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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Pork and celery with egg lemon sauce (Χοιρινό με σέλινο αυγολέμονο)

Pork and celery with egg lemon sauce (Χοιρινό με σέλινο αυγολέμονο)

Pork and celery with egg lemon sauce (Χοιρινό με σέλινο αυγολέμονο)

It’s not often that a two-bit character actor is cast in a leading role.  It’s rare for a back-up singer to move center stage, and win a Grammy.  It’s unusual for a second-string quarterback to somehow lead the league in touchdown passes.  And it’s surprising that a plain Jane vegetable, which is usually part of a basic trio (think: saute onion, garlic and celery…), becomes the focus of an entire, decadent meal.  But this is a celery Cinderella story, and we’re here to tell it.

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Pork souvlaki (Σουβλάκι χοιρινό)

Grilled Pork souvlaki recipe. Marinated overnight, and deliciously flavourful and tender

Grilled Pork souvlaki recipe. Marinated overnight, and deliciously flavourful and tender

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.

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Pork tenderloin and rice (Χοιρινό φιλέτο με ρύζι)

Pork tenderloin with rice

Pork Tenderloin with rice

Marinades are marvelous.  They are usually quite easy to mix together and once you do, the only thing left, is to wait.  Typically, the longer something marinates, the tastier, juicier and more delicious it is.  Our parents have a delicious, simple,  marinade that they use for pork fillet. Instead of keeping a piece of pork tenderloin whole, they slice it into thick-ish pieces, which means that there is more surface area for the marinade to cover.  This is a good thing.

Helpful hints

Our parents usually choose to fry their marinated pork fillets, probably because of how delicious they are this way.  If you would prefer not to fry them, you can always grill them on the bbq or even bake them in the oven.  You’ll save a few calories and grams of fat to be sure, but maybe instead you can simply avoid dessert (at least for today).

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