Meze to Fry For!
The recipes below link to how-to videos on our new YouTube cooking series, Flippin’ Greek! ™, to show you how we do it in our kouzina. 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 filling: 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. ((Can be made ahead. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.)
2. Meanwhile, make aioli: In a bowl, stir together all of the ingredients until combined well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. Make meat pies: 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. (If you prefer to bake instead of fry, place 1 inch apart on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350°F oven about 15 minutes, until completely golden brown.)
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. (Can be made ahead. Let cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Reheat in a 350°F oven about 10 minutes, until heated through.) 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.
This Greek slider 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
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (recipe below)
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.
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
In a food processor, add the roasted peppers, olive oil, and Aleppo pepper. Puree until smooth. Cover and set aside. (Can be made ahead. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.)
Recipes copyright © Kukla's Kouzina
I hope you enjoyed our Tailgate Fryers recipes. Join us next week as we amp up the party eats with must-have Super Bowl flips that infuse our Greek passion into the standards!
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
ABOUT Kukla’s Kouzina Flippin’ Greek! ™
Flippin’ Greek! ™ is our YouTube cooking series 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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