Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stuffed vine or cabbage leaves / Cabbage rolls

Stuffed vine or cabbage leaves 

400 g minced veal
300 g minced pork
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, minced
½ cup rice
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp savory
1 tsp ground cumin
3 oz sunflower oil
20 sour cabbage leaves or canned vine leaves (about 1 jar)

Sauté finely chopped onion and minced carrot in sunflower oil. Add rice and minced meat. Season it. Add 2 cups of water, bring to simmer and let the rice to absorb water.

Wrap 3 tbsp of mixture in each leaf. Set the wraps in a deep pot, cover with 1 cup water, snuggle down the cabbage and/or vain rolls with ceramic plate (to prevent food from toughening and/or breaking up) and simmer or bake about 40 minutes.

You could bake the rolls in oven about 50 minutes /450F and instead water you can use tomato sauce or meat broth. Personally I prefer baking in clay/ceramic pot with lid "guvech".

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Пълнен свински далак / Oven rosted pork spleen recipe

Помните ли Чарли Чаплин в една планинска хижа, готвещ обувка? Една вкусна асоциация винаги изниква в съзнанието ми, когато гледам този епизод и изпитвам желание да сготвя пълнен далак. Пълнен далак с ориз и подправки е семейна рецепта и  лесно изпълнима. Самият вид на готовото мезе предизвиква онова, което и похапването на Чарли-апетит, въпреки че печеният далак има вид на стари кожени  обувки  с бомбета:))) Вижте клипчето с Чарли Чаплин / Charlie Chaplin eating his shoe - The Gold Rush:

3 свински далака
1 чаша ориз
малка глава кромид лук, накълцан на ситно
25 мл червено вино
връзка зелен лук, накълцана
няколко стръка магданоз
щипка кимион
млян черен пипер и сол
25 мл олио

Изрежете мазнината от далака и я съхранете за ориза. Далакът нарежете на парчета, всяко около 10 см дължина. С малък остър нож продупчете дълбок отвор от единия край и оформете джоб от далака с помощта на пръстите си. Не се тревожете, ако не успеете от първия път! Неуспешните опити могат да се накълцат на ситно и да минат към плънката.


Сгорещете мазнината и запържете далакa, лукa и оризa. Добавете 2 чаши и половина вода, вино, зелените подправки, сол и черен пипер. Задушете на слаб огън до пълното попиване на водата. Напълнете с тази смес джобовете и зашийте с игла и конец. Наредете в тава и залейте с вода 1/3 от височината на пълнените парчета далак и малко олио. Посолете. Запечете за около 30 минути във фурната 230С. Обърнете поне веднъж  далаците, за да се изпекат равномерно и от двете страни.

Преди сервиране не забравяйте да махнете конците, за да не се налага да вадите конците, кактоЧарли дърпа връзката от обувката "а ла спагети" :)))

Bouillabaisse / супа Булабезе

Perhaps the most famous of all Mediterranean fish soups, this recipe, originating from Marseilles, is a rich and colourful mixture of fish and shellfish, flavoured with tomatoes, saffron, orange and splash of anise-flavoured liquor.


4-6 serves

1 ½ lb fish fillets; monkfish, red snapper
8 mussels
8 clams
8 scallops
12 jumbo shrimp
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 leek, sliced
1celery stalk, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic
2 oz olive oil
8 oz well-flavoured tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup clams nectar*
1 tbsp orange peel
a pinch of saffron strands
2 teaspoons Pernod or other anise-flavoured liquor (optional)

*Cook’s tip

You can buy whole fish and instead using clams nectar, just remove head, tail, and fins from the fish and set the fish aside. Put the trimmings in deep pan whit 16 oz water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and reserve the liquid.

Cut the fish into large chunks. Leave the shellfish in their shells.
Scald the tomatoes:
 Pour the tomatoes with boiling water and cover with lid for 4-5 minutes; after this procedure they are ready to be peeled very easily.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the leak, fennel, celery, and garlic cook until soft. Add the orange peel and chopped tomatoes. Stir in saffron and reserved fish stock or clam nectar, and tomato paste.  Season with S&P and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Add the shellfish and boil for 5 minutes. Add the fish and cook for 6-8 minutes longer, until it flakes easily.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Breaded Salmon in beer paste / Beer Battered Fried Salmon / Salmon Pataffry

Пържена сьомга с паста Патафри

The following batter can be used for feta cheese cubes, Kashkaval, and vegetables.  

4 oz beer
4 oz flour
2 eggs whites

450 grams (1 lb) salmon fillet, skinless and boneless. Cut salmon into pieces, about inch tick in diameter and 3 inches long. Season the salmon pieces with salt and pepper.

