Potato Salad (Πατατοσαλάτα)

Potato Salad

A light and delicious potato salad full of wonderful textures and flavours

We went to a lot of picnics when we were kids. In late spring, summer and early fall, when the weather was inviting, our family would spend Saturdays on the mountain. If you’re from Montreal, you know that the mountain refers to Mount Royal. Declared a heritage site by municipal authorities and the Government of Quebec, the mountain covers 10 square kilometers, right in the heart of Montreal.

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Tiganites (Τηγανίτες)

Tiganites

Fried dough, sometimes called Greek-style pancakes, topped with honey

How fitting that we are posting this recipe for tiganites, sometimes referred to as Greek pancakes, in early November. Fitting, because November is when much of the olive harvesting in Greece is occurring. Our mother remembers that when the men of the village set out to begin their long and hard days of manually picking olives from the trees, they were sent off with their satchels loaded with tiganites. These disks of fried dough helped to sustain them and nourish them for the day. Tiganites, she explained, were a great option when options were limited as they are made from ingredients that even the poorest family likely had on hand.

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Neopolitan marble cake (Κέικ βανίλια με σοκολάτα και φράουλες)

Neopolitan marble cake

A pretty cake with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry swirls

Our childhood’s were predictable in many ways. Sundays were for church, summers were enjoyed in Greece or Cape Cod, and weekends were spent with friends and family. When it came to food, there were things we could expect as well. We knew that Fridays meant fakes for supper, that we would be expected to help forage for wild dandelion greens, and that ice cream would be neopolitan.

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Rice with mizithra and burnt butter (Ρύζι με μυζήθρα και καμμένο βούτυρο)

Rice with mizithra and burnt butter

A simple and delicious rice dish with the nutty flavour of burnt butter and the salty goodness of mizithra cheese

If you’ve been following along on our Mia Kouppa trails over the past few years you will have learned a few things about us, and our parents. You would know that we are two sisters, who also have an awesome older brother, that we each have two darling girls, xeno (that is, non-Greek) husbands, and feathered and furry pets. If you haven’t been with us for very long, or tend to skip right to the recipe (that’s okay…we do it sometimes too!), then welcome! We’re so happy to have you join us!

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Spinach and feta pork roll-ups (Χοιρινό με σπανάκι και φέτα)

Spinach and feta pork roll-ups

Pork roll-ups filled with Greek flavours!

Sometimes our parents like to get fancy. Lovers of food and cooking, to this day they still enjoy watching Greek and non-Greek cooking shows (Akis is a favourite) and perusing through recipes that they find in the local Greek paper or behind those daily calendars that they get from church or our local Greek supermarket. Of course, they don’t actually follow the recipes that they happen upon, because let’s face it, that’s not how they function. Instead they get inspired, and over the years have come up with some pretty delicious and even unexpected things. We remember their sudden interest in Asian cuisine and the resultant homemade egg rolls. We have no idea how or why they decided to make egg rolls, but once they did, egg rolls and their accompanying jarred plum sauce became staples at every family gathering. Their popularity resulted in our aunts and koubari and other family friends making egg rolls too and so there you had it; a buffet table filled with dolmades, moussaka, keftedes, and egg rolls. Of course.

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Mung bean soup (ψιλοφάσουλα σούπα ή ροβίτσα )

Mung bean soup

A hearty and humble soup made of nutrient packed mung beans

One of us loves beans; loves to eat them, loves to buy them, and loves to store them in her pantry in pretty glass jars where their various colours, adorable shapes and infinite possibilities can be admired. It was this love of beans, and a commitment to capturing as many of our parents’ recipes as possible, that had us inquire about a soup which we had vague and disturbing memories of. We remembered a childhood where a soup of little green beans was served, and the sadness which it elicited. When we asked our parents about it, they immediately knew what we were talking about. Psilofasola (also called rovitsa) is a Greek soup made of mung beans (pronounced moong) and it is a staple around Kalamata, Messinia, which is near where our parents were raised.

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Artichokes and peas in an egg-lemon sauce (Αγκινάρες με αρακά αυγολέμονο)

Artichokes and peas in an egg-lemon sauce

A stew of artichokes, peas and potatoes in a rich and tangy egg lemon broth

This recipe is pretty intense. Not in preparation; you’ll see that it’s no more difficult than many of the other recipes we’ve posted. No…it’s intense in the feelings and thoughts it elicits. Some good; this dish is delicious and today we love to eat it. But some, less good; when we were kids we thought it looked and tasted like throw up, and cried when it was for dinner.

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Fide soup (Fithe soup) (Σούπα φιδέ)

Fide soup

A simple pasta soup made with thin noodles and flavoured with a touch of olive oil

Growing up Greek, our chicken noodle soup was called fide. To be honest, it was a little different than your traditional chicken noodle soup; for one thing, it had no chicken. It also had no chicken broth, no vegetables and no herbs. In fact, fide (also spelled fithe) is nothing more than a noodle soup, cooked in water, flavoured with olive oil, sometimes sprinkled with a bit of mizithra, and ready to comfort every bit of your soul.

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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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Sugar doughnuts (Ντόνατς με ζάχαρη)

Sugar doughnuts

A traditional Greek doughnut: large, light, and perfectly sweet

Do you know how excited we are to share this recipe with you?  We’re not sure you can fully appreciate our glee; we are so proud that we are finally including this classic Greek dessert (and often breakfast), into our repertoire of Mia Kouppa recipes.

Large, light, and perfectly sprinkled with crunchy sugar, these are the classic Greek doughnut.  Confused?  Curious?  Maybe, and we don’t blame you.  It seems that often, when someone refers to Greek doughnuts they are talking about loukoumades, those  fried balls of dough that are typically covered in honey.  Loukoumades are delicious!  But, just like pastitsio is not Greek lasagna (we’re practically begging you to get on board with that) we argue that referring to loukoumades as Greek doughnuts does a disservice to both.  Loukoumades are loukoumades, and Greek sugar doughnuts, are these!

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