MY BIG FAT GREEK FOOD BLOG


Fresh picked pomegranates

The absolute BEST thing about living on this island is the FOOD.  

OK…well…there’s this too…

Balos Bay

But seriously, the freshness and abundance of cheap, just plain good food is awesome.  You have to look pretty hard to find bad food here in any taverna or market place.   The mountain villages especially have some phenomenal traditional Cretan cooking straight out of mama’s (or in this case, baba’s) kitchen.  No menu necessary – you are invited to step into the kitchen and they will lift the lids on all the pots and pans filled with Greek delights for you to sample and choose.

“Slow Food” taverna in Drakona

After eating my way through Crete, I figured it was time to devote an entire blog to honor some Greek food.  And a good place to start is at the local farmer’s market – the Laiki.   Saturday is the big market day in the center of Hania although there are Laikis every day of the week tucked away in different locations around the city neighborhoods.  My personal favorite is the Thursday morning Laiki near Nea Chora on the west side of Hania.  It’s smaller, less crowded and in a beautiful setting under the tamarisk trees that shade the seaside street.

Nea Chora laiki

After a morning of shopping for freshness, I am rewarded with bags and bags of seasonal vegies and fruits and can’t wait to get home to get started on some kitchen creations.  Call me crazy, but I LOVE to chop, mince and dice.  You’ll never find a food processor in my kitchen (OK, I do have a mini one – but I only use it for making hummus.)  There is something relaxing and satisfying in carefully chopping ripe red tomatoes or a bunch of  fragrant cilantro.  My husband and I make good cooking partners.  I chop, he stirs and tastes, and tastes, and tastes some more.  He also does a bang-up job of cleaning after me – gotta love that!

One of our favorite appetizers is Baked Feta.  So simple and Oh! So Good!

Baked Feta Appetizer

Baked Feta

½ C. Olive oil

12 oz. slab of Feta cheese

1 clove garlic – minced

2 C. vegetables chopped finely (Onion; tomato; red, green, yellow peppers)

¼ C. black Greek olives – chopped

Red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, oregano

Pour half of the olive oil into oven proof crock.  Crumble feta into crock and top with the garlic, vegetables and olives.  Season with red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and fresh oregano.  Drizzle remaining olive oil on top.  Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve with fresh baguette bread.

Or for breakfast, try this variation we had in Bulgaria:

 Drizzle honey liberally onto a big slice of feta and top with crushed walnuts.                 Bake (or grill) in aluminum foil, tightly closed.  Serve with toasted grain bread.

And now that Autumn is around the corner, here’s a fantastic spin on Chicken Soup.  (Avgo means egg and lemoni is lemon):

Ready for soup

Chicken Soup with Avgolemono Sauce

Soup:

3 lb. roasting chicken

2 to 2 ½ quarts water

1 carrot chopped

1 onion chopped

1 stalk celery chopped

1 cup rice or orzo

Salt and pepper

Sauce:

2 eggs

3 T. fresh lemon juice

Wash chicken and place in heavy pot in water to cover.  Add pepper, carrot, onion, and celery.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, or until chicken is tender, adding salt to taste during last hour of cooking.  Remove chicken  and keep warm.  Add rice or orzo and simmer until done.  Take meat off carcass and return to the pot.

Make the Avgolemono sauce:

Beat eggs well and gradually beat in lemon juice.  Add two cups hot, strained broth slowly to egg sauce, beating constantly.  Return to soup to heat and stir vigorously until thickened.  Serve with crusty bread.

Dessert

Finish off your meal Greek-style – with fresh fruit or a generous scoop of yogurt with honey.  And of course, don’t forget the wine!

Wine and a sunset

Καλή όρεξη! (Kalí óreksi! Bon appetit!)

 

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About Melanie A Crane

Quote: "The best journeys ask questions that in the beginning you never thought to ask." (Anon) Here's my journey: Enjoying my short life on this earth one moment at a time by being intentional with God, family, traveling, cooking, gardening, Colorado living and all the perks that come with it, playing guitar, listening more and talking less. I've discovered that both cooking and travel can be messy at times but the risks can have some amazing results. The same goes for life lived with passion.
This entry was posted in Cretan Cuisine, Crete, Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to MY BIG FAT GREEK FOOD BLOG

  1. wow, oh wow! very beautiful pictures. love that wine and sunset. aaahhhh! and those fresh veggies. such a beautiful sight! I think I haven’t seen you in a long time…glad to be here again…=>

  2. Hello again, have nominated your beautiful blog for the Versatile Bloggers Award. Here’s the link:
    http://agraciouslife.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/versatile-bloggers-award/

  3. hannahjane21 says:

    Greek food is the BEST! Have yet to go to Crete though! Looks beautiful!!

  4. Gorgeous! I’ll have to try the baked feta,it looks wonderful!

  5. Tassos says:

    Hurray! Just found a blog I can follow about my favorite place on earth

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