That’s Greek?!?!?

No, I’m not Greek but believe it or not the rather small town I grew up in had a tiny Greek Synagogue and every year they put on a huge Greek Festival. Of course the most memorable event was the food! I’m sure most of you are familiar with Baklava; crispy layers of phyllo, drenched with honey and filled with nuts, cinnamon, cardamom, etc. Those tiny bite size triangles were and still are heavenly. But did you know there is more to Greek food than Baklava? One of the most popular sweets that the line snaked beyond the eye could see was what we non-Greeks called “honey puffs”. Until last year, I longed for them and then while doing a search for Greek food, I found a TV show in Australia showing how to make “honey puffs”. Greeks know them as Loukoumades and they are luscious bites of gold. These airy deep fried bites of dough are drenched in honey, walnuts and sprinkled with cinnamon. I’ll be honest, the first time I made them my official taste tester #1 and I ate the entire batch!
Of course there are tons of savory Greek foods as well. I’ve included photos of Spanakopita, which is layers of phyllo with a filling of spinach, feta and a few other seasonings. I also have a photo of Soutzoukakia. Basically these are meat on a stick but the ingredients will surprise you. There is a bit of twist but everyone who has eaten them as truly enjoyed them. Also, don’t forget the dipping sauce. You will regret it if you do.
I’ve included the recipe for the Soutzoukakia. Enjoy!

Please share with me your favorite Greek dishses.

Enjoy the photos of the Baklava, Loukoumades, Spanakopita, and the Soutzoukakia.

Triangles of heaven!
Triangles of heaven!

Nuggets of Gold!
Nuggets of Gold!

Crispy layers of phyllo filled with spinach
Crispy layers of phyllo filled with spinach

Grills in minutes and kid friendly
Grills in minutes and kid friendly

Soutzoukakia Recipe
1 1/2 lbs ground beef 1/2 tsp coriander
1 onion, chopped 1 pinch nutmeg
3/8 cup raisins, chopped 1/2 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 tsp chopped flat leaf parsley salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper skewers
1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tbsp vegetable oil

If using a grill; preheat; otherwise prep skillet or electric fry pan.

In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, onion, raisins, and parsley. Add in the cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, sugar, salt and pepper, and mix well. Form into 6 flat sausages, wrapping around skewers. Lightly brush sausages with oil; this will prevent sticking if using a grill.

Arrange skewers on the grill or skillet. Cook approximately 15 minutes, turning occasionally to brown evenly. Remove from heat; serve on small plates with dipping sauce.

Herb sauce:
3/4cp mayonnaise (part yogurt) 2 tbsp thyme
½ lemon, juiced 2 tbsp parsley
Few drops of hot sauce 2 tbsp chives, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed

Place all ingredients in a processor and pulse to combine. I use half mayonnaise and half yogurt. The sauce is a bit tangier and cuts out some fat. Serve each person a small dish of sauce.


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