Mediterranean Halloumi Salad

Halloumi cheese is one of my all time favorite cheeses. I love the natural taste and flavor of sheep’s milk which pairs perfectly with most things. You can eat this colorful salad alone or serve it with fresh pita bread.

1 package Halloumi Cheese, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup green Spanish olives
3 teaspoons zatar
1 teaspoon sumac
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 scallion, sliced
olive oil

1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add cheese, garlic and zatar. Cook until cheese is lightly golden.

2. In a medium sized bowl add pepper, cucumbers, tomatoes and olives. Pour cheese mixture into bowl. Mix well.

3. Sprinkle mint, scallions and sumac on top of salad. Drizzle with olive oil.

Yields: 4 servings

White Greek Frappé

I was just sitting here enjoying one of my favorite cool coffee drinks and thought I would share with it with you all as well. You can make a black version of this drink by using 20 ml of water instead of milk. However, I prefer the white version much better. In Greece they shake the coffee to froth it and this is also something they did while I was in Malaysia. You can use anything for your shaker but I prefer a good old reliable jar that does not spew my coffee all over me. For my instant coffee choice it would be Nestle Classic but Maxwell House is really nice as well. “Stinygiasou”!

2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons sugar

30 ml milk
3 tablespoons boiling water

1. In a jar add coffee, sugar and boiling water. Allow coffee and sugar to dissolve. Add milk and tightly seal on jar lid. Shake until coffee is extremely frothy. Pour into a glass filled with ice.

Yields: 1

Herbed Oven Eggs with Greek Pita Bread

These flavor packed eggs are great for breakfast or brunch. Each one is filled with enough to fill you up as well. As you can see from the picture the tomato mixture rises up above the eggs while baking and this is just simply delicious. Greek pita bread has always been my favorite type of pita because of its softness. This easy to make version is cooked on the stove top. You can cook and then place into a bag to use for later as well. It tastes great fresh or leftover.

Herbed Oven Eggs
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 scallion, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 garlic clove, smashed

 1. In a small bowl add feta, scallion, cilantro and parsley, mix well and sit aside. On medium heat in a 4-inch skillet add oil, tomatoes and garlic, saute until tender. Divide cheese mixture between two individual ramekins then divide tomato mix tire as well.

 2. Preheat oven to 350F. Break an egg over each mix. Place into oven and cook for 15 minutes.

 Yields: 2 servings

Greek Pita Bread
3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tablespoons shortening
1 tablespoon sunflower oil plus more for hands

1. In a small mixing bowl add yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water. Set aside for at least 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt and shortening. Mix together well. Add yeast mixture and a bit of water at a time until a soft dough consistency forms.

2. Place dough into a ball and cover outside with oil (do not work into dough). Place in a bowl, cover with a towel and sit in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.

3. Punch dough down then divide into 5 balls. Allow to rest covered with a damp towel for 15 minutes. In an iron skillet on medium heat add 1 tablespoon oil. Roll each ball into a circle (about 6 inches). Place one at a time into hot skillet and cook until bubbles appear on each side. Keep warm in a kitchen towel.

Yields: 8 pitas

Yogurt Cake

I can not even believe that this is my first time trying yogurt cake. As I ate my first slice then my second slice I was just so confused to why anyone has not tried this sinfully delicious cake. I can not even begin to put into words how unbelievable this cake is. The yogurt makes a delicate light and airy cake while the cardamom and orange blossom water takes you back to its Mediterranean roots. When poking the top with a fork before adding the sugar syrup be extremely careful so that you do not tear your cake, its very fragile. This would be heavenly served with fresh fruit.

200 grams self rising flour
150 grams sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
250 grams yogurt
100 ml sunflower oil
1-1/2 teaspoons orange blossom water
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

click here to make sugar syrup

1.Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder and cardamom, mix well. Add eggs, yogurt, oil and orange blossom water, mix well. Carefully pour batter into a spring form pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

2.Allow to cool for 30 minutes then carefully pierce top with a fork. Pour 1/2-1 cup sugar syrup on top of cake.

Yields: 8 servings