Feta Cheese Dip (Tirokafteri)
Posted in 40 minutes or less, Appetizer & Meze, Barbecue Recipes, Beginner, Mainland Greece, Our hand picked recipes, Side dishes, Traditional Greek dips, Traditional Greek Feta Cheese Recipes, Traditional Greek Taverna Recipes, Vegetarian Originally published on October 28, 2013 Last updated on March 26, 2017 By Eli K. Giannopoulos
Spice things up with this simple and extra tasty Greek feta cheese dip! A very rustic, ethic Greek dish, great for every occasion. Tirokafteri is a cheese spread that is commonly eaten as part of a meze platter, or by itself, with warm crusted bread or pita bread. It can also be used as a substitute for a sauce for grilled meats, or as a dip for vegetables or even as a party snack. Prepare it for your friends as a great starter over a glass of white wine and dig into it! Best part? Its ready in only 10 minutes!
Spicy Cheese dip – Tirokafterh: How to achieve the perfect consistency?
Feta cheese can be very hard, especially if it is matured. However you want your dip to be silky smooth so you can dig in with a piece of crusty bread without too much effort! To achieve that creamy consistency you need to use some milk when mixing the feta and spices. Pour in a bit of milk at a time while mixing and notice the change in texture! Keep pouring a little at a time until the mix is nice and smooth. Don’t forget, when the dip is refrigerated it will harden up a bit so aim to go a bit smoother than you’d like it to be when serving. The milk will make it smooth but it will still have that characteristic feta cheese texture. If you want it to become completely silky smooth substitute the milk with a few tablespoons of yoghurt. The yogurt’s texture will break down the feta cheese and turn it to a deliciously smooth dip. One last thing to remember is after cooling it down in the fridge the feta cheese will drip out some of its salty water, forming a layer of liquid around the dip. Don’t worry, its absolutely normal! Just drain it out, give it a quick mix with a spoon, garnish with the chillies and olives and serve!
Spicy Cheese dip – Tirokafterh: Its all in the spice!
Just remember that milk and yogurt neutralise the spice in the chillies. If you like your dip spicy, add a few more chillies. Depending on how hot they are its not uncommon to have to add up to 4-5 of them, including the seeds, to get the required spice. A pinch of cayenne pepper will help and also add a nice reddish colour to your dip, warning your guests about its potency!
Finally serve it with plenty of crusty bread as part of a meze platter. I’ve always loved eating this spicy feta cheese dip with some chips and traditional greek meatballs! They are a match made in heaven!
Got a comment or suggestion? Drop us a note in the comments section below. And as always, don’t forget to share with your friends and family!
- 300g feta cheese (3.5 ounces)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red vine vinegar
- 150ml full fat milk
- 2 red chillies (or more according to preference)
- To prepare this amazing feta cheese dip (tyrokafterh), remove the stem and seeds from the pepper, and chop it finely. (If you have some extra time, roast or slightly fry the pepper before chopping)
- Cut the feta cheese into cubes and place in a bowl, add the chopped pepper and begin mixing in a blender or stand mixer (food processor). Gradually add the vinegar and olive oil, whilst mixing at medium speed.
- Pour in the milk until the feta cheese dip has a silky smooth, creamy consistency. Pour in a little at a time and mix until the cheese dip is smooth.
- If you prefer the dip to be a bit more spicy you can add a couple of teaspoons of cayenne pepper to taste. The milk and cheese require quite a lot of chillies to turn spicy as the milk neutralises the spiciness in the chillies so don’t be afraid to add more if you want to.
- Alternatively if you prefer your dip to be creamy and mild don’t add any chillies. If you want the sauce to be even creamier try adding a few tablespoons of yoghurt. This will make it even smoother than the milk!
- Pour the feta cheese dip (tyrokafteri) in a medium bowl and garnish with some chopped chillies and a couple of olives
- Store the feta cheese dip covered in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.