Lamb Kofta Kabobs (Kebabs) in the Oven

Lamb Kofta Kabobs (Kebabs) in the Oven

A recipe for home-made lamb kofta kabobs (kebab) in the oven. It’s very simple and you don’t have to go to your local eastern restaurant to enjoy them.

Lamb Kofta Kabobs (Kebabs) in the Oven

There are a few things that is difficult to replicate at home as they taste much better in a restaurant. Take for example pizza. You don’t have a wood fired oven for cooking and your recipe for making your pizza base is not perfect. So, you simply enjoy your pizza in a nice Italian restaurant.

Lamb Kofta Kabobs (Kebabs) in the Oven

Another example is grilled meat. Especially these eastern lamb-based aromatic creations that you love to eat in your local Turkish or middle-eastern restaurant. It’s not just the nicely grilled meat. You can achieve that in your barbecue. It’s rather the combination of herbs and spices that make kabobs unique.

What do they put in there that makes them so delicious? Can I do it at home?

Well, you can try. Even though you need a nice charcoal grill to get the same results, I guarantee you that you will impressed with the taste of home-made kabobs in the oven.

Lamb Kofta Kabobs (Kebabs) in the Oven

This time we are not talking about chicken kabobs or lamb gyros in the oven. I tried to make my favorite lamb kofta kabobs. The use of mince meat give them the texture of the burger. At the same time, you can add all the nice herbs and spices to give that special aroma, which is difficult to achieve with shish kabobs.

Lamb Kofta Kabobs (Kebabs) in the Oven

Lamb kofta kabobs in the oven are easy to make. Just mix all of the ingredients, make the kofta shape with the skewers, cook and voila! Make sure you enjoy them with nice pita bread and tzatziki sauce.

Lamb Kofta Kabobs (Kebabs) in the Oven
A recipe for home-made lamb kofta kabobs (kebab) in the oven. It’s very simple and you don’t have to go to your local eastern restaurant to enjoy them.

Author:
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 500 gr (17 oz) mince lamb.
  • 2 onions.
  • A small bunch of fresh mint.
  • 2-3 garlic cloves.
  • A bunch of flat-leaf parsley.
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of ground cumin.
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt.
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Add the onions, garlic, parsley and mint leaves in a food processor and chop them for a few seconds. You don’t want a paste but rather the ingredients finely chopped.
  2. Add the lamb, the contents from the food processor and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Knead well for a few minutes. Cover with cling film and let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  3. Preheat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius (375 F).
  4. Use a tray that is long enough to deposit the edges of the skewers on its opposite walls. Cover the tray with some aluminium foil. Pour some water in your hands a get some of the meat mixture. Work with it around the skewer to form a long but not very thick sausage-like shape. Place it on top of the tray and do the same with the rest of the meat.
  5. Cook in the oven for ~ 30 minutes until your kofte kabobs get a nice color. You may need to turn them upside down at some point.
  6. Enjoy with same warm pitta bread and tzatziki sauce.
  7. Bon appetit!

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Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

A delicious recipe for Greek stuffed cabbage leaves in an egg and lemon sauce. It’s the famous Lahanodolmades with Avgolemono.

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

Stuffing vegetables with meat has been very popular in the Mediterranean and the Middle-East cuisines for centuries. The word “Dolma” has a Turkish origin (Dolmak), which means “to be stuffed”.

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

Depending on the region, the culture and religion people use different vegetables to stuff. I guess the more popular version in the western world is the stuffed vine leaves (Yalanci Dolma) with rice and herbs.

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

Stuffed vine leaves are very popular in Greece too and is one of my favorite meals. Traditionally it’s a dish that’s made in autumn, when the vine leaves are fresh and you can just collect them from your garden.

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

The winter version for Dolma is made with cabbage. They are called Lahanodolmades. They contain meat, which is usually veal or a mixture of veal and pork. In Turkey they are made with mince lamb, as you may guess.

