The Authentic Greek Spicy Feta Cheese Dip - Tirokafteri
Greeks love cheese. Simple as that. And by “cheese” in Greece, we only mean feta cheese. Its taste cannot be compared to any other cheese in the world. Unique. A white cheese, made by half goat half sheep milk and a strong, distinctive, mouth-fulling flavour.
There is no way you will find a Greek that says cheese and considers any other type of cheese apart from feta. Come to think of it, I believe that feta is the exact reason that we Greeks consume the most cheese per person in the world.
Or it could be just me being totally addicted to it… I don’t know…
The Greek cuisine has plenty of recipes that contain feta and one of my favourites is the Authentic Greek Spicy Feta Cheese Dip or Tirokafteri!
“Tirokafteri”, means “spicy cheese” and it’s the perfect appetizer that will elevate every dish, without overpowering it.
Let’s get to the recipe!
You will find several variations of how to make the Tirokafteri. Here, in Greece, most of them consist of feta cheese and yogurt. My grandma, though, makes Tirokafteri somewhat different; she uses feta cheese and Anthotyros, which is a fresh, traditional cheese, creamy and sweet, with no salt. See, if you use yogurt, you will get a smoother dip, but yogurt will just take its waters out and the dip is going to be kind of watery.
Let’s just say that grandma…knows better!
INGREDIENTS -- for 7-8 servings
8 ounces Greek Feta Cheese
6 ounces Greek Fresh Antrotyros cheese (or Greek Fresh Mizithra cheese or ricotta) – just make sure you get fresh and not dry cheese.
2-3 tbsp Kardamas Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 Chilli peppers. Here you can play as you like. You can either use jar store-bought roasted red peppers or bake your own. The peppers can be red or green. You may even add some sweet peppers too. It’s all up to you and your palate, so feel free to experiment!
1 tsp dried red chilli pepper flakes (Greek Boukovo)
In the food processor combine the Kardamas extra virgin olive oil, the peppers and the boukovo first and give it a good spin until minced.
Crumble the feta and the fresh anthotyros and add them to the mixture. Process until you have a smooth – yet, somewhat, grainy - paste.
The quantities are indicative, so if you want a sweeter, smokier dip, keep adding sweet, red, roasted peppers. If you want your dip spicier, add more chilli peppers or boukovo. If you think your dip is tangy or salty, you can add more fresh anthotyros.
You can serve it immediately or let it sit in the fridge for about an hour, before serving. Just like the tzatziki sauce, your Tirokafteri, should taste better the next day.
Sprinkle with some smoked paprika, chopped peppers, dried chilli flakes, oregano, chopped chives, Kardamas Extra Virgin Olive Oil, parsley or your favourite garnishes.
Ready To Serve!
The Authentic Greek Spicy Feta Cheese Dip is a tasty addition to ANY dish! Grilled meat, veggies, burgers, fries, pitas, an authentic Greek Salad or even spread on some fresh baked, crusty baguette slices.
How about a delicious sandwich with leftover meat and a thick smear of Authentic Greek Spicy Feta Cheese Dip?
Just writing about it, made me hungry…!
Some Greek knowledge: The Authentic Greek Feta Cheese is made with goat and sheep milk, which are both easy to digest, allowing people with allergies against cow milk to enjoy it safely.