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!
This recipe is our response to pot stickers using a Greek-inspired filling that’s wrapped in phyllo, tied into a purse, and then fried until crisp and golden brown. You can serve these with our easy aioli or an avgolemono sauce (recipe follows). You’ll flippin’ love it!
PREP TIME: 45 minutes plus standing
COOKING TIME: about 1 hour
SERVINGS: 6 to 8 side-dish
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped scallion
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup long grain rice, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup canned crushed tomato
GREEK-YOGURT AIOLI WITH DILL
1 cup 2% or 5% plain Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
One 1-pound box #4 or #5 (14-by-18-inch) phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 scallions, green parts only, cut lengthwise into strips to form ribbons
2 cups canola oil
1. Make meat pies: In a large saucepot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the scallion and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes more. Add the ground meats and cook until browned, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon (the meat should be crumbled without any clumps), about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley, dill, salt, cinnamon, and pepper until combined well. Stir in the chicken broth, rice, and tomato until combined well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, make aioli: In a bowl, stir together all of the ingredients until combined well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. Cut the phyllo into 6-inch squares. On a clean dry work surface, place 1 phyllo square and brush with olive oil (keeping remaining sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel or a sheet of plastic wrap). Repeat, stacking with 2 more sheets. Place 1 tablespoon of meat mixture in the center. Lift the phyllo corners and pinch and twist just above the filling to make a purse, then gently tie with a scallion ribbon (the ribbons are delicate). Brush the outside with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining phyllo, filling, and scallion ribbons. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels.
4. In a deep saucepot or deep fryer, heat the canola oil until it registers 350°F to 375°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Using a slotted spoon, lower the purses into the oil and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared cookie sheet and let drain 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot with aioli on the side.
AVGOLEMONO (EGG-LEMON) SAUCE
1 cup chicken broth, divided
3 large egg yolks
Fresh lemon juice from 2 lemons
1. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth over medium heat until just warm.
2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until broken up, then gradually whisk in the lemon juice until combined well. Whisk in 1/2 cup warm chicken broth, then gradually stir the egg mixture into the warm chicken broth in the saucepan, stirring constantly.
3. Bring to a low boil over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Serve warm.
Onion rings are the ultimate in finger food but when you flavor the breadcrumbs with myzithra cheese, oregano, and garlic, it’s Greek dancing into your taste buds! Eat alone or layer in a hero to wow your hungry crowd.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 to 6
2 large Vidalia onions
1 gallon ice water
1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated myzithra cheese
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup canola oil
1. Holding the stem end with one hand, slice the onions into 1/2-inch-thick rings and transfer to a large bowl of ice water.
2. In a shallow bowl combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
3. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and flour to make a batter.
4. Drain the onion rings and pat dry with paper towels. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels.
5. In a large saucepan or deep fryer, heat the oil until it registers 350°F to 375°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Dip the onion rings in the egg batter, letting excess drip back into the bowl, then coat generously with the breadcrumb mixture. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared cookie sheet and let drain 1 to 2 minutes. Serve warm.
We re-created the cheese-stick appetizer using Greek kasseri cheese and phyllo, featuring the breadcrumb coating on the inside! The phyllo is sprinkled with a toasted breadcrumb-almond-cheese-oregano mixture before wrapping the kasseri with it. Our Roasted Red Pepper Sauce makes the perfect dip alongside this flaky-cheesy meze that’s exceptional for entertaining.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes plus standing
BAKING TIME: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 (2 cheese sticks per person)
ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE
4 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained and patted dry with paper towels
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch Aleppo pepper
1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
1/4 cup finely ground almonds or almond meal
2 tablespoons grated myzithra or kefalotyri cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried, plus sprigs for garnish
Pinch Aleppo pepper
1 egg white
4 (14-by-18-inch) sheets #4 or #5 phyllo dough (use 2 sheets with #7 or #10 dough), thawed according to package directions
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound kasseri cheese, cut into eight 4-by-1/2-inch sticks
Olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying
1. Make Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: In a food processor, add the roasted peppers, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the Aleppo pepper. Puree until smooth. Cover and set aside. (Can be made ahead. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.)
