Wednesday, 6 June 2018
Not just tzatziki
Some more simple Greek dishes. Actually I think these three are Balkans/Turkey/Middle Eastern. All the countries around us have similar dishes.
Spicy cheese dip - tyrokafteri
This is really nice in the summer when I've had enough of tzatziki and greek salad and want a change. Just put all these into a small hand mixer and puree
300 soft feta
200 grams thick yoghurt
Paprika..chili..bukova (something to give heat and spice)
1Sweet Red pepper baked (or a couple of red peppers in vinegar from a jar)
Garlic , one clove is enough
Oil - a few tablespoons
Vinegar - a few tablespoons
carrots and celery if you must
Perfect with grilled vegetables and meat
Bouyourdi - red peppers and feta
Feta (soft) which melts (you could substitute with a local soft yellow cheese)
Hot chili, paprika
In a clay pot (or a pyrex dish) start with a layer of tomato slices. Add a layer of thinly sliced green or red peppers.
Crumble soft feta cheese over all of this. It needs to be a soft cheese which will melt. Finish off with another layer of tomato slices. Sprinkle over some hot chili or paprika. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for about half an hour till the cheese has melted and the tomatoes and peppers have softened.
Excellent with bbqed meat or just by itself.
Domatokeftethes - santorini tomato fritters
I have made these several times and I don't like my homemade version. If I find them on a taverna menu I will definitely order them and usually am not disappointed. The first time I made them they didn't have enough juice and were dry. The next time they were oily. They definitely need to be eaten hot out the frying pan while they are still crisp.
A friend of ours makes them and insists they can only be made with tomatoes from Santorini. She comes from the Santorini where these tomato fritters are a speciality, made from local cherry tomatoes which thrive there in the rich volcanic soil.
Santorini is a volcanic island and has very little rain. These cherry tomatoes don't need water. The leaves catch moisture from the nightly sea mists. They don't mind the scorching summer sun either or the very strong winds in this area of the Aegean. The island is famous here for its tomatoes, grapes and fava (yellow split peas). My father wrote about them in his diary during his war years in Greece. Especially he always remembered the wonderfully fragrant tomatoes.
The grape vines are like small nests, they crawl along the ground and are woven into a sort of nest. They also need very little water but the grapes are full of flavour and make excellent wine
Recipe for tomato fritters
3 or 4 Chopped tomatoes
1/2 Diced onion
chopped Mint and basil
2 tablespoons Flour
1 tsp Baking powder
Should be quite a sloppy mix. Put spoonfuls into smoking oil and fry till brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper to get rid of excess oil. Eat immediately, with lashings of tzatziki.