During the holidays, we get those family season’s greeting cards, pictures of new babies, a synopsis of people’s year – but my mom, she’s different. In my Greek-American-South African family, most events and conversations revolve around food, even season’s greetings.
Below is a tried and tested recipe, a season’s greetings -written by my mom.
An easy snack you can make with delicious Greek yoghurt and a sense of humour. Lucky you, this is a secret family recipe revealed. Enjoy!
” Wishing you a Gastronomic, Festive, Joyous New Year, with lots of New Experiences. May this recipe be one of them.
GREEK CHEESE PUFFS
(From the hands of Thea Koula,
My only living, wonderful Auntie,
Who is still the best baker)
1 medium tub Greek yogurt
1&3/4 sticks butter – (yeah! I said good puffs, not slimming) – you may cut back on the butter, and add half butter – half extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil. I wouldn’t – when you SIN – you SIN!!!
One t. Salt or less depending how salty your FETA is.
One tablespoon Vinegar – DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP!!!
1/2 kilo ( 1 lb ) of self rising flour (more/less) depending on the weather – (you can use wheat FLOUR and 1 t. baking soda)
Mix above ingredients and let the mixture rest for one, or couple of hours. After some gentle manipulation, (we all need to rest, and fluff up).
200 gr feta cheese ( 3/4 lb)
1/4 of c of good Ricotta cheese (optional)
One egg white ( save yolk for glazing the puffs)
Pepper / if you like a peppery taste like I do.
Mix well – at this point add whatever other cheeses are hiding in your refrigerator shelves. Waste not!!!
(OPTIONAL)You may add some spinach or sausage or whatever you wish.
Cayenne pepper, etc.
Take a tablespoon of dough in your hand – spread it with your other hand to an open “like” shell to receive the heaping teaspoon of filling on one side. Then close the other end over the filled end, and pinch the ends together.
Sounds delicious, right? Good eating is a religious experience!!!
Place in a well greased pan, brush some egg yolk (diluted with a sprinkle of water) and use either sesame seeds on top, black sesame, or Nigella seeds to give it a finished touch.
We all look better with some finishing touches.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown at 180 (350) degrees.
Enjoy the homemade goodness that you just created with your hands. (it is almost like birth, only easier, faster, and sometimes more satisfying, and does not talk back to you). OOPS, forgive me my darling offsprings.
FYI – if you are in need for some carbs after a hard day’s work- use above dough. Fry it in butter and olive oil. While it is hot, sprinkle some (lots) sugar and cinnamon. Enjoy the fried fritter with a cup of coffee as you listen to the clouds open up and the angels “sing to thee”.
From the Greek Gypsy
Or, Nomad Retiree a.k.a Mom of The Culinary Linguist ”
** If you grew up in a Greek family, you often find yourself giggling at food trends and fads that hype what your grandma’s been feeding you for years. It’s the way food product companies like to colonise homemade traditional foods and ‘discover’ the next best thing to tortilla chips. ViVA Greek yogurt.