Beat the egg whites with mixer until become stiff and and form peaks.
Combine beer and flour and stir to make a smooth fluffy pastelike foam. Add beaten egg’s whites. Season it with S&P.

 Dip each piece into fluffy paste and fry in deep fryer. Serve with potatoes fries.

Beer and cheese puffs / White cheese snowballs/ Сирене Патафри

Beer and cheese puffs / White cheese snowballs/ Сирене Патафри
14-16 puffs  

4 oz beer
4 oz flour
2 egg’s whites
1 tsp dry oregano
1/3 cup feta cheese, shredded

Beat with mixer until the egg whites are stiff and gets peak.
Combine beer and flour and stir to make a smooth fluffy paste-foam.
 Add beaten egg’s whites. Add cheese and stir carefully. Season it with S&P and oregano.

Scoop the mixture with tablespoon and drop in hot canola oil. Fry in deep fryer until golden-rose color from both sides. Serve hot.


Bulgarian / български

100 мл бира
100 гр брашно
2 белтъка
120-150 гр краве саламурено сирене, настъргано
щипка риган
сол и черен пипер

Разбийте белтъците на сняг.
Смесете бирата и брашното, разбъркайте.Получава се пухкава каша, към която трябва да се добавят разбитите белтъци и сиренето. Добавете подправките. Пържи се във фритюрник или дълбок съд с много олио.
Изсипвайте с лъжица  от сместта в загрятото олио.Пържете от двете страни. Сервирайте горещи.

Beef shank soup - Супа с говеждо месо и кости

One of the time savers in my kitchen is my pressure cooker. I don’t use any broths from any store. All meet is cooked fast it is tender-dropping of the bones; the broth is rich and flavourful. Cooking with pressure cooker is very easy. For your safety, all you must to do is to follow the instructions for use.

Beef shank soup

Beef shank with a bone (around 1 lb)
1 carrot
1 large Russet potato
1 onion
1 red bell pepper
1 stick celery
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
Parsley for garnishing the soup before serving

Rinse the meat from any small bones possibly left on it after butchering in a store.
Fill the cooking pot with water about 1/3 of its capacity. Put the meat, S&P, garlic clove, and onion.
Close the lid and lock, place on a heat source, bring to boil; the steam must be going easily out of steam vent, when the cooker reaches full pressure. Turn the heat down to midium and simmer about 35 minutes.

When the cooking is done to release pressure use cold water release method. Strain the broth and remove bones. Chopped all vegetables and cook with meat in the same broth until they become soft.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chocolate Aero-liqueur

2 cups brandy / cognac Metaxa
4 oz semisweet chocolate
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
¾ cup icing sugar
1/3 cup Kahlua liquor or brandy reduction
6 yolks

Wisk yolks and Kahlua liquor with good quality balloon whisk over “steam bath” Place the bowl of egg yolk mixture over the double boiler pot and start whisking vigorously. It is the same method which you have to use making Zabaglione or Hollandaise sauce. This procedure will add to the drink air and consistency. Also you are going to have flavourful foam to garnish the drink, split some amount aside for it.

Melt the chocolate and sugar in heavy cream also over steam bath. Add to egg yolk mixture. Stir slowly. Add brandy. And milk. Refrigerate for couple hours.
Shake the bottle before serving. Consume the same day

рецепта на български :

4 варианта на мариновани пилешки пържоли за скара

6 обезкостени пилешки бутчета или пилешки гърди

Първи вариант

2 с.л. песто “Дженовезе”
1 ч. л. къри на прах
1/2 лимон, сокът му
½ кафена чашка олио или зехтин
2 скилидки чесън, пресовани
сол и прясно смлян черен пипер

Втори вариант

3 с. л. течен мед
1 ч. л. млян кориандър
1 кафена чашка соев сос
сокът на половин лимон
пресован чесън (по желание)

Остатъкът от  маринатата редуцирайте на слаб огън, докато намалите количеството наполовина. Ползвайте за глазиране на месото след печенето му.