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

Lahanodolmades can be considered as a time-consuming dish to make as you need to roll the dolma one by one. Well, it’s not as bad as it sounds. First, using just 1 lb of meat you can make a meal that can feed 5-6 people or can last for a 2-3 days. Second, it’s something different, hearty and delicious!

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

The Greeks make a special sauce to serve Lahanodolmades with. It’s called Avgolemono, which basically is eggs and lemon juice whisked together with some of the Dolma stock. Together with some corn flour and herbs, it brings Lahanodolmades to another level.

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)

We had a whole cabbage in the fridge and Kondje wanted to give it a try and make Lahanodolmades. In such short notice we couldn’t find any mince veal so she made them with beef. You can use any kind of meat you like actually. As you may have guessed, Kondje made the Lahanodolmades and I just ate them!

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Lahanodolmades)
A delicious recipe for Greek stuffed cabbage leaves in an egg and lemon sauce. It’s the famous Lahanodolmades with Avgolemono.

Author:
Cuisine: Greek
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 whole cabbage, ~ 1 kg (35 oz)
  • 500 gr (17 oz) mince beef.
  • 200 gr (7 oz) rice (I used long grain).
  • A bunch of flat leaf parsley finely chopped.
  • A bunch of fresh dill finely chopped.
  • 1 onion finely chopped.
  • 1 onion cut in 5-6 pieces.
  • 2 carrots.
  • 2 celery sticks coarsely sliced.
  • ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Juice from two lemons.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour.
  • 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Add the beef, finely chopped onion, parsley and dill (save some for the sauce at the end), rice and olive oil into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and knead well. Cover with cling film and set aside.
  2. Cut the cabbage in half. Use a knife and cut the core out. Add it in a pot with hot water and boil it for ~ 10 minutes until the leaves start to be detached from the main body. Remove it from the pot and separate the leaves.
  3. Peel the carrots and slice them coarsely (8-10 slices). Add the carrot, celery and the coarsely cut onion in the bottom of a large and deep pot. Use some of the cabbage leaves that are damaged to cover them and create a base for your dolma. This will be your stock.
  4. Place one of the boiled cabbage leaves (with the vain side up) on a flat surface (a large plate will do). Add one tablespoon from the meat/rice mixture close to one edge of the leaf. Start rolling the dolma tightly, making sure that is sealed on both sides.
  5. Place the dolma close to the wall of the pot, on top of your stock vegetables and cabbage leaves. Prepare the next dolma and add it next to the previous one. Add the rest of the dolma trying to create homocentric circles. Just make sure the circles are tight so the dolma will not disintegrate during the cooking. Depending on the size of the pot and the dolma, you may need to make the same kind of structure on top of the first one.
  6. Use the remaining or damaged cabbage leaves to cover the dolma. Use a suitable plate and place it facing down on top of the cabbage leaves. The weight of the plate will make sure that the dolma will not move while cooking.
  7. Add some hot water until the plate is just covered. Cook the lahanodolmades at low heat with the lid on for ~ 1 ½ hours.
  8. To prepare the egg and lemon sauce, whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and keep whisking. Use a large spoon and introduce some of the cooked dolma juice into the bowl while you keep whisking. It is very important that you keep whisking so that the eggs do not get cooked by the heat of the juice. Add some more and keep whisking. Add the corn flour and keep whisking. Pour the sauce on top of your dolma, shake the pot well and let it cook for another 10 minutes at low heat.
  9. Serve the dolma hot with the nice egg and lemon sauce from the pot.
  10. Bon appetit!

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Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)

Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)

This is a fantastic recipe for Greek eggplant pie with peppers and feta cheese. It’s the very popular Melitzanopita.

Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)

My queen is back again! No, I am not talking about Khaleesi or any other fancy queen. It’s the eggplant, the queen of vegetables. She may not have dragons but she definitely reigns the kingdom of farmed food.

Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)

I love the eggplants cooked in any kind of way. In the oven, like the Imam Bayildi, in cupcakes, wrapping meatballs, in salad…you get the idea.

Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)

There is a famous Greek dish that wanted to make for some time. Her majesty Melitzanopita. You know, the Greeks love their pies and they make an excellent eggplant pie with all the usual herbs and stuff. Having found 4-5 lovely eggplants, I went straight to the kitchen and started my magic.

Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)

In every pie you make, the big difference is made by the selection of the filo pastry. The ladies in the villages in Greece they make their own filo and their pies are really something amazing. It takes them 5-10 minutes but I guess, for most of us, that seems like a lot of work. And it won’t take 10 minutes!

Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)

I used some puff pastry I bought from the supermarket. It was good but I couldn’t help myself comparing it with my grandma’s homemade filo. Unfortunately, she is not with us anymore, but she would be proud of her grandson’s Melitzanopita. Even with pastry bought from the shop.

Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)

So, go ahead and treat yourselves with a lovely and tasty eggplant pie. The great thing is that it tastes even better as a leftover.

Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)

Greek Eggplant Pie with Peppers and Feta (Melitzanopita)
This is a fantastic recipe for Greek eggplant pie with peppers and feta cheese. It’s the very popular Melitzanopita.

Author:
Cuisine: Greek
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 8

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 5 large eggplants
  • 2 long peppers finely chopped.
  • 2 onions finely chopped.
  • 1 red chili pepper finely chopped.
  • 1 beef tomato peeled and diced.
  • A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley finely chopped.
  • ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Juice of one lemon.
  • 2 puff pastry sheets.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 200 gr (7 oz) Feta cheese crumbled.
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) yellow hard cheese grated.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Peel the skin of the eggplants and use the coarse side of a grater to grate them. Place them in a colander, sprinkle some salt and the lemon juice and let them release their juices for ~ 30 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, red pepper and chili in a pot together with ½ cup of hot water on medium heat. Bring it to boil and let it cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion and peppers become soft. Add 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil and the diced tomato and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so.
  3. Add the grated eggplant, season with salt and pepper and stir well. Let it cook for 6-7 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the parsley, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool down. You can put it in the fridge for ~ 30 minutes or leave it outside for an hour or so. It is important that the mixture is cold enough before the next step.
  5. Add the eggs, Feta and grated yellow cheese into the mixture and stir well.
  6. Preheat the oven at 220 degrees Celsius (430 F).
  7. Use a large and relatively shallow tray. Spread some olive oil on the bottom and the side walls of the tray using a kitchen brush. Cover the bottom (and part of the side walls) with a sheet of puff pastry. Add the mixture and use a spoon to spread it nicely. Make sure that the eggplant filling in the pie is not very thick, a bit less than an inch (~ 2 cm). Cover the mixture with the second pastry sheet and fold it in the sides and corners. Spread some olive oil again on the top. Use a sharp knife and gently cut the pie into the pieces you are going to serve later. Make sure you don’t reach the bottom with the knife.
  8. Bake your pie for ~ 30 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Let it rest at room temperature for ~ 20 minutes to be able to cut it easily.
  10. Bon appetit!

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Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

A very popular Spanish tapas recipe for fried sweet peppers. It’s the very famous Pimientos de Padron.

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

A few months ago I had the chance to spend a few days in Majorca, a beautiful island in the Spanish Balearic Sea. It’s a very popular Mediterranean island with millions of tourists every year. It’s sunny, has endless sandy beaches so it’s quite obvious that it’s a popular destination for sun-deprived north-Europeans.

Except from the sun and the sea, I was particularly excited to try their local food. Spanish food is quite famous but I wanted to try something different from the Paella and tapas that you find in restaurants around the world. Also, I expected to find locally-produced vegetables and meat.

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

I have to say that I was quite disappointed. It turned out that we stayed in a town “occupied” by young Germans. That was not bad per se (except from the noise) but it was difficult to find restaurants that served well-prepared local food. Everything was touristic pasta, pizza, burgers and low-quality kebabs. What a nightmare…

After the initial shock, we found some half-decent restaurants with Spanish food. I tried some of the sea food like calamari, octopus, sardines etc. It was okay, nothing special. They make it better in Greece. The prices were correct though.

