Monday, October 11, 2010

"Pite" means pie (Cornmeal Pie with Scallions)

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
12 oz cottage cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a 9" pie plate.

2. In a large bowl, stir together cornmeal, cottage cheese, eggs, scallions, melted butte, and half of feta cheese. Scrape into pie plate, spread evenly, and sprinkle with rest of feta.

3. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool and serve.

Pronunciation: peeteh

Adapted from a recipe in Home Cooking Around the World by David Ricketts, which you can find here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Patëllxhani të mbushura" means stuffed eggplant

1 large eggplant
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 tbsp safflower oil
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, diced
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1. Wash the eggplant and slice it in half length-wise. Cut/scoop some of the flesh out of the middle of each half to form a hole (to be stuffed later). Chop the eggplant flesh you've scooped out and set it aside.

2. Sauté onion in oil until it's translucent. Add chopped eggplant (and maybe a bit more oil if it sticks to the bottom of the pan) and continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft and nearly mushy. Then add canned tomatoes, garlic, and parsley and continue to cook for about another 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Place the eggplant halves hole side up on a tinfoil lined baking sheet or in a baking dish and fill each with the stuffing you just made. Bake at 375F for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the eggplant halves are very soft.

Makes about 4 servings

Pronunciation: patlejohn teh mbooshoorah

Fun fact: I listened to this traditional Albanian music while I cooked. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Fërgëse me mëlçi" means fried liver

1 lb lamb, mutton, or veal liver (I used chicken breast instead)
1/4 cup oliv'emn  oil
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup cottage cheese
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1/4 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Dice chicken, sautee in oil for 5 to 10 minutes, and remove from the frying pan.

2. Add flour to the remaining oil and saute until yellowish. Stir in cottage cheese, garlic, chili powder, pepper, and salt. Add chicken, stir to coat, place mixture in a baking dish and bake at 350F for about half an hour. Serve hot with bread.

Makes 4 servings

furgaysee meh melchee

Fun fact: I had to make this twice before it was blog worthy - the first time I made it, I didn't realize that my jar of chili powder was full of tiny worms until it was too late.

The Albanian's reaction to this dish:

Look at this! I made Albanian chicken! Does it look Albanian?
The Albanian Not even like Albanian shit.
The Albanian Just kidding! It looks cute and t smells beautiful. And tasteful - it definitely smells tasteful. Good job!

Very loosely based on an extremely vague recipe in a cookbook called The Best of Albanian Cooking: Favorite Family Recipes by Klementina and R. John Hysa.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Sallatë me kastravec" means salad with cucumber

Ingredients1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped thinly
1/2 white onion (or 3 scallions), chopped
about 4 tbsp olive oil
about 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Toss all ingredients together.

2. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 side servings (I eat a mixing bowl full at a time)

Pronunciation: salawt meh kastravets

Fun fact: Salads of all kinds are extremely popular in Kosovo. The Albanian's mom has been making this one for his family meals since he was small.

Serving tip: It goes a bit soggy if you don't eat it right away, at which point it makes for a great sandwich topping.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Sallatë pure patëllxhani" means baked eggplant salad

2 medium eggplants
2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
2 to 4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Rinse the eggplants and place on a baking sheet covered with foil. Bake for about an hour and a half until very soft.
2. Remove eggplants from oven and allow to cool until touching them doesn't burn your finger tips off (about 20 minutes). Slice in half and scoop innards into a large bowl.
3. Stir in garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and parsley.
4. Serve at once or let the flavors set deeper and enjoy later or the following day.

Makes about 4 servings

Pronunciation: salawt pureh patlejohn

The Albanian's reaction to this dish: He almost vomited. He told me it looked like shit, and that he'd never seen anything like that in Kosovo. On top of that, he said he'd never even seen or heard of an eggplant before he came to the US. That's probably because he'd never been grocery shopping before he moved here. True story.

Very loosely based on an extremely vague recipe in a cookbook called The Best of Albanian Cooking: Favorite Family Recipes by Klementina and R. John Hysa.

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Vo t'zime" means hard boiled egg

crayons (optional)
Easter egg dye (optional)

1. Place eggs (as many as you wish) in a pot (large enough to fit the eggs plus at least two inches) and cover with cool water.

2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for approximately 20 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and run cold water over the eggs until they're cool.

4. Decorate with egg dye and crayons, if desired.
Pronunciation: vo tzimay

Fun fact:
The creature on the egg above is a dog. In Albanian, dogs say "hau hau hau" instead of "woof woof."