|Greek Recipe for Tyropitakia (Cheese Pies) with Yogurt|
Recipe brought to you by Peter Minaki at Kalofagas.ca
This past summer while in Greece we had a little thing goin’ on with friends: bring some leftovers to the beach so that we could nosh/have some snacks to keep our growling bellies at bay. You see, Greece is hot in the summer…very hot. Despite late nights spent with family and friends I find myself waking up early from either the heat or one of the gypsies selling their goods in their Datsun pick-up trucks.
By around 10:30am I would be at the beach, alternating between refreshing dips in the sea and catching some rays on the beach chair. This tiring ritual can make one very hungry. Some friends brought grilled or fried eggplant and zucchini with some bread and cheese, others brought olives ( and bread) and some brought savory pies. Most Greek pies (pittes) are made using phyllo pastry. Commercially made phyllo is widely available and used but the homemade stuff is to be cherished.
Kuria (Mrs) Eleni, a dear friend of the family’s brought some Tyropitakia (cheese pies) made with a “zimi kourou” or one made of flour, olive oil (or butter or a combo of both) and yogurt. I wasn’t sure if I was just plain hungry or the cheese pies were just plain delish. My brain made a promise to my belly to make these cheese pies once again and I’ve finally found a recipe that I like alot because a) they remind me of the snacks we had on the beach this past summer and b) they are delicious and c) they are easy.
A big fat kiss to my friend, Chef Dina Nikoloau for sharing this wonderful recipe for Tyropitakia with zimi kourou or Cheese Pies with Yogurt. These pies were an instant hit with my family and on Edo Kai Tora (Here and Now), a Toronto based Greek-language show.
The filling is all about the cheese: crumbled Feta, fresh myzithra (ricotta) and grated Graviera cheese from Crete. The olive here in all-Greek (again from Crete) and the yogurt, the topping of sesame seeds all take me back to Summer 2010 in Greece.
Tyropitakia With Zimi Kourou (Τυροπιτάκια με ζύμη κουρού)
(makes approx. 20)
For the dough
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup of plain yogurt
1 tsp. of salt
3 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
(or 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 Tbsp. of baking powder)
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1 cup fresh myzithra (ricotta) cheese
1/4 cup grated Graviera (or Gruyere) cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. of finely chopped fresh mint
1 egg yolks mixed with a some cream
Pre-heated 350F oven (middle rack)
For more delicious recipes visit Peter Minaki's blog at Kalofagas.ca