Monday Meal Review: Cyprus


Sick babies are the worst. Poor miss Ava came down with croup not long after we cooked Cyprus (purely coincidental, mind you). But... croup... gah! If you don't know, croup is a nightmare of epic proportions. Here's how it works: in the still of the night, babies who seem a little sick, suddenly wake up really, really sick. With violent coughing fits. And I don't mean just any cough. You'll think a nasty poltergeist - or a barking seal - has taken over your sweet baby. You will not be … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mediterranean Roast Veggies (Briam)


Serves 4 This simple layered casserole is vegan, rich, and addictive. The vegetables cook down into a soft casserole, but can be uncovered half way through cooking to reduce the effects of steaming. Ingredients: 1 zucchini 1 small eggplant 1  potato 1/4 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp oregano 1/4 cup olive oil 2/3 cup tomato sauce 1 1/2 quart casserole Method: Preheat the oven to 375F. Meanwhile, slice all the veggies into thin discs. Resist the urge to see if … [Read more...]

Recipe: Roast Lamb from Cyprus (Ofto Kleftiko)


Serves 2-4 This completely fuss-free roast lamb dish, Ofto Kleftiko, maximizes the rich, succulent flavor of lamb and is so tender it literally falls of the bone. A great dish for holidays, festivals, or even pot luck dinners. Serve one shank per person, unless appetites are small. Ingredients: 2 lamb shanks, about one pound each 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground coriander 4 bay leaves salt pepper olive oil Method: Get the oven nice and toasty - set it to 375F. Meanwhile, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Brandy Poached Apples (Firikia Glyko)


Serves 4 Sweet and spiked with cinnamon, Firikia Glyko is wonderful warm with vanilla ice cream, or cold with nothing more than a spoon and a smile. (Ice cream is my addition and, while not super authentic, is extra lip smacking) Ingredients: 4 small, firm apples (I used honey-crisp) 2 cups sugar 2 cups water 2 sticks cinnamon 4 whole cloves 1/4 cup brandy (optional) Method: Put on a frilly apron and a pair of fuzzy slippers. Add sugar and cinnamon sticks to a … [Read more...]

Fun Fact Friday: Soapy, Soapy Cyprus?

You may or may not be afflicted with "soap mouth" when you eat coriander (a.k.a. cilantro). To avoid the experience, you may painstakingly pick pieces of the offending plant off of your plate. You might even send your plate back. You might scream out in agony. Or not. Listen... I have a secret. Even if you think coriander tastes like soap, you should give the plant's seeds a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. To me, the flavor lacks any soapy aftertaste.   I ate bunches of this … [Read more...]

Recipe: Red Wine Potatoes (Potatoes “Afelia”)


While Afelia commonly refers to a pork dish, the term can also refer to any number of ingredients stewed/roasted in red wine and sprinkled with coriander seeds. Yum! In Cyprus, the most popular variants include mushrooms, potatoes, and artichoke hearts (all of which are vegan). Most recipes add a sprinkling of coriander seeds at the end of cooking (ground or cracked is best). Serves 4 Slowly roasted in olive oil and red wine, these potatoes are so rich you won't need butter. A typical … [Read more...]

Menu: Cyprus


I had a dream that my pillows and blankets were made of warm, snuggly food. (Snuggly?) What does it all mean? Call me crazy, but if there ever was a time to snuggle up with a meal, this would be it. Our menu from Cyprus is loaded with comforting, roasted dishes, as well as a "sweet as apple pie" dessert.  Perfect for chilly weather. Cypriot Red Wine Potatoes (Potatoes Afelia) [Recipe] Small fingerling potatoes roasted with loads of olive oil and red wine, then topped with a dash of ground … [Read more...]

About the Food of Cyprus


Psst... does your heart ache? Even just a little? I've got the cure: take a tour of Cyprus. In this gloriously mountainous Mediterranean island even the loneliest heart will find love in the air and on the beaches. In fact, legend has it that Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love, was born amidst the crashing waves and sandy shores of Cyprus. Befitting this romantic legacy, the Cypriot have a fascinating habit of cooking food in red wine. Almost anything can get a long slow simmer in the stuff … [Read more...]