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.
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.
A one skillet meal which is so easy and flavourful that you’ll find yourself making it over and over again.
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.
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.
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!
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.
A complete and delicious meal of lemon chicken and vegetable studded rice
For us, this is the ultimate comfort food; a meal where the ingredients cook together slowly so that the flavours meld and develop, while you sit back and spend quality time with family and friends as things get perfect in the oven. This oven-baked chicken and rice dish is that kind of food. Although there is some active stove top work to do before you can pop everything into the oven and forget it, the work is minimal, and easy. The result, is most definitely worth it.
A classic cake which tastes of gingerbread and happiness
There is something so old-fashioned about an upside-down cake; whenever we make this dessert we feel that we should wear long, flowery dresses with embroidered aprons and then serve it with Salada in vintage tea cups and conversation about good books and family values. We’re not actually sure when the first upside-down cake was made, but we’re pretty sure it was a long time ago and that it created quite a happy commotion.
A perfect mess of vegetables that tastes better than you could hope
Feeling somewhat bloated and heavy after the holidays? Resolved to eating healthier, including more vegetables in your diet, and to limiting processed foods? Committed to cutting out all sweets, and eating only food which serves a vitamin and mineral fuelled purpose? Well, we’re here to help! And to remind you that we have a whole category of dessert recipes like galaktoboureko, baklava and koulourakia, because cutting out all sweets is dumb (unless your doctor tells you to cut out all sweets, in which case it’s very, very smart).
Cranberry sauce that is not from a can…. you can do it!
We believe that there are three types of cranberry sauce people in the world. The first are those who like to open up a can and plop the contents onto a dish to be sliced and served. We are not those people, although we 100% respect and adore that many canned cranberry sauce friends tell us that the sight of the unmolded can of sauce, complete with rings from the can, reminds them of home and their childhoods. You know, we are all for that! The second class of cranberry sauce people are those who realize that making fresh cranberry sauce may be the easiest culinary feat possible, and so they do. We have become those people, but the truth is, for most of our lives, we fell into category three. This last group of sad, deprived folks are those who never knew of cranberry sauce growing up, because holiday turkey was lamb and it was served with tzatziki.