Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken


Smothered Chicken.JPG

Η συνταγή και στα ελληνικά στο τέλος της ανάρτησης!

When I returned home from the US in the late 90’s, my first job was in an advertising agency as account manager for Mc Donald’s in Greece. I thought back then that that was awesome. Working for a big multinational agency and running an account as important as that of Mc Donald’s wow!

Reality came to remind me that real life sometimes has nothing to do with all the dreaming and expectations we are having. I started working crazy hours. I was entering the company at 9 in the morning and was able to finally see my tired body off at about 2 in the morning. That was going on day after day, week after week, month after month. I was making money, I didn’t have the chance to spend anywhere; so sad!

Another one thing that made my life miserable was the poor acceptance of Mc Donald’s among Greek audience and the reaction of Mc Donald’s management towards Greek market. I can tell you one thing before I proceed to explain what I mean; Mc Donald’s presence or “non presence” in Greece is a project that is certainly worth to be examined as a case study in all universities. I have no idea if anywhere else in the world that same thing has happened, but here this company just failed to gain any serious market share.

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The reasons? Well, first of all was the arrogance of the high level management. They came here to conquer. They wanted to impose their mentality and their belief of how a fast food chain should be run. I couldn’t blame them at first, since even in countries with heavy food inheritance, like France Mc Donald’s had a strong presence. What was Greece after all? A small country that shouldn’t create any obstacles! We tried, in vain, to make them change their strategy and try to adapt to the local customs and way of eating. Since we were watching sales fall, we suggested that they should adjust their menu to the Greek way of eating. No, that was unacceptable. Instead, they kept changing CEOs, bringing even the one who made Mc Donald’s a success in France.

The result was a few dozens of francisees losing their investments and the company eventually to stay with just a weak “voice”. I was not there to see the fall down as I was completely exhausted by the crazy working hours and eventually resigned. 

After all these years I can say that the food was completely plastic. As one of my teachers in the US said to us once, it seems that Mc Donald’s has some sort of slot machines in their kitchens which with the push of a button throw the cheeseburger ready to be served. I couldn’t agree more! Anyway, what I have learned from that experience is that we have to be flexible, listen to what the clients want and have the braveness to make changes.

Smothered Chicken.JPG

I love American kitchen because it is a melting pot of all kitchens in the world and while there, I have enjoyed very good quality meals and in portions that are not easily found in Europe. One of the dishes I loved and was eating very often was Smothered Chicken. All this melting cheese over sautéed chicken, onions and mushrooms was so delicious I couldn’t resist!

A little before Easter I received a basket full of goodies, courtesy of a Greek dairy company called Epirus. If you find their products in any grocery store, I urge you to try them, they are of excellent quality. Well, I was thinking what I was going to cook with all these products and I don’t know how the Smothered Chicken came to my mind. So, I thought that a little Greek infusion to an all American classic dish would not hurt, not at all! So, I made this Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken and let me tell you, it was absolutely divine. Layers of chicken, sautéed peppers, mushrooms and onions, topped with a phony béchamel with feta cheese and a sprinkle of other yellow cheese to help take a color and make a crust. You simply cannot imagine! Let’s see how I made it!

  Smothered Chicken.JPG

Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken

 

Ingredients

3 chicken breast halves

2 green peppers, sliced

1 onion, sliced

250 gr. / 9 oz. cherry tomatoes, cut in half

250 gr. / 9 oz. mushrooms, sliced

½ cup cracked wheat

½ cup parsley, chopped

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried basil

Salt and pepper

¼ cup sangria

3+3 tbsp olive oil

Smothered Chicken.JPG  

For the Feta Béchamel

410 gr. / 14.5 oz. milk

2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp water

250 gr. / 9 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

50 gr. / 2 oz. yellow cheese, grated

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp dried thyme

Pinch of salt

Pepper

Pinch of nutmeg

 

200 gr. / 7 oz. yellow cheese

  Smothered Chicken.JPG

Instructions

Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise in two pieces each one of them.

Take a skillet add 3 tbsp olive oil and sauté the chicken pieces from both sides for a couple of minutes each side.

