Living In Crete, My Favorite Greek Food
Today I would like to talk about my favorite Greek food. When you move to a country, apart from learning the language and the culture, you also have to try the food. Once you try the food, you will find things that you like, and some that you don’t like. When I moved to Crete, I tried lots of different dishes and there are some that I really liked and they became my favorite.
OK, so here is my list of favorite Greek food. I must say that most of the dishes I mention in this post, I know how to make because once I like something I always try to learn how to make it. The good thing about Greek cuisine, the dishes are not so complicated. Yes, some dishes require pastries but that you can always purchase ready-made at the supermarket if you don’t want to go through the long process of making it yourself.
My Favorite Greek Food Moussaka
This is one of the famous Greek dishes made with eggplant, and potato slices slightly fried or roasted, minced beef, or some people make it with half pork mince and half lamb mince, yet some make it with half beef mince and half lamb mince. I make it with just beef mince. The mince is made into a sauce just like you would make for spaghetti bolognese, and then it is used to cover the eggplants and potatoes slices, a cheesy sauce ( Bechamel) is added then some grated cheese is added, then baked until golden brown.
Moussaka can be served with a piece of nice crusty bread and some salad. Whenever I make Moussaka, I usually make a lot and then Freeze it because it’s nice emergency food, for when you don’t feel like cooking or you don’t have much time to prepare a meal. you can just pop some moussaka in the oven to warm it up while you prepare some salad, and within a few minutes dinner is served.
Pastitsio Very Similar To Moussaka
This dish is very similar to Moussaka but its also similar to Lasagne, different countries around the Mediterranean make it slightly differently, with some covering the dish with pastry, but here in Greece we simply cover it with Bechamel sauces and top it with cheese, dot it with butter and make until golden brown.
This is a very tasty beef stew that is so easy to make especially if you own a slow cooker. It’s the kind of dish you just toss in the slow cooker and go about your business, then a few hours late you will have a mouth-watering stew with beef cubes that just melt in your mouth mmm yummy.
Beef stifado is made with lots of shallots with a kilo of beef requiring about two kilos of baby shallots. Once you cut your beef into large pieces, you must seal them in butter and some olive oil at high heat. Once sealed you can then proceed to fry some chopped onions, add about two cups of chopped tomatoes.
Add two cloves of garlic chopped, salt and pepper to taste, one cup red wine, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, add 2 cinnamon sticks, two bay leaves, a pinch of nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons of ground allspice. Half a cup Metaxa(brandy) then add the meat and the pilled shallots, and boiled water to cover.
Then your Stifado needs to simmer slowly for about 3 hours, when ready the meat should be tender, and the sauce should be thick, you can serve your stifado with some roasted potatoes, and some salad or you can serve it with some crusty bread and salad it’s really up to you, some people even serve it with rice.
My Favorite Greek Food Dolmades
These rolls can be made with either vine leaves or cabbage leaves, you can either make dolmades with rice seasoned with different herbs, or you can make them with a mixture of rice and ground beef, it’s really up to you. Once rolled, dolmades are drizzled with lemon and olive oil, then they are covered with water, you may also put a heat-proof plate on top to press them down so they don’t open while cooking proceed to cook in low heat until tender.
Dolmades are usually served with natural Greek yogurt or Tzatziki sauce.
I also like Gemista which is very similar to dolmades, in the case of Gemista, instead of vine leaves or cabbage leaves, we use tomato and pepper shells, we fill them up and then place them in a dish that contains a sauce made of tomatoes, onions and seasoned with herbs, drizzle them with olive oil and bake until nice and tender.
I Also Like Gyro
Whenever we go out, maybe for shopping, or even when we go to the beach, we like passing by the Gyro place and grab a couple. For me, it’s the one with yogurt because I am not really a fan of the Tzatziki sauce especially if it contains lots of garlic.
I like when I make my own Ztatziki because then I don’t put a lot of garlic. But when you come to Crete, you must have some Gyro, you have a choice of pork or chicken. I like the chicken one.
My Favorite Greek Food I Prefer Chicken Souvlaki
I like Souvlaki, I enjoy them with chips(fries) and some salad, again this is something light when you are coming home from grocery shopping or going to the beach. You can just grab a couple of sticks of Souvlaki.
You can also make them at home especially when you are having a BBQ, you just need to put some seasoned chicken pieces through a skewer and then grill them, very easy yet delicious.
As I mentioned most Greek recipes are not complicated, some like dolmades, or baklava might be time-consuming, but definitely not complicated.
Well, I have many things that I like but I am getting hungry now after all this food talk lol. I must mention Fava, because I love it, I even make it at home and freeze it. Fava is just boiled pureed yellow split peas garnished with onions, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, and olive oil. I also love spanakopita.
Anyway, now it’s your turn, what is your favorite Greek food? let me know in the comment section.
Thank you for your time, now go make yourself something to eat lol.