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

One thing I really enjoyed and had them almost at every meal was the fried Spanish peppers, called Pimientos de Padron. It’s actually an appetizer, served hot and helps you drink your cold beer after a day in the sun. It was amazing!

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

Padron are a special variety of peppers that grow in the Galician region of Spain. They are not particularly hot, rather sweet I would say. The way the Spanish make it is quite simple: just fry them with good quality olive oil, sprinkle some salt on top and done. You are in heaven!

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

So, next time you find Pimientos de Padron in your local market, do yourselves a favour and cook this awesome tapas plate!

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)
A very popular Spanish tapas recipe for fried sweet peppers. It’s the very famous Pimientos de Padron.

Author:
Cuisine: Spanish
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 8-10 Padron peppers.
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Rock salt.

Instructions
  1. Wash the peppers with cold water and dry them using a kitchen towel.
  2. Add the olive oil on a frying pan and heat it up on medium-high heat. Add the Padron peppers and fry them until their skin becomes dark and blisters start to form. This should take 1-2 minutes.
  3. Place the peppers on a plate and sprinkle the rock salt on top.
  4. Bon appetit!

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Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

A very popular Spanish tapas recipe for fried sweet peppers. It’s the very famous Pimientos de Padron.

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

A few months ago I had the chance to spend a few days in Majorca, a beautiful island in the Spanish Balearic Sea. It’s a very popular Mediterranean island with millions of tourists every year. It’s sunny, has endless sandy beaches so it’s quite obvious that it’s a popular destination for sun-deprived north-Europeans.

Except from the sun and the sea, I was particularly excited to try their local food. Spanish food is quite famous but I wanted to try something different from the Paella and tapas that you find in restaurants around the world. Also, I expected to find locally-produced vegetables and meat.

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

I have to say that I was quite disappointed. It turned out that we stayed in a town “occupied” by young Germans. That was not bad per se (except from the noise) but it was difficult to find restaurants that served well-prepared local food. Everything was touristic pasta, pizza, burgers and low-quality kebabs. What a nightmare…

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

After the initial shock, we found some half-decent restaurants with Spanish food. I tried some of the sea food like calamari, octopus, sardines etc. It was okay, nothing special. They make it better in Greece. The prices were correct though.

One thing I really enjoyed and had them almost at every meal was the fried Spanish peppers, called Pimientos de Padron. It’s actually an appetizer, served hot and helps you drink your cold beer after a day in the sun. It was amazing!

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

Padron are a special variety of peppers that grow in the Galician region of Spain. They are not particularly hot, rather sweet I would say. The way the Spanish make it is quite simple: just fry them with good quality olive oil, sprinkle some salt on top and done. You are in heaven!

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)

So, next time you find Pimientos de Padron in your local market, do yourselves a favour and cook this awesome tapas plate!

Spanish Fried Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)
A very popular Spanish tapas recipe for fried sweet peppers. It’s the very famous Pimientos de Padron.

Author:
Cuisine: Spanish
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 8-10 Padron peppers.
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Rock salt.

Instructions
  1. Wash the peppers with cold water and dry them using a kitchen towel.
  2. Add the olive oil on a frying pan and heat it up on medium-high heat. Add the Padron peppers and fry them until their skin becomes dark and blisters start to form. This should take 1-2 minutes.
  3. Place the peppers on a plate and sprinkle the rock salt on top.
  4. Bon appetit!

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Slowly-Roasted Turkish Chicken with Vegetables (Köylü Kebab)

Slowly-Roasted Turkish Chicken with Vegetables (Köylü Kebab)

A hearty slowly-roasted chicken with vegetables in a Turkish way. Famous by the name Köylü Kebab.

