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!
We’re launching our Valentine It Greek week with a toast to get you in a love-intoxicated mood. Five minutes is all it takes to stir up a bubbly start to our restaurant-inspired meal (below). Celebrate each other and this fabulous menu—we Flippin’ Greek heart it!
TOTAL PREP TIME: 5 minutes plus standing
KOUZINA TIPS: For a non-alcoholic beverage, substitute grapefruit or pomegranate juice for the brandy and sparkling white-grape or apple cider for the champagne/prosecco.
To make the orange curls, cut four 3-inch long strips of orange peel and twist each into a curl. Secure with a clip for a minute to set the shape.
2 large or 4 small brown-sugar cubes
2 tablespoons Metaxa brandy
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2/3 cup champagne or prosecco
4 orange-rind curls, for garnish
In each of 2 tall champagne glasses, place sugar cube(s) and 1 tablespoon brandy. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes to allow the cube(s) to absorb the brandy. Into each, stir 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1/3 cup champagne/prosecco. Drop 1 curl into each beverage and garnish each rim with 1 curl, if desired. Stin igia sou! Cheers!
We’re spreading the love with an appetizer using artichoke hearts as the base for this phyllo-cup filling that can also be served as a dip/spread or as a side with Thursday’s seared-lamb main course.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING/BAKING TIME: about 25 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 to 6
2 cans (15-oz each) artichoke hearts
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 package (10 oz) baby spinach
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 packages frozen phyllo cups (or pita chips)
1. Drain the artichokes in a colander and rinse under cold water; drain well. Chop the artichokes and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the lemon juice over artichokes and toss to coat well. Season with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Heat oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the scallion and bell pepper. Sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté just until wilted. Add to the artichokes and stir to combine well.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the feta, dill, and yogurt until combined well; add to the artichoke mixture and stir until combined.
4. Divide the artichoke mixture among the phyllo cups* and place on a cookie sheet. Bake about 20 minutes, until lightly golden on top. (Can be made ahead. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day. Reheat in a 350°F until warm, about 10 minutes.) Serve warm.
- DIP/SPREAD: If not using phyllo cups, place the artichoke mixture in a heatproof baking dish, spreading out evenly, and bake about 20 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Serve warm with pita chips.
(episode S2 E23)
This soup is all about the red, and the combination of roasted bell pepper, tomato, and seasonings deliver in this elegant second course that will elevate your home cook to 5-star restaurant-chef status.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes plus standing
COOKING TIME: about 50 minutes
2 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 canned plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 of 1 carrot or 2 baby carrots, peeled
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
5 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (use the lesser amount for a thicker soup)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus more leaves for garnish
1. Heat broiler. Lightly coat the bell peppers with olive oil and roast about 5 minutes, turning every minute, until charred on all sides. Transfer to a paper bag and seal for 15 minutes, then peel, seed and core. Chop the peppers and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the tomato, bell pepper, carrot, thyme, and paprika. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until thickened, about 15 minutes.
3. Add the broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, until the tomatoes and bell peppers are tender, about 25 minutes.
4. Puree with an immersion blender or strain broth into another saucepan and transfer the vegetable solids to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the puree back to the broth, stir in the basil, and heat through. (Can be made ahead. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.) Serve hot garnished with basil leaves, if desired.
(episode S2 E24)
For our Valentine it Greek main course, we marinated lamb with Greek herbs and flavorings before searing it to juicy perfection. A Roasted Red Pepper Sauce adds the love-ly color of the occasion. This quick and easy entrée has all the earmarks of dining out but it’ll shine in your own home.
For the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: see the Kasseri Sticks recipe in our Super Bowl Fryers blog, video on Flippin' Greek! )
PREP TIME: 15 minutes plus standing
COOKING TIME: about 25 minutes
2 1/2 pounds butterflied leg of lamb (deboned)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (recipe in Super Bowl Fryers blog, video on Flippin' Greek! )
1/4 cup grated kefalograviera cheese (optional)
1. Rinse lamb and pat dry. Place in a large casserole dish or roasting pan.
2. Make marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Rub all over the lamb, covering all sides. Make small slits in the meat and stuff with garlic slices. Cover and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
3. Heat grill or grill pan and place lamb, fat side down, on grill. Cook 10 minutes per side for medium-rare (12 minutes per side for medium, 14 minutes per side for well-done). Transfer to a warmed plate, cover loosely with foil, and let rest 10 minutes before cutting.
4. Meanwhile, prepare Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.
5. Slice the lamb against the grain (like a steak). Drizzle the sauce over the center of the lamb and sprinkle with grated kefalograviera cheese (if using). Serve immediately.
Pantespani / Pandespani (Παντεσπάνι) is a light cake similar to angel food or sponge cake. Our fresh strawberry-infused whipped cream is the perfect topping for this love-ly dessert. Serve with a Greek coffee or a shot of brandy for a warm menu finale. Light a candle and have a delish Flippin’ Greek Valentine!
KOUZINA TIP: For the whipped cream, chill the mixing bowl and beaters at least 1 hour before using. If you don’t have vanilia, use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and beat in after the sugar.
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
BAKING TIME: 35 minutes for 9-inch cake, about 20 minutes for minis
2 cups unbleached cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch vanilia (vanilla powder)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Pinch sea salt
STRAWBERRY WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup cold heavy or whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 large strawberries, pureed
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch heart-shaped cake pan or 6 mini heart-shaped pans. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and vanilia.
2. In a mixer bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until combined well. Alternately beat in the flour mixture and yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until incorporated. Stir in the zest.
3. In a clean mixer bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt to stiff but not dry peaks. Fold half of the beaten whites into the cake batter until combined, then fold in the remaining whites until combined well. Pour into the prepared pan(s), spreading evenly, and bake about 35 minutes for 9-inch cake (about 20 minutes for minis), until risen, golden, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Transfer to a rack and let cool in pan(s). (Can be made ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 day.)
4. Make Strawberry Whipped Cream: In a chilled mixer bowl using chilled beaters, beat the heavy cream on high speed to soft peaks. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar just to stiff peaks (do not overbeat). (Can be made ahead. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.) Whisk in the strawberry puree just before serving.
Recipes copyright © Kukla's Kouzina
I hope you enjoyed our week of Valentine It Greek recipes. Join us next week as explore Pita-bilities—four ways to get creative with pita bread, Greek style!
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
ABOUT Kukla’s Kouzina Flippin’ Greek! ™
Flippin’ Greek! ™ is our 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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