Eva’s Classic Greek Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki is a popular Greek sauce that is often used as a dip with pita bread or enjoyed with various types of meat dishes such as souvlaki and gyros. It is best made with yogurt, but if you prefer not to use yogurt you may substitute it for sour cream. Keep in mind that the yogurt needs to strain for about 8 to 10 hours, so it’s best to begin the preparation the day before you plan to serve it. Some tzatziki recipes call for a bit of chopped dill or mint, but in this video Eva shows us how to prepare her version of this delicious sauce.

1 tub of plain yogurt
2 cloves of garlic crushed
Half a cucumber
1 tablespoon of olive oil
a pinch of salt (or to your taste)
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

To begin you need to strain the yogurt. Place a cheese cloth or a few sturdy paper towels on a strainer and place the strainer in a bowl. Scope out the yogurt into the strainer and allow the water to strain for at least 8 to 10 hours in the fridge. Once the yogurt has been strained, discard the excess water and place the yogurt in a medium-sized bowl. Add the crushed garlic to the yogurt. Peel the cucumber, slice it in half, remove the seeds, and shred the cucumber using a cheese grater. Squeeze out any excess water from the cucumber and add it the yogurt mixture. Add the olive oil, salt, and fresh lemon juice. Stir the mixture well. Garnish with an olive or a slice of lemon.

Enjoy!

Meatballs with Tomato Sauce Over Rice (Yiouvarlakia in Greek)

In this video Eva shows us how to prepare another family favourite: Yiouvarlakia, more commonly known as meatballs with tomato sauce over rice. Like many of Eva’s recipes, this dish requires only a few simply ingredients and is not overly complicated to make. We hope you enjoy!

To prepare the meat:

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion graded
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of dried mint (use fresh mint if it is available)
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

To cook the meat:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 cup of tomato juice
  • ½ glass of water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • ¼ cup of water

To prepare the rice:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 4 cups
  • Pinch of salt

Using your hands, combine the ingredients together in a large bowl. Once you have thoroughly mixed the ingredients you may begin to shape the meatballs. Rather than roll the meat into balls, shape small portions of meat in an oval shape.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until light brown in colour. Add the tomato juice and ½ cup of water. Season with salt and pepper and cover the pot with the lid. Once the liquid has come to a boil you may add the meatballs. Carefully place the meatballs in the pot and lower the heat to medium.

In the meantime you may prepare the rice. Eva suggests that you boil the rice for a few seconds and then drain the water in order to remove as much starch as possible. Once you have washed the rice, set the water to boil again and cook the rice for 15 minutes. Remember to use 2 cups of water for 1 every cup of rice.
Once the liquid in the meatballs has begun to boil for a few minutes, lower the heat and allow the meatballs to simmer for 20 minutes.

To thicken the tomato sauce add 1 tablespoon of flour to ¼ cup of water, stir well, and pour the liquid into the tomato mixture (be sure to strain the liquid as you pour it in). Allow the meatballs to cook for another 15 minutes.

When serving this dish be sure to place a generous amount of tomato sauce over the rice. Enjoy!

Fish Baked in the Oven w/ Lemon, Carrots, Onion & Potatoes

With thousands of miles of coastline, it is not surprising that Greeks have developed numerous delicious ways of preparing fish. In this video, Eva show us how to prepare fish baked in the oven with onions, carrots, garlic, lemon, parsley and olive oil. We love this recipe for its simplicity and nutritional value. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  • 6 herring fillets (you can use a different type of fish if you prefer)
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic (leave whole)
  • 2 carrots coarsely chopped
  • 4 small potatoes cut into small wedges
  • ¼ a cup of chopped parsley
  • About ½ cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice from 1 ½ lemons
  • ¼ cup of wine
  • 1 glass of water

Clean the fish well and season it with salt, pepper, and a few drops of lemon juice. Set the fish aside in the fridge for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a large pan with a few drops of olive oil and place the fillets on the pan. Place the chopped onion on top on the fish. Add the garlic, carrots, and potatoes to the pan. Season the vegetables with a pinch each of salt and pepper, and the fresh parsley. Add about 1/3 a cup of olive oil, the remainder of the lemon juice, the wine, and water to the pan.

