Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Turkish bean salad

  • 250g. beans
  • 1,5dl. water
  • 1 smaller onion
  • 60g. olive
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 50g. olives
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • salt and pepper
Pick over beans, wash, pour over cold water and leave to swell overnight, then cook in the same water and add peeled onion. When tender, drain and put into a deeper bowl. Remove onion.

For the marinade: mix well oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over still warm beans, leave to cool about 30-40 minutes. Wash tomatoes peel remove stalk ends, cut into slices, remove slides. Halve olives. Shell eggs and also slice. Add tomatoes, olives and egg slices to the beans, mix carefully and leave to stand for at least 40-60 minutes. Turkish bean salad is ready for serving. Serve as an accompaniment to baked meat dishes or grills.

Caned beans can also be used for this salad, which should only be rinsed and drained. In that case the bean salad can be prepared quickly.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stuffed peppers

  • 10-15 bigger paprikas/peppers
  • 1-1.5dl. oil
  • 2 onions
  • 150g. rice
  • 700g. mixed ground meat
  • salt and pepper
  • ground hot paprika
  • tomato
  • lukewarm water
Photo of stuffed peppersStuffed peppers, Punjena paprika (Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro), Polneti piperki (Macedonia), Pulnena paprika/Pulneni chushki (Bulgaria) or Ardei umpluti (Romania) is a famous Balkan dish consisting of paprikas/peppers filled with mixture of meat and rice. There are many variations of stuffed peppers across Balkan countries but here we present you the basic recipe that can you modify by taste:

Slice the tops off the peppers. Pull out the seeds and the cores. Dip them in warm water and leave to get soft.

Heat oil, add finely chopped onion, cook it slowly until sloghtly brown. Pick over rice, wash and cook in salted water, rise, drain and add to soft onion, then stirr in meat. Cook slowly together, add salt, pepper and ground paprika. Cool a little.

Place the pepper shells in a baking dish that will hold them snugly together. Spoon the filling into the peppers. Replace the tops with peace of tomato. Pour 3 tablespoons of water around the peppers and bake for about 30 minutes in the oven preheated to 175°C until filling is puffed and the peppers are soft. Serve warm or cold.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Risotto with kidneys

  • 1 beef or 2 veal or pork kidneys
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups meat broth or water
  • 3 tbsp lard
  • 3 onions
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • ½ tspn paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • a little sugar
  • grated parmesan, to taste
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
To prepare this recipe, first remove the outer membranes from the kidneys, split in half lengthwise, remove the interior fatty tissues and slice thinly. Set to boil starting with cold water. After it comes to a boil, drain and wash the kidneys with tepid water.
Finely chop the onion, fry in 2 tablespoons of lard until softened, add tomato sauce, paprika, one cup meat broth or water, salt, pepper, sugar and the kidneys. Simmer until the kidneys are done.

In the meantime, fry the rice in one tablespoon of lard, add a cup meat broth. Place the rice in a greased Bundt pan, cover and set into the oven to bake.
When the rice is done, turn onto a plate, spread some grated parmesan on top and place the kidneys and sauce in the middle hole.
Garnish with chopped parsley on top and serve hot.
This recipe (with modifications) is popular not only in Romania but also in many other Balkan countries.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Serbian trout in kaymak

  • 1 trout of 1,5kg.
  • 1 lemon
  • 200g. kaymak
  • 50g. white flour
  • 1 small garlic
  • 1dl. of wine vinegar
  • salt
Clean fish, wash well, wipe, cut into bigger pieces, sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Leave to stand like that about 30-40 minutes. Roll fish in flour, put into the frying pan in which kaymak has been melted (about 150g.). Fry at low heat. In the meantime peel the garlic, crush well with salt and chop, add wine vinegar and mix. When fish is fried nicely on both sides, take it out and place in a warmed dish. Each layer should be poured over with mixture of vinegar and garlic, and then pour the rest of kaymak over the whole dish.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bulgarian bird of paradise bread

  • 1 tablespoon instant active dry yeast (not rapid rise)
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 4 large eggs plus 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup feta or brinza cheese, finely crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 thin slice kashkaval or Cheddar cheese, cut into 4 triangles
  • 4 (1/2-inch-by-1 1/2-inch) rectangles of ham
  • 4 pitted cured black olives
  • 1 star-shaped piece of red bell pepper
Bulgarian bird of paradise bread"Bulgarian Bird of Paradise Bread" is a yeast bread that gets its name from the decorative placement of cheese, ham, olives and red pepper on the top.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, water and flour. Add yogurt, 4 eggs, salt and feta or brinza cheese. Switch to the dough hook and knead unil a soft, sticky, slightly lumpy (because of the cheese) dough forms, about 7 minutes.
Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover with greased plastic, set in a warm place and let rise until doubled.
Punch down dough and place in a greased 8-inch springform pan that is 3 inches high. Brush liberally with remaining beaten egg mixed with milk.

