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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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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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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Fried fish (Ψαράκια τηγανητά)

Fried fish

Tiny fried fish that you can eat from head to tail

Fried fish

 

Summers in Greece mean hours spent in outdoor tavernas, with a clear view of the ocean and the warm sun embracing you.  The heat, the pace of vacation life, the hours before or right after the afternoon siesta all contribute to a feeling that time is endless, and life is best lived unhurried.  But all that relaxation sure works up an appetite, so that taverna table is usually most often filled with mezes and frosty glasses of ouzo or frappé.  Given the scene, some of the best mezes are those that came from the sea you are looking onto.  Octopus, shrimp, calamari are always welcome, as are these tiny fried fish.

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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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Halloumi fries with a citrus lime mint dipping sauce

Halloumi fries with a citrus lime mint dipping sauce

Halloumi sticks with a sweet, spicy and tangy dipping sauce

We grew up eating so much cheese, one could imagine that we might be sick of it. But really, how could anyone tire of the endless variety of wonderful Greek cheeses, and the countless ways they can be enjoyed.  Oh sure, we would sometimes find a block of orange cheddar in the refrigerator, but we were much more likely to find feta, kefalotiri, kefalograviera, mizithra and halloumi; Greek cheese heaven.

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