Cook in the oven at 350 degrees. After an hour take the pan out of the oven and turn the potatoes over on the other side. Put the pan back in the oven for another 30 minutes. It is now ready to serve, enjoy!

Giouvetsi (Lamb with Pasta Baked in the Oven)

Giouvetsi is a traditional Greek dish made with only a few simple ingredients but it is packed with flavour. It is made with lamb (although you could also substitute the lamb for beef), tomato juice and spaghetti. In our fast-paced world, it really is comforting to sit down to a wholesome meal. As Greek-Canadians, we appreciate the authenticity of this recipe, even though today it is made in electric ovens rather than wooden ovens baked in clay pots. We hope you enjoy!

  • A leg of lamb, about 1 to 1½ pounds (be sure to trim the fat)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon each of salt and pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 3 large glasses of water
  • ½ a package of Number 7 spaghetti

Wash the lamb well and place it at the center of a roasting pan. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce and water. Cook the lamb in the oven for about 3 to 3½ hours at 400 degrees. For the first hour cover the pan with the lid, but for the remaining time remove the lid.
After about 3 hours, remove the pan from the oven. Remove the lamb and set it aside. Add the spaghetti to the same pan and mix it a bit. Place the lamb back in the pan, on top of the spaghetti, but be sure to turn the lamb over on the other side. Put the pan back in the oven for another 45 minutes.

It is now ready to serve. Enjoy! (serves 6)

Chicken with Tomato Sauce (Kotopoulo Kokkinisto in Greek)

This dish is a guaranteed family favourite! It is made with only a few simple and healthy ingredients and takes less than an hour to make. It is absolutely delicious and one of our favourite comfort foods. We grew up on this dish and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. This dish is usually served with rice but feel free to substitute the rice for pasta if you prefer.

  • Chicken legs and thighs (about 8 pieces altogether)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 3-4 tomatoes chopped (or 1 cup of tomato sauce)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ glass of wine (Eva’s uses white wine in this recipe but you could also use red wine)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of rice

Before you begin to prepare the dish, wash the chicken thoroughly; remove the skin and season with salt and pepper. Allow to stand for about an hour. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and place the chicken in the pot and cover with the lid. Cook the chicken for a few minutes, turning the chicken over a couple of times. Add the wine, garlic, onion, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and allow the chicken to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the tomatoes to the chicken, and turn the heat to low. Allow the chicken to simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the rice. Use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice and be sure to wash the rice thoroughly. Bring the water to a boil, add the rice, some salt, a dash of olive oil and cover with a lid. Lower the heat and allow the rice to cook for about 15-20 minutes.

To serve, place one cup of rice on the plate and add a couple of pieces of chicken. Pour a large spoonful of the sauce over the rice and chicken and serve with your favourite side dish.

Greek Baklava Rolls (Baklavadakia)

Baklava is one of the most popular Greek desserts known around the world, but there are also many different ways of preparing this wonderful and decedent sweet. In this video recipe, Eva shows us how to prepare baklava rolls. The ingredients are the same as the traditional baklava recipe, but here the phyllo is rolled and cut into individual pieces.

For the mixture

2 cups chopped almonds
¼ cup of sugar
1/3 cup of breadcrumbs
Zest of one orange (finely chopped)
2 to 3 tablespoons of cognac
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Juice of half an orange

1 package of phyllo
½ cup of butter

For the syrup

1 8-ounce glass of sugar
2 glasses of water
1 cup of honey
Half an orange or lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
A pinch of cloves
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Combine the almonds, sugar, breadcrumbs, orange zest, cognac, cinnamon and orange juice together in a large bowl and mix well.

Melt the butter either in the microwave or on the stovetop and set aside. Remove the phyllo from the package and lay it flat on your countertop. Cover the phyllo with a slightly damp cloth.

