Friday, September 05, 2014

Bulgarian stuffed peppers with cheese and eggs - Chushki Bjurek

Bulgarian cheese stuffed peppers

Lots of my memories are related to different smells – cinnamon of a cup of cappuccino sipped on a first date, the clear skin of a baby I kiss, freshly ground coffee, perfume of a friend. I perceive huge part of the world based on smells –every season, every month has a specific smell and the smell of late summer and early autumn is the smell of roasted peppers.  At least it was. During my childhood there were no air conditioners in Bulgaria and the only way to lower the harsh summer heat in the apartments was to keep all the windows wide open. And August and September were the months for home canning when part of all the abundance of vegetables available in this sunny country was put in small and larger jars for the winter months. Homemade is always better than anything you can buy. So this was the time for roasting peppers in large amounts. The distinctive smoky aroma of the roasted peppers went through the open kitchen windows, filled the streets and evoked memories and imagination.  
In today’s terms, everything prepared with roasted peppers shall be probably called slow food. Because although there are no refined ingredients in the dishes with roasted peppers, they are slow to prepare and require patience and a lot of devotion.
You can do so many things with roasted peppers… for instance Roasted peppers salad, Mish-mush with roasted peppers,  fried roasted peppers with tomato sauce or roasted peppers with charred eggplant dip (Kjopoolu), and of course - Chushki Bjurek .
Chushki Bjurek (hard to pronounce, easy to eat) is a vegetarian dish, which represents roasted red peppers filled and fried with a tasty mixture of crumbled Feta cheese and whisked eggs.
Roasted peppers

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Walnut brittle

Candied walnuts

Candied walnuts or walnut brittles are easy to prepare and they are great as an additive to salads (think about Gorgonsola, mixed greens and candied walnuts salad, which will appear soon here), as an ingredient of a cake or just so - to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee.
Walnut brittle

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Opatia and the different colors of water


Probably in my previous life I was sailor or fisherman, this is the only way I can explain my love to the sea. I learned how to swim with seven and although I've never won a single competition, I feel best in water and especially in the sea. 
The feeling of getting rid of gravity is uncomparable. Swimming slowly, looking around to watch the creatures, while all the bitter thoughts dissolve in water imperceptibly and hours later I get out of the water free and light like after a meditation. Or swimming fast, up to exhaustion, finding my way between layers of water, feeling the rise of my body temperature. Nothing matters in water, no problem seems to be so heavy as it is on the heavy ground. Just water and me. 
Probably this is only one of the reasons I loved Opatia so much. This seaside resort is placed in the northwestern part of Croatia, not too far from a border to Italy and it is called the Pearl of the Adriatic riviera. It has fancy restaurants and cafes, expensive shops and the lungomare - the kilometers long promenade along the sea, but I liked most the water. Because of the bura wind which blows here, water is cold, because of the pebbles it is not turbolent and provides meters of visibility in depth. Its colors change throughout the day, they are different on the different places, so many hues of blue and green. 
And all you have to do is just swim.  
Nothing else matters.