MOCHA CREAM DESSERT

There are many variations of this easy recipe, and of course, you can adapt it according your taste. This is the one I prefer.


Ingredients:

  • 1 bag chocolate pudding
  • 500 ml cold milk
  • 50 ml black coffee
  • 200 ml whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 20 g chocolate decoration

Preparation:
  1. Boil milk with pudding according to directions on the bag. Once cooked, leave to cool slightly. In a meanwhile, mix the whipping cream in a bowl until solid, add sugar and vanilla extract and mix.
  2. Take 1/4 of the whipped cream for decoration. Mix well the rest of the cream with the cooled pudding and black coffee. Pour the resulting cream evenly into serving cups and leave it in the fridge until serving.
  3. Before serving, decorate with a spoonful of whipped cream and grated chocolate.
Enjoy!

VEAL STEW WITH GARLIC SAUCE (TELESKA CORBA SO MAKALO)

Meat stew is a traditional dish in Macedonia. Veal stew, tripe stew and chicken stew (and somewhere and fish stew) are served in every restaurant every day from morning till afternoon, usually combined with garlic sauce (makalo) and fresh bread. It's hard to prepare a homemade stew like the ones served in restaurants, but this recipe is the best I've tried at home.

Ingredients:

  • 4 potatoes
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 veal bone
  • 300 g of pure beef (brittle)
  • 1 celery branch
  • 2 parsnip
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 4-5 laurel leaves
  • 10 threads saffron
  •  parsley

Instructions:

  1. Put  the bone veal with 3 liters of water in a large pot. When water boils, reduce the temperature and leave to cook quietly for 1 hour. Remove the bone from the water and add the saffron to color the water. 
  2. Cut veal (but don't cut trough) to make it easier to get heat into the meat. Place the meat together with parsnip in the pot and leave to cook quietly for approximately 2 hours or until meat starts to fall apart. Cook covered with lid. Remove meat and add potatoes and carrots cut into tiny cubes, add celery branch and 4 to 5 laurel leaves.
  3. While potatoes and carrots are cooked, shred the meat in tiny pieces using two forks. 
  4. Try potato cubes occasionally, if you think potato is cooked enough, remove two-thirds of the mixture of potatoes and carrots and blend them in a blender. That is the secret of thickening the stew. Once you have blended the mixture, add two to three cups of water from the pot in the blender and blend again to get a more liquid mixture, easier to bind with water in the pot. Add mixed potatoes and carrots back in the pot. Also put back the shredded meat and remove the celery and parsnip.
  5. Add two to three tablespoons of oil and a handful of parsley, add salt and black pepper as desired. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, squeeze the juice of half a lemon.
For the garlic sauce (makalo):
Finely chop two large cloves of garlic. Put them in a bowl, mash and mix with two to three tablespoons of apple cider or wine vinegar and water for dilution.

Serve stew with bread which you soak in garlic sauce, apple vinegar and chilly peppers.

Enjoy!

GRANDMA'S DOUGHNUTS

Freshly fried donuts, with jam or cream ... sweet bite that any generation can't resist.
This recipe gets me back to childhood, to the smell of doughnuts prepared by the skilled hands of my grandmother.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 yeast
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 kg flour
  • 300-350 ml water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 100 ml oil
  • Cream or jam, optional

Preparation:

  1. Melt yeast in warm water, add yogurt, salt, sugar, flour, oil and gradually add eggs. Knead dough and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Roll out dough and cut into circles in desired size. Leave circles to stand about 10 minutes, then fry in hot oil.

Sprinkle finished doughnuts with powdered sugar or fill with cream or jam or as desired.

Enjoy!

