Use a blender or immersion blender for best results/most blended drink. In Greece, the drink is usually shaken in a jar or drink mixer.
3 -4 teaspoons instant coffee (preferably Nescafe Classic or Clásico (above))
2 -4 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
2 -6 ounces water
2 -6 ounces milk
Ice, crushed or in cubes
I medium cucumber (or half of one of those giant-sized “English” seedless cucumbers)
2 cups plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
4 cloves garlic, minced (more or less garlic, to taste. The more garlic you use, the more tangy this is.)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 – 2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tsp chopped fresh mint (optional)
Peel cucumber and grate it. (If it has seeds, quarter it lengthwise and remove seeds, then grate). Place grated cucumber in a strainer over a bowl and press down with a spoon to remove excess water from cucumber. Let drain for a few minutes.
Combine cucumber with remaining ingredients. You can serve immediately but I prefer to cover and chill for about an hour — it improves the flavor.
George’s Spanakopita (Greek Spinach-Cheese Pie)
(George is Callie’s father and this is one of his signature dishes.)
This recipe is is from On the Chopping Block. It was featured on Lisa K’s Book Reviews, along with a 5-star review! Click this link if you’d like to read the complete article on Lisa K’s website.
Six 10 oz. packages of chopped frozen spinach thawed and drained of excess liquid (but not too dry)
1 bunch scallions (green onions), chopped, white and pale green parts only
Dash of garlic powder
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups of feta cheese, crumbled
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and mixed with ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil + more olive oil if needed
1 regular-sized package of phyllo dough sheets, sometimes called “pastry sheets.”
(Phyllo dough sheets are found in the frozen foods section of most supermarkets, near frozen pie pastry and the like. ATHENS brand is one of the most common. NOTE: When you get home from the store, be sure to place phyllo pastry in the refrigerator, NOT the freezer so that it can thaw before you begin baking. If you don’t plan to bake right away, keep it frozen.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped or 1 tsp. of dried dill (George prefers fresh – he says it tastes better.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the phyllo: Phyllo pastry bakes up delightfully light and flaky, but the sheets are very thin and can dry out quickly. So here’s how to keep the phyllo nice and fresh: Take a clean tea towel and wet it, then wring out most of the water. Place your phyllo sheets on a cookie sheet with a rim and place waxed paper directly over the spanakopita, followed by the damp tea towel over the waxed paper. Lift up these protective coverings only when you are ready to take the next sheet. Quickly re-cover the phyllo.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the spinach, onions, dill and garlic powder. Add the feta cheese and eggs, mixing lightly but thoroughly until well combined. Pour half of the melted butter over the top, season with salt and pepper, and mix again. It should not look too “liquidy.”
Brush a 10 x 15 inch pan with butter. Place about half of the phyllo sheets (usually about 10) into the pan, brushing each thoroughly with melted butter (don’t forget the corners) before adding the next one. Each sheet needs to be thoroughly coated with a thin layer of melted butter.
Add spinach-cheese mixture and spread evenly in the pan. Repeat phyllo sheet process until you have used them all.
Trim any overhanging phyllo dough from pan using kitchen shears, then score the pie into squares (about halfway down, for easier cutting later) with a sharp knife. Bake at 350 degrees F for about one hour, until the top is golden brown. Let cool slightly, then finish cutting and serve.
Yield: About 15 generous squares of spanakopita.