There are shops in Greece devoted entirely to serving Bougatsa, called Bougatsazidika. They open from 4 a.m. until lunchtime and you will often see people queueing outside in the very early hours, to get their slice of happiness…
Preheat your oven to 240℃. Add the egg yolks and 150g sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the semolina and cornflour and whisk until smooth. Add the vanilla, lemon and orange zest and whisk again. Set aside. Pour the milk and 150g sugar into a saucepan and place it over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Drizzle the milk onto the egg mixture in a very thin stream while whisking continuously. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk the mixture until it is thick and starts to bubble. Take the saucepan from the heat and set aside. Brush a 27cm x 37cm x 5cm roasting tray with the melted butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo pastry in the tray and brush the top of the pastry with butter. Lay down two more sheets, brushing each with butter. Pour in the custard mixture and spread it out evenly. Cover the filling with another three phyllo sheets, again brushing each with melted butter. Fold in the overhanging pastry around the edges of the roasting tin and make it look like a sealed parcel. Brush the top with melted butter and bake for 12 minutes, until golden. Remove the bougatsa from the oven and cut into portions. Dust with plenty of icing sugar and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
250ml orzo pasta 6 sweet peppers 200ml olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 onions, finely chopped 4 zucchini, diced 50g pine nuts, toasted 50g feta cheese, crumbled 50g black olives, pitted and chopped 250ml chopped tomato
Preheat your oven to 180℃. Cook the orzo pasta according to packet instructions and keep aside. Cut the tops off the peppers so that you have a “lid”. Scoop out the insides with a teaspoon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the peppers in an ovenproof dish and set aside. Heat 100ml olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic, onion and zucchini and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the cooked orzo, pine nuts, feta cheese, olives and tomatoes and stir through. Spoon the mixture into the peppers and pour over the remaining olive oil. You may place the tops which you cut off onto the peppers. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
1,5kg lamb ribs 15ml dried origanum 10ml ground cumin grated zest of 1 lemon 2,5ml salt 30ml olive oil
Yoghurt Sauce: 250ml yoghurt 100g feta cheese, finely crumbled a handful of mint leaves, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2,5ml salt
Preheat your oven to 160℃. Add the origanum, cumin, lemon zest, salt and olive oil to a small bowl and mix together. Cut the ribs into individual pieces. Rub the spice mixture over the ribs and space evenly in a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 90 minutes.
For the yoghurt sauce: Mix the ingredients together and stand for at least an hour to allow the flavours to develop.
300g dried spaghetti 1kg clams, washed 60ml white wine 45ml olive oil 45ml butter 250g porcini mushrooms, sliced 1 onion, finely chopped 4 cloves of garlic, minced 10ml dried oregano 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes a large handful of parsley, chopped
Bring 5 litres of water to the boil in a large saucepan with 30ml (8 teaspoons) salt. Add the spaghetti to the pot of boiling water and cook for 9 minutes. Heat another large saucepan over a high heat. Add the clams and the wine, cover with a lid and cook over a high heat until the clams have opened. This should not take longer than 8-10 minutes. Discard any clams that stay closed. Drain the clams and set aside. Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter to it. Add the sliced porcini and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion, garlic and oregano and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Now add the tomatoes as well as the clams and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Drain the cooked spaghetti and add it to the sauce. Sprinkle the parsley over and stir through. Serve immediately.
9 chicken breasts, skin removed Marinade: 125ml olive oil juice of one lemon 5ml salt 1 clove of garlic, minced 15ml oregano leaves, chopped
Slice the chicken breasts into strips and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic and oregano and mix together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour. Heat a cast iron pan and cook the strips for about 6 minutes, turning occasionally.
Mix all the ingredients together to form a sticky dough. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky to handle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Flour a work surface and roll each portion to a 20cm diameter circle. Heat a cast iron pan until very hot. Add one flatbread to the dry pan and cook for a minute. Flip it around and cook for another minute or so. Repeat with the rest of the flatbreads.
Serve the chicken gyros on the flatbread with Greek Salad and Tsatziki sauce.
Search this site for the recipe for Tsatziki as well as Soft Flatbreads, which offers an alternative recipe.
