I have complete admiration for Greek food. It is simple yet flavorful, so good and so good for you at the same time. Two of my favorite ingredients in the world – lemons and oregano – have strong presence in Greek cooking. Oh, and baklava! I am such a sucker for baklava!
For two years, I have been following a Greek blogger, Magda of My Little Expat Kitchen. Usually I just marvel at the beautiful pictures on her blog, but this time I was determined to cook something. Entertaining at home is promising to be huge this month, so I thought trying out a new appetizer would be a good idea. I followed Magda’s recipe precisely but I reduced the amount of hot pepper and garnished the dip with parsley, not chives. I actually thought that blending some parsley in would be something I want to try next time.
Makes 12 servings
- 1 lb feta cheese, medium to soft in texture
- 2 oz extra virgin olive oil
- 2 fresh long sweet red peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp boukovo or crushed dried red chili flakes(or 1½ tsp if you enjoy the heat)
- 3 heaped Tbsp Greek strained yogurt, 2% or full-fat
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika or sweet paprika
Fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnishing
Place the feta in a bowl and add enough tap water to cover. Leave in the water for 15 minutes to get rid of extra saltiness.
In the meantime, add the olive oil to a medium-sized skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chopped red peppers along with the boukovo and sauté them, stirring regularly, until they soften but don’t brown (well, mine browned a little bit). Take the pan off the heat and let the peppers cool in the pan.
When 15 minutes are over, drain the feta, cut into pieces and place in a food processor. Add the cooled down peppers, along with all the juices accumulated in the pan, scraping it well, followed by the yogurt, the vinegar, and the paprika. Process until smooth and creamy. Give the tyrokafteri a taste and if you find it to be too salty, add a little more yogurt.
Transfer the dip to a bowl, sprinkle with chopped chives and serve.
If you are not serving the dip immediately, store it in the fridge, where you can keep it covered with plastic wrap, for 1 week. Let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes to allow to come to room temperature before serving.