"On the Greek island of Kalymnos, fishermen make a stew with shellfish, whole fish, lemon, onion and water," says Andrew Zimmern. "They eat it straight from the pot with their hands—no bowls. It tastes of sweat and iodine, but it is easily one of the best soups I've ever had. I make my version with halibut, throwing in mussels at the end."
This is Michael Psilakis's modern take on the traditional Greek combination of watermelon and feta cheese. It features the creamy yogurt he grew up eating in New York's Long Island: "My mom made it at home all the time, and we'd snack on it with honey after school."
"We had a boat when I was a kid, so fishing was a part of my youth," Michael Psilakis says. Here, he mixes ladolemono (lemon juice and olive oil) with mustard and yogurt to create a tangy, creamy sauce for succulent roasted fish and vegetables.
Michael Psilakis uses a grilled, sliced scallop as the "bread" in his playful version of a finger sandwich, filled with plums, prosciutto and pea tendrils and topped with Greek yogurt. He says, "It's English high tea meets crazy Greek chef."
To jazz up arugula salad and give it a slightly Greek twist, Michael Symon tosses it with chopped fresh dill, briny Greek feta cheese and kalamata olives. He finishes the salad with extra-virgin Greek olive oil, which he says has a pure flavor and is generally more affordable than olive oil from Italy.
Michael Psilakis feels strongly about using dried Greek oregano to make this vinegary, feta-packed salad. Greek oregano, he claims, has a lovely floral fragrance that ordinary dried oregano doesn't. Look for it at specialty food markets.
This is a play on a Greek dish called spanakorizo that's popular during Lent because it's made without egg, cheese or meat. Michael Psilakis updates it with zucchini, arugula and peas. To make the dish richer (if less Lent-appropriate), he recommends topping the risotto with sharp goat cheese or grated Parmesan.
For Michael Psilakis, macaronia ("pasta") has always meant chicken stewed with spaghetti, tomatoes, cinnamon, raisins and pine nuts. Those are the dominant ingredients here, except he's substituted chicken with cauliflower.