I'M BACK! I should apologize for the long absence, but ever since I said that I would post only on Sundays, they've become busy/lazy days when I don't feel like even checking up the blog. So, this mid-week post is a compensation of sorts.
On Saturday, we (Bulgarians) celebrated our national holiday commemorating 3 March 1878 when the Russian-Turkish war ended and after 500-year yoke, Bulgaria gained its freedom from the Ottoman (Turkish) empire. A day when I remember how grateful I am to the Russian and Bulgarian men who have given their lives, so that we could be free. Although as a child, I didn't give the holiday much thought and I dreaded the long speeches of statesmen and the folk music concerts on television, adulthood has given me a bit of wisdom. Recalling all the history lessons we've had on the hardships of life under foreign rule, the loss of lives and the struggle to keep our national identity, I feel very proud of my ancestors, who kept the Bulgarian spirit in a time when both Turkish and Greek influences threatened it (I hope nobody misunderstands, as I carry no ill feelings towards either nation. The past is the past.) Although I'm uncertain that we as a nation possess the dignity of the ones before us, I also know that every generation has its battles. I just hope we handle ours graciously.
Enough with the history lesson though. Let's get a bit culinary. My contribution to the holiday was a traditional Bulgarian dish called banitsa (filo-dough with leek, cheese and eggs filling). There are all sorts of versions of it both savory and sweet, but I made mine the traditional way. I can find filo-dough only in the Arabian store here, but with a little time on one's hands, it's easy to make at home. That's what I do. I have this crazy idea that if a meal is festive, it has to take quite some time to make. Buying the fillo-dough would mean just assembling the products and throwing the banitsa in the oven. It just doesn't sit right with me. That being said, the special ingredient of a festive meal is the people one shares it with, so if time is an issue, it's not a crime to take a shortcut. Moreover, fillo-dough is made just with flour, salt, vegetable oil, vinegar and water, so it's one of those products you can buy from the store and have no worry about its ingredients, etc.
I personally would probably always roll out my filo-dough as it's something I've watched my grandmother do and I feel very honored to carry the tradition in my family. So, this is how it goes:
500 g. flour
1 tb. sp. vinegar
1 tb. sp. olive oil
1/2 t.sp. salt
8 t. sp. olive oil
250 g. feta cheese
1. Sift the flour in a big bowl and make a well in it.
2. Add the vinegar, olive oil, salt and a little warm water.
3. Start kneading and add as much water as you need until you form soft dough.
4. Cut the dough in 12 pieces and form balls with them.
5. Roll out a circle from each ball the size of a cup plate. When you roll out the first, place it on a plate. Spread 1 t.sp. olive oil on top of it and then add the second circle on top of the first. Spread 1 t.sp. olive oil on it and add the third circle on top. Do the same thing with the rest of the circles, arranging them three by three, by three, so on. At the end, you should have 4 sets of dough circles.
6. Roll out each set as thinly as you can. You should be able to see through each leaf, when it's rolled out well. In order to make the process easy, sprinkle flour on the bottom of the surface where you'll be working and also on top of the circle sets every time the dough starts to stick or doesn't roll out easily and smoothly. Congratulations, you now have 4 sheets of filo-dough.
7. Cook the diced leek for about 5-10 min, adding 1/4 cup water, so it can soften.
8. Beat the eggs and mix with the cheese. Add the leek and some parsley.
9. Spread from the mix on each filo-dough sheet and roll it. Arrange in a round form.
Natural yoghurt drink goes very well with it. I just added a spoon of yoghurt to the plate. Hope you enjoy it! :)
Jeg har ikke skrevet i et stykke tid, men på lørdag fejrede jeg Bulgariens national helligdag med en traditionel ret, som jeg ønskede at dele med dig. Det kaldes banitsa - lavet af filodej med ost, porre og æg påfyldning. Jeg er ikke sikker på, om du kan finde det i supermarkeder, men du kan prove med Arabiske butikker eller den BulgarskMad butik i København (hvis du bor der).
Alternativt kan du også prøve at gøre det derhjemme. Det er ret nemt, men det kræver omkring en time at gøre.
500 g. mel
1 spiseskefuld eddike
1 spiseskefuld olivenolie
1/2 teske salt
8 teske olivenolie
250 g. feta ost
1. Sigt melet i en stor skål og lav en fordybning i det.
2. Tilsæt eddike, olivenolie, salt og lidt varmt vand.
3. Begynd æltning og tilsæt så meget vand som du har brug for, indtil dejen er blød
4. Skær dejen i 12 stykker og form bolde med dem.
5. Udrulle en cirkel fra hver kugle med størrelsen af et bæger plade. Når du rullerden første, placere den på en tallerken. Spred 1 teske olivenolie på toppen af det og derefter tilsættes den anden cirkel oven på den første. Spred 1 teske olivenolie på den og tilføje den tredje cirkel på toppen. Gør det samme med resten af cirklerne. Der bør være 4 sæt af tre dejen cirkler, når du er færdig.
6. Udrulle hvert sæt så tyndt som du kan. Du skal se gennem hvert blad, når det er rullet ud godt. Drys mel på bunden af overfladen, hvor du vil arbejde, og også på toppen af cirklen sætter hver gang dejen begynder at klæbe eller når den ikke udrulle let og gnidningsløst. Tillykke, du nu har 4 blad filo-dej.
7. Kog hakkede porre for omkring 5-10 minutter med 1/4 kop vand, så det kan blødgøre.
8. Pisk æg og blandes med osten. Tilsæt porre og nogle persille.
9. Spred blandingen på hver filo dej. Arranger i en rund form.
10. Bakes i 200 C ovn indtil guld brun.
Serveres med yoghurt naturel. Velbekomme!