Monday, June 29, 2015


2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 1⁄2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or same amount, tinned)
red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, chopped and defrosted

1 -2 lemon, juice of (to taste)

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are tender.
Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, pepper flakes (to suit your taste), and oregano,and paprika.
Cover and simmer for about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add spinach and cook about 7 minutes longer, or until spinach is cooked.

Add the lemon juice (I usually like to add the juice of about 1 1/2 lemons. Add the juice of 1 lemon, taste and adjust to your own, personal taste), salt and pepper.

Friday, June 26, 2015


1 cup finely chopped PLANTERS Walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup honey, divided
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
12 sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed, cut in half crosswise

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine walnuts, sugar and spices; set aside. Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the honey, the eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
Layer phyllo in 13x9-inch baking pan, brushing each phyllo sheet with butter and sprinkling rounded tablespoonful of the nut mixture evenly over every other phyllo sheet. Spread cream cheese mixture over top.

Bake 25 to 30 min. or until cream cheese mixture is set. Heat remaining 1/4 cup honey; drizzle over baklava. Cool to room temperature before cutting to serve. (To serve chilled, cover baklava with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator up to 2 days. For best flavor, remove from refrigerator about 30 min. before serving.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Small octopuses or a bigger one (about 1 kilo) fresh or frozen
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove  garlic, finely chopped
3-4 ripe fresh tomatoes or 1 can (500 grams) of tomatoes with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt (optional) and freshly ground blackpepper
1 cup of red dry wine
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
850 ml (31/2 cups) water

1 packet of ditali pasta (500 grams)

The octopus must be very carefully washed and dried, and the beak removed.See how to  clean octopus an octopus here.
 Put the saucepan on the heat until it is hot and add the octopus.  Mix until it sweats out a pinkish liquid.  Keep an eye on it mixing every now and then and cook it in its juices until that liquid has evaporated.
Remove the octopus and cut it into smaller pieces about 3 or 4 cm. long.
Add oil to the pan as well as the onion  and garlic and saute until translucent scraping the pot to clean what’s left from the octopus.
Add wine and stir until alcohol evaporates.
Meantime, blend tomatoes in a food processor together with the tomato paste and add to the octopus, as well as pepper, bay leaves and rosemary and 2 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove bay leaves after ten minutes of cooking.
When the octopus is cooked, add more water and bring to a boil.  Cook the pasta in the sauce stirring from time to time, taste and add salt, if necessary.  (I do not add any salt).
Serve with Greek feta cheese.
Second way to cook it is after the cooking procedure, preheat oven at 180 degrees C, transfer octopus with sauce into a Pyrex or baking pan and add some hot water and cook pasta in the oven for about 20 minutes, mixing a couple of times.
Grate myzithra cheese on top.

For a Lenten dish, do not add the cheese.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


For the marinade
8 lamb rib chops (approx. 700g/ 25 oz.)
1/3 of a cup olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 1/2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (optional)
zest of 1 lemon
3-4 peppercorns
For the potatoes
4 medium sized potatoes, cut into wedges
1 large clove of garlic, minced
50ml olive oil (1/4 of a cup)
80ml water (1/3 of a cup)
1 tsp dried oregano
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp semolina

salt and freshly ground pepper

To prepare this Greek lamb chops recipe (paidakia) start by preparing the marinade. In a shallow glass baking dish add all the marinade ingredients and blend. Add the lamb chops (paidakia) and rub the meat with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a least 3 hours (if you have the time leave overnight).
Return the lamb chops at room temperature and preheat the oven to 200C.
Cut the potatoes into wedges and place them on a large metal roasting pan. Into a bowl add the remaining ingredients and blend. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and season well with salt and pepper. (The potatoes and the ‘paidakia’ cook at different times, so you should add the lamb chops later, about 20-30 minutes before the end of cooking time).
Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until a nice golden crust has formed on the potatoes. Turn them out of the oven, toss them a little bit to bring them upside down, sprinkle with a pinch of oregano and put back into the oven for another 30-40 minutes. If all of the liquid has been absorbed and the pan appears to be getting dry, add 1/4 of a cup hot water into the pan, before they have fully browned.
Remove the paidakia (Greek lambs chops) from the marinade and season with salt and pepper.  Place the lamb chops in the same pan (on a single layer) and bake for 20-25 minutes flipping them sides halfway through cooking time. (Greeks are not big fans of medium rare, but if you like your lamb chops pink, grill over high heat for 1 minute to get them all crispy and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping them sides halfway through cooking time.)

