If you have our book, A Greek Journey with Fork and Pen, you will read that although we grew up with Greek food, we discovered many new foods in Greece that we had never tried before, like the red pepper flakes in this recipe. At least not in Greek dishes we had at home. We also met many people who willingly gave us their own family recipes from different regions where they might use ingredients for a familiar dish that were not the same as what we were accustomed to. So it was an adventure in eating as well as in travel. One of the simplest appetizers (or meze) we had in the Plaka was at our favorite restaurant, the Byzantino. It was “Baked Feta, Feta sto Fourno”. We included the recipe on page 272 and here:
1 block of feta (one lb) 3 T olive oil
1 T dried Greek oregano 3 T chopped flat leaf parsley
2 t crushed red pepper flakes
Lightly oil an 8 or 9 inch shallow baking pan. Cut feta into 7 or 8 equal slices, arranging them in the pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano and red pepper flakes. Cover pan lightly with foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F until feta begins to melt, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve hot with your favorite crusty bread. It is so easy and so good!
Recently, our nephew Elias Sardonis, told us he had already made a number of recipes from our book, including “tyrokefteri”. Neither one of us knew what that was. In fact, I thought he was somehow combining two things or was confused (as if!!), so I asked him what that was. He told us it was an appetizer like our baked feta they had eaten when they visited Greece and it had become a favorite. That is what it was called on the menu. So there you go…we had never heard the term. Meanwhile, on one of the food blogs on Facebook I visit called “Greek Cooking with My Sisters”, there was another delicious variation of the same thing and they called it “Feta Fournisti, Little Baked Feta Packages”. They placed the feta slices on foil squares and added thin slices of red onion, chopped Kalamata olives, chopped grape tomatoes, oregano and black pepper. They, too, drizzled each piece with olive oil then sealed the foil packets, placed them on a cookie sheet and baked until the feta started to melt, about 15 minutes. Each person gets his own little packet with a few pieces of crusty, warm bread. Mmmm…good! And easy clean-up!
We have other great feta-related recipes in the book, as well. You can order your copy at our own e-store at www.createspace.com/4038179. Please leave any comments or questions here below. As always, Kali Orexi! (or as Julia would say, Bon Appetit!) See you next time.