Written By Cinda Chavich Appetizer / Dessert / Edibles / Main course / Recipes / Side dish Aug 30, 2022 Balkan Recipes SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestThe companion recipes to Cinda Chavich’s article, My Balkan Food Dreams, in the Sept|Oct 2022 issue of EATAJVAR (Roasted Red Pepper & Eggplant Dip) A wonderful vegetarian condiment to slather on sandwiches or serve with mici.This recipe is excerpted from Macedonia by Katerina Nitsou Copyright © 2021. Photographs by Oliver Fitzgerald. Published by Interlink Publishing.1 medium eggplant6 red bell peppers¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil1 medium onion, chopped3 garlic cloves, finely chopped½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes1 tablespoon red wine vinegarJuice of 1 lemon½ teaspoon white sugar1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepperUsing a fork, pierce the eggplant skin a few times all around.Roast the peppers and eggplant over a charcoal grill or a gas flame until the skins are completely charred and blistered. Alternatively broil them in the oven (directly on the rack or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper), rotating every 15 minutes until charred, 30 to 45 minutes.Place the roasted vegetables into a paper bag or a heatproof container. Seal and set aside for 20 minutes until cool.Peel off and discard the skin and stems from the eggplant and peppers, and remove the pepper seeds. Coarsely chop the flesh and set aside.In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat and saut. the onion until very soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat.Add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and black pepper to the pot, and stir in the pepper and eggplant pulp.Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend the mixture to a coarse paste with a slightly chunky texture. Be careful not to completely puree the mixture. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator. Serves 4 to 6 MICI “LITTLES” A typical street or pub food in Romania (and known as cevapi in Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and other Balkan countries) these garlicky little skinless sausages are grilled on the barbecue or in a hot pan, then served with mustard. Flatbread, ajvar, sour cream or yogurt, and onions make a traditional accompaniment, too.A recipe from Carpathia: Food from the Heart of Romania by Irina Georgescu (Interlink Publishing).300 g (11 oz) ground beef500 g (1lb 2oz) ground pork200 g (7oz) pork back fat or lardo, diced and briefly minced in a food processor3 slices of white bread, soaked in milk1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed to a paste1 teaspoon black pepper2 teaspoons sweet paprika1 teaspoon dried thyme1 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons sour cream75 ml (3 fl oz) cold concentrated beef stock made from ½ stock cube dissolved in 75ml (3 fl oz) hot water2 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil for frying Ask your butcher to mince the meat together with the pork back fat for you, so you won’t have to mince it separately at home. The fat is key to the juiciness and texture of the mici – it can be made with less but the texture will be slightly drier.Combine all the ingredients, except for the oil, together in a bowl (or food processor). Knead by hand to an almost bread-like dough which resembles a paste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. With wet hands shape 60–70g (2 ½ –3oz) of the mixture into a chunky little sausage, about 10cm (4 inches) long and 3 cm (1 inch) thick. Place on a greased tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or, ideally, overnight.Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat and cook the sausages on all sides, turning them six times in total, until browned on the outside and soft and juicy in the middle. Alternatively, cook on a hot barbecue, brushing with a little oil first. Makes 15-20. PEAR STRUDEL My grandmother made strudel with paper-thin dough she pulled into sheets by hand and I use frozen filo pastry. But this recipe from Katerina Nitsou and her new book Macedonia, The Cookbook intrigued me, with its thicker pastry, made with sour cream. Nitsou says the strudel can be made with any stewed fruit, like apples, cherries or plums, making it a great autumn dessert.Excerpted from Macedonia by Katerina Nitsou Copyright © 2021. Photographs by Oliver Fitzgerald. Published by Interlink Publishing.Dough:3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting1 cup (225 g) cold unsalted butter, grated1⁄2 cup (120 ml) sour cream1 egg yolk 1 whole egg, whisked, for egg washFilling:4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter1 tablespoon flour 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) brandy 1⁄2 cup (70 g) light brown sugar1⁄4 cup (40 g) chopped dried apricots 1⁄4 cup (30 g) chopped walnuts1 teaspoon cinnamon 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt 3–4 medium ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juiceIn a large bowl, use your fingers to mix the flour and butter until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Use a spatula to fold in the sour cream and egg yolk. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and knead the mixture just until it comes together smoothly. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Flatten the dough into a rectangle about 5 by 10 inches (13 by 25 cm). Tightly wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.When the dough has been chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.Make the filling: In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Slowly mix in the flour and stir until you have a paste (roux). Add the brandy, sugar, apricots, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Fold in the pears, and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Set aside to cool.On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle 12 by 16 inches (30 by 40 cm) and 1⁄4-inch (6 mm) thick. Brush the top of the dough with some of the egg wash. Place the filling in a thick line down the center of the rectangle. Fold each side of the dough over the filling, making sure the dough overlaps to create a seal. Carefully flip the strudel over and place it on the baking sheet, seam side down. Cut slits into the top of dough about1 inch (2.5 cm) apart and brush the dough with the remaining egg wash. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Zucchini Fritters Excerpted from Macedonia by Katerina Nitsou Copyright © 2021. Photographs by Oliver Fitzgerald. Published by Interlink Publishing.Serves 4 to 61 lb 5 oz (600 g) zucchini(3 medium), grated1 medium starchy potato, such as russet, peeled and grated 4 scallions, thinly sliced¾ cup (115 g) grated feta cheese⅓ cup (40 g) all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill¼ teaspoon paprika1 tablespoon kosher salt½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper2 eggs, whiskedVegetable oil, for fryingIn a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, potato, scallions, and cheese.In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, dill, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the zucchini mixture and toss to coat. Fold the eggs into the zucchini mixture until fully incorporated.In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until it begins to shimmer.Without crowding the pan, drop large spoonfuls of zucchini mixture into the oil and gently press down with the back of the spoon to flatten. Fry the fritters for 5 to 6 minutes on each side until golden brown, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat with the remaining zucchini mixture, adding about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan for each batch. Serve immediately2022ajvarBalkanCarpathiafrittersMacedoniamici littlesrecipestrudel SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Cinda Chavich ... Read More You may also like Appetizer / Main course / Recipes December 30, 2019 Spinach and Herb Pesto Spinach and Herb Pesto Makes about 1 cup. 1½ cups finely chopped spinach 1½ cups chopped parsley 2 Tbsp lemon juice, about half a lemon 1 jalapeño ... Read More Appetizer / Main course / Recipes December 30, 2019 One Perogy Two Perogy Perogies with Potato and Wild Mushroom, or Two Cheese Filling This is my recipe for perogies with a fluffy, mashed-potato-infused dough—one ... 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