“Back To My Roots” cook book has a permanent spot on my kitchen bench. It is my go to cook book because it has classic Greek recipes that are easy to follow. I have made so many meals from this cook book, my husband is loving all the food I’ve been making!
“Back To My Roots” is written by Krystina Kalapothakos from California, USA. Krystina is an author, chef and blogger of Kouzounas Kitchen. I have been following Krystina’s blog Kouzounas Kitchen for a few years. So when I saw that she had released a cook book, I had to purchase it from online.
[photo credit: Kouzounas Kitchen]
The traditional Greek recipes in “Back To My Roots” are inspired by Krystina’s grandparents village Mani, Greece. I think the reason why I love this cook book so much, is not only are the recipes delicious and easy to make, but as a reader you can feel the book has been made with a lot of heart and soul by Krystina. The cook book is filled with her family photos and her family background. You get to know who Krystina is and her special connection with her yiayia. Which is something I relate to, as I also have a strong connection with my yiayia.
Recently my mother in law and I cooked a feast for our Sunday family dinner. We used recipes from “Back To My Roots”. We made Mini Phyllo Cheese Bites, Baked Shrimp and Feta, Moussaka and Loukoumades. All the recipes were so full of flavour, easy to follow and didn’t take long to make either.
Mini Phyllo Cheese Bites were quickly eaten. I had to salvage what I could to take these photos! We all loved the combination of the creamy cheese filling with dill.
Baked Shrimp and Feta was eaten with bread that we dipped in the salsa.
Moussaka was the highlight of our dinner. We had never used cinnamon in a moussaka before and we all really loved the subtle sweetness it gave to the dish. I will definitely be making moussaka following Krystina’s recipe again.
Loukoumades (Greek doughnuts) was served with tea and coffee. It was the first time I made Loukoumades and the recipe was easy. However the technique I need to practice is how to make the doughnuts into a ball. As the shapes I was frying up were not circular!
Lastly a MUST try recipe from the cook book is a traditional Greek soup Youvarlakia with Turkey Meat (recipe is stated below). I had never made this soup before because my yiayia always makes it. However I tried Krystina’s recipe and it tasted very similar, if not the same as my yiayias recipe! The whole family loves this soup and I do recommend you to try it also. To me it doesn’t look appetising but it sure does taste delicious. Simply it is Turkey meat balls in a lemony soup broth. Trust me, it’s amazing!
I purchased my copy of “Back To My Roots” from Amazon.com. However Krystina has also released an e-book version. Which is great for international customers like me. An e-book is super affordable and you can print the whole book or just the recipes you want to make that day.
Below are the links I use to follow Krystina’s blog Kouzounas Kitchen. I love following Kouzounas Kitchen, Krystina is always sharing modern and traditional recipes that she has made. Kouzounas Kitchen can also be found on YouTube and Twitter.
Youvarlakia with Turkey Meat recipe from “Back To My Roots”
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup all purpose flour
1 pinch fresh oregano
1 pinch cumin
1 large egg
1 TB fresh anise, finely chopped
2 TB fresh dill, finely chopped
2 TB fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup rice (uncooked)
1lb (500gr) ground turkey
4 lemons (juice)
3 large eggs
1. In a large bowl, combine: meat, rice, onion, garlic, cumin, dill, anise, parsley, salt, pepper and egg.
2. Place flour on a plate, form meatballs in your hand and gently roll into the flour.
3. Place the meatballs in a large pot and pour the chicken broth over them.
4. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. In the meantime prepare the avgolemono.
5. In a large bowl add the eggs and whisk until nice and frothy. Add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
6. The meatballs should be ready by now, so prepare to combine the avgolemono with the meatballs.
7. Take two half cups of hot broth and quickly whisk the broth into the avgolemono sauce. Be sure to do this quickly as the eggs can curdle if you don’t. Add the avgolemono mixture to the meatballs and mix to combine.