I will of course keep the ticket open. No worries. And thank you so much for the kind words!
So, food. I'll go off a tangent here :D I love cooking and I love spicy food. You're asking the right person about Greek cuisine.
Traditional meat dishes from the mainland are mostly grilled meat and sausages. A trip to Kroger's or Whole Foods would probably find you some Greek rustic / village-style sausage or a close approximation. Great for grilling (whole, don't puncture it) and consuming without any sauce. Sounds barbaric but the trick is that the sausage meat itself is flavored with herbs which typically include leek or onion. The other way to consume sausage is spetzofai, combining the mouth watering sausage with thick red sauce and peppers. It's perfect for cold winter days.
The other signature dish is lamp chops, marinated and cooked well done. This also sounds weird, who eats their meat well done anyway, but the end result is superb. The only drawback is that you have to come all the way to Marathon, Greece to taste them.
When it comes to dishes brought by the Asia Minor Greek refugees in the 1920s (that's one side of my family) I have two suggestions. If you're into Crock Pot cooking I'd strongly recommend moshari kokkinisto (beef in red sauce). Cinnamon in a stew sounds weird -- my wife's American and she shared that trepidation -- but it's the surprise ingredient which ties the dish together. Trust me! The other dish that has proven to be immensely popular with all my non-Greek friends is soutzoukakia (Greek meatballs). Do it with the red sauce and serve over hot rice. You can add red hot chile to the sauce to kick it up a notch.
The third group of Greek meat dishes are the ones inspired by French and Italian cuisine, made up in the 1920s. You've probably heard of pastitsio and moussaka. The former is usually described as "Greek lasagna" and there's a lot of good-hearted jesting between Greek Americans and Italian Americans about which dish is the best. The latter is a combination of traditional Greek meat pies with French cooking, basically substituting pie dough for béchamel sauce. Both are amazing dishes for the winter.
I think by now you have a nice small cookbook of Greek recipes which are perfect for chilly winter days :)
Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos
Lead Developer and Director
🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!