Let the paidakia (Greek lamb chops) rest for 5-10 minutes and serve with a last minute squeeze of a lemon and a pinch of dried oregano. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


1 cup reduced-fat feta cheese
1 egg yolk
1 cup anthotiro or 1 cup ricotta cheese
1⁄2 cup grams honey
9 ounces filo pastry, crust
honey, for dressing
grated nuts, for dressing

butter, for basting the filo pastry leaves

Mix feta, anthotiro, honey, egg yolk and cinnamon until a thick pulp is created.
Cut the filo crust in stripes of 12 cm wide each.
Baste with melted butter and place on the bottom of each stripe a portion of the mixture.
Then roll each stripe like rolling a cigar. Baste the surface of each roll with melted butter and bake in preheated oven in 160 - 170 C until golden.

Garnish with honey and grated nuts.

Sunday, June 14, 2015



1 cup Greek-style (2% or nonfat) yogurt*
1 cup 1/4-inch cubes English hothouse cucumber
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus additional for drizzling
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 1/4 teaspoons aniseed, finely crushed, divided
Olive oil (for brushing and drizzling)
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
8 cups baby spinach leaves

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


Mix Greek-style yogurt, cucumber, dill, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, shallots, and 3/4 teaspoon crushed aniseed in small bowl; season tzatziki generously with salt and pepper. Chill.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill with oil. Thread shrimp onto 4 metal skewers. Brush shrimp all over with olive oil; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon crushed aniseed. Grill just until shrimp are opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Divide spinach among 4 plates; drizzle lightly with additional lemon juice and olive oil. Top each with 1 shrimp skewer. Spoon tzatziki over shrimp; sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.

Friday, June 12, 2015


5 large zucchini, washed and scrubbed and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
3 -4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 large onion, peeled, cut in half, each half cut into thirds, large wedges (Spanish or Bermuda)
2 large tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1⁄4 lb hard cheese, cut into large chunks (I use 'kefalograviera or 'myzithra' which you may not have, something like Parmesan would be excelle)
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup water
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons fresh spearmint, minced (or 1 tsp dry)
2 tablespoons cut cilantro (optional)

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 420 degrees F.
Put everything in a very large baking pan. Pour water, olive oil on top and add herbs. Season generously.
Put your clean hands in the pan and give all the veggies a toss so herbs, and oil and salt and pepper go on everything.
It looks like a lot but don't worry - it'll 'melt' down considerably during cooking.
Roast for a couple of hours, stirring everything up a couple of times to allow veggies on bottom to come up and brown nicely too. What you're after in terms of texture is for the vegetables to 'melt' into each other, but without losing their individual shape. NOTHING crisp-tender going on here - just meltingly, comfortingly, deliciously tender.
This is delicious with good crusty bread (lovely juices) and feta cheese on the side- like we eat it.

Will probably serve 6 hungry people, or maybe not. We go through it fast. It's even better the next day.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


100g short grain or pudding rice
200 ml hot water
450ml full cream milk
75g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 teaspoons cornflour
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

ground cinnamon

Boil the rice in a saucepan with the water, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has been absorbed.
Put the cornflour in a small bowl, add 4 tablespoons of the milk and mix to a paste.
Put aside for later.
Add the rest of the milk to the rice in the saucepan and mix well.
Simmer gently, uncovered for about 25 minutes.
Be careful not to let it boil over.
Add the sugar, vanilla essence and cornflour mixture and stir through.
Cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Add the beaten egg yolk and stir through until well mixed in.
Return the pan to a gentle heat and stir through for only 1 minute.
Transfer the rice to serving bowls.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Serve warm or let it cool, refrigerate and serve chilled.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more
4 sheets phyllo dough
1 1⁄2 cups milk
5 eggs
1 lb. ricotta, drained
12 oz. crumbled feta
1 tbsp. finely chopped oregano
2 tsp. finely chopped thyme

1⁄2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes

Heat oven to 425°. Grease a baking sheet with butter. Lay 2 sheets phyllo, overlapping slightly, on baking sheet; brush with some melted butter. Whisk milk and eggs in a bowl. Stir ricotta, feta, oregano, thyme, and chile flakes in another bowl. Pour half the egg mixture over phyllo; dot with half the cheese mixture. Repeat, layering remaining phyllo, butter, egg mixture, and cheese mixture; bake until bottom is golden and filling is just set, about 35 minutes. Heat oven broiler. Broil until golden and crisp, 1–2 minutes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 3/4 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 2 medium)
1 cup Arborio rice
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 3/4 cups (1/2-inch) slices asparagus (about 8 ounces)
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring broth and 1 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total).
3. Stir in asparagus and shrimp; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and remaining ingredients.