Take out three sheets of phyllo and brush each phyllo with butter (stack each sheet on top of the other). Place a few large spoonfuls of the mixture along the bottom of the top sheet of phyllo and begin to roll the phyllo. Butter the edge of the sheet and continue to roll the phyllo as tightly as possible. Once you get to the end of the sheet, you will need to butter the edge as well.

Once you have finished rolling the phyllo, cut off the uneven edges (but don’t throw it away, just throw it into your remaining mixture).
Cut the roll into 2 inch pieces (cut either straight down or slightly angled). Butter the edges of each place and place on a greased baking sheet.

Repeat this same procedure until you have finished using all of the phyllo and mixture. You may wish to use more phyllo sheets (e.g. you could six sheets of phyllo and place a large amount of the mixture on your phyllo).

Once you have finished rolling the phyllo and placing the buttered rolls on your pan, butter the top of each roll. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees (this really depends on your oven; keep in mind that the baklava has to bake slowly at a low heat until golden brown).

To prepare the syrup which you will pour over the baklava, mix together the sugar, water, and honey together in a medium saucepan. Add the lemon (or orange), cloves, and cinnamon sticks and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 15-20 minutes. To see if the syrup is ready you can test it by placing a small drop of the syrup on your stove-top and feel it with your finger. If it has a nice body to it, it’s ready. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to help it stay nice and smooth after it cools down.

When placing the syrup on your baklava, either the baklava or the mixture must be cool and the other hot. In this video, Eva is using a pre-prepared syrup mixture, but if you would like to see her making the syrup please watch our original baklava video).
Spoon out the slightly cooled syrup onto the warm baklava. Allow the baklava to sit for about 20 minutes, afterwards turn over the individual rolls to allow both sides to soak in the liquid. Allow the baklava to sit overnight before you serve. Enjoy!

Diples (Thiples) (Honey Rolls) Greek Dessert

Diples are a wonderful Greek dessert to make on special occasions. The dough is rolled into long, thin strips, fried in hot oil and then dipped in syrup. It is best to prepare and fry the dough a couple of days before you add the syrup. Frying the diples takes a bit of practice, but once you become more experienced you might try frying the diples in fancy shapes.

For the dough
12 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of ouzo
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla
7 cups of all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying (about 2-3 cups)

For the syrup
1 8-ounce glass of sugar
2 cups of water
1 cup of honey
Half an orange or lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
A pinch of cloves
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

For the garnish
A handful of walnuts (finely grounded)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of sugar

Using an electric blender beat the egg yolks and egg whites together. Add the sugar, ouzo, lemon juice, and milk. As you continue to blend the ingredients, add the baking powder (be sure to mix it with some flour), vanilla, and slowly add the rest of the flour. Once you have finished adding the flour, you will need to knead the dough with your hands. Once you finished kneading the dough, allow it to rest in the bowl for about 10 minutes.

Fill a deep-frying pan with 2 inches of oil and set on the stove at a low heat.

Sprinkle flour on your countertop and roll the dough into 2 inch balls. Flatten the balls and run each strip through your pasta maker until they form long, thin strips. As you continue to shape the dough, cover the strips with a slightly damp cloth in order to prevent the dough from drying out.

Once you have prepared the flatten strips of dough, you can begin to fry the diples. Drops the strips into the hot oil – one at a time – turn immediately using two forks, and roll into a cylinder. Remove from the oil when golden and drain on paper towels and cool.

To make the syrup you need to mix the sugar, water, and honey together in a medium size saucepan. Add half a lemon (or orange), about 5-6 cloves, and 2 cinnamon sticks and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 15-20 minutes. To see if the syrup is ready you can test it by placing a small drop of the syrup on your stove-top and feel it with your finger. If it has a nice body to it, it’s ready. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to help it stay nice and smooth after it cools down.

Please note that in this video Eva uses pre-prepared syrup. If you would like to view Eva making the syrup, please watch the baklava video. The same syrup that is used to make the baklava is used for the diples.

Combine the finely grounded walnuts, sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Dip each honey roll in the hot syrup. Place the diples on a plate and sprinkle with the walnut mixture.

Enjoy!