While here in Greece, many leave the city for their ancestral town/village or they head to their summer homes/vacation spot. It could be the mountains or in my family’s case, our summer home in Halkidiki.
Greeks like to socialize and most of the time you can find Greeks going for a walk (volta) or hang around the plateia (main square). For us who are lucky enough to spend time by the sea, the beach and time in the water becomes the town square – catching up on news of family and friends, politics and thankfully – food and recipes.
Our neighbor, kuria Nitsa dropped off these tyropitakia – no phyllo but crisp on the outside, light and airy inside and oozing with Feta goodness. Before I could finish the first piece and ran to her and asked for the recipe.
Getting recipes from “noikokoires” or housewives isn’t easy. It’s not that that they don’t want to give the recipe but that they simply don’t have a written recipe. These ladies cook by feel, instinct.
After a couple of tries, I’ve mastered the recipe which basically is coarsely crumbled Feta cheese, some fresh chopped mint, salt, pepper and flour. There is a little baking powder in there for adding lift and I like to use cold Souroti sparkling water to make a tight batter.
Easy Tyropitakia in a Pan
1 cup of crumbled Feta cheese (try to use a firmer variety)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
approx. 1 cup of cold sparkling water
olive oil for frying
honey for garnish
- Into a bowl, add the Feta, mint, salt, pepper flour and baking powder and gently toss until incorporated.
- Slowly add the water while stirring with a spoon until you have a thick batter, but loose enough to still just slide off the spoon.
- Add about 1/2 inch of oil into a deep skillet and bring up to approx. 350F. Take a rounded tablespoon of the batter and gently drop into the hot oil (slide the batter off with your finger).
- Fry for a minute or so or until crisp and golden then flip. Reserve on a paper-lined platter and fry off the remaining batter.
- Serve warm/room temperature with some drizzled honey as part of a breakfast or meze offering.
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