Sometimes we are so lazy! Like, stay in bed all day reading and eating bon-bons lazy. Or, too tired to cook so have cereal for dinner lazy. Or no one’s around to judge so I’m going to take the elevator one flight up lazy. It happens, and we don’t have the energy to pretend that it doesn’t.
Laziness however can also result in really lovely things, like alevropita. This is the cheese pie you want to make when you’re too lazy to make your own phyllo, when you’re too lazy to fold kalitsounia, and when you’re too lazy to spend much time in the kitchen.
The French have the baguette, Mexican cuisine has the tortilla, Indian aloo gobi gets sopped up with soft, pillowy naan bread, and if you’ve every treated your palate to Ethiopian food you’ll likely remember using the pancake-like bread called injera to scoop up every bite you took. Every culture, every cuisine, seems to have a variation of some cereal or grain based bread that is quintessentially their own. For Greeks, that is the pita.
The best recipe for the most tender and flavourful pork souvlaki.
Students of Greek literary classics and philosophy may remember that Homer, Aristotle and Aristophanes all refer to feasts of skewered meat in various texts and documents. Fascinating! Or, true scholars of ancient Greek things may read this and laugh, in which case it probably isn’t true, and Wikipedia lied to us. You really can’t believe everything you read on the internet!
Regardless of whether or not the characters in the Iliad fortified their bellies with souvlakia before battling in the Trojan war, this Greek staple is definitely worth fighting for. But, there actually is no struggle here; these pork souvlakia are incredibly easy and simple to prepare, and will likely satisfy every mouth you are feeding. The only fight may be deciding who gets the last one.
In Greece, this week marks the last week of a festive carnival season, before the start of Great Lent, which precedes Orthodox Easter. It is a week where many abstain from meat, but happily over indulge in cheese and dairy products in anticipation of the upcoming period of fast, which for many, typically prohibits most animal products. Even those who will not follow a strict fast enjoy the opportunity to celebrate and feast on cheese and things made with cheese. These tyropites, with homemade phyllo dough, are our nod to this carnival week of Tyrini (cheese week).
There are so many ways to make tyropites, and every family certainly has their favourite recipe. This is ours. Although making tyropites using store-bought phyllo dough (similar in technique to the spanakopitakia we have shared with you) is another delicious option, making your own phyllo adds another level of deliciousness. In this particular recipe the phyllo is made with yogourt (let’s get as much dairy in here as we can) and the filling is a mixture of ricotta cheese and Greek feta; a combination which is flavourful and light. The result are small packets of creamy, cheese filling wrapped in a flaky, but light, dough. Lovely.