2. In a shallow bowl, combine all the breadcrumb-mixture ingredients. In another shallow bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Set both aside.
2. Cut phyllo in half lengthwise and widthwise to make 7-by-9-inch sheets; combine into one stack. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on your work surface with the narrow side facing you (keeping remaining sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel or a sheet of plastic wrap) and brush all the way to edges with olive oil. Repeat layering for a total of 2 sheets for #4 or #5 dough (or 1 sheet for #7 or #10 dough), brushing the top sheet with olive oil. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
3. Place 1 cheese stick in the center of the phyllo. Fold over the edge of the phyllo closest to you, covering the cheese. Brush with olive oil, then fold in the sides, brushing them with olive oil. Roll to the end of the phyllo and brush with or dip in egg white (letting excess drip back into bowl). Repeat to make a total of 8 cheese sticks.
3. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels. In a deep skillet or deep fryer with 2 inches of oil, fry the cheese sticks until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared sheet and let cool 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Serve with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce on the side and garnish with oregano, if desired.
This Greek version is made with our native seasonings and yellow split peas, the legumes we use to make a dish called fava. You can substitute chickpeas for the fava to make revithokeftedes (chickpea patties), but they need to soak for a longer period of time to soften (see recipe for instructions). It’s important to use only dried beans that are soaked overnight, as canned or cooked will be too soft and will not hold the patties together. This recipe takes one or two overnights for soaking the beans and chilling the falafel mixture, so plan ahead. Since most of the prep is already done, your serving day will be super easy with only the shaping and frying left to do. Included are make-ahead instructions and a baking method.
PREP TIME: 30 minutes, plus standing (overnight) and chilling
COOKING TIME: about 30 minutes
MAKES: 20 patties
2 cups dried yellow split peas beans (or chickpeas)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 scallions, sliced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup fresh mint leaves (or 2 tablespoons dried)
3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 roasted bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup fine semolina
Oil, for frying
Tzatziki (yogurt sauce, from our Meze and Spreads & Dips cookbooks)
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (see Kasseri Sticks recipe above, episode S2 E15)
Pocket pita bread, warmed
English cucumber slices
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1. In a large bowl, combine the dried beans and baking soda and add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Let soak at room temperature at least 18 hours (or up to 24 hours for chickpeas), until softened. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the scallion and garlic until softened and slightly golden, about 7 minutes.
3. In a food processor, add the beans, scallion and garlic, mint, parsley, basil, egg, lemon juice, cumin, thyme, Aleppo pepper, and season with salt. Pulse until combined well and the mixture comes together. Stir in the bell pepper. Transfer to an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight (to firm the mixture). Keep refrigerated until ready to cook.
4. Stir the baking powder and sesame into the bean mixture. With damp hands, using 1 tablespoon for each, shape into 20 balls (1 1/2-inch thick) or patties (1/2-inch thick) and lightly coat in semolina. (Can be made ahead. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper and freeze until hardened. Transfer to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and seal, pressing out air. Freeze up to 1 month. Cook, unthawed, as in step 5.) Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
5. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with oil and heat over medium-high heat until it registers 375°F on a deep-fry thermometer (it should sizzle when adding balls/patties). Using a slotted spoon, gently add the balls/patties, in small batches, to the oil and cook until browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes, adjusting the heat and time as needed. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet to drain. (Alternately, these can be baked in a 350°F oven. Place on an oiled baking sheet, spray the tops with olive oil and bake 7 to 10 minutes per side.) Serve warm with Tzatziki, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, and/or lemon wedges, or in a pita with your choice of sauce, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and onion.
Recipes copyright © Kukla's Kouzina
I hope you enjoyed our week of Super Bowl Fryers recipes. Join us next week as we amp up the tailgate in Super Bowl Kefi—four must-have flips (including beer cocktails) that put passion into the standards, Greek style!
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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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