Трети вариант

3 с.л.Тандури паста или (сух микс -относно количеството следвайте инструкциите на опаковката)
2 с.л. кисело мляко
2 с.л. олио
сол ако е необходимо, т.е. ако подправките не съдържат достатъчно количество в себе си

Четвърти вариант

1 глава кромид лук, настъргана на ситно, ползвайте само сокът
сокът на 1 лимон
1 ч. л. млян кимион
сол и черен пипер

Вече готовите пържоли поръсете със ситно накълцано силантро.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Мариновани Сардини / Marinated sardines recipe (sardines à l’escabèche)

You can see the recipe in English here:


12 пресни сардини, среден размер
3 с.л. зехтин
сол и прясно смлян черен пипер
1/2 средно голяма глава кромид лук
1 морков
1 с.л. семена от кориандър(ас зложих млени семенца от кориандър, защото нямах цели- 1ч.л.)
1 дафинов лист
4 стъка мащерка
2 чеснови скилидки
1/4 чаша ябълков оцет на Хейнц
1/2 чаша студена вода(замених с бяло вино)
още малко лимон и зехтин за поливане


Почистеет добре сардините от вътрешностите и главите, измийте и подсушете с попивателна хартия.

Сгорешете 2 с.л. зехтин в тефлонов тиган и запържете сардините всяка страна по 1-2 мин.Подправете сардините със сол и черен пипер, след което наредете ги на гъсто в плосък съд.

нарежете лука и морковите фино и красиво.

Сгорещете останалият зехтин в тиган.Добавете лука, моркова, кориандъра, чесъна, мащерката, дафиновия лист и гответе внимателно около 2 мин.

Добавете водата и оцета (тук добавих и шот бяло вино вместо вода), оставете да ври около 15 мин.

Полейте сардините с тази течност и подправките, изчакайте да изстине, покрийте и приберете в хладилник за 24 часа.

Точно преди сервиране поръсете сардините с още малко лимонов сок и зехтин.

Рецептата, в изпълнение можете да видите тук:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Smoky grilled shrimp / Кралски скариди на барбекю

Smoky grilled shrimp

24 large shrimp, tail on peeled and deveined
¼ cup melted butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp Tabasco (original)
½ lemon, only the juice

Combine melted butter, lemon juice, Tabasco, garlic, salt & pepper, and paprika in a large bowl. Marinade the shrimps. Skewer (6 per skewer) and grill for 1 minute per side.

24 кралски скариди обелени, но с опашката си
¼ ч.ч. разтопено краве масло
2 скилидки чесън, смачкан
1 с.л. червен пипер
1 с.л. Tabasco (original)
½ лимон, сок
сол и пипер

Мариновайте скаридите и нанижете на шиш. Изпечете за кратко от двете страни, само докато променят цвета си към червено и придобият  съвсем леки резки от скарата.

Bulgarian pork sausages -Суджук, сурова наденица

Christmas always creates positive emotions and memories in me. Along with gifts, shopping, and delicious food, cozy home, family and cracking sound of the burning wood in the fireplace there is also something else.
The backyard is covered with snow. I recall the butcher of the village, slaughtered pig, and a lot of men doing their work - cleaning and cutting the meat. Women are ready to prepare, cook and preserve the meat for the long winter.
There is a wooden oven and open fire with a large pot of boiling water. Jug with homemade red wine and wormwood herb goes from hand to hand and everyone take a sip to warm a bit.  Pork chops are sizzling for appetizers /meze/ to provide the good spirit among aides.
Each piece of meat, chitterlings, and even blood has its purpose. I've attended more than three times such events and I could say that all this described above requires a hard working.
The fat from the back, the sides, and the hindquarters is used to make different kinds of bacon - salted, in brine, and smoked. Abdominal fat is melted for lard. The lard is used in Bulgarian cuisine for cooking; prepare sweets and crackers, even for popping popcorn in it. Leftovers from the melted fat are being spiced and kept for cooking - small crispy bites named Prajki or Djumerki.
The meat and cartilage from the head are boiled, deboned, and spiced. The pork’s tripe is stuffed, cooked and then dried. This is called Babek. /almost like Headcheese, but not exactly /.
By using the fillet meat from the pork, spices, salt and stuffed tripe, dry the mixture without cooking, and you can make dry kalbasa called Staretz.
Each geographical region has its own recipes and spices for Nadenitca and Lukanka / raw and dried sausages /. I am glad that my parents were born in two different counties in Bulgaria - the north-east and south-west. This fact has increased and improved my knowledge. For example, when the folks in south parts of Bulgaria make brined fat (Slanina) they use leeks and Caraway, while the people in Northern Bulgaria leave it plane. If some places use more paprika, others use Winter Savory ( Satureja ) to spice it up. Those are common spices in manufacturing of sausages: Winter Savory Cumin, Black pepper, Paprika, Garlic, Laurus (Daphne’s leaf or Bay leaf), Fenugreek, onion. Other spices are Pimenta officinalis (allspice), Nutmeg, Thymus, and Caraway.
Blood pudding named Karvavitca is made from blood and livers, trimmings, leek, cumin, and black pepper. Thick pork intestines are used as well.
Bahur is made from rice, trimmings, heart, bacon, onion, bay leaf, allspice; here is a quick recipe:  all ingredients are sauté and thick pork intestines are stuffed with these, then pierce with a needle in several places and boil in salted water, drain and keep it in dry and cold place. 
Dried meat/ Pastarma is made from a big chunk of lean meat that is salted, air dried, and often spiced meat.
Households rarely preserved meat in cans or jars.