To decorate, arrange kashkaval or Cheddar cheese triangles on top to form a square. Place ham and olives in between cheese and place the star of red pepper in the center. Let rise another 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake bread 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 190 degrees. Cool a few minutes in pan, then turn out of pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Source: Easteuropeanfood.about.com
Adapted from "The Balkan Cookbook" by Trish Davies (Anness Publishing, 2000)

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stewed green beans and potatoes

  • 1 1/2 cups of Seitan, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups of Green Beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 small red potato, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons – 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke
Today recipe is named "Albanian style stewed green beans and potatoes with smokey seitan" and is presented and published by 16-years old boy Jay at his blog about vegan foodie. Here is the recipe:

Heat a medium pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot enough, add the seitan and saute until golden on all sides about 4-5 minutes. Towards the end at the liquid smoke and Smoked Salt. Remove from pot and set aside.

Now add about 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil to the pot. Add the onions and saute for a good 8 minutes until they are translucent and tender. If your pot has burned pieces from the seitan, deglaze it with a bit of vegetable broth. Add the garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant. Now it’s time to add the green beans and potatoes. Saute the green beans and potatoes for about 5 minutes.

Now add the tomato, paprika, oregano, chili flakes and season with salt and pepper. Saute for another two minutes. Add the vegetable broth or water and bring to a boil and then to a simmer. After a couple of minutes add the seitan that you have set aside. Simmer the stew for about 45-50 minutes until the green beans and potatoes are tender. If the stew starts to get dry simply add some more broth. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Remember to not go heavy on the salt because the Smokey Seitan is salt already from the smoked salt. Let the stew sit for 15 minutes or you can eat it has soon has it finished cooking.
Serve these stewed green beans with some rice, bread, and a side salad or vegetable.
Source: Theveganfoodie.wordpress.com

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Overview of Macedonian Cuisine

Macedonia has a long and praised tradition of culinary delights. Macedonian Cuisine has been affected by the nations from the Mediterranean space and also by the countries from the Balkans. The strongest influence come from Turkey because of the long centuries of Ottoman rule and some of the dishes that have Turkish origin are: beef kebabs, kadaif, burek... and there is also well known Turkish coffee.

The meat has a very important role in the Macedonian food. People use for the recipes many types of meats that range from pork, beef, lamb and chicken. The freshwater fish, the Lake Ohrid Trout, particularly, is enjoyed by the Macedonian and the game does not make an exception. The Macedonians also produce white and red wines produced by high quality grapes (Vranec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon...) that are recognized world wide for their specific taste. Other beverages that are worth to be mentioned are rakija and mastika. The beer is also popular and it is appreciated both by the locals and the tourists.

The Macedonian cuisine does not imply knowing any special cooking techniques. People use the same preparation methods as the rest of Europians. Of course, each dish requires being preparated in a certain way. Macedonian food is characterized by using fresh ingredients of good quality, proper use of herbs and spices, the famous olive oil, and its basic simplicity. The taste of vegetables and fruits is recognizible because of the good climate conditions.

One of the unique and specifical preparation method of Macedonian cuisine is slow homemade cooking in covered ceramics and pottery, over fire resulting with meals combined with stuffed vegetables and wraps. A rich variety of meat dishes, grills, fried meats, kebaps, stews, meat cooked in a crock or pan, and Olive oil dishes what includes fry eggplants, peppers and zucchini or cook in an onion and tomato sauce and letting them simmer, will welcome you to taste Macedonian food.

Some of the traditional Macedonian foods:


Friday, June 12, 2009

Turkish Gozleme

  • 480g. plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil/milk
  • 360ml. lukewarm water
  • extra olive oil for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 bunches English spinach, shredded
  • 200g. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 50g. tasty cheese, grated
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well. Pour oil and water and mix until combined. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into four balls. Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in frying pan; cook onions and garlic until softened but not browned. Allow to cool. Combine onion mixture and remaining filling ingredients in a bowl; season and mix to combine. Preheat flat grill plate on high. Roll dough to a 3mm thickness; place one quarter of the filling over one half of the dough. Fold over dough and press lightly to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Brush oil over grill plate well. Place one gozleme onto flat plate. Cook for 3-4 minutes, drizzle top with more oil then turn over. Tip: If dough is browning too quickly reduce heat to medium. Cook until golden brown and crisp. Repeat with remaining gozleme. Cut into pieces and serve with wedges of lemons.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bamijas-Ulcinj style

