballs is that they are so small, and so delicious, if you are not careful you can end up eating about 45 of them without even realizing it (not that anyone is counting of course).