Slowly-Roasted Turkish Chicken with Vegetables (Köylü Kebab)

His majesty the chicken has been one of people’s favourite food for ages. It’s cheap, easy to cook and is in general a healthier option when it comes to eating meat.

Ok, I don’t want to go into the hormones and antibiotics discussion. Let’s pretend that we are living in Utopia where little chickens run freely in the fields, dance and make love like the hippies did back in the 60’s.

Slowly-Roasted Turkish Chicken with Vegetables (Köylü Kebab)

We had a whole chicken in the fridge and Kondje insisted to make it in a way her mum did when she was a child. It’s a simple but a traditional Turkish-Cypriot recipe that goes beyond the “boring” roasted chicken with potatoes recipe. I trust her because she is a good cook.

Slowly-Roasted Turkish Chicken with Vegetables (Köylü Kebab)

This dish comes by the name Köylü Kebab, which is a bit confusing to me. I always had the word Kebab related with grilled meat, especially lamb. But apparently the Turks use it whenever they refer to cooked meat.

Slowly-Roasted Turkish Chicken with Vegetables (Köylü Kebab)

The difference with the simple version is that the chicken is cooked slowly with the juices of the vegetables and the tomato paste. The combination of tomato paste and lemon sounded a bit strange to me as I am used to the use of one of them and never both on the same dish. However, it worked just great!

You don’t have to use a whole chicken to make this dish. It would work just fine with chicken thighs or drumsticks. The good thing about using a whole chicken is that you can use some “uninteresting” parts, such as the ribs that are full of bones, to make your own stock and cook a nice chicken soup. This is exactly what we did.

Slowly-Roasted Turkish Chicken with Vegetables (Köylü Kebab)

So, this recipe is a courtesy of Kondje and is a perfect example of a tradition passing into the hands of the next generation.

Slowly-Roasted Turkish Chicken with Vegetables (Köylü Kebab)
A hearty slowly-roasted chicken with vegetables in a Turkish way. Famous by the name Köylü Kebab.

Author:
Cuisine: Turkish
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken around 1.5 kg (3.3 lb).
  • 1 red bell pepper.
  • 1 green bell pepper.
  • 2 large onions.
  • 1 ½ kg ( 3.3 lb) potatoes peeled.
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes.
  • Juice of two lemons.
  • 3-4 garlic cloves crushed.
  • 1½ tablespoon tomato paste.
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius (375 F).
  2. Cut the chicken into 8-10 pieces. Wash it and drain well with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and place the pieces in a large deep tray.
  3. Cut the potatoes and peppers into big chunks and add them to the tray together with the crushed garlic cloves. Cut the tomatoes in 4 pieces and place them in the tray. Dilute the tomato paste in 2 cups of hot water and pour it in together with the lemon juice and the olive oil. Add the oregano, season with salt and pepper and give the contents of the tray a good stir.
  4. Cover the tray with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for ~ 90 minutes.
  5. Uncover the tray and cook for another 15 minutes to give your chicken a nice golden brown colour.
  6. Bon appetit!

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Easy Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)

Easy Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)

Very easy and delicious zucchini fritters with Feta. The famous Greek Kolokithokeftedes!

Easy Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)

Zucchini fritters have become very popular in the modern western cuisine. It’s probably because of their nutritional value, being suitable for vegetarians and vegans or simply…because they are awesome!

Easy Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)

The same thing happened in Greece too I guess. From being a very simple appetizer found in some islands it became one of the most demanded delicacy. Every tavern offers it now.

Easy Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)

Being very critical about their food, the Greeks often rate a tavern depending on the quality of its Kolokithokeftedes. They have to be soft, aromatic, not too salty and not oily. Of course, they have to be handmade and served with some kind of yoghurt sauce, like tzatziki.

Easy Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)

What makes Kolokithokeftedes different from other versions of zucchini fritters is the addition of Feta cheese and the use of high quality seasonal vegetables. It’s true that they taste much better during the summer months when the zucchini have just been collected from the local fields.

