Batter-Dipped Cheese Balls


For the batter
3/4 cup milk
2 tbs brandy or raki
2 tbs olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tbs baking powder
For the filling
1 lb sweet myzithra (or ricotta)
2 tbs sugar (or more, to taste)
1 tsp cinnamon 2 cups olive oil for frying

Whisk the batter ingredients, liquids and egg yolk first, adding the flour and baking powder slowly until you have a batter that resembles a thick custard.
Mash the myzithra with the sugar and cinnamon until it is smooth. You can use an electric beater for this. Both the cheese and the batter can be made ahead of time. Have ready a saucepan filled with boiling oil for frying. Make little balls out of the cheese mixture. Dip each ball in the batter and brown a few at a time quickly in the hot oil. Lift them out with slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and serve with honey or sugar. Because they cook so quickly, you would do well to have someone removing them as you prepare them. Makes about 40 balls.

Cucumber Salad Recipes

By Robin Svedi

Cucumbers are a good source of vitamins’ C, A and K. They are loaded with potassium and low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat. That’s all the information you are going to get from me on that subject. These are my own home recipes and I wouldn’t know where to start counting their calories. Relax, enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Greek Salad

1 or 2 fresh-picked cucumbers
1 head of iceberg lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
3 medium sized fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 small red onion
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 pound Feta cheese
½ cup pitted Greek olives
½ cup pitted black olives
Italian herbal style dressing

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Crumble the Feta cheese evenly over the top of the salad and then add the olives on top of that. To keep the salad from wilting, don’t add the dressing until you are ready to serve.

Makes 4 large or 8 small servings.

Simple Cucumber Salad

2 or 3 Fresh picked cucumbers, sliced
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Combine the vinegar and sugar in a medium sized bowl and mix until sugar is dissolved. Toss in the cucumbers and voila! This recipe can also be used with fresh tomatoes or for a real taste treat, use both together.

Robin Svedi is the contributing editor for Fresh Cooking from your Garden, , where you will find more delicious recipes for your fresh vegetables and gardening tips to help you grow your own.

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Eating in Greece, Athens

By Konstantrinos Fragkos

Athens is a melting pot of traditional cuisine, accompanied by traditional music, and the urge to feed the tourist's stomach. Because Greek cuisine is popular, but at the same time one of many, one can find restaurants to everyone's taste. So if you decide not to eat a traditional dish (such as Souvlaki, Keftedes or Kalamaraki) at a Taverna, make sure you go to an authentic Ouzeria Greek cafe after your dinner, not in the least to drink away your garlic taste. One tiny detail that might be of interest, Greeks generally do not eat breakfast. Therefore, it is up to you to be inventive. Go to a shop and buy some bread or take my advice and start eating the delicious Greek snacks (Kebabs and Koulouria for example) as early as possible. Herei s a recipe for Greek salad:

3-4 tomatoes
2 medium-sized cucumbers
1 sliced onion
1 lettuce (cut)
1 green sliced pepper
200 grams (7 oz) Feta cheese
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 table spoons vinegar
150 grams (5 oz) black olives
2 tablespoons caper (optional)
Salt & Pepper

First wash all the vegetables very well. Slice the tomatoes in thin quarters. Peel and slice thinly the cucumbers Add the cucumbers, the lettuce, the oregano, the black olives, the onion, the green pepper and the caper (optional). Dress the salad with the olive oil, vinegar and salt and mix them. Add the Feta cheese broken into small pieces

The above recipe is for 5-6 servings.

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Vegetarian Gourmet Recipes - Meatless Makeovers

By Cathy O

Three years ago I decided to go "meatless." It wasn't a difficult decision as I wasn't a voracious carnivore to begin with, however there were a few dishes that I missed that contained meat and wondered how I was going to live without these favorites.

Rather than resign myself to the notion that these dishes could never be converted over to a meatless status, I decided to pull myself up by my vegetarian bootstrings (cotton, of course), and see if I could find a way to convert these meat-ies to meatless.

The first was my Grammy's recipe for American Chop Suey, actually, almost everyone's Grammy made this or some variation of it. I tried different ways but this one comes the closest:

Meatless American Chop Suey

1 vidalia onion chopped
1-2 tbsp. butter
1/2 pkg Quorn (brandname) veggie grounds frozen
2 cans Campbells Tomato Soup
1 tblsp. catsup (yes catsup, you can't really taste it, it just adds a rich color to the sauce)
sea salt and pepper to taste

1 lb of your favorite fancy pasta in its rigati form, that means with lines, or something like like gemelli or rotini

Melt butter in a medium sized skillet over low heat. Add vidalia onion and gently saute until translucent. Add frozen Quorn grounds and heat till thawed. Add 2 cans soup and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes. Add catsup salt and pepper and cook an additional 102 minutes.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain thoroughly and add sauce to pasta. Stir to incorporate completely. Serve. Serves 4-6 people as a side.

This next one is an adaptation of a Greek-Middle-Eastern recipe for Dolma. I loved this dish as a youngster summering on Cape Cod. A wonderful Lebanese family "turned me on" to this dish and I have finally found a way to make it meatless and spectacular!

