Tiny fried fish that you can eat from head to tail
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.
Steamed broccoli served with olive oil and a dash of lemon juice
Broccoli was never a hated vegetable in our house. No one cringed when it was served. No one pushed it around on their plate until they could slip it to the dog (not that we had a dog). We simply ate it, because we loved it. Seriously. And our parents only ever served it one way.
All your favourite nacho elements, with a kick of Greek
A vice that we both share is our love for chips. Potato chips, corn chips, nacho chips, we devour them all. When we were young one of our favourite junk food snacks was taking a bowl of regular potato chips (Humpty Dumpty brand was preferred) and dousing them with white vinegar. Home made salt and vinegar chips! We were clearly meant for recipe developing. As our taste buds matured and we became more refined, we moved on to other things…like nacho chips, bottled salsa and creamy, is-it-really-cheese?, jarred nacho cheese sauce. Glorious!
We suppose that there is a sub-set of the population, those who shun carbs and avoid bread-y things like the plague, who really won’t appreciate a recipe which not only stars dough, but fried dough at that! But we think that the rest of you (which includes us), will welcome this recipe for crispy, fried bread stuffed with feta and will thank us for every lovely calorie.
Buttery shortbread cookies flavoured with mastiha and mahlepi
Our relationship with leftovers is complicated. Well, not complicated exactly…just different. One of us has a tendency to treat leftovers like a scourge occupying every limited fridge space, while the other one of us experiences physical pangs of guilt if every last bit of food isn’t used up, somehow. This duality makes for some pretty interesting cooking moments. For instance, any recipe which only uses egg yolks means that one of us is pouring egg whites into the compost, while the other decides that it’s egg white omelets for breakfast the next morning. A bit of dough remaining after all of the tyropites have been made means dough being tossed in the bin for one, and fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar for the other. You get the picture.
Chocolate and strawberry bites, which could easily be called brownies
Don’t you just love it when you can convince yourself that dessert is healthy…or at least, not horribly bad for you?! We do! and that is exactly what we do with these chocolate and strawberry cookies. Not only are these two-bite cookies, which could just as easily be called brownies, vegan (automatically healthy right??!!) but they are also incredibly easy to whip together and contain a secret ingredient which makes them that much more lovely. Who doesn’t love a recipe with a secret ingredient?
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.
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!