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Cooking With Ouzo

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Ouzo with ice and water

Ouzo with ice and water

Photo © Jim Stanfield

Ouzo, the national drink of Greece, is an anise flavored liqueur that packs a powerful punch behind a delightful licorice taste. Ouzo also brings a hint of that licorice taste, in a light and supporting role, to many recipes, adding a surprising freshness that enhances rather than overwhelms.

Ouzo has a strong taste and high alcohol content. Use it sparingly - by the teaspoon or tablespoon, not by the cup.

Suggested Uses for Ouzo

  • Use ouzo to flambé dishes with sautéd shrimp, prawns, or crawfish with vegetables.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons to marinades for grilled shellfish or meats.
  • Add a teaspoon to vinaigrette dressings.
  • Use ouzo to sauté onions for use in pitas, salads, or as a side dish with meats.
  • In recipes calling for fennel or fennelseed, try using ouzo instead.
  • Use ouzo in crust recipes to add light leavening and crispness.

Recipes Using Ouzo

Try these dishes that use ouzo as an ingredient:
  • Dakos me Ouzo
    Barley rusks with tomatoes and cheese, a delightful meze in the tradition of Crete

  • Kotopoulo me Lahanika
    Chicken and vegetables in a cream sauce can be served in small portions as a meze or as a main dish

  • Garithes me Lahanika
    Prawns and vegetables flambé make a theatrical presentation, either as a meze or a main dish

  • Makaronia me Thalassina
    Seafood pasta with shrimp and crawfish in a light tomato and herb sauce

  • Sfakianopites
    Cheese pies from Sfakia, Crete

  • Thiples
    Honey spirals made from delicate strips of fried pastry dough

Καλή Όρεξι!

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