The recipes below partner with episodes on our new YouTube cooking series, Flippin’ Greek! ™, to show you how we do it in our kouzina. The link from each recipe to its YouTube episode will be active on the day of the week noted. Join us!
Tiganites look like mini pancakes but they’re thin and crisp on the outside, and tender on the inside. Instead of syrup, we drizzle with thyme honey and sprinkle with nuts, sesame, and cinnamon. You can also top these with Greek yogurt and fruit. A traditional Karpathian comfort food!
PREP TIME: 10 minutes, plus standing
COOKING TIME: about 25 minutes
MAKES: about 12 tiganites, 4 inches in diameter, serving 4 to 5
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup walnuts and/or almonds, chopped
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
3/4 cup olive oil
Greek thyme honey
1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, then whisk in the milk until combined well.
3. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the egg-milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the orange zest until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels; set aside.
4. Meanwhile, in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the nuts, stirring frequently, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer nuts to a heatproof bowl. To same skillet, add the sesame and toast, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes.
5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Spoon the batter into the skillet forming 4-inch rounds (don’t overcrowd the skillet so the edges cook). Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer tiganites to prepared sheet and let stand 1 minute to drain (to keep warm, place tiganites on the lined sheet in a 200°F oven while making remaining tiganites). Repeat with remaining batter.
6. Transfer tiganites to a serving platter, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with nuts and sesame seeds, and lightly dust with cinnamon. Serve immediately.
Dakos (ντάκος, pronounced nDAH-kohss, ndakos—also called koukouvayia/kouloukopsomo, depending on the island) is the Greek version of bruschetta that’s typically a tomato-topped rusk served on the islands as a light meal, or meze, often alongside wine or beer. In Karpathos, you’ll find this at the breakfast table, as well as served in the afternoon or as an appetizer.
TOTAL PREP TIME: 15 minutes
4 small barley rusks (3 to 4 inches in diameter) or 1/2 of a round crusty country bread, grilled or toasted
2 ripe plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup crumbled Greek feta (or manouri cheese)
5 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1/4 teaspoon fresh Greek oregano or thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
1. If using rusks: In a shallow bowl, place 1/3 cup water and dip the tops of the rusks in long enough to just moisten (don’t soak). Transfer to a serving plate, wet side up.
If using bread: Cut into 4 1-inch-thick pieces, 3 to 4 inches in diameter, and transfer to a serving plate.
2. Divide the tomato among the rusks or bread. Top with feta, olives, oregano, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with herb sprigs, if desired.
We’ve taken the concept of the Mexican taco and given it a reimagined Greek-island life with our herbed lamb bifteki (burger), feta, and red-pepper sauce all wrapped up in a pita. Make your own, then comment with the name you like best for this recipe, Pitaco or Taco-pita.
PREP TIME: 25 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 20 minutes
1/2 pound ground lamb (or equal amounts of lamb and beef)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 small garlic clove, minced)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch Aleppo pepper
4 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained
4 pocketless pita breads, warmed
3/4 cup crumbled Greek feta
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1. Make Biftekia: In a bowl, stir together the meat and olive oil until combined well and the oil is absorbed. Stir in the lemon juice until absorbed. Stir in the mint, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic just until combined. Shape into 4 oval patties, flattening slightly.
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the biftekia and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once, for medium. Transfer to a bowl and let stand until cool enough to handle, then crumble.
3. Meanwhile, in the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the Aleppo pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have blistered and softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the biftekia crumble to reheat, about 3 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a food processor, add the roasted peppers and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Puree until smooth, for sauce.
5. Assemble: Divide the biftekia-tomato mixture among the 4 pitas, pour over some of the roasted-pepper sauce, and top with feta and lettuce. Fold and enjoy!
We used mini bell peppers to re-create jalapeño poppers into a zesty Greek version, featuring the heat on the inside, rather than the outside. The peppers are stuffed with a creamy filling of feta cheese, Greek seasoning, and finely chopped hot peppers, then they’re roasted or grilled. The result? Irresistible! This is a quick-and-easy recipe to make as a delicious appetizer/meze for holiday entertaining or anytime you feel Opa-festive!
PREP TIME: 20 minutes, plus standing
BAKING TIME: 18 to 22 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 to 6
1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta
1/2 cup cream cheese
4 jarred pickled hot pepperoncini peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed (or some left in if you like it super hot), finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 to 10 mini bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. In a bowl, combine the feta, cream cheese, hot peppers, oregano, and garlic powder. In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and olive oil until the breadcrumbs are completely moistened. Fill each bell-pepper half with the cheese mixture and top with breadcrumbs. Transfer the filled peppers to the prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until tops are golden. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
Recipes copyright © Kukla's Kouzina
I hope you enjoyed our week of Anytime Flips. Join us next week for Leftover-Phyllo Solutions—four delicious flips that let you use up those extra sheets!
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
ABOUT Kukla’s Kouzina Flippin’ Greek! ™
Flippin’ Greek! ™ is our brand new cooking series on YouTube and the next exciting chapter in our kouzina. It’s four episodes a week, Monday through Thursday, featuring familiar non-Greek recipes we flipped to Greek-island style using ingredients and cooking techniques found in Karpathos. Each episode runs 2 to 15 minutes, the perfect length for viewers to quickly learn how to recreate foods and beverages/cocktails right alongside us.
The ingredients used in Greek-island cuisine is what sets this style of cooking apart from standard Greek fare, giving meals a fresh take that keeps them interesting. Karpathos, the home of Kukla’s Kouzina, has its own unique style, and we’ll show you how to take common dishes and reinvent them into Karpathian versions with our simple substitutions.
Many think that everyday Greek cooking is made up of dishes like spanakopita (spinach pie), moussaka, and pastitsio. These are classics for sure, but too time-consuming to make on a regular basis. During our time in Karpathos, we learned that the locals’ quick meals made from the island’s staples like fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices, and protein, prepared using certain methods, came out tasting Greek-island delicious. So we thought this would be a great way to bring our hometown flavor into YOUR kouzina, adding some spicy variety to your life while keeping it simple and fast. Recipes for each week will be posted right here on our blog with links to the episodes.
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