I shop for food at the Prahran market not only because it’s convenient but because of people like Kathy Tsaples from the Sweet Greek. Kathy is the owner of shop no.702 in the Deli Arcade.
As well as stocking a selection of sought after Greek groceries, such as sheep’s milk yoghurt and intensely fragrant dried oregano, Sweet Greek is fully stocked with homemade savoury dishes such as moussaka and pastitsio as well as the best galatoboureko (custard filo) around. Kathy makes everything from scratch, even the pastry for her top selling spanokopita. Apart from being such an incredible cook, mother and inspiration, Kathy always greets me with a big hug and kiss and I just adore her.
Kathy’s food is so delicious it comes as no surprise that a book deal was secured and she has just published her first of many cookbooks Sweet Greek – Simple Food & Sumptious Feasts with Melbourne Books. The recipes are listed as banquet suggestions for various Greek celebrations throughout the year. There are no hidden secrets or tricks, it’s all there in this absolutely beautiful book. I haven’t stopped cooking from it and my kitchen has never smelt so inviting.
Here’s one of my favourite recipes from the book, a fantastic family winter warmer. Kathy, I hope I’ve done you proud! x
2 tbs olive oil
1 kg chicken thighs, diced (you can also substitute chicken with beef or lamb fillet)
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove crushed (optional)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1tbs tomato paste
1 heaped tsp dried oregano (optional)
500g kritharaki (orzo) pasta
1 cup kefalotiri, grated (hard sheep’s milk cheese)
4-5 cups chicken stock
freshly cracked pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frypan and brown the meat in batches.
Transfer the meat into a large ovenproof baking dish and keep warm. Add the onion and garlic to the frypan an saute until translucent. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and oregano and stir.
Tip the meat back into the frypan and add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 180C. Pour the meat with all the liquid into the baking dish, add a little more liquid if necessary and bake for a further 30-45 minutes or until the meat is tender.
Sprinkle the orzo into the baking dish and stir. Season generously with salt and pepper and bake covered in foil for 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
Take out of the oven, sprinkle with kefalotiri cheese and serve hot.