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Cooking with Maria

September 22, 2022

Maria is the head of a small restaurant empire here and in Heraklion, and we repaired to a terrace connected to her small kitchen for our first lesson: everything stuffed, from eggplant to zucchini, to tomatoes, to peppers, all locally sourced. Crete has an amazing bounty of produce, fish and meat, particularly lamb, so they don’t import much. I think I forgot to mention that Sharon and I are Maria’s only students this week, which makes us feel part of her family.

After hollowing out the vegetables, we grated all the pulp into a bowl and added short-grained rice, parsley and seasonings, then stuffed each one. With the leftover filling we stuffed grape leaves for dolmas, then covered the baking pan with grape leaves and put into the oven.

Then it was time to make phyllo from scratch, some to fill with spinach, others with sweetened cheese.

It was so pleasant to cook with lovely views of the sea and cool breezes wafting in. Also fun to view the restaurant from backstage.

This evening another fine dinner at the restaurant, including a salad of red and green cabbage, carrots, olives and yoghurt dressing I dubbed Cretan cole slaw. The sweet and sour chicken reminded us of a dish from a good Chinese restaurant, and the beef with lemon and mashed potatoes was a Cretan riff on pot roast.

  1. I’m not much for cooking but, under these circumstances, I could learn to love it! Also, I love the eating part.

  2. John permalink

    Love the bathroom sign behind Maria.

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