MasterChef 2019 winner and Crete-born Greek food ambassador, Irini Tzortzoglou has partnered with chef-led recipe box company The Cookaway, offering first-of-its-kind access to her Mediterranean dishes while allowing UK food fans to experience new tastes and explore Greek culture from home. In addition to recipe boxes, The Cookaway will also host live, virtual cook-along experiences with Irini Tzortzoglou, preparing a collection of Greek dishes such as prawn or aubergine kritharoto, lamb kleftiko, chicken pastitsada, pork or chicken souvlaki, a Greek meze pick and mix platter, and a spinach, feta and chicken pasta cake.
Available to pre-order nationwide from 15th March and delivered from 2nd April 2022, the recipe boxes feature a range of dishes to be made with high quality Greek ingredients and delicacies, such as Odysea’s specialist cheeses, oils and vinegars, and tomato products from Kyknos, a Greek household name.
On her collaboration with The Cookaway, chef Irini Tzortzoglou says: “The Cookaway has given me the amazing opportunity to do the thing I love most, inspire and excite food lovers – helping them explore the strong flavours and beautifully fresh ingredients that are the hallmark of traditional Greek cuisine”.
“My menus have been created to showcase Greek dishes in the way they are cooked and enjoyed by Greek families in their daily lives, with my own unique touches to help deliver a little bit of Grecian sunshine in every delicious mouthful”.
On this spinach, feta and chicken pasta cake recipe, she adds: “A combination of flavours and ingredients that work well together, creating a dish that can be presented in a striking and fun way. To get the perfect slice to your cake, allow to cool once assembled then finish in the oven and cut once the dish has cooled for a few minutes.”
The Cookaway’s Greek recipe boxes will be available to order nationwide via thecookaway.com from 15th March 2022, with 2nd April being the first delivery date. Greek recipe box prices start from £30 for two or £42 for four people. Free weekday and 48 hour delivery options are available.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 450 g spinach leaves
- 100 g feta cheese crumbled
- 1 mozzarella ball roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 medium size onion finely chopped
- 5 spring onions finely sliced
- 3 celery sticks finely sliced
- 300 g pasta ribbons
- 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
For the bechamel
- 50 g unsalted butter plus a little extra to grease the cake tin
- 50 g plain flour
- 50 g parmesan cheese grated plus extra for sprinkling
- A pinch of nutmeg
- To cook the spinach, bring a large pan with half the olive oil to a high heat and add the chopped onion and celery. Stir to coat with the olive oil, lower the heat and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and the spring onions and cook a couple more minutes. Last, add the spinach leaves, toss to mix everything, cover the pan again and cook until the spinach is wilted. Uncover the pan, increase the heat and let all liquid evaporate. Leave the spinach mix to cool and add the feta, chopped mozzarella and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Slice the chicken breasts and cut in bite size chunks. Bring a frying pan to a high heat and add most of the olive oil, reserving 1 tbsp of it. Fry the chicken quickly to caramelise and season. Leave to the side to cool.
- For the bechamel, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir to cook the flour off for a few minutes, add the milk and continue cooking until thickened. Add the grated parmesan and nutmeg and leave to cool. Take a couple of tbsp of bechamel and add it to the chicken. Place some plastic wrap over the surface of the rest so it does not form a skin until you use it.
- Bring a large pan with water and a good pinch of salt to the boil and cook the pasta ribbons for a few minutes according to the packet instructions. Drain and add the reserved tbsp of oil, mixing it all up so that it does not stick.
- Grease a cake tin and lay the cool pasta strips overlaying them and overhanging them. Spoon a layer of the spinach mix onto the pasta. Top with the chicken and finish with the remaining spinach. Turn in the overhanging ribbons of pasta so as to cover the spinach completely using any extra ribbons to achieve that. Top with a plate and place a weight over it. Leave the dish to cool.
- To finish cooking, preheat the oven to 200/180C fan/Gas 6.
- Turn over the dish onto a baking sheet but put a ring around it to protect its shape. Cover the top with the bechamel, sprinkle with extra parmesan, and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden. Serve with some rocket leaf salad.
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