Easy Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)

Kolokithokeftedes are a great appetizer to help you drink your bear or wine but they are also suitable for a light and healthy lunch. Easy to make, I don’t think you need more convincing!

Easy Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)

Easy Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)
Very easy and delicious zucchini fritters with Feta. The famous Greek Kolokithokeftedes!

Author:
Cuisine: Greek
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 16

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 4 large zucchini.
  • 4-5 spring onions finely chopped.
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley finely chopped.
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint (the leaves) finely chopped.
  • 1 bunch of dill finely chopped.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika.
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder.
  • 200 gr (7 oz) crumbled Feta cheese.
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) flour.
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Use the coarse side of a grater and grate the zucchini. Use a cotton kitchen towel and place some of the grated zucchini in the middle. Close the towel and squeeze as hard as you can to get the juices out of the zucchini. It’s very important that the zucchini are completely dry. Place the drained zucchini in a large bowl.
  2. Add the spring onions, parsley, dill, mint, paprika, chili, eggs and Feta to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper (~ ½ tablespoon each) and give it a good stir. Add the flour and stir well.
  3. Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, use a tablespoon and add some of the mixture in the pan. Press it lightly so your fritters become kind of flat. Cook for ~ 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  4. Place the fritters on a tray covered with paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  5. Enjoy your zucchini fritters with some Greek yoghurt.
  6. Bon appetit!

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Spinach Pie with Corn Flour Topping (Easy Spanakopita)

Spinach Pie with Corn Flour Topping (Easy Spanakopita)

A simple but hearty alternative version of Spanakopita. Spinach, leeks, onions and herbs covered in a corn flour batter.

Spinach Pie with Corn Flour Topping (Easy Spanakopita)

I am probably the biggest fan of Spanakopita. Honestly, I can eat it every day for a month or so. Or until my stomach starts complaining.

Spinach Pie with Corn Flour Topping (Easy Spanakopita)

Spanakopita usually needs some kind of filo pastry, ready or home made. But this is an alternative version that uses a rough pastry (or batter) made simply with cornflour, water and milk. I would call it “the poor man’s Spanakopita”.

Spinach Pie with Corn Flour Topping (Easy Spanakopita)

It’s based on a type of pie they make in some central parts of Greece called “Mpatzina”. Simply put all your mixture on a tray and cover it with some corn flour-based batter. A very easy and cheap way to feed a whole family, especially during times of tight budgets.

Spinach Pie with Corn Flour Topping (Easy Spanakopita)

I used fresh spinach but it can be made with frozen one as well. Just avoid the “steaming” but drain it to remove all of the juices.

Spinach Pie with Corn Flour Topping (Easy Spanakopita)

The result: a simple and healthy gastronomical pleasure!

Spinach Pie with Corn Flour Topping (Easy Spanakopita)
A simple but hearty alternative version of Spanakopita. Spinach, leeks, onions and herbs covered in a corn flour batter.

Author:
Cuisine: Greek
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 750 gr (26 oz) fresh spinach.
  • 1 large leek sliced.
  • ~ 10 spring onions sliced.
  • 250 gr (9 oz) Feta cheese crumbled.
  • A bunch of flat-leaf parsley chopped.
  • A bunch of fresh dill chopped.
  • A small bunch of fresh mint chopped.
  • 1 ½ cups of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 750 gr (26 oz) corn flour.
  • 1 ½ cups of milk.
  • Salt and pepper.

Instructions
  1. Wash the spinach, chop it roughly and steam it for a 2-3 minutes in a pot. Drain the juices and put it in a large bowl.
  2. Add the leek, spring onions, herbs and Feta to the bowl. Add most of the olive oil, season with some salt (Feta is salty) and pepper and toss well. You mixture is ready.
  3. Add the corn flour in a large bowl and add 3-4 cups of hot water. Stir well for a few minutes and add the milk. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Stir well. The end-result should be something like a thick bechamel sauce or thick batter.
  4. Preheat the oven at 200 Celsius (390 F).
  5. Spread some olive oil on the bottom and side walls of a medium tray using an kitchen brush. Use half of your flour batter and cover the bottom of the tray. Add the spinach mixture on top and use the rest of the flour batter to cover it. Again, spread some olive oil on top.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour until your pie gets a nice golden brown color on top.
  7. Let it cool down for ~ 30 minutes before you cut it.
  8. Bon appetit!