  • 1kg. veal thigh or shoulder
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder
  • 150g. tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
For the Bamijas (okra):
  • 300g. baby okra, trimmed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Ulcinj style Bamijas is a traditional Montenegro recipe for a classic dish of veal stewedwith chilli powder and tomatoes that's mixed with a combination of banijas (okra) and onion before being oven baked.
Bone and cube the meat then add to a pan along with the onion. Season to taste with salt, add the chilli and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 50 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley and cook for a further 30 minutes.
Whilst the meat is cooking, prepare your bamijas. Add the okra to a pan of lightly-salted water and boil until tender (about 15 minutes). In the meantime, fry the onion in a little until tender (about 8 minutes). Season to taste with salt, black pepper, the herbs and spices. Drain the okra and add to the onion mix.
Transfer the meat mixture to a roasting pan, stir-in the okra mixture then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200°C and bake for 5 minutes. Serve hot.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Mussaka with ham from Bachka

  • 1kg. potatoes
  • 200-250g. minced or ground ham
  • 1dl. oil or 50g. lard
  • 150g. kachkaval cut into thin slices
  • salt and pepper
B'echame sauce:
  • 40g. butter or margarine
  • 20g. flour
  • 2-2.5dl. milk
  • 1/2dl. sour cream
  • 1 egg yolk
Peel potatoes and cook in mildly salted water. When tender, drain and cut into rounds. Grease a fireproof dish with some oil or lard. Put in layers of potatoes, ham and cheese in turn. Sprinkle each layer of potatoes with salt and pepper and with some oil or melted lard. Repeat until all is used, finish with potatoes.
Pour b'echamel sauce over mussaka: heat butter, add flour, fry a little but do not let it brown, slowly pour in cold, than warm milk. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Beat well sour cream and egg, add to cooled b'echamel, stirring all the time. Bake in oven preheated to 200°C about 30 minutes, until brown.
Serve with lettuce, betroth salad or the like.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dry walnut pie

  • 500g. ready-made layers of dough for the pie
  • 400-500g. ground walnuts
  • 100-150g. raisins
  • 250g. sugar
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • oil for sprinkling dough layers and for greasing
  • 400-450g. sugar
  • 1dl. water
  • 1 vanilla-bean or 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 1 lemon
Grease a cake tin and place 2-3 dough layers in and sprinkle with oil. Mix walnuts, raisins and vanilla sugar. Spread some of the mixture over the dough layers, then again place a couple of dough layers sprinkled with oil, then walnuts. Repeat until all the dough layers and walnuts have been used and finish with 2-3 sprinkled dough layers.
Before baking, cut the pie in the tin into small squares. Bake in the oven preheated to 200°C until nicely brown. In the meantime prepare syrup: pour water over sugar, add vanilla and lemon cut into rounds. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the syrup is nearly tick.
Pour hot syrup over baked pie, put bake into lukewarm oven and leave for a further 15-20 minutes to absorb the syrup. When cooled turn the pie on to a plate and leave to stand for 1-2 days until completely dry. If it is kept in a dry and cool place, Bulgarian dry walnut cake can be used up to 10 days.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Borsch with beans

  • 100g. dried haricot beans
  • 1/2 carrot, grated
  • 1/2 stick celery, chopped
  • 1/2 parsnip, grated
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1.8l. water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • Pepper and salt
  • Fresh parsley, celery, and lovage leaves, chopped finely
  • 1 spoon borsch powder (or lemon juice)
First, the dried beans must be soaked overnight in plenty of water before you even think of starting to deal with them. Although so tiny-looking, these beans can be incredibly tough and they need cooking for at least 1.5 hours.
The beans having been soaked, you boil them in plenty of water for about ¾ hour, and then you drain them thoroughly, cover them with 1.8 litres water and boil them again for another ½-hour or more until they soften. When they are ready, add the chopped vegetable (apart from the onion) and the fresh herbs.
While these are cooking, fry the onion: in a separate pan, heat up 1 spoonful of oil, add the chopped onion and cook until softened (5-7 minutes). Then add the tomato paste and 1 spoon of soup liquid and mix them with the onion.
When the vegetables are cooked, add 1 levelled spoon borsch powder, salt, pepper, and the onion mixture. Stir well, cook for another 3 minutes and serve. Garnish with the fresh parsley.
Borsch and bean soup is suitable for vegetarians.

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