Recipe for pork sausage / рецепта за сурова наденица или сушен суджук :

 3 kg lean pork meat
 3 teaspoons black pepper
 2 teaspoon allspice
 3 teaspoons cumin
 Pork’s intestines /thin/
 4-5 cloves of garlic
 5 teaspoons winter savory
60 grams salt (20 grams per kilogram meat)

Grind the meat. Season and mix. Wash pork intestines very well from inside and outside. Tightly fill the intestines with the meat mix.

Pierce few holes with a needle and press tightly but gently to push the remaining air out. Tie the ends with thread and suspend in dry and ventilated place.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Home made butter Домашно краве масло

If you want to produce your own flavourful, creamy "high-priced spread" from fresh cream, you can do it— quickly, easily. Here's how to make butter:

330 ml whipping cream
¾ cup icing cold water

Pour the cream into a jar, cap the container tightly, and let it sit on the kitchen drain board for approximately 12 hours (or until the cream is about 75 degrees F and smells slightly sour). This is called ripening or culturing, which is enveloping the acid content of the cream. (Only cultured cream will produce butter with a good "butter flavour".)    Experience will teach you when your cream smells too sour or too ripe, and when it's just perfect. I usually set the cream on the drain board after breakfast and make butter after supper the same day.
  Whip cream with mixer in a deep mixing bowl to make whipped cream. Just before you get butter, you'll notice that the churned cream is becoming "heavy". Add cold water and keep whipping. Then you'll begin to see a definite separation between the buttermilk and a heavy mass of butter. In first small pearls or bits of butter which become bigger.
Strain the butter from the buttermilk with the aid of a colander or other straining device. (And save that delicious buttermilk!) Then, while the solids are still in the colander, rinse them thoroughly with cold water. (Warm water will make the butter soft ... the warmer, the softer.) Your butter should now be crumbly, rather than a firm, solid mass.

Next, put the cultured butter in a bowl.

With clean hands, work the butter around the sides of the bowl and tip it to one side to let the water run out.
After you've "worked" the water out of the butter, and the mass has become fairly firm, sprinkle some salt over it (I use about a half teaspoon of salt per half pound of butter). Work the salt in, turn the butter over, and work it in some more. Taste the butter, and if necessary, add more salt.
All that's left now is to put your lusciously creamy homemade spread into a covered container, place the buttermilk in a capped jar or bottle, and store both containers in the refrigerator until needed. (Note: If I know we'll be using our butter within an hour or two, I'll leave it on the drainboard to keep it soft and spreadable.)

Clams and chorizo in chili sauce / Миди с чоризо в пикантен сос

Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
2 links fresh Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced or chopped
1 lb fresh clams, cleaned
1 lb fresh mussels
1 shallot, sliced
1 medium red chilli pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large skillet add olive oil and heat over medium to high heat. Add chorizo and sauté for 2 minutes or until partially cooked. Add clams, mussels, and chilli pepper, cover and cook until shells start to open. Discard any closed clams or mussels. Add the paprika, garlic, parsley, shallot, wine, salt and pepper and continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Spoon out into small bowls, pour on the sauce and serve immediately. Serve with hearty rustic bread.

Pairs with Riesling or Pinot Blank

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


 This is a popular fermented beverage in Bulgaria as well as other Balkan countries. The boza has a thick, sweetish-sour taste and contains up to 4% alcohol.
The Boza is made of various kinds of flour (barley, oats, corn, wheat, millet). You can make boza at home. The following recipe is meant for 4-5 litres.


5l water
1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
½ cup millet flour
3 cups sugar
1 cup boza or homemade ferment*
20 clove buds
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat the water.
Roast slightly the flour (to become rosy in color). Stir. Do not burn.
Mix it with a bit of lukewarm water. Pour the mixture into the pot filled with the rest of the water and put it back on the stove.
Add the sugar, cloves and cinnamon. Bring it to boil and stir occasionally.
Keep boiling about 5-6 minutes.
Remove the pot from the fire and let it cool.
Add 1 cup of boza or homemade ferment. Leave the mixture in a warm place for 1-2 days to cause fermentation. When the boza is ready, pour it in bottles and refrigerate.