Set aside.

In the same skillet add 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions and peppers in medium heat until they are soft.

Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes.

Salt and pepper them.

Throw the dried basil and oregano and pour the sangria.

Increase the fire to high and let them absorb the wine.

Remove from fire and add the parsley and the cherry tomatoes.

Set aside.

  Smothered Chicken.JPG

Feta Sauce

In a pot pour the milk in medium heat.

When the milk starts to smoke add the corn starch and whisk vigorously.

When it starts to thicken add the nutmeg, oregano, basil, thyme and pepper.

Lower heat to low and throe the feta and the 50 gr. / 2 oz. of yellow cheese.

The sauce must have taken a thick texture.

Remove from fire.

Smothered Chicken.JPG  

Preheat oven to 200° C / 400° F.

Take a pan or a Pyrex and spread the cracked wheat on the bottom.

Above it place the chicken breasts and above them the sautéed onions/peppers/mushrooms.

Pour the feta sauce and sprinkle the rest 200gr. / 7 oz. of yellow cheese.

 

Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes and they are ready.

Smothered Chicken.JPG

5.0 from 7 reviews
Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Fusion
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 3 chicken breast halves
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 250 gr. / 9 oz. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 250 gr. / 9 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup cracked wheat
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup sangria
  • 3+3 tbsp olive oil
For the Feta Béchamel
  • 410 gr. / 14.5 oz. milk
  • 2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp water
  • 250 gr. / 9 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 50 gr. / 2 oz. yellow cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 200 gr. / 7 oz. yellow cheese
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise in two pieces each one of them.
  2. Take a skillet add 3 tbsp olive oil and sauté the chicken pieces from both sides for a couple of minutes each side.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In the same skillet add 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions and peppers in medium heat until they are soft.
  5. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes.
  6. Salt and pepper them.
  7. Throw the dried basil and oregano and pour the sangria.
  8. Increase the fire to high and let them absorb the wine.
  9. Remove from fire and add the parsley and the cherry tomatoes.
  10. Set aside.
Feta Sauce
  1. In a pot pour the milk in medium heat.
  2. When the milk starts to smoke add the corn starch and whisk vigorously.
  3. When it starts to thicken add the nutmeg, oregano, basil, thyme and pepper.
  4. Lower heat to low and throe the feta and the 50 gr. / 2 oz. of yellow cheese.
  5. The sauce must have taken a thick texture.
  6. Remove from fire.
  7. Preheat oven to 200° C / 400° F.
  8. Take a pan or a Pyrex and spread the cracked wheat on the bottom.
  9. Above it place the chicken breasts and above them the sautéed onions/peppers/mushrooms.
  10. Pour the feta sauce and sprinkle the rest 200gr. / 7 oz. of yellow cheese.
  11. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes and they are ready.

