Cooking Recipes from Bulgaria

I’m pleased to bring to your attention several Bulgarian food recipes from the traditional Bulgarian cuisine, which you can prepare yourselves, or order when visiting Bulgaria.


Shoppe Style Cheese

Ingredients to serve 6: 600g brined sheep’s cheese, 50g butter, 2 tomatoes, 6 chilly peppers, 6 eggs, paprika.

Cut the cheese into six slices and place into butter-lined ceramic bowls. Top with tomato slices and butter. Bake in a hot oven some 5-6 min. Break egg on top of each bowl and add the remaining butter, chilly pepper and paprika. Bake until crust is formed.


Strandzanski Shish

Ingredients to serve 6: 1kg of lamb, 250g of lamb sub-products, 150g of fresh mushrooms, 50g butter, red pepper, black pepper and salt to taste.

The lamb is cut in small pieces and the sub-products are powdered with the salt and the red pepper. Leave them for two hours. The mushrooms are well washed and salted. On a wooden shish (wooden tick stick) by sequence you put a piece of meat, mushroom, sub-products, piece of meat etc. The shish is roasted on a weak ember and is being turned slowly and spread with butter until baking.


Blue–fish of Tile

You need a shallow ceramic utensil in the form of a tile. Apart from blue-fish you can cook also belted bonito or mackerel.

Ingredients: 3-4 onion rolls are lightly fried in oil. The fish is well scaled and washed. It is salted and powdered with red pepper. Put the fish into the tile and cover it by the onion and on the top of it put the sliced tomatoes. Put some oil and bake in a moderate oven. The dish is served with cold white wine.


Shopska Salad

For this salad you must have white brined cheese.

Ingredients for 4: 300-350g tomatoes, 1 cucumber (if they are small you need four), 1 small chilly pepper, 150g of white brined cheese, 1 onion, 3-4 green peppers, a bunch of parsley, ¼ of tea cup of sunflower oil, or olive oil, salt to taste.

Cut the onion in very small pieces. The green peppers (fresh or roasted) are cleaned of the seeds and cut into small pieces. The chilly pepper and the parsley are well minced. The tomatoes and the cucumber are cut into small pieces. All are mixed together and salted. Spread the vegetable oil over the mixture. The white brined cheese is grated on top like a “snow hat.” The salad is trimmed with parsley.


Tarator

Tarator is very tasty and is a favorite dish for all Bulgarians especially during the summer.

Ingredients: 1-2 cucumbers, 500g yoghurt, 2 soup spoons of sunflower oil, ¼ bunch of dill, 3 cloves garlic, 1-2 tea cups of cold water, 2 soup spoons of minced walnuts, salt to taste.

The cucumber are washed, peeled and cut into small cubes. Beat the yoghurt and put (put it where?) the water, the cucumber, the crushed garlic and the finely chopped dill. The tarator is salted and cooled for while. Before serving, stir with walnuts and sunflowers oil.


Bansko Style Kapama

The preparation of this dish requires a lot of time and patience. Usually it is cooked for Christmas Eve.

Ingredients: 1kg minced pork, 300g pork ribs, 1 hen, 2 small pickled cabbages, 300g karvavitsa (home made sausage), 300g rice, 3-4 onions, 250g bacon, 10g black pepper grains, salt to test.

The minced meat is mixed with the minced onion, the rice, the red pepper, and the salt to taste. Part of mixture is used to stuff the hen, while the rest of the mixture is used to stuff cabbage leaves in the form of sarmi (stuffed vine or cabbage leaves).

On the bottom of a big pot put first the sliced bacon, the pork ribs, and the cut cabbage cores. The hen is placed on top of it and around the hen the sarmi are arranged. The karvavitsa is put on the top.

The dish is powdered with the black pepper, cabbage leaves are used to cover the dish, then pour 1 ½ glass of warm water. The lid of the pot is slurred over with dough. After the dish starts to boil, put is in the moderate hot oven and bake for 3 hours. Serve it in a large baking dish – the hen and the karvavitsa are in the middle and the sarmi around them.


Banitsa

Banitsa is prepared from home-made, or ready pastry with different filling – white cheese, spinach, apples, pumpkin, leeks. It is usually prepared for the Christmas Eve, New Year, and for other specials occasions and very often it gathers the whole family around the table. Banitsa is very popular for breakfast.

Ingredients: 1.5kg of pastry, 25g butter, for the filling – 1 tea cup grated white cheese, 4 eggs, 1 tea cup of yoghurt, and ½ glass of sparking water.

The baking dish is sprinkled with oil, the pastries are one over the other, and some butter is sprinkled in between. The filling made of beat up eggs, the grated cheese and the yoghurt, is sprinkled over 2-3 pastries. One egg beat up with the sparking water is poured over the top pastry. You can cut the banitsa into small slices, but this is not obligatory, and bakes it in a hot oven till golden brown.


White Beans Stew

The cooking of beans has turned into a ritual during the centuries. The spices that determine the flavor and taste of this dish are mint, savory, and chilly peppers.

Ingredients: 2-3 tea cups of white beans, 2-3 onions, 1 pepper, celery, 1 carrot, parsley, 1 soup spoon dried divessil (herb similar to mint), 1 soup spoon dried mint, savory, chilly pepper, and 2 tomatoes.

Soak the beans in cold salted water for the entire night. Drain and pour fresh water to cover the beans. Boil in (an earthware) pot together with oil, finely chopped carrots, onion, and celery. Salt and boil for another 12-20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with finely chopped parsley, savory and mint.

In another pan fry 3 soup spoons of sunflower oil with 1 onion finely chopped. After removing it from the fire add the red pepper, and dilute with some sauce from the beans, add the tomatoes (grated and peeled). Remove the parsley and the celery from the first pot and mix the contents of both pots. Boil calmly for about 20 minutes and then add fresh mint and fresh divessil.


Syrmi

Ingredients: 500g minced veal, 300g minced pork, 1 bunch of spring onions, half a cupful rice, one cupful yoghurt, parsley, mint, paprika, pepper, 30-40 vine or cabbage leaves, 100g butter, or half a cupful of sunflower oil, salt.

Fry the finely chopped onions in some of the oil and some water, stir the paprika and take off the stove. Add the meat, rice, pepper, mint and finely chopped parsley. Pour over warm salted water and simmer until the water has been absorbed by the rice. Scaled the vine or cabbage leaves with salted hot water and put 1 tsp of the mixture on each leave. Roll together and arrange in a saucepan, pour over 3/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp fat, close with a lid and simmer on a low fire. When ready, pour over the beaten yoghurt and melted butter with stirred in paprika. Serve with vegetables. The same recipe may be used for stuffed peppers, eggplants and zucchini.

Spinach soup

Ingredients: 1/2 spinach, 60g butter, 2 spoon flour, 0.5l milk, pepper, salt.

Boil the finely chopped spinach in salt water. Brown the butter and flour, then add the spinach puree. Dilute with milk and half the spinach water. Boil for another 5-10 minutes and season with pepper. Serve with bread cubes fried in butter. The same recipe may be used for nettles.

Good appetite!


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