Ahhh summer is coming in Greece. Was talking to friends and family back home and they were telling me how the weather is getting better. Funny, everyone thinks that Greece is beaches, sun, and hot weather. That's the case in the summer I admit. In the winter? Not the case. Especially where we live-north- and central Greece are known for having, well, not so mild winters I might say. It is not Canada or Sweden but it does get cold and with snow. This year was a wet one. From what they told me it was raining a lot! So much, that people were joking that they lived in London. So you can understand how everybody felt now that spring is here with the sun warming up and drying everything. Myself, I would love to be in Greece this season, but also I would LOOOOVE to be there when it was raining. I love the rain, and the dessert? well you get the point. I don't have to complain about it :)
Spring time means that we get to eat summer grown types of food. Nice juicy tomatoes, bell peppers that smell like a real pepper not the ones you find all year long, you know the ones that are shiny and all have the same enormous size. Eggplants, cucumber and all these vegetables are readily available now. And they taste good!
One of the signature dishes for the summer is stuffed peppers. Usually made with rice only, or with ground beef and rice, but my mom makes them also with cracked wheat and they taste delicious! The smell of the pepper roasting in the oven still reminds me of home. That's what we cooked today for you together with one more dish that goes into our appetisers, although we also eat it as a main course in Greece. Fried meatballs! And there is one secret to them. The 3-4 day old bread. And my mom used to say you don't have to put so much ground beef if you have good old bread. If you want to make them please get good bread from your local bakery and let it sit outside for 3-4 days. Then you can add it to your meatball mix and trust us they will become delicious! That, together with the spearmint my mom added and unfortunately I can't find here, gives the dish it's signature taste. You can put regular mint and it will also do it's magic. I made them yesterday and my cousin and I were talking on how my mom makes them if she had nothing else to cook. And we would eat them with french fries, Greek salad, feta cheese and.....watermelon...yes watermelon. Some people find it nasty but we love to eat them together. You can try it but if you don't think this is your idea of mixing different types of food then just stick with the meatballs as an appetiser or omit the watermelon :)
Try both dishes and let us know what you think.
Kali summertime Oreksi!
Dia, Kostas and Tony
PS: Sorry if in the pictures I forgot the onion...in both of the recipes! Well if you forget it in one might as well forget it in the other one too right? My apologies!
Cracked wheat stuffed peppers
Ingredients for 3 people:
for more information on how to make cracked wheat stuffed peppers please click here
Pan fried meatballs
Ingredients for 6 people:
for more information on how to make pan fried meatballs please click here
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The Greek cuisine