Friday, June 27, 2014

Hot stuff

A mini heat wave sent temperatures near to 40C, perfect for spicy food. So it's time to make some τυροκαφτερή (tirokafteri), a salad dip made from cheese and hot peppers. It is really easy.

First grow your peppers.

OK, I'm showing off. You can buy them instead. The ones you get in Greece are long green peppers, not like the chillies you get in the supermarkets in the UK. A good Asian grocer will have some, they have a different flavour and are soft and fleshy.

First, you fry a pepper lightly so that the skin lifts off and you can peel it. Taste it when you do this as it may determine how many you use. I picked two, had a little taste, ran round the house a few times breathing fire and then used one. Skin and deseed it. Chop coarsely and put in a blender with some olive oil and either wine vinegar or lemon juice. Give it a good whizz up and then add cheese. Feta is the basic ingredient, but it is nicer if you add a blander, soft cheese as well. I use fresh ανθότυρο, (anthotiro), a whey cheese, but you could use ricotta or even a very thick set yoghurt.  Blend the lot together adding olive oil if it is too solid, until you have a coarse paste. Stick it in the fridge for an hour or so for the flavour to develop and that is it. Serve with fresh bread or anything you like. Spectacularly good and simple.

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