Agginarotyropita–Artichoke Cheese Pie

In Greek, the word “Pita” does not simply stand for the flatbreads most people are familiar with in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Instead, “Pita” is the Greek word for pie, a significant component of the classic Greek diet. In the old days, a Greek housewife was quite frankly “judged” on her ability to roll out her own phyllo and as such her most prized kitchen tools included only a long, thin wooden rod used as a rolling pin and a large round wooden surface on which to stretch the phyllo. Back then, pites (plural for pita)

Keftedes me Saltsa Verikoko–Meatballs in an Apricot Sauce

Tapas, meze, appetizers, canapes, antipasti … however you label them, these small bites are often the best part of a meal. Seriously, isn’t it so much better sampling a variety of small dishes rather than taking 20-something bites of the same one? I can’t imagine a better place to enjoy tapas than Spain–I’ve been to authentic Spanish restaurants here in New York numerous times but I long to taste the “real” thing in a rustic tapas bar in beautiful Barcelona. Being that a trip to Spain is not on the horizon (although a trip to

Rice, Mushrooms and Bacon Wrapped in Phyllo over Sweet & Spicy Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Mini Peppers

It’s been a while since I participated in the friendly competition us food bloggers know as the Royal Foodie Joust, so lovingly hosted by her highness Jenn The Leftover Queen. So this month, I decided it was high time to get back into the game and what better way to do so than with three great ingredients chosen by last month’s winner, the ever-so-talented, Nuria of Spanish Recipes. What are those great ingredients you ask? Well, rice, tomato and bacon of course. The ingredients seem simple enough. And to be honest, when I first read what Nuria picked, I

Ouzo Mezedes, Part II

Anise-flavored ouzo pairs well with seafood, so it was a given that octopus, shrimp, mussels and some small fish would have to make up the menu for our Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Greek Ouzo Tasting … in New York. There were also some chicken kabobs, sauteed potatoes, manitaropita (mushroom pie) and much more for guests to munch on as they sipped their ouzo. So here’s the last installment (finally!) of Ouzo Mezedes we served: Garides se Kantaifi me Pikantiki Magioneza–Shrimp Wrapped in Kataifi with Spicy Remoulade (Shrimp in Kataifi adapted from a recipe in

Ouzo Mezedes, Part I

For my Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Greek Ouzo Tasting … in New York, I wanted to “abide” by the traditional way of serving ouzo: alongside an array of mezedes to help ease down the strong aperitif. Htapodokeftedes (octopus croquettes) are a delicacy on the island of Kalymnos, from which my family hails. I’ve enjoyed htapodokeftedes on the island a number of times but never anywhere else. This was my first time making them at home, but definitely not my last … these flavorful mezedes were much easier than they seem and a hit with our guests. I also

Ouzo, the Spirit of Greece

I guess you can say that ouzo is the national drink of Greece. This strong and fragrant aperitif embodies everything that is Greece: the spirit, the care-free attitude, the zest for life. And to understand just how important ouzo is to many Greeks, just take a closer look at the painting above (actually hanging in a taverna on the Greek island of Lesvos) where a bottle of Ouzo Mini is providing sustenance to a man via an I.V.! The History of Ouzo The name ouzo dates back to the late 19th century but its origin is ambiguous. Many do claim, however, that ouzo in one form or

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