Making Great Baba Ganouj

There’s no pussyfooting about this: the best way to make Baba Ganouj is to roast your eggplant directly on the coals. The skin of the eggplant turns black and crusty, and pulls away from the tender fruit within. At the same time the flesh takes on a luscious, smoky perfection.  

Not familiar with Baba Ganouj? [...]

Battle of the Spinach Balls

Gray smudges of cloud moved back in on Saturday, shedding brief raindrops, but for a change I didn’t mind. I reveled instead in a lush landscape that filled the near distance. Everywhere was green.  Green new leaves with crisp new veining. Rich green grass that overtook the moss while we weren’t looking. Our back yard [...]

Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Homemade Greek Pitas

My son the meatatarian and I often connect over a good skewer of lamb which is grilled over hot coals until barely red in the middle. In Greece they might call this souvlaki, but in Turkey, where my skewers came from, all grilled meat like this is called kebab. Soaked in oil and spices for [...]

Greek Style Grilled Halibut

The waiter by the pool had the grace to blush as he told us we could expect little nightlife. The next morning we headed west, out onto barren stretches where the road gave way to cart tracks and herds of goats blocked the way. Near the northwestern edge, we sighed at the views across the sparkling Aegean, that stretched until forever. [...]

Fasolia Gigantes Plaki: Big Greek Beans baked in a Bodacious Red Sauce

I thumbed through the wine-stained menu at a popular taverna in Aghios Nikolais on the eastern edge of Crete. Meat, lamb and meat it said in four languages; in a succession of loud tourist restaurants it had been the same now every night for a week. Here, jammed up against the wall of the kitchen, [...]

Yemistes Domates: Vegetarian Stuffed Tomatoes

“No meat!” The Greek proprietor slashed the air with his pointed finger.  He bent behind the counter to pull out a large tray, which he proceeded to set before us. We inhaled the wonderful smell of tomatoes mixed with rice, onion and herbs. No meat. A smile spread across the face of my wife the Salad Queen.

We had come in from the late afternoon heat to [...]

Greek Easter Bread

The donkey stopped on the path in front of us and refused to go another step. A tiny woman wearing black clothes and a grey shawl smacked his rump. ‘Ela, eLA,’ she cried as the donkey turned to look at her with doleful eyes. She eyed us with resignation and began with gnarled fingers to [...]

Dyeing Red Eggs

While Chinese parents give out red eggs to wish a newborn good luck, Greek families use red eggs at Easter in a special bread, which is how I encountered them some 20 years ago.

Back then, I successfully boiled fresh white eggs with water, food coloring and vinegar to turn out eggs with a deep red [...]

Pastitsio: Classic Greek Noodles

The Greeks with their dark, sharp eyes and stoic expressions regarded us as though we were crazy. We danced down the sidewalks of Heraklion, singing. Before us was the port, leading to Santorini, the islands and all parts north in the blue-green Aegean. Behind us, the sun-drenched hills of Crete and the road to Knossos.

‘We’re [...]

Welcome Aboard

At, Sortachef takes you on adventures in the kitchen and beyond, with tales to suit. Many of his offerings are woodfired - a flaming good recipe for pizza, bread, or something different. All recipes are original and tasty. Enjoy!
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