5.0 from 7 reviews
Κοτόπουλο Γκρατιναρισμένο με Μπεσαμέλ Φέτας
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Αμερικάνικη/Ελληνική
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 3 μισά στήθη κοτόπουλου
  • 2 πράσινες πιπεριές, κομμένες σε φέτες
  • 1 κρεμμύδι, κομμένο σε φέτες
  • 250 γρ. ντοματίνια, κομμένα στη μέση
  • 250 γρ. μανιτάρια, κομμένα σε φέτες
  • ½ φλ. πλιγούρι
  • ½ φλ. μαϊντανό, ψιλοκομμένο
  • ½ κ.γ. ρίγανη
  • ½ κ.γ. ξηρό βασιλικό
  • Αλάτι και πιπέρι
  • ¼ φλ. σαγκρία
  • 3 + 3 κ.σ. ελαιόλαδο
Για τη Μπεσαμέλ Φέτας
  • 410 γρ. γάλα
  • 2 κ.σ. κορν φλάουρ διαλυμένο σε 2 κουταλιές της σούπας νερό
  • 250 γρ. τυρί φέτα, θρυμματισμένη
  • 50 γρ. κίτρινο τυρί, τριμμένο
  • 1 κ.γ. ρίγανη
  • ½ κ.γ. ξηρό βασιλικό
  • ¼ κ.γ. ξερό θυμάρι
  • 1 πρέζα αλάτι
  • Πιπέρι
  • 1 πρέζα μοσχοκάρυδο
  • 200 γρ. κίτρινο τυρί
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Κόψτε τα στήθη κοτόπουλου το κάθε ένα από αυτά εγκάρσια.
  2. Πάρτε μια κατσαρόλα, προσθέστε 3 κουταλιές της σούπας ελαιόλαδο και σοτάρετε το κοτόπουλο κομμάτια και από τις δύο πλευρές για μερικά λεπτά την κάθε πλευρά.
  3. Βάλτε στην άκρη.
  4. Στην ίδια κατσαρόλα προσθέστε 3 κ.σ. ελαιόλαδου και σοτάρετε τα κρεμμύδια και τις πιπεριές σε μέτρια θερμοκρασία έως ότου μαλακώσουν.
  5. Προσθέστε τα μανιτάρια και συνεχίστε να σοτάρετε για λίγα λεπτά.
  6. Αλατοπιπερώστε.
  7. Ρίξτε το βασιλικό και την ρίγανη και προσθέστε τη σαγκρία.
  8. Αυξήστε τη φωτιά σε υψηλή και αφήστε τα να απορροφήσουν το κρασί.
  9. Βγάλτε από τη φωτιά και προσθέστε το μαϊντανό και τα τοματίνια.
  10. Βάλτε στην άκρη.
Σάλτσα Φέτας
  1. Σε μια κατσαρόλα ρίξτε το γάλα σε χαμηλή φωτιά.
  2. Όταν το γάλα αρχίσει να καπνίζει προσθέστε το κορν φλάουρ και ανακατέψτε ζωηρά.
  3. Όταν αρχίσει να δένει προσθέστε το μοσχοκάρυδο, τη ρίγανη, το βασιλικό, το θυμάρι και το πιπέρι.
  4. Χαμηλώστε τη θερμοκρασία στο χαμηλό και ρίξτε τη φέτα και τα 50 γρ. από το κίτρινο τυρί.
  5. Η σάλτσα πρέπει να είναι σχετικά σφιχτή.
  6. Βγάλτε από τη φωτιά.
  7. Προθερμάνετε το φούρνο στους 200° C.
  8. Πάρτε ένα ταψί ή ένα πυρέξ και απλώστε το πλιγούρι στο κάτω μέρος.
  9. Πάνω από αυτό τοποθετήστε τα στήθη κοτόπουλου και από πάνω τους τα κρεμμύδια/πιπεριές/μανιτάρια σωτέ.
  10. Ρίξτε τη σάλτσα φέτας και πασπαλίστε τα υπόλοιπα 200γρ. από το κίτρινο τυρί.
  11. Ψήστε για περίπου 20 με 30 λεπτά και είναι έτοιμο.

Lori's Culinary Creations

Life on Lakeshore Drive

56 Responses to Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken

    1
  1. Nicky says:

    I adore bechamel sauce but only enjoy in moderation. :) This looks divine.

  2. 2
  3. This sounds so delicious. Is the cracked wheat absolutely necessary? I would need to make this gluten free…thought about substituting oats but then maybe you could just leave it out completely?

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  5. The recipe title stopped me in my tracks…chicken, feta, and SMOTHERED. Yes please! Love this and can’t wait to try it.

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  7. This is a delicious chicken dish, love adding the feta cheese.

  8. 5
  9. Diane says:

    This recipe looks so good! I love the feta cheese and chicken together!

  10. 6
  11. Robyn Petrik says:

    You had me at ‘feta’, and then again overwhelmingly so at ‘smothered’. This looks so delightfully cheesy!

  12. 7
  13. Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken just scream delicious to me, all my favorite flavors combined in one dish!!!

