Recipes

Greece

Saganaki (Fried Cheese)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (about 1/2 kg) of kefalotyri or kasseri cheese (or pecorino romano)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2/3 cup of flour for dredging
  • 2-3 lemons, quartered

Preparation:

  1. Cut the cheese into slices or wedges that are 1/2 inch thick by 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide.
  2. Moisten each slice with cold water and dredge in the flour.
  3. In a sagani (Greek pan used for this dish) or a small heavy-bottomed frying pan (cast-iron works best), heat the oil over medium-high heat, and sear each slice in 1 tablespoon of oil until golden-brown on both sides.
  4. Transfer the cheese to a small warmed casserole, douse it with two tablespoons of brandy, and light it with a match.
  5. Serve hot with a last-minute squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Don’t forget the to say “OPA!” as a celebration!

 

Loukoumades (Honey Puffs)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pkg. (1/4 oz) dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. whiskey or brandy
  • 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 cups canola or corn oil
  • Ground cinnamon and walnuts for serving

For the syrup:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1-cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey

Preparation

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup lukewarm water and set aside.
  2. In a medium to large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Mix well to combine.
  3. Add the dissolved yeast, whiskey, and 1-1/2 cups water to the dry ingredients. Using an electric hand mixer, mix the batter for 3 minutes on medium high speed making sure that there are no lumps in the batter. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about two hours to rise.
  4. Prepare the syrup while the batter is rising. Add the sugar, cinnamon stick, water and honey to a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Keep warm.
  5. When the batter is about double in size, heat the 2 cups oil in a saucepan or deep frying pan until very hot but not smoking.
  6. Using two spoons, carefully drop about a teaspoon full of batter for each puff into the hot oil. Turn the puffs using a slotted spoon and fry until golden brown on each side. Remove the puffs to a plate lined with paper toweling to absorb excess oil.
  7. Dip the hot puffs in the syrup and then sprinkle with cinnamon, ground walnuts or even with confectioners sugar. Serve immediately.

 

Keftedakia (Small Meatballs)

Ingredients

  • 1kg minced beef
  • 1 large onion very finely chopped
  • Bunch of chopped parsley
  • A few leaves chopped mint
  • 2 slices dry, white bread soaked in milk and well drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 ½ cup vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation 

  1. Apart from the flour and the vegetable oil, mix all the other ingredients together well.
  2. Roll the mixture into small balls approx. the size of large walnuts.
  3. Roll the balls in flour and then deep fry them for 15 minutes.

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