Fennel salad: Combine 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl. Add 6 cups torn romaine lettuce and 1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb; toss well to coat.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Base ingredients
250g kataifi dough (9 oz.)
50g butter, melted (2 oz.)
80-100g pistachios, chopped (3.5 oz.)
For the syrup
200g sugar (7 oz.)
200g water (4/5 of a cup)
lemon peel from half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
For the custard
750g whole milk, cold (3 cups)
150g sugar (5.5 0z.)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
75g corn starch (2.6 oz.)
4-5 egg yolks (depending on the size of the eggs)
75g butter (2.6 oz.)
a pinch of powdered mastic (optional)
For the whipped cream
500g cold heavy whipping cream (2 cups)
60g icing sugar (2 oz.)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To prepare this traditional Ekmek kataifi recipe start by making the base. Preheat the oven to 170C and unroll the kataifi dough from the plastic sleeve. Work the kataifi dough with your hands, tearing apart the shreds and spreading the strands out a bit if they clump together, in order to get fluffy. For this ekmek kataifi recipe you will need a 25cm square non-sticking baking dish. Butter the bottom of the baking dish and spread the kataifi dough to form the base of the ekmek kataifi. Pour over the melted butter and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until crispy and nicely coloured.
In the meantime prepare the custard for the ekmek kataifi (steps 2-4). Add in a large bowl the egg yolks with half the sugar (100g) and whisk until fluffy. Add 3-4 tbsps of the milk and the corn starch and whisk again until the corn starch has dissolved. Set aside.
Pour the rest of the milk in a large non-sticking pan and add the sugar and the vanilla extract. Place the pan over high heat and bring to the boil. As soon as the milk comes to the boil, remove from the heat and ladle gradually 1/3 of the milk into the egg mixture, whilst whisking. Place the pan (with the remaining milk) again on the stove and turn the heat down to medium. Add the egg mixture into the pan with the remaining warm milk. Whisk continuously, until the mixture has thickened and is smooth and creamy. Remove the pan from the stove, add the butter and stir.
Pour the custard in a large tray, cover with some plastic wrap (the plastic wrarp should be touching the custard, so that it doesn’t form a crust) and let it cool, while you prepare the rest of the ekmek kataifi recipe.
Turn the kataifi out of the oven and let it cool down completely.
Prepare the syrup for the ekmek kataifi. Add all the ingredients for the syrup into a small pot and bring to the boil. Simmer the syrup of 3 minutes (without stirring), until slightly thickened and remove from the stove. Leave the syrup aside to cool down for a while, until lukewarm. Ladle slowly the lukewarm syrup over the cold baked pastry, enabling each ladle to be absorbed. Set aside to cool down for a while.
Prepare the whipped cream and assemble the ekmek kataifi. Top the kataifi base with the custard and even out using a spatula. Put the cold heavy cream into a mixer’s bowl, add the icing sugar and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 minute. Top the ekmek kataifi with the whipped cream and even out. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and a pinch of cinnamon.

Store the ekmek kataifi in the fridge and serve cold. Enjoy!


1 lb phyllo pastry, thawed if frozen
1 cup butter, melted at room temp
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups chopped walnuts
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄4 cup lemon juice

1⁄4 cup honey

Preheat the oven on 325. Layer half of the sheets of phyllo one sheet at a time, in a greased 11x7x2 baking pan, brushing each sheet evenly with butter and folding ends over if necessary to fit into pan.
Keep unused sheets covered with plastic wrap while assembling baklava to prevent drying.
Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar and cinnamon; stir in walnuts.
Sprinkle nut mixture evenly over buttered phyllo in pan.
Layer remaining phyllo, one sheet at a time, over nut mixture, brushing each sheet evenly with butter.
Cut diagonally into squares, cutting completely through all layers.
Bake in preheated oven until crisp and golden, about one hour.
Combine remaining sugar, the water, lemon juice and honey in small saucepan; cook and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.
Heat to boiling; pour evenly over hot baklava.
Let stand loosely covered 8 hours or overnight.

