Mary Politis

Growing up observing her Mum and Grandmother cooking together at home, Mary took on the role of cooking for the family from as young as 12 years old. It brought her sheer delight to start cooking the family recipes that had been taught to her. Now through her popular Instagram account Mary’s Kouzina, she lets everyone reconnect with their Greek heritage through the authentic recipes she posts online.

“Now as a mother, I feel a strong urge to preserve traditional Greek cooking and teach my daughter to love and continue to cook Greek the way the women in my life and I do.”

Mary’s dishes bring such warmth and nostalgia as you bite into them. Simple, fresh and beautiful ingredients cooked with care and much love.

“Soutzoukakia with baked potatoes was one of my favourite dishes to make for my family, and it still is. I enjoy the fragrant aroma the spices give the dish, as they remind me of my late grandmother. There is something very special about cinnamon and clove in savoury dishes, for me it’s very nostalgic.”

Who Mary Politis
Home is Where the food is
Family origin Greek
I can’t live without Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dream Job Art historian/ Archaeologist
Childhood taste Cinnamon
I will always have in my pantry Chocolate
I learnt to cook from My mother and grandmother
Currently I’m listening to Greek nursery rhymes with my daughter
One day I must visit Austria
Go to meal Artichokes with lemon
I am really good at Anything that slows me to be creative and artistic
The unforgettable meal Cuttlefish in Crete
Favourite spice Cinnamon and oregano
Guilty pleasure Dulce de leche
Who does the dishes Me and sometimes my husband

Mary’s food waste tips

"To reduce food waste, wash and scrub the potatoes well and leave the skins on. When using fresh parsley, chop the stalks as fine as possible to use up the whole herb. The stalks are very flavourful!"

Baked Soutzoukakia and Potatoes (Σουτζουκάκια στο φούρνο μαι πατάτες)

Prep time: | Cook time: | Serves 4

  • Soutzoukakia mixture
  • 500g Beef mince
  • 1 whole grated onion
  • 2 grated cloves of garlic
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp All spice
  • ½ tsp on cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • Potatoes
  • 5-6 potatoes peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Sauce
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole grated onion
  • 2 grated crushed garlic
  • 400ml tomato passata
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp all spice
  1. To prepare dish, preheat the oven at 180°C. Begin by combining all potato ingredients in your baking tray. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 mins.
  2. While potatoes are in the oven, begin the sauce. Over a medium heat, combine olive oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté for approximately 3 minutes or until soft. Add tomato passata and water, bring to the boil. Then add oregano, cinnamon, all spice, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the sauce to cook (stirring occasionally) for approximately 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool to some extent while you prepare the soutzoukakia. By now the potatoes should be soft enough to remove from the oven. Check to ensure they have softened enough, then set aside.
  3. To prepare the soutzoukakia, combine all listed ingredients into a bowl. Using clean hands combine all the ingredients until they are well incorporated (if you feel the mixture is not coming together or holding well enough, keep working it with your hands. The more you work it the better it holds).
  4. Once you are happy with the consistency, form the soutzoukakia into oval sausages, about the size of your palm. Once you have formed all the mix, it is time to arrange on the tray with the potatoes. You may need to move the potatoes around to fit the soutzoukakia. When this is completed, spoon the tomato sauce over the soutzoukakia and potatoes. Return the tray to the oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes ensuring soutzoukakia have cooked through and the potatoes have developed a little colour.
Posted: Dec 10 2020
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