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Sicilian Eggplant Stew with Herbs (Caponata)

Sicilian Eggplant Stew with Herbs (Caponata)

Delicious Sicilian eggplant stew full of Mediterranean aromas. The world-famous Caponata!

Sicilian Eggplant Stew (Caponata)

I realised that it’s been a few weeks that I haven’t used any eggplants in my dishes. That’s not me! The queen of vegetables has always a special place in my heart and plate!

Sicilian Eggplant Stew (Caponata)

The first time I tried Caponata I was…overwhelmed! It was difficult to explain what I liked from this dish. Of course, I am familiar with stews based on vegetables and tomatoes but this one was different.

Sicilian Eggplant Stew (Caponata)

I guess what makes Caponata different is the combination of vinegar and sugar. Yes, you get that “sweet and sour” taste but not in the way a Chinese pork would do! If I had to tried it for the first time, I would be reluctant to use vinegar together with tomatoes. But I guess the Sicilians know better.

Sicilian Eggplant Stew (Caponata)

As it’s a plate that celebrates the Mediterranean seasonal vegetables, you can improvise and add whatever you fancy. Maybe some zucchini? But try to stick to the basic ingredients, the eggplants, fresh tomatoes, celery and olives.

Sicilian Eggplant Stew (Caponata)

Honestly, this is such an amazing meal! Make sure you make a lot of it as it can be refrigerated for a few days. Actually, it tastes better the next day. So you have your lunches sorted!

Sicilian Eggplant Stew (Caponata)

Sicilian Eggplant Stew (Caponata)
Delicious Sicilian eggplant stew full of Mediterranean aromas. The world-famous Caponata!

Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 6

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 3 eggplants.
  • 1 large onion chopped.
  • 2 celery sticks finely shopped.
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped.
  • 1 red pepper.
  • 8-10 San Marzano or cherry tomatoes cut in half.
  • A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley finely chopped.
  • 2-3 tablespoons of fresh mint finely chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar.
  • ½ cup of capers rinsed and drained.
  • 50 gr (~ 2 oz) pine nuts.
  • 50 gr (~ 2 oz) pitted black olives.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and ground pepper.

Instructions
  1. Cut the eggplants in cubes, ~ ¾ of the inch thick. Place them in a colander and add plenty of salt. Place a heavy flat object (like a soup bowl filled with water) on top and let the eggplants remove their bitter juices for ~ 30 minutes. Rinse them with cold water and dry them with a kitchen towel.
  2. Place the red pepper on a tray and bake it in a preheated oven at 190 degrees Celsius (375 F) for ~ 20 minutes until the skin starts getting black. Let it cool down a bit and remove the skin. Remove the seeds and cut the flesh in small pieces.
  3. Use a small frying pan on medium-high heat and toss the pine nuts for ~ 1 minute until they start getting brown. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot on high heat. When the oil is hot, add the eggplants and fry them for ~ 10 minutes until they start getting brown. Remember to toss them from time to time so they get cooked in both sides. When ready, place them in a tray covered by a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.
  5. Clear the oil from the pot and add 4-5 tablespoons of fresh olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes until they start getting soft. Add the garlic, parsley and mint and cook for another minute.
  6. Add the eggplants, pine nuts, red pepper, tomatoes, capers, olives tomato paste and ½ cup of hot water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the red wine and balsamic vinegar, sugar and give it a good stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for ~ 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Check if it needs more seasoning or sugar.
  7. Enjoy the Caponata warm topped with fresh mint and olive oil.
  8. Bon appetit!

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