GIBANICA (QUICK PASTRY WITH EGGS AND CHEESE)

Gibanica is a popular traditional pastry dish made with eggs and cheese. It's very easy to make and very tasty. There's no kneading and basically I like all pastries where there's no need for kneading :)



Ingredients:
  •  500 g or 1 package phyllo dough 
  •  500 g diced cheese or cottage cheese
  •  3-5 eggs
  •  1 cup yogurt
  •  1 cup sparkling water (or plain with two teaspoons of baking powder)
  •  1/2 cup vegetable oil
  •  1 tsp salt
Preparation: 
  1. Heat the oven and grease the pan. 
  2. Mix eggs well, add cheese, water, oil, yogurt and salt and mix nicely.
  3. Take one layer of phyllo dough aside. Place 2 layers on the bottom of the pan. Take 2 layers, dip them in the egg mixture and place on the dry phyllo layers. Place 1 dry layer. Then reinsert two layers previously sunk into the egg mixture. Repeat the procedure until you finish all layers. If there's an egg mixture left, pour evenly on top. At last, place the layer that you moved aside. 
  4. Sprinkle some oil on top, cut in squares and bake in preheated oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden color. 
Enjoy!

ECLAIRS (EKLERI)

I remember when I was a kid, my mum used to make eclairs a lot. I helped in filling the eclairs with creme and in eating of course :) It's a very popular dessert in Macedonia and you can buy this pastry everywhere. If you want to delight your loved ones with a delicious homemade dessert, here is a simple way to make this puff pastry.
eclairs ekleri

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 baking powder(10 g)
  • 4 eggs
For the filling:
  • 1/2 liter milk
  • 4 + 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 packs vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour (full)
  • 125 g butter + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
*cup size is 250 ml

Preparation:
  1. Place oil and water to boil and let simmer another 2 minutes. Add the flour in the boiling liquid and stir well until condensed. Remove pan from fire, add baking powder and leave the mixture to cool completely.
  2. Blend the eggs in the cooled mixture by adding them one by one.
  3. There are two ways of disposing the mixture in the baking pan
  • Using a spoon
  • Using a tulumba syringe
Bake in preheated oven at 250 C degrees. While baking, oven must NOT be opened, especially the first 20 minutes.

Preparing the filling:
  1. Cook milk with 4 tablespoons sugar.
  2. Mix flour, eggs, vanilla and the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar with a wire. Add the mixture in the milk. Cook until mixture is creamy and leave to cool.
  3. Mix butter with sugar powder. Add in the cooled cream.
  4. Cut eclairs horizontally and fill with cream. Add melted chocolate on top.
Enjoy!

PERFECT CREPES

For morning breakfast or as a light dinner in the evening, with a little jam or Nutella, with bananas, whipped cream or honey and nuts - crepes are the perfect meal at any combination.
Everybody makes them differently. Some want them thinner, other thicker, some make them without eggs and milk, others want them full.

If you want the perfect crepes, follow this recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • ½ liters of milk
  • 100 ml mineral bubbling water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • oil
Preparation:
  1. Mix the eggs, add salt, sugar and milk. Add flour and mix until dough is smooth. You should get a very thick pancake batter.
  2. Add the water and mix. Add some oil. Allow the mixture to stand for 20 minutes, then bake pancakes on a hot hob in a non-sticky pan.

Fill with your favorite flavor and enjoy!

SESAME SEED BAGELS

Bagel is a circular bread, typically encrusted with sesame on top. And what is better than sesame bagel? Well, of course, a homemade sesame bagel! That awesome taste of fine baked dough is really hard to resist. Here's a recipe that I've tried on my own.

 
Ingredients:

  •  1 kg of flour
  •  1  yeast
  •  2-3 tablespoons oil
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon sugar (not full)
  •  400 grams of sesame
  •  2-3 tablespoons honey.
 Preparation:
  1. Put  yeast with salt and sugar in a bowl for kneading and add about 100 ml of warm water.. 
  2. Once yeast is dissolved (with occasional stirring to melt faster), add 400 ml of lukewarm water, flour and oil.
  3. Dough is kneaded well until it stops being sticky on hands and until it is smooth enough.
  4. Divide dough into small balls, depending on desired bagel size. Each of the balls are individually sucked with hands to get long form, which then connects to circle. 
  5. Immediately place bagels into boiling honey water, because if they stay for a while, they'll rise a lot and become softer and more difficult for handling. The amount of water and honey vary and depend on the size of the pot in which bagels are being boiled.
  6. Bagel is cooked and ready to be removed when it rises from the bottom of the pot to the surface.
  7. Remove from water with the help of a large kitchen spoon with holes and place directly into a bowl with sesame. Then put into a greased baking pan or on a baking paper.
  8. When the pan is full, put to bake at 250 degrees until bagels are nicely browned.
Enjoy!