*Homemade boza Ferment


2 tbsp of slightly roasted wheat flour
2 tbsp lukewarm water
1 tbsp sugar

How to make the boza ferment:

Mix the roasted flour with water and stir well. Add the sugar. Leave the mess in a warm place for 2-3 days to ferment, stirring it from time to time.

Traditional desserts in Bulgaria and Balkans

After centuries of stormy history, intensive geographical and political changes and interaction of the Balkan countries with the Orient, it is difficult to define strictly the origin of the local cuisine. Many of the dishes have Turkish or Greek names, and have equivalents all around the Balkans and even in some central European countries. Some of the traditional lokal desserts are:

Halva - this is a hard sweet substance prepared from milled cereals or seeds, oils and nuts.

Lokum - a soft, sticky sweet dessert with different colours and taste usually rolled in icing sugar.

Gris-halva - a thin syrup cake made of semolina, cinnamon, nuts etc.

Baklava- is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is very sweet. It is similar to saralia, tulumbi, revane, kadaif.

 Tulumbi - fried dough sweetened with syrup

 Mekitzi- fried dough with icing sugar and cinemmon.

Oshav - this is compote of dried fruit, boiled in water spiced with honey, cinnamon, clove, lemon peel, etc. It is a very pleasant, light and fresh dessert. It can be consumed both, cold or slightly warmed.

Sutlyash – cooked rise and milk, sugar and cinnamon.

Ashure - boiled wheat grains with grinded walnuts, biscuits, raisins, lemon peel and sugar.

Tikvenik – sweet phyllo pastry with pumpkin filling. It might contain nuts and aromatic spices such as cinnamon, vanilla, etc.

Sweet Banitza / Milk Banitza - Classical Banitza prepared whit sugar and milk.

Roasted pumpkin, honey and walnuts.

Rachel- roasted pumpkin in milk and sugar.

Yogurt with honey and jam or berries.


4 oz gris (semolina)
3 oz sunflower oil
1 ½ cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ cup walnuts (optional)
raisins (optional)
sweetened shredded coconut meat (optional)
lemon peels (optional)

Boil sugar and water to make syrup. Fry semolina in oil until golden. Add cinnamon and stir well. Sugar syrup is poured gradually fried semolina. Stir constantly over low heat until the semolina absorbs syrup. Pour into suitable container or individual pudding cups. Live it about an hour to cool down. Then cut into shapes as desired. It can be garnished with cinnamon, raisins, shredded coconut meat, and walnuts. If using vanilla and lemon peel, they are put in hot sugar syrup.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Salmon tartar with ginger and garlic

250 grams salmon filet, skinned and deboned
30 ml lemon juice
1 small garlic clove finely minced
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
6 cherry tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Wrap salmon in plastic wrap and place in freezer for about 30 min, or until partially frozen. Cut into 0.5 cm dice. Place into bowl and mix with lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients, mix well and season to taste.

Pork skewers / Pork Shish kebab

1lb boneless pork loin centre cut about 1 inch tick
2 red bell peppers cut into squares
1 large onion cut into squares
10-12 button mushrooms (optional)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Montreal steak spice
1 oz red wine

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients, wine, oil, and spices. Leave the meat to marinade for an hour. Thread on skewers and grill.

Roasted chicken in beer with mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes

Cooking with alcohol is one of my favourite methods. It is very popular in Mediterranean cuisine as well as in Bulgarian. This recipe is traditional for my family.

1 chicken, about 4 pounds, halved or quartered
1 (355ml) Pale Ale/Lager beer.
½ cup water
¼ cup butter
200 grams button mushrooms cut into quarters
Salt, grounded black pepper and 2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 425°. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and place it in the roasting pan. Cover each piece of meat with butter and pour all over beer and water. Add mushrooms and bay leaves as well. Cover with aluminium foil or lid and cook for about 1 1/2 hours. If you like crispy chicken skin, remove the foil and broil for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Garlic mashed potatoes

3 large size Russet potatoes pilled and cut into quarters
4-5 garlic cloves
¼ cup butter
½ cup heavy cream
salt and black pepper

Boil the potatoes and garlic in salted water. Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot. Mash them. Warm up the butter and cream in a pan and add to mashed potatoes. At the end season with salt and black pepper to taste.
If you like roasted garlic you could use it instead of the fresh one – mince and add at the end.
I did not use starch to make gravy, just because I don’t like it. A tablespoon of corn starch will do the trickJ
Mashed potatoes are amazingly delicious garnish for roasted chicken.