Sunday, May 8, 2011

Macedonian Cuisine - May 2011

Diva:  Lovina

Drinks:  Stacey

Red wines
Perrier with lime

Appetizer: Colleen
Macedonian Feta Cheese Spread

½ lb greek feta cheese -- crumbled

3 T olive oil

2 small dried red chile peppers

3 dashes black pepper
½ lemon, juiced

Place crumbled feta, olive oil, dried red chile peppers, a few grinds of black pepper, and the lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and blend until very smooth. 

Transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours so that the flavors develop and the cheese spread sets up. 

Bring to room temperature. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the top. Serve with kalamata olives and pita. 

Will keep, refrigerated, for up to a week.


Salad:  Erin
Macedonian Salad

1 large eggplant, peeled or not, and cut into 1-inch cubes, or even smaller
a little oil for the baking tray
4 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 medium clove garlic, minced
½ tsp salt (more, to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon basil
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp marjoram or oregno
1 T fresh lemon juice
¼ c (packed) finely minced parsley
2 small scallions, very finely minced
½ medium red bell pepper, minced
½ medium green bell pepper, minced
1 medium tomato, diced

Optional Garnishes
Olives (Greek, oil-cured, or Nicoise)
Crumbled Feta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread the eggplant cubes onto a lightly oiled baking tray, and roast in the oven about 15 minutes, or until tender enough so a fork can slide in easily. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs, and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl. Add the still-warm eggplant and stir. Cover, and let sit for at least 2 hours. (At this stage, it will keep in the refrigerator for several days.)
the remaining vegetables within an hour or two of serving. Serve garnished with olives and yogurt or crumbled feta cheese. 

**I doubled the recipe and didn't include parsley or scallions.  I included a slice of feta, a couple of greek olives and two cherry tomatoes on each plate.   

(From Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

Soup: Ashley
Macedonian White Bean Soup with Basil-Mint Oil

Basil-Mint Oil:

¼ c whole fresh mint leaves

¼ c whole fresh basil leaves
¾ c olive oil

Bring 2 cups water to boil.  Have a bowl of ice water ready.  Blanch herbs for 20 seconds and immerse in ice water.  Dry and put in a blender.  WIth motor running, add oil in a slow steady stream.  Set aside.

3 T olive oil

1 c onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced into 1/8" half rounds

3 15oz cans Great Northern beans, drained

1 28oz can chopped tomatoes with juice
4 c vegetable stock

3 T paprika

¼ tsp chipotle powder

1 tsp each chopped fresh basil and mint

salt and pepper to taste
lemon to squeeze over soup just prior to serving

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot and sautee about 3 minutes, or until onion begins to soften.  Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer partially covered for about 30-45 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Adjust seasoning to your liking.  

To serve:  Ladle soup into a bowl.  Drizzle 3-4 tsp of basil-mint oil over the top and squeeze some lemon juice to add brightness

Entrée:  Aven
Stuffed Cabbage

3 T good olive oil
1 ½ c chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and their juice
¼ c red wine vinegar
½ c light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ c raisins
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large head Savoy or green cabbage, including outer leaves

For the filling:
1 8 oz package of tempeh
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
½ c finely chopped yellow onions
½ c plain dried breadcrumbs
½ c uncooked white rice
1 tsp minced fresh oregano leaves
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ c roasted red peppers, diced
1 tsp paprika

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions, and cook over medium-low heat for 8 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, raisins, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Remove the entire core of the cabbage with a paring knife. Immerse the head of cabbage in the boiling water for a few minutes, peeling off each leaf with tongs as soon as it s flexible. Set the leaves aside. Depending on the size of each leaf, you will need at least 14 leaves.

For the filling, in a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, eggs, onion, breadcrumbs, rice, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add 1 cup of the sauce to the meat mixture and mix lightly with a fork.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To assemble, place 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Remove the hard triangular rib from the base of each cabbage leaf with a small paring knife. Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of filling in an oval shape near the rib edge of each leaf and roll up toward the outer edge, tucking the sides in as you roll. Place half the cabbage rolls, seam sides down, over the sauce. Add more sauce and more cabbage rolls alternately until you ve placed all the cabbage rolls in the pot. Pour the remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover the dish tightly with the lid and bake for 1 hour or until the meat is cooked and the rice is tender. Serve hot.

(Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten)

Dessert:  Colleen
Sutlijash (Rice Pudding)

4 c milk
⅔ c sugar
1 T unsalted butter
1 lemon zest strip
1 cinnamon stick
6 c water
pinch of salt
½ c white rice
3 egg yolks
ground cinnamon for garnish
almonds for garnish, optional

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, sugar, butter, lemon zest and cinnamon stick. Heat until small bubbles appear along the edge of the pan, then remove from the heat. Let stand for 30 minutes to develop the flavor.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and rice, reduce the heat to low and cook slowly until the rice kernels have swelled and are tender (15-20 minutes). Drain.
Place the saucepan holding the milk mixture over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the rice and simmer uncovered, stirring often, until thickened, 15-20 minutes. Remove the lemon zest and cinnamon stick and discard.

In a bowl, using a fork or whisk, beat the egg yolks until lightly frothy. Gradually add about 1 cup (8 fl oz/ 250 ml) of the hot pudding to the yolks, beating constantly. Gradually pour the warmed yolks into the remaining pudding, stirring constantly. Cook over very, very low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

Spoon the pudding into individual dessert bowls or one large serving bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon and top with toasted almonds (optional). Serve at room temperature.


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