MACEDONIAN APPLE PIE (LAZY PIE)

Macedonian apple pie or lazy pie is a traditional pie, easy to make and delicious. It's ideal for moments when we want to eat something sweet and homemade, but we feel lazy to make it :)

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 baking powder
For the filling:
  • 1 kg of apples
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons semolina
  • 1 cup sugar (or taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preparation:
  1. Mix eggs with sugar until sugar dissolves nicely.
  2. Add butter and yogurt, then add flour and baking powder.
  3. Divide the mixture into 2 equal parts. Put one part in greased 25x35 pan and place in a preheated oven on 190 degrees to bake for about 10 minutes.
  4. During that time, fry apples with sugar, then add semolina and cinnamon.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, add the filling and put the second part of the dough mixture on top.
  6. Bake until top catches a nice baked crust. Sprinkle with powdered sugar on top, cut into cubes when cooled and enjoy.

HOMEMADE BREAD

Is there something tastier than warm fresh homemade bread? I don't think so. It's cheaper than buying it, it's more nutritious and you know exactly what goes in it. 


Ingredients:
  •     1 kg and 400 g all purpose flour 
  •     40 g fresh yeast
  •     1,5 tablespoon salt
  •     500 to 700 ml water
  •     1-2 tablespoons sugar

Preparation:
  1. Put flour in a large bowl for kneading, make a hole in the middle, add salt, sugar and yeast which yo prepared earlier.  
  2. Start kneading the dough with warm water. The needed water quantity varies and you should determine how much you need, dough should be soft and moistened.  
  3. Leave the dough to reach for about 40 minutes, knead again and make bread in a desired size and quantity.  
  4. Warm the tray where you'll bake bread, strew some flour on it. Arrange bread on the baking tray and leave again to reach around 30 minutes.  
  5. Turn on the oven to 200 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Cover with a towel to soften after baking.   
Combine your warm bread with ajvar or white cheese or as desired. Enjoy!

TARATUR

Taratur is a traditional Macedonian meal, usually served as an appetizer or salad. It generally includes yogurt or fermented milk, cucumbers and garlic. The following recipe is for 4 people.

Ingredients:

• 2 cucumbers (about 12 cm)
• 500 g yogurt
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
• 3 cloves garlic (crushed or powdered)
• 50 g nuts (optional)
• 10-20 g olive oil (optional)
• parsley (for decoration, optional)

Preparation:
  1. Wash cucumbers, then peel. Chop them finely. Put them in a bowl and add salt. 
  2. Pour yogurt and add garlic. Mix well. Add vinegar.
  3. Add oil and crushed nuts optionally. Put the mixture into a large serving bowl. Decorate with parsley.
Serve cold. Combine with Macedonian mastika.

CHEESE IN OVEN (SIRENJE VO FURNA)

Melted cheese or cheese in oven is a delicious Macedonian specialty, which pizzerias and restaurants usually serve with nicely roasted crispy bread sprinkled with sesame seeds. Cheese in oven is combination of 2-3  different cheeses. If desired, mushrooms, bacon or other dried meat can be added for richer taste.
cheese in oven

Ingredients:

  • 150 g feta cheese
  • 100 g white cheese (sheep cheese is the best)
  • 100 g yellow cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste, sauce or ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • oregano
Preparation:

You'll need 2 smaller earthen pots coated with a little butter or oil.
  1. Put piece of feta cheese in the pot and spread on the bottom with a fork. Add tomato puree and a little oregano for flavor.
  2. Add grated yellow cheese.
  3. Add the crushed white cheese above.
  4. Add the remaining grated yellow cheese on top and add some tomato paste on top.
  5. Put prepared dishes in the oven at 200 degrees and bake until the cheese on top is nicely melted and gets a beautiful golden color.
Serve and taste while it's hot. Combine with warm crispy bread.
Note: if you want to add other ingredients like dried meat or mushrooms, just put them above the first layer of feta cheese and continue the preparation process as mentioned above.

