You may be saying ‘Tiro, what?”. Say it a few more times, then about 5 minutes later you may be saying “Tiro, what?” again. Tirokafteri is a versatile Greek cheese spread that is not only addicting, but super easy to make. It’s slightly creamy, slightly punchy with a bit of garlic, and slightly spicy and gosh darn it really out of this world. I’m not sure where I read about this cheese spread but what caught my attention was the simplicity (plus I had some feta cheese to use up).
It almost reminds me of a great pimento cheese but possibly better (that’s up for debate). So when I was reflecting on some fun appetizers that I have made in years past, especially around the holidays, this one struck a bell. A few of my favorite holiday appetizers that I loved to throw together and watch people get excited on were things like this ham and cheese ball, or better yet this bacon cheese ball (something I had to make two days straight because it was so good), but I think this Tirokafteri has just made that list as well.
Let’s get started.
- 5 oz feta cheese (mine was in block form)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, skin and seeds removed
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- pinch of salt
- pinch of black pepper
Please note that if you do not roast your bell pepper until nicely dark and charred, that you can go ahead and use the jarred roasted bell peppers. I roasted mine in the oven at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes. Whichever route you take, it should not take much away from the target spread.
The process could not be any easier. Add everything to a food processor, and pulse until you have a fine chunky (you can blend until smooth if you desire) consistency.
Remove to a serving bowl and serve with crudités, bread, olives, etc.
The flavor of this Greek cheese spread, again, is out of this world, at least in my opinion. Actually my wife’s opinion matters as well, and we were both on the same page. This was a winner. A winner so much I decided to spread it on a grilled cheese. Whoa. Talk about richness. A bit too rich for my liking with the sandwich but that opened up so many other possibilities. Tirokafteri. Keep repeating it.