Monday, September 22, 2014

Greek fried eggplants - Melitzanes tiganites

Along with crispy fried zucchiniTaramosalata and Tirosalata, fried eggplant - Melitzanes Tiganites (μελιτζάνες τηγανητές) is part of nearly every menu of a Greek restaurant, being one of the favorite Greek mezedes. Meze is not just an appetizer you order before the main dish. Close to the Spanish tapas, this is a dish, which accompanies a glass of alcohol - tsipuro, ouzo or just Retsina and people can spend hours enjoying meze and having long talks without moving to heavier dishes. 
One of the most important things while preparing eggplant is not to let it soak too much fat - so there are some important rules, which shall be kept.

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