Veggie Dolmas

1 jar of Grapeleaves in brine

2 cup basmati rice cooked
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup of pine nuts ground
1/2 cup quorn grounds thawed
2 tbsp. dried mint (or 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped fine)
1 tbsp. dried parsely (or 1/4 cup fresh parsely chopped fine)
1 tsp dried oregano (or 1/8 cup fresh oregano chopped fine)
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp pepper
1 small can tomato paste

Juice of 2 lemons

Remove the grape leaves from the jar, rinse and unfold carefully and rinse again. Lay paper towels and pat dry. Gently remove any stems that are still on the leaves.

In a large bowl mix the filling ingredients together till they are well incorporated.

Carefully separate a few of the leaves and line the bottom of a 1-2 gallon stock pot.

To roll take a leaf, place 1 heaping tsp of filling in the center of the leaf about 1/2 inch up from the bottom edge. Fold 1/2 inch up over the filling, fold each side toward the middle, then beginning at the bottom again roll the whole package up till you have a 1-2" "log.

Continue with the rolling process till you use up all the filling.

Line the rolled leaves up in a circular pattern in the stock pot till all are in. Pour the juice of both lemons gently over the rolled leaves. Place a dinner plate on top with a stone in the middle to keep in place. Gradually add cold water till it just covers the leaves.

Bring contents to a boil then reduce and simmer for abount 1/2 hour till tender. Drain water by holding on to stone to keep plate in place and gently pour out cooking water. Leave plate on till almost cool.

Remove plate and serve with plain yogurt, yummy.

These can be frozen in 1-2 serving sizes for later. I like to do it this way then microwave them for a minute and a half for a quickie meal.

Cathy O is a successful author who provides information on gourmet gift baskets, gourmet food, and gourmet recipes. "In addition to being a freelance writer, I also dabble in Aromatherapy, Herbalism and painting when I am so inspired. Living in the Lake region of Western Maine has been of tremendous inspiration to me and I am proud and happy to call it home."
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Olive Tapenade - It's A Greek Affair!

By Margarette Tustle

Throw A Greek Themed Dinner Party!

Dinner parties are a great way to show your friends how much you appreciate them. Your Greek dinner party will have rich foods, such as olive tapenade, Mediterranean decorations, as well as Greek background music. There are two olive tapenade recipes included, other Mediterranean food recipes to compliment this Greek staple, and some simple decorations for you to use. Olive tapenade reflects the culture. The other food suggestions listed will compliment the olive tapenade flavor. The details are up to you and your imagination. The suggestions listed below are guides for you to follow, but a Greek dinner party should be based on the menu.

Greek Décor

What thoughts and images slip into your mind when you think of Greece? If you have never been there, look at some online websites, Greek books at the book store, or even photographs. Use the colors of the Greek flag (white and blue), or use bright Mediterranean hues (yellows, pinks, turquoise). You can also utilize the food (olive tapenade, grape leaves, and eggplant) as the primary colors on a white table cloth. Don’t forget place cards, napkins, and flowers!

Flavors To Delight The Mouth!

The menu will be the focus and key ingredient of your Greek dinner party. Olive tapenade is easy to make, and a unique Greek recipe to its culture and flavor.

1. Plain olive tapenade spread (recipe taken from Laura Werlin’s “The New American Cheese”)

Olive tapenade ingredients: 20 Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped; 1 tsp fresh lemon juice; 2 tsp olive oil; 1 tbsp rinsed, drained, and chopped cappers; ½ tsp anchovy paste-optional to your liking; and fresh cracked black pepper.
Olive tapenade instructions: Mix all of the above ingredients together well. Refrigerate. Use the spread within two weeks of making it.

2. Tapenade spread stuffed figs (recipe taken from Sam Gugino’s “Cooking to Beat the Clock”)

Ingredients required: 2 tsp capers; 1 anchovy fillet; 15 oil-cured black pitted olives; 1 tsp thyme; ¼ tsp dried thyme; 2 tsp olive oil; and 12 small, ripe Mission figs.

Instructions: Puree the olives, anchovy, thyme, and capers in a food processor (or chop by hand). Slit the side of each fig and spoon about 1/3 tsp of the olive tapenade mixture into the fig. Pinch closed the opening.

Other Greek flavors that compliment the olive tapenade are lemon, seafood, lamb, eggplant, and honey. Menu suggestions to guide you: roasted eggplant dip with pita wedges; lentil soup; stuffed grape leaves; hummus with pita wedges; or even feta cheese with olive spread toast. Look online or in Greek cookbooks for sample recipes and complimentary combinations.

The Music And The Invitation

Buy cds that reflect the Greek culture, or hire a small band. Pick out a cute olive or Greek themed invitation. Hand deliver a small piece of paper with the tapenade recipe on it connected to a tiny bottle of olive oil.

Start the planning process early for the recipes, décor, and music to ensure your party is a Greek success!

Author Margarette Tustle. Read more resources on olives and olive oil on