Friday, June 5, 2015


36 dried Calimyrna figs
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
7 tablespoons agave nectar, divided
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup pomegranate juice

4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Remove stems from figs. Cut an “X” in the top of each fig, about two-thirds of the way down.
In a small bowl, combine pecans, walnuts, 3 tablespoons agave nectar, cocoa, cinnamon and cloves; spoon into figs. Arrange in a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix pomegranate juice, lemon juice and remaining agave nectar; drizzle over figs. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 8-10 minutes longer or until heated through, basting occasionally with cooking liquid. Yield: 3 dozen.

Thursday, June 4, 2015



1 kg fresh white cheese from kythnos, crumbled
4 eggs
3 – 4 spoons of flour

Oil for frying


Mix in a bowl the crumbled cheese with the rest of the ingredients.
Mould and shape the mixture into balls.
Fry in plenty of oil all around until balls become golden brown.

Serve warm.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


1 1⁄2 cups chicken broth (I use a garlic flavored broth for this) or 1 1⁄2 cups water (I use a garlic flavored broth for this)
1 cup uncooked couscous
1⁄2-1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 -2 cup diced peeled cucumber
1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1⁄2 cup small ripe olives, halved
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, well drained (garbonzo beans)
1⁄4 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)

salt (to taste)

Bring the 1-1/2 cups chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in the couscous and oregano, remove from heat; cover, and let stand 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork.
Combine the couscous with tomatoes and the next 5 ingredients (tomatoes through chickpeas) in a bowl; set aside.
Combine 1/4 cup water with the remaining ingredients; stir well with a whisk.
Pour over the couscous mixture, tossing gently to coat.

Season with black pepper and salt.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


round pitta bread (also called Lebanese bread)
tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
lettuce, roughly shredded
tzatziki or plain greek yogurt

This is a rather vague list of ingredients, I know, but it is each according to their own tastes and preferences and also how much people like to eat. Allow 3-6 slices of tomatoes, about 5-6 onion rings and a handful of lettuce per person per pitta. Allow about 1 or 2 tablespoons of tzatziki per person. If you don’t like tzatziki you can use just plain Greek yogurt instead. For the kebabs, you can use whichever meat you prefer, although pork is the traditional meat of Souvlaki , in Greece you now find Souvlaki being sold with lamb or chicken kebabs. Bowl of Tzatziki Thinly slice tomatoes and onion, shred lettuce and put in separate serving bowls.
Prepare the tzatziki and put out in a serving bowl. Prepare kebabs, season to taste (salt, pepper, paprika), and grill meat. In the meantime, take each pitta, and spray each side with oil.
(I find the oil spray you find at the supermarket great as they produce a very fine amount of oil to cover the pitta.) If you havent got that just wipe oil over each side of the pitta with a brush - just make sure its not too thick.) You will need a hot plate to cook the pitta on (use either a cast iron plate, or the bbq hot plate or a large heavy frying pan - thinly sprayed with oil so as to not stick - not to fry.)
Cook the pitta until they start to take a bit of a colour, on each side. This will not take long at all - a couple of minutes. Serve pitta, spread with tzatziki, then layer with lettuce, tomato, onion and meat.
Wrap the pitta up like a cone shape, using a paper napkin or greased paper to hold in place in necessary. An alternative to kebabs is to thinly slice your meat and fry with salt, pepper and paprika until cooked and slightly crispy.

Monday, June 1, 2015


4 sea bass, about 1 to 1 1/4 pound each
1 1/2 - 2 bunches of fresh parsley, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
sea salt
1 rounded tablespoon of Greek oregano (rigani)
24 thin round slices of tomato (4-5 large tomatoes)
4 pieces of baking parchment paper or brown oil paper
olive oil for brushing the paper
1 cup of white wine

3 cups of water

Preheat oven to 400 - 410°F (205 - 210°C). Gut and scale the fish (leaving heads on), and rinse well. Pat dry. Lightly salt inside and out. Combine parsley, garlic, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and oregano, and a little more salt, and stuff the stomach cavities. Pour the wine and water into the bottom of a large baking pan (about 15 3/4 X 13 3/4 or equivalent). Brush a piece of paper with oil. Lay 3 tomato slices on the oiled side, one fish on top, and 3 more tomato slices on top of the fish. Wrap each fish up in a piece of paper and place, seam side down, in the baking pan. Bake at 400°F (210°C) for about 45 minutes. To test for readyness, press the paper with your hand. The fish should be soft.