Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Waldorf Salad

Ceiling of Hotel WaldorfThink about the times before the diets. Nothing is forbidden. You don't feel guilty - neither while eating or on the other day. Think about the wealthy people in Manhattan in the late 19th century. Silky dresses, pearls, cigars, smell of money. Where are they often in the evenings? In Waldorf-Astoria - place where all the prominent people met, place of beautiful ladies and men who rule the world.
Apples and celery salad
It was the year of 1893. Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel of the famous Waldorf Astoria, created a salad, which had the fate to survive during the centuries. There were only apples, celery and mayonnaise. During the next years roasted walnuts were added. According to the present menu of Waldorf Astoria, the Waldorf Salad is "Green and Red Apples with Celery Root, tossed in a Creamy Lemon Dressing. Served with Toasted Walnuts". No chicken, no cheese, no yogurt to make the dressing lighter. Here is the original recipe:
Waldorf salad

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Deep Fried pork belly - the crunchy winter relish

Do you like fatty food? Probably not. But if you take the fattiest part of the pig - its belly, and fry it in even more fat, you will get a crispy delish which is enjoyed in many countries placed thousand of miles away from each other. In Bulgaria the fatty chunks are called 'prujki', in Spain and Colombia - 'chicharrón', in Portugal - 'Torresmo'. 'Pork rind' in England or 'шкварки' in Russia, it is all the same. Here is the way I prepare this appetizer. And do not worry about calories - there is a whole stream into the diet science which calls for eating fat if you want to loose weight. So take a glas of wine or beer and enjoy it. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Pumpkin cake with sliced fresh pumpkin and rice

Pumpkin cake with fresh pumpkin slicesA pumpkin cake prepared with slices of pumpkin instead of pumpkin puree. You can feel not only the taste of the pumpkin, you can enjoy its texture with your tongue, its crust above the velvety inside. What is also good about this pumpkin cake? The grains of rice which have absorbed as much sweet vanilla milk as possible. The smell of cinnamon. This pumpkin cake reminds me on my childhood and on my beloved Granny, who prepared it many times every autumn and winter. Here is her recipe for you.
Roasted pumpkin

Pumpkin cake

Roasted pumpkin

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Sarmi (Sauerkraut rolls with chopped meat)

Bulgarian sarmi
"Sarmi" is a popular Bulgarian dish, which stands for sauerkraut rolls prepared as a vegetarian dish (stuffed with chopped onion, rice and spices and served traditionally on Christmas Eve) or the other popular variety, for the meat lovers (stuffed with onion, minced meat, little rice and spices). The recipe I share with you today is called "Tsarski sarmi", which mean sauerkraut rolls for the King. The reason for that - they are prepared with chopped meat insted of minced meat and you can feel better the taste of the meat. There is leek instead of onion, which adds a slightly sweet taste to the dish and matches so well with the pork. No rice, no onion, just some crushed dry peppers - hot if you like the sweet taste and sweet if you do not. So this is a dish for special occasions. Bulgarian sauerkraut is not sweet and shredded, as it is in Germany and some Central-European countries - the whole heads of cabbages are prepared without any additional flavours and we enjoy the sour taste of the cabbage. 
Many families still prepare homemade sauerkraut in Bulgaria, but this is a long and hard process which requires a lot of patience and results depend a lot on the quality of the cabbage, on the temperature in the place where the fermentation takes place and of course on the skills of the housekeeper. The good thing is, that these days there are lots of vendors who sell heads of sauerkraut cabbage in plastic bags on every farmer's market, so I can enjoy the tasty Bulgarian sarmi without making all that efforts.

Bulgarian sarmi