“Tyrokafteri”, pronounced ti-rho-ka-fte-RHI, from the Greek words “tyros” = cheese + “kaftero” = hot, in some places also called “ktypiti” or “kopanisti”, is a dip or a spread with cheese and red hot chili peppers. “Kopanisti”, takes its name from the cheese produced in the Cyclades and the Aegean, which is a type of soft cheese with a peppery, spicy
“Kopanisti”, takes its name from the cheese produced in the Cyclades and the Aegean, which is a type of soft cheese with a peppery, spicy flavor. However, it can also be made with any kind of feta or other soft cheese.
This dip or a spread is made with a soft, creamy cheese with a peppery, spicy flavor which is called kopanisti and is produced in Mykonos and in other Cycladic islands. The other ingredient which makes it hot is the roasted hot chili peppers added to the spread.
It is more usual to find it under the name tyrokafteri in most Greek tavernas and is ideal during winter to go with wine, ouzo or raki.
I have mentioned in a previous post, when I wrote about Kokoras Krassatos, that our friends from Crete sent us a lot of xynomyzithra. They live in a village and have their own sheep as well as other other livestock and they make the cheese themselves. They sent me too much, four large blocks, each one must be more than one kilo.
I have stored them in the deep freezer and last year when they sent me some again, they lasted nearly a year.
Last week I thawed a big piece and made puff pastry tyropita but I still had some left, so I decided to make some tyrokafteri.
My husband went to buy the groceries but unfortunately he did not find hot chili peppers, so instead he brought two red and two green peppers. However, I had this crave for tyrokafteri so I decided to make some even if I didn’t have the hot chili peppers. During my trip to France I bought Harissa so I decided to give it the hot touch with harissa.
I added the red and green peppers, feta, xynomyzithra, yoghurt and harissa in a food processor and pureed them for a few minutes until they became a nice spread.
The spread was perfect, hot but so addictive we could not stop eating it. The leftover was even better the following day as a spread on some crackers.
Tyrokafteri, my way
Preparation and roasting time: 20 minutes
- 150 grams of feta
- 150 grams of xynomyzithra (or feta)
- 1- 2 tablespoons of Greek Yoghurt or olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of Harissa
- 1 green and 1 red peppers, roasted
- (1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice*)
(Note*: I preferred not to add vinegar or lemon juice, as xynomyzithra has a slight sour taste and instead of Greek yoghurt you may add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Finally, xynomyzithra may be substituted by anthotyro (similar to ricotta) or make the spread only with feta. If you use green hot bull’s horn peppers substitute the red and green pepper with 2 roasted hot peppers. In this case harissa would not be necessary).
Start by roasting the peppers. See how to roast them here.
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until you have a creamy consistency.
Kopiaste and kali orexi!