Mykonos Chora and Onion pie, with Panayiotis Menardos from M-eating

What is the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Mykonos? Windmills! Along with whitewashed houses, tiny mazelike alleyways and of course, partying! I had many a stroll downtown both during the day and night. I am amazed of how easy it is to lose your way, yet it will never frustrate me. There are some great nukes and corners to discover whilst strolling around. One of my favourites places, M-eating, it’s all about modern Greek fusion cuisine.  Read on – there is a traditional Mykonian Onion pie at the end.

Head straight to the recipe.

In one of my strolls, I met Panayiotis Menardos chef and owner of M-Eating. I couldn’t have come across a better person to initiate me to Mykonian cuisine. Chef Menardos is a born and bred Mykonian, he trained as a chef in Athens and with the exception of his training he has hardly left the island. Who could blame him?  The charms of Mykonos are hard to resist, from beaches to great food including some of the best restaurants. Menardos practised his culinary skills and extended his technique at high-end resorts in Mykonos. It wasn’t long or unexpected that his own restaurant, M-eating was born, right at the heart of Mykonos Chora, a stone throw’s away from the most well trodden alley, Matoyiannia. Many comment highly on the service, which is only fair, but what’s best in M-eating are the true and trusted Mediterranean flavours. There are some homely Mykonian dishes in disguise, with the onion pie being one of the best. Great local cheeses make their way into the menu and so is fresh fish and flavoursome lamb. An Aegean menu through and through.

M-eating is about traditional Greek and Mediterranean flavours taken to the next level. You can find a great Mykonian Sun; a 5 min egg served on fresh tomato sauce with smoked lamb and freshly fried bread with “tirovolia” cheese mousse, a mild traditional fresh Mykonian cheese. This summery dish that couldn’t have had a better name, inspired by the humble ‘strapatsada’, the Mykonian Sun takes taste and texture to the next level. Of course octopus and calamari could not have been missing from such an Aegean menu. If you are into fish and sea-food try Sea bass filet with Greek savory scented lemon-oil sauce. If you are more into meat dishes, try the excellent lamb sous-vide with zucchini puree, a reminder of Mytilene’s sfouggato.

My discussion with Menardos obviously revolved around Mykonian dishes and island flavours. Cycladic cuisine, like most of the Greek cuisine has its backbone on simplicity of ingredients and flavours that are enhanced by extremely good quality produce. Mykonos is not one of the islands you can find local olive oil or abundant vegetable crops. The few olive trees, used to produce olive for domestic use. The vegetable patches, similarly are few and precious giving extremely good local products.

What else should you seek out for a true Mykonian taste? Definitely louza, the thinly sliced cured pork fillet that is a great mezze on its own. Refreshingly spicy mostra, a huge barley rusk with a handsome layer of creamy and spicy kopanisti, thinly chopped tomatoes and peppers to be enjoyed as a sharer. Mykonian pork sausages packed with savoury, pepper and oregano and grilled to perfection. And when it comes to Mykonian homely cooking, there is nothing more tasty or comforting than the onion pie. A mix of fresh and dry onions mixed with fresh Mykonian cheese tirovolia, the cream cheese of Mykonos.

Traditional Mykonian Onion Pie

Ingredients

·         4 pie crusts (small)
·         150 gr. tirovolia (local cheese)
·         30 gr. onion
·         1 egg
·         Dill
·         1 pinch of salt, pepper
·         Olive oil
·         1 ply of green onion (for tying)

How to make it

  • Butter your pie crusts (20cm x 20 cm) and put them crosswise.
  • Then prepare the filling.
  • Put the cheese, onion, dill, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl.
  • Mix well enough, so that the ingredients share evenly in the mixture.
  • After that, put two big spoonfuls of the filling in the centre of the crusts.
  • Close the crusts as pouches and tie them with the ply of the green onion.
  • Pour olive oil and bake at 180 degree Celsius for 15 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this pie. If you plan to visit Mykonos and M-eating during July or August, do drop them a line for a reservation as it gets really, really busy.

And don’t forget to get dessert, try melopita, the traditional honey pie!

From Mykonos with love,

Eugenia

PS: Huge thanks to Panayiotis Menardos for the hospitality and the great recipe.

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4 thoughts on “Mykonos Chora and Onion pie, with Panayiotis Menardos from M-eating

  1. kritsayvonne says:

    This sounds tasty. I think I’ll try it as a starter when I have guests for a summer meal. From the photo I’m guessing pie crust to you is filo pastry sheets to those of us in the UK. X

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