Traditional Greek drink for Christmas
Set the table, add color, red, white, gold and green fir, put candles on the table, festive tableware and glasses that will shimmer with the light of the candles. Aperitivo? Yes please! Start with a glass of traditional liquor. Here in Greece, and specifically for Christmas day, we prepare a traditional drink. A special drink for Christmas with tsipouro, whiskey and cloves! It has a wonderful aroma and taste, and we are sure you will love it!
In a bowl put tsipouro, whiskey, brown sugar, cloves and apples that are cleaned and cut into thin slices. Close it up and keep it in a shady place for a few days (ideally a week). When it is time, boil the sugar with water for two minutes. Leave it to cool down and add it to the apples. Leave for two hours and strain. That’s it, it’s ready to be served! Bottoms up!
The perfect salad for the occasion and a special pita
Start your meal with a salad. What is a Christmas dinner table without a delicious salad? Politiki salad is the way to go for festive gatherings. Traditional and delicious, Politiki is rich in taste and a bit spicy.
Cabbage, carrot, red pepper and celery, salt, three tablespoons of vinegar and a little olive oil. Mix the ingredients in a large bowl. Salt them, press them with your hands and leave them in the fridge for an hour. Dilute the vinegar with an equal amount of water and pour the mixture over the salad. Leave the other for a while in the fridge. Strain it from its liquids, pour a little olive oil over it and serve. Voila! (Oriste, as we say here in Greece) A colorful and healthy mix!
There is no proper Greek table - especially the Christmas table - without a pita! This is a delicious, easy cheese pie (or lazy cheese pie) made in a bowl (or in a pan for short baking). The preparation is so easy, you won’t believe it! With milk, olive oil, eggs, feta, mixed grated cheese and some spice of your choice; throw in also some half-baked, broken crust sheets and let the oven does all the work! Fluffy like soufflé and delicious like no other cheese pie in the world, it will delight even the most demanding guest and will make your home smell like Greek holidays!
Take the leaves out of their packaging, separate them, cut them into small and large pieces with your hands and spread them in a pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C in air mode for about 20 minutes. During baking, stir the leaves once, to cook more evenly. Leave them to cool while preparing the liquid mixture. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and olive oil until well-combined. Add the feta cheese, the mixed grated cheese, the freshly ground pepper and the mint, and mix gently with a pastry spatula. Add half the crust sheets to the mixture and continue stirring until the ingredients are combined. Spread half of the broken leaves left in an oiled pan, cover with half of the bowl mixture, and continue with the remaining leaves and the rest of the mixture. Press lightly to spread the materials evenly. Let it rest for 5 minutes, covered with a clean towel. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C in air mode, for about 1 hour, until the color is golden brown. Allow the cheese to cool for at least 30 minutes and serve at room temperature. You can’t go wrong with a Greek pita!
The main dish of a Christmas table in Greece
What about the main dish? Pork is the traditional meat that we cook in most parts of Greece during the Christmas holidays. The following recipe is a perfect alternative for the Christmas table made with prawns and wine. Aw! It smells like Christmas already!
Place a hull over medium heat and add 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Cut the onions into large pieces and put them in the hull. Finally, chop the garlic, cut the peppers into large pieces and put them in the hull. Sauté all the vegetables for 2-3 minutes to get color. At the same time, place a pan on high heat. Cut the pork into small pieces and put them in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and stir. Transfer the pork to the pan and sauté for 5-6 minutes to get some color. Quench the hull with the brandy, the wine, add the plums, honey, spices, cinnamon, cloves, water, zest and orange juice, pork and mix gently. Cover the hull with the lid and bake for 2 ½ -3 hours, and you’re ready! Enjoy!
The most delicious dessert for the most wonderful day of the year
For dessert, there are plenty of options but there is no doubt that the winners of the night are Melomakarona and Kourampiedes! They are the traditional sweets of the Greek Christmas holidays! Kourabies is in form of cookies and is made out of flour, butter and almonds. It is also sprinkled with powdered sugar. Legend has it that goblins would come to pull pranks on the hosts and hostesses. You would find your kitchen a complete mess and you could trace their tiny feet on the powdered sugar!
When it comes to Melomakarona, the name originates from the word Makaria, which means the blessing, a word coming from ancient Greece! Later, when the Makaria cookies included honey (meli in Greek) syrup, they were renamed Melomakarona (honey + blessing). It is THE sweet of Christmas in Greece!
As for wine… Agiorgitiko is a seductive variety of vine, which caresses the senses, with elegance, freshness and intensity of aromas. A favorite Greek variety for all circumstances! You can’t go wrong with your Greek Christmas meal with it!
Merry Christmas and Merry Belly from Greece! Ho ho ho...
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