The I Heart Cooking Club changes chefs every six months, alternating between women/men chefs. This week marked the change-over from Jamie Oliver to Tessa Kiros. Once I heard that Tessa was in the mix for the new lineup, I hopped over to cast my vote for her and she won, so I'm definitely in for this rotation of IHCC from now through the end of March.
Tessa, who? Tessa Kiros. I had heard of her before as we are fond of Greek cuisine around here, so I had made two recipes online by her but had never received one of her cookbooks and didn't know much about her. Until now. If you follow this link here, you can read about Tessa and see the lineup for this month of themes at IHCC.
Themes? Yes, IHCC chooses a theme each week and the participants may cook/bake any recipe they wish from Tessa Kiros' books or online, etc., posting at will sometime during the week before Sunday when the new theme goes into play (themes for the entire month are listed on the right sidebar). Once you post, you simply leave your link at the site and readers are able to click on other participants to see recipes chosen by them. I like the freedom of this style of recipe selection/posting/linking very much.
Tessa is not as well-known as other cookbook authors, but she has an amazing array of recipes and cooking experiences from her travels. I am looking forward to trying her Italian, Portuguese, Finnish, South African recipes, etc. as well. I am hoping this exposure will add a little more presence for her on the internet, so I am doing something I rarely do, I'm going to post recipes from the books, hoping that this will generate interest in this author, who has gorgeous books, and leads to more sales for her.
I thought long and hard about this as I do not post recipes that belong to others without permission and I wasn't certain how I was going to get permission each week to post Tessa's recipes. That said, when I looked for contact information for the publisher, I found this note in the book Food From Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros: "This edition published in 2011 by Andrew McMeel Publishing, LLC, all rights reserved. Printed in China. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of reprints in the context of reviews." So, please know that these posts are all "reviews" of Tessa's recipes and are being shared so that interest might be generated for her work and recipes in hopes that others will purchase her books for their enjoyment and use. Now, that makes me happy.
The first theme is "Welcome Tessa" and suggestions were to choose a recipe that says "a 'welcome' to you." Actually, all of them seemed welcoming to me, I love Greek food, but I finally decided to settle on something that would be a nice welcome to someone stopping by the house for a visit, something easy, quick, delicious, and fun.
I chose Feta Fournou (Baked Feta), on page 148 of her book Food From Many Greek Kitchens. It seemed a nice thing to make and snack on. I served it warm with pita bread cut into wedges. Delicious, filling, and fairly healthy as well. The ingredients are ones that I always usually have on hand, so if someone pops by unexpectedly, I'm thinking that this is a go-to on that and taste alone. (If you have any leftovers, it works great as a topping for lettuce salad, just plop it on top of lettuce and you are good to go.)
Serves 2 or 4 as part of a Meze
7 ounces of crumbled Feta
1-1/2 ounces of green sweet pepper, finely sliced (about 1 small)
1/2 small tomato, chopped
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 good pinches of dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Divide the feta between two small ceramic dishes.
Scatter the green pepper over the top and then the chopped tomato over the pepper.
Drizzle on the olive oil, crumble the oregano in, and top with a good grind of black pepper.
Bake until a bit crusty on the sides, about 20 minutes.
Note: This is nice made in small individual ceramic dishes. Serve hot with bread.