Traditional Kalitsounia of Chania, Crete

Traditional Kalitsounia of Chania, Crete
In the traditional agricultural and urban Cuisine of Crete, the products that the rural populations, for centuries now, produce and consume on their own until communications changed, so that they can find them elsewhere inside or outside of Greece, played a leading role.
Some of these products had their place of honor on the big, important festive days of Christmas, Easter, August fifteenth… Then the housewives made the famous Kalitsounia in large quantities for family but also to friends, neighbors and visitors.
Today's Kalitsounia have their roots of Chania, whose inhabitants, due to the soil morphology of the place, had the main occupation of grazing sheep. As a result, dairy farming was a parallel profession, so that they could make use of the milk they had in the mountainous area of Psiloritis.
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Traditional Kalitsounia of Chania, Crete
Traditional Kalitsounia of Chania, Crete

Announcement New Book Release

With great pleasure we inform you that issued the New Book of Kitchen Stories titled «Μεζέδες». It includes a collection of 45 savory recipes for easy and practical everyday food solutions but also quick finger foods for festive table or buffet.
Excerpt from the introduction: «I often wonder what the culmination of cooking is. Are they the freshest ingredients, the most complex flavors are the everyday or the rare? They are nothing. Highschooling is neither eating nor cooking, but offering food and companionship…»

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Ingredients (~28 Kalitsounia-Cheese Pies)

  • 400g (14.1 oz) flour for all purposes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 50g (1.8oz) olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp raki or white vinegar
  • 120g (4.2oz) lukewarm milk or water
  • 550g (1.1 lbs) fresh mizithra
  • 120g (4.2oz) tyromalama or mozzarella, grated on a coarse grater
  • flour to open the dough sheet
  • oil for frying
In a medium bowl, sift the flour together with the salt and sugar. Open a puddle in the flour and add the olive oil, raki and lukewarm milk.
Stir with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients. When it starts to form somewhat into a ball, knead by hand. If necessary, add a spoonful of milk, it depends on the dryness of the flour. We need a tight dough that we will pass to the dough machine. Cover with a towel and set aside for a while until the filling is ready.
In a bowl, crush the mizithra with a fork and combine the two cheeses, mixing well.
In a bowl, crumble, cut the dough ball in two and start to pass one half of the dough machine gradually until you reach the penultimate ladder of the machine. The whole process in this article . With a 12 cm diameter cup, cut dough dough trays, which we gather at one end, sprinkled with a little flour and covered with a towel, so that they do not dry out..
Take each dough tray and put in the center a spoon, not too full, of the cheese mixture. Wet our finger with a little water and pass it around the perimeter of the tray. Close in crescents, pressing the special accessory or with a fork to close well.
We collect the finished kalitsounia / cheese pies on a non-stick surface.
We always cover the kalitsounia with a towel.
Continue the process until all the dough and their filling is finished.
In a pan and over medium to low heat, pour oil of your choice (not too much, just enough to cover the edges) and fry the kalitsounia on both sides for a few seconds and a few. You need to be careful when frying because the dough is thin and fried lightning fast. We take them out on absorbent kitchen paper.
Traditional Kalitsounia of Chania, Crete
Traditional Kalitsounia of Chania, Crete
Traditional Kalitsounia of Chania, Crete
Traditional Kalitsounia of Chania, Crete

Author Zambia G. Sifaki