Enjoy!

KACAMAK (BAKRDAN, CORN PORRIDGE)

Kacamak is a kind of corn porridge made in the Balkan countries. It's known as bakrdan in Macedonia. It's a healthy food, especially eaten in the winter season.

Ingredients:
  • 1 kg corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 ml oil
  • 2,5 l water
Preparation:
  1. Pour water in a larger pot to boil. Once it boils, add salt and then carefully add the flour. 
  2. Make holes in the flour with a rolling pin and allow to boil on low heat for about an hour without stirring. 
  3. Once cooked, mix with the rolling pin in a circular motion, then add previously melted butter and oil, stir again until it becomes nice and smooth. Finally, bake in oven if desired.
  4. Combine with cheese, yogurt or fermented milk.
Enjoy!

MEKICI (MACEDONIAN DOUGHNUTS)

Mekici are a type of fried dough, very popular in Macedonia. Their taste is similar to doughnuts. It's a tradition that when a baby is born, the grandmother prepares mekici for the newborn :) They can be homemade or purchased in bakeries.

Ingredients:

  • 250 ml milk
  • 250 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 fresh yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 500-600 ml oil for frying
  • 1 kg of flour
Preparation:
  1. Place yeast in lukewarm water. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons flour to activate yeast.
  2. Then, knead a soft dough adding the eggs, flour, milk and oil. Knead until dough becomes nice and smooth.
  3. Pull the dough by hand and if it doesn't tear apart or separate, then dough is good. Let prepared dough stay for about 40 minutes (of course it depends on the ambient temperature, warmer temperature-shorter time)
  4. Knead dough again and let it rest to reach again.
  5. Pour oil in a deeper pan and place pan to warm up. Oil hands, form irregular shapes from dough and put to fry until they got beautiful golden color. Place mekici on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
  6. Serve with cheese or jam.

QUICK SOFT CRESCENTS (KIFLICKI)

Quick crescents ready in 15 minutes! This is a tested recipe that will delight you with the softness of the dough and delicious taste of the crescents. Great for your favorite salad or lunch.


 Ingredients:
  •     600 g flour
  •     1 baking powder
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     100 ml of oil
  •     1 cup sour cream
  •     200 ml of warm milk
  •     1 cube of fresh yeast
  •     1 tablespoon sugar
  •     Egg, sesame and spices for coating
Preparation:
  1. Mix yeast with lukewarm milk and sugar and leave to raise. 
  2. In a container in which you'll knead crescents, mix flour, baking powder, salt and add oil. 
  3. Finally, stir in the cream, then add the yeast.
  4. Knead the dough until smooth and divide into 4 parts.
  5. Thin each part with a rolling pin to half a centimeter thickness.
  6. Cut 8 triangles, fill them if desired or leave them empty and roll. I fill with white cheese mixed with egg.
  7. Arrange on baking tray, brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame and spices. 
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
Enjoy!

SPEEDY GONZALES (BRZI GONZALEZ)

Speedy Gonzales or brzi Gonzales, is a dessert from my childhood, my mum used to prepare it a lot. And we ate it so fast, so I always thought that's how it's got that name :)
It's easy to make and very very tasty.

Ingredients:Dough:

  •     3 eggs
  •     12 tbs sugar
  •     1 cup oil
  •     1 cup milk
  •     15 tbs flour
  •     1 tbs cocoa
  •     1 baking powder
  •     100 g of coconut powder
Dressing:
  •     15 tbs water
  •     15 tbs sugar
  •     3 tbs cocoa
  •     1 butter
  •     1 vanilla sugar
Preparation:
  1. Mix eggs and sugar. Gradually add the milk, butter, flour, cocoa and baking powder and coconut in the end. 
  2. Bake in pan no. 28 on 180 degrees about 20 minutes.
  3. Put all ingredients for the dressing in a pot on a moderate fire. Stir occasionally until everything melts. Don't let the dressing to boil. 
  4. When dough has cooled, cut into pieces (cubes) and then pour the dressing.

