Τυροκαυτερή (Tyrokafteri), from the words tyros = cheese + kafteri = hot, in some places also called ktypiti or kopanisti is a dip or a spread with cheese and 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 flavor.
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. The dip was delicious.
TYROKAFTERI (MY VERSION)
Preparation and roasting time: 20 minutes
- 150 grams of feta
- 150 grams of xynomyzithra
- 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 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).
To begin with you must first roast the peppers. See how to roast them here.
I had both red and green peppers and originally I intended to use both but I decided to use the red ones in another recipe.
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.