  14. 8
  15. I just adore this dish! I love chicken and I love feta, so smothering chicken in feta? That sounds perfect! This is a great weeknight meal idea :)

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  17. Lisa says:

    Your recipes all look SO good! Thanks for linking up with “Try a New Recipe Tuesday.” I look forward to seeing what you will share this week.http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2014/05/try-new-recipe-tuesday-may-13.html

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  19. Oh my goodness…words out of my mouth when I saw your tasty creation!!

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  21. Lori Hart says:

    Congratulations!! Your recipe has been featured at Tasty Tuesdays 59 on my blog, Lori’s Culinary Creations. Hop on over and grab a feature button and link up your latest culinary creations. I love me some feta!! Congrats again.
    Link- http://bit.ly/1g5mVQa
    Lori

  22. 12
  23. Diane Balch says:

    I love the idea of feta which is such a healthy low fat cheese… wonderful flavor too. Thanks for sharing your dish with us on foodie friday. PInned.

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  25. This fabulous dish would become my favorite. Bookmarked…

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  27. This is some seriously delicious chicken! Thanks for sharing with us at Simple Supper Tuesday.

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  29. Absolutely beautiful, Katerina! Thank you for sharing this with us at Treasure Box Tuesday- I’ve shared on Google+! :)

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  31. mjskit says:

    Good for Greece for not letting McD take over! I think they have replicators in the back(like on Star Trek). :) What a scrumptious recipe Katerina!! I’ve tried stuffing chicken breast with feta, but it didn’t work. I love the “smothered” route. Definitely be trying this! Thanks!

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  33. grace says:

    when i see browned cheese like that, i know something delicious is in store!

  34. 18
  35. Susan says:

    What an interesting story on how not to run a business in Greece! I would prefer to see many less of their restaurants worldwide.

    Your feta-covered chicken dish looks delicious.

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  37. I’ve never had the original version of this dish but I can tell you that yours sounds delicious. :)

  38. 20
  39. Joanne says:

    Well this chicken is the opposite of anything you would find in McDonalds! Real, good quality healthful delicious!

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  41. Linda says:

    Thanks for the new twist for chicken. We love all the ingredients but i haven’t yet cooked with feta. Can;t wait to make it for my family. Mc D’s works in China because it is just about the only place for young people to go the hang out. Grandparents take kids there for a treat regularly. It is so different from the norm and it is western and extremely affordable. Hence the attraction at least in the larger cities. Happy weekend.

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  43. This chicken looks incredible! We love feta cheese in our house so I’m sure everyone would love it! Pinning for later!

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  45. Liz says:

    I can’t believe you tolerated those killer work hours! Wow.
    I love this Greek twist on smothered chicken…I think you out did the original version :0

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  47. I’ve been learning a lot about how to use Feta cheese from your site. I love feta cheese, but it’s not a common cheese I grew up and my mom didn’t use much in her cooking. This chicken looks really delicious!

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  49. rosita says:

    ohhh se ve muy exquisito este pollo con salsa bechamel me encanta,maravillosos el paso a paso,abrazos

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  51. Sissi says:

    One more feta dish to test! Hourray!
    It’s very interesting to read about the Mc Donald’s history in Greece (and thumbs up to all the Greeks who prefer healthier “real” food!). I remember a discussion on French tv where food journalists and chefs tried to answer why Mc Donald’s was so popular and the answer was pretty obvious: a practically non existent local answer (apart from sandwiches) to quick and cheap meals people need with the modern life style. For the past few years other French options have appeared but it’s still too poor to answer the demand for quick warm meals and Mc Donald’s and other similar fast food chains fill this gap. (Not to mention the fact that healthy or not, burgers and chips simply appeal to many people’s taste buds; in France even some famous chefs admit to having a Mc Donald’s meal from time to time).
    Thank you for sharing this interesting history as well as this fabulous Greek twist on the US recipe.

