Peináo: A Greek Feast for All: Recipes to Feed Hungry Guests

Image of Peináo: A Greek Feast for All: Recipes to Feed Hungry Guests
Release Date: 
October 31, 2023
Smith Street Books
Reviewed by: 

“Peináo means ‘I’m hungry’ in Greek,” write Helena Moursellas and Vikki Moursellas, identical twins from Adelaide, South Australia, whose culinary passion goes back to the when their godmother spent time with them in the kitchen teaching the sisters how to cook. “How many times have you said this out loud? It is an absolute joy for us to hear people say, and we feel like heroes when we are there to save someone from becoming hungry.”

Noting that their table is always filled with friends and family and whoever else decides to come to dinner, their belief—and the basis for this beautifully illustrated cookbook with more than 80 recipes—is that hosting a lunch or dinner should never be stressful but instead should involve dancing in fluffy slippers while stirring a pot of Bolognese and singing out loud. Peináo: A Greek Feast for All: Recipes to Feed Hungry Guests is the second cookbook for the two, who were finalists on My Kitchen Rules, an Australian TV show and have been working in the food industry in Sydney for the last decade. They are also freelance food photographers, recipe developers, and content creators for brands such as WUSTHOF and Olea Olive Oil.

The book’s recipes, contemporary takes on traditional Greek cookery, are divided into chapters, such as Proi or breakfast dishes like Cinnamon Crepes with Honey-Butter Peaches and Bougatsa (Crispy Filo Custard Pie); Mezedes or Mezze (appetizers) like Haloumi with Honey Roasted Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic; and Fennel Tzatziki, a rich dip made with Greek-style yogurt, mint, olive oil, and dill; and Megala Piata or Big Plates with such recipes as Moussaka, Two Ways and Faolakia with Tomato and Artichokes (Greek Green Beans).

Their recipes summon up images of sun-drenched days and warm nights enjoying all the richness that great food and company brings to our lives. Enhancing this imagery are the recollections and commentary the sisters bring to each dish.

“This recipe is three generations old—it belongs to our great grandmother Vaso,” the two write about Citrus Revani, a semolina cake topped with thin slices of blood red oranges. “Traditionally, the recipe is not baked with citrus slices on top, but we have added our touch to make it a little more modern. We’ve used blood oranges, but orange and lemon also work nicely.”