Add the rice to a saucepan and pour in 300ml water. Set the saucepan over a low heat and cook the rice for 10 minutes, until most of the water has been absorbed. Add the cornflour to a small bowl and pour about 45ml of milk into it. Stir to dissolve and set aside. Pour the rest of the milk into the saucepan with the rice, add the lemon zest and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often. Add the cornflour-slurry and the sugar and simmer for 3 minutes more. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool for about 10 minutes. Add the egg yolks and mix through. Serve the rice pudding slightly warm.
Preheat your oven to 170℃ and spray a 24cm loose-bottom cake tin with cooking spray. Place one sheet of phyllo pastry in the cake tin and gently press it into the bottom and sides of the tin. Brush the pastry with the melted butter. Repeat the routine with the remaining 6 sheets of pastry, brushing each with butter and rotating the phyllo sheets slightly so that the corners are staggered. Leave the overhang. Crumble the feta into a mixing bowl and add the ricotta. Mix through. Add the milk, olive oil and dill and season with ground black pepper. Add the eggs to a small bowl, whisk together and pour over the cheese mixture. Stir the mixture really well until thoroughly mixed through. Spoon the cheese mixture into the prepared baking tin and spread it out evenly. Turn the pastry overhang in over the filling so that you have an uncovered area of about 5 cm in the centre. Cut the sheets with scissors if they are too long!! The pastry will be doubled over in places in an irregular way but that is how it is supposed to be – we are in Greece after all!! Brush the top of the pastry with melted butter and bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Cool the pie for about 10 minutes before slicing it. Serve warm or at room temperature.
45ml olive oil 1kg ground beef/mutton 1 onion, diced 3 cloves of garlic, minced 30ml tomato paste 2 tomatoes, chopped 5ml origanum 10ml salt 200ml white wine 62ml basmati rice a handful of parsley 500g puff pastry, store bought 100g feta cheese, crumbled 1 eg + 15ml water, whisked together
Add the olive oil to a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Fry the meat in batches until well browned. Set aside. Lower the heat, add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and tomato paste and stir-fry for one minute. Add the chopped tomato, origanum and salt and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the wine and simmer until it has reduced by half. Add 200ml water and cook the meat on a low simmer for 40 minutes. Take the saucepan from the heat, stir in the rice and parsley and set aside to cool to room temperature. Taste and adjust seasoning. Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray a 22cm loose-bottom cake tin with cooking spray. Roll the pastry thinner and line the bottom and sides of the baking tin. Spoon the cooled meat into the pastry shell. Sprinkle the crumbled feta over the filling. Cut a pastry round to fit the top of the pie, brush the edges with water and place on top of the filling to form a lid. Seal the pastry around the edges by scrunching it together and brush all over with the egg wash. Make a cross slit in the centre of the pastry lid and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Stand the pie for 15 minutes before slicing to serve.
Chicken Milanese: 4 chicken breasts, skin and bone removed 125ml flour 2 eggs 250ml Panko breadcrumbs 5ml dried oregano 5ml salt
Salad: tomato, cut into wedges red onion, sliced kalamata olives feta cheese 45ml olive oil 15ml lemon juice
Set a cast iron pan on to medium-high heat. Place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three different shallow bowl and beat the eggs together. Add the salt and oregano to the bowl with the flour and mix through. Dredge the chicken first in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Fry the breasts for 4 minutes before turning and frying for another 4 minutes on the other side. Drain on kitchen paper. Slice the cooked chicken and place on a serving dish. Mix together the tomato, onion, olives and feta and drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Arrange the salad on the serving dish with the chicken and serve with extra lemon wedges.
This Greek beetroot salad is refreshing, earthy, creamy and crunchy – all at the same time!!
600g beetroot 45ml olive oil zest and juice of 1 lime 2 cloves of garlic, minced 10ml red wine vinegar 30ml parsley, chopped 320g yoghurt 50g pistachio nuts, chopped
Preheat your oven to 180℃. Wash the beetroot and wrap each individually in aluminium foil. Bake for one hour and then allow to cool. Peel the cooked beetroot and cut into small dice. Set aside. Add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic and red wine vinegar to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the diced beetroot and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Add the yoghurt and half of the chopped pistachio and gently mix through. Scatter the rest of the nuts over the salad and serve.