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  53. rebecca says:

    this looks so good and i used to work in macdonalds in high school

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  55. This looks delicious! It looks like a great comforting meal for a rainy day! Pinned:)

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  57. Trisha says:

    This has made me so hungry. It looks completely amazing as always!! x

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  59. Juliana says:

    Katerina, this chicken dish sounds and looks delicious…feta béchamel…yum! Such a rich sauce…and packed with flavors.
    Hope you are having a great week 😀

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  61. Crystelle says:

    Oh my! This looks os delicious! I officially want this for dinner now…. :)
    “hugs” Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

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  63. Debra says:

    Katerina, I thought the McDonald’s story was interesting. Maybe a study is needed. Beautiful dish. I am putting it on my to do list.

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  65. Corina says:

    I love the idea of this Greek American fusion. I can’t resist anything with a thick cheesy sauce.

  66. 34
  67. I have happened to come across recipes that smother chicken with cheese but they are bland with no flavors but your recipe sounds amazing with so much going on in there. This chicken dish is to die for!

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  69. Glad to hear McDonalds was poorly received actually! Your recipe rocks, anything with the word smothered and cheese together is going to be amazing.

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  71. What a fascinating story! And your recipe looks sooo gooooood!

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  73. Aunt Bee says:

    What an incredible recipe! Feta is one of my favorite things! Sounds and looks fantastic!

  74. 38
  75. Barbara says:

    Fascinating McDonalds story….not very smart of them and rather arrogant. Glad you’re out of that.
    Delicious chicken dish, Katerina. Love all that cheese!

  76. 39
  77. Wow! That sure was a big account to have, but man, those hours are just crazy! This dish and freshly cooked ingredients would be my preference anytime, anywhere!

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  79. Oh my…how decadent and delish! I love feta cheese and can’t wait to try your dish! Beautiful blog post too!!

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  81. This looks really fab. I have a nice big tub of Feta sitting pretty in my fridge. Am so tempted to try this out.

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  83. This looks really fab. I have a noce bog tub of Feta sitting pretty in my fridge. Am so tempted to try this out.

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  85. Katerina, your crazy experience with McDonald’s made me stressed out for you, all these years later :) But I’m glad we have this AMAZING chicken (and yes to all the smothering cheese) to look forward to. It looks amazing!

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  87. This looks so juicy and delicious! Love your béchamel sauce, Katerina.

  88. 45
  89. Hi Katerina, every time we visit your delicious recipes and posts…we start feeling hungry,this time it is no different…terrific combination of ingredients, scrumptious results and awesome food clicks as always,thanks :-)

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  91. This looks amazingly delicious!

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  93. Απόλυτα του γούστου μου η πρόταση σου Κατερίνα!
    Από τα φαγάκια που απλά παρακαλάς να μην τελειώσουν!
    Φιλιά πολλά!

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  95. Nice job keeping Mcdonald out of your beautiful culinary culture, and nice job on this deicious looking chicken! I would love to try this one!

  96. 49
  97. Oh, this sounds and looks so good, this is one recipe my mother would have made. I’m going to have to make in her honor. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe Katerina.

    Joanne

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  99. Purabi Naha says:

    Surprised to hear that McDonalds is not ready to mould itself to the Greek market! I loved the McDonalds in Hong Kong, but as we relocated to our motherland (India) again, I find a sharp difference in quality! Anyways, your dish is making me hungry, Katerina. YUM!

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  101. Kate says:

    I will eat feta smothered ANYTHING. Definitely over anything McDonalds.

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  103. Louise says:

    HI Katerina!

    I’m not much of a McDonalds kind of person. I’m surprised the company was so stubborn about making adjustments for the Greek market. Didn’t they realize that although a small country by some standards, Greece is a country of hearty eaters!!! Too bad for those franchise owners.

    I LOVE what you have done with this chicken. How can you go wrong with creamy feta sauce and delicious chicken. Oh my this sounds so yummy:) Thank you so much for sharing, Katerina…

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  105. Asmita says:

    This dish would get totally wiped out at my place. Love !!

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  107. Ξανθή says:

    Εξαιρετικό!! Μετά τη δίαιτα άρχισα σήμερα.

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  109. I’ve got to try your béchamel! A beautiful dish. Thanks for sharing! :) ela

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  111. Katerina, this looks absolutely delicious. I love love feta cheese. This is definitely a dish I would make and enjoy!

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