Good appetite!

RUSSIAN SALAD (RUSKA SALATA)

Today's Russian salad has very little in common with the original recipe, which remained a secret for its ingredients even till today. As such, it underwent certain modifications. But basically, the following recipe is the most used in Macedonia. This salad is served and often made for some bigger occasions and holidays.

Ingredients:
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g peas
  • 4-5 pickles
  • 200 g ham
  • 200 g cheese
  • 250 g mayonnaise
  • salt, black pepper
Preparation:

  1. Boil all vegetables (not the pickles) and eggs (separately), make sure the vegetables are not overcooked to retain their shape, then finely chop on as much smaller cubes. 
  2. Chop eggs, ham and cheese and mix in a deep bowl. 
  3. Chop pickles.
  4. Add salt and pepper according to taste, add the mayonnaise and mix well. If you want to add something else, also stir into the mixture. 
  5. Serve into deeper bowls or as you wish. Coat with a thin layer of mayonnaise and decorate as desired. Keep refrigerated until serving.
Enjoy!

PEASANT SALAD (salata rustika)

Peasants salad means "in the peasant manner" and it designates the rustic character of the salad with its roughly chopped, full of color vegetables shining under the rich coating of extra virgin olive oil.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 small mild onion
  • 1/8 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olives
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup oil-free salad dressing
  • 1/2 loaf oil-free French-style bread
  • olive oil
Preparation:
Cut the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and onion into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients except for the bread. Cut the bread into bite-sized pieces, add to vegetable mixture, and toss gently to coat with dressing.

Combine with rakia :)

MACEDONIAN SALAD

This is Macedonian salad, the full version.
Ingredients:
  • 2 small eggplants
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • chopped parsley
Marinade:

  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 Tbs dry red wine
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 c wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more
  • (Recipe calls for 1/4 c each of olive oil & sunflower oil - I omitted these)
  • black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • cheese for the top

1. Slice (1/2 inch slices), peel and lightly salt the eggplant. Let stand 10 minutes. Broil on an oiled tray until brown on both sides. Don’t overcook or under-cook. Slices should be just tender enough so a fork can slide in.
2. Prepare marinade. Chop the still-warm eggplant into bite-sized chunks, cover with marinade and let it absorb as it cools. Chill marinating eggplant for 2 hours.
3. Just before serving, cut the other vegetables into small chunks. Mix with the eggplant.

STUFFED EGGPLANTS WITH GROUND BEEF

Eggplants are available on the market for several months of the year. We usually use them as a winter supply, but here I present you a great idea for lunch.


Ingredients: 

  • 2-3 eggplants (medium size)
  • 200 g ground beef
  • 40 g butter
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 30 ml milk
  • shredded cheese
  • breadcrumbs 
  • parsley
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper

 Preparation: 

  1. Wash and cut eggplants in halves. Hollow them out with a spoon and cut the inside parts in small cubes. Cook eggplants halves in water until they soften. Set them on a kitchen paper. 
  2. Fry meat with the eggplant cubes, add the milk, the flour and the melted butter until it boils to make an even sauce. Then add the shredded cheese and the spices. 
  3. Heat the oven. Mix the meat mixture with the sauce and fill the eggplant halves. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and parsley and on the very top. Bake the stuffed eggplants for 25 min or until they get a golden color.
Enjoy!

CURRIED PUMPKIN MUFFINS

Muffins as savory appetizers are very common and popular in the last 10 years in Macedonia. Almost every housewife holds a muffin pan in the kitchen. Muffins are ease to made and tasty too.

You will need to cook 400 g peeled seeded pumpkin for these muffins.

Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (60g) bacon-flavoured chips
  • 1 cup cold cooked mashed pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons hot vindaloo curry paste
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
Grease 12 hole muffin pan (1/3 cup / 80ml capacity). Combine all ingredients in large bowl, stir with large metal spoon until just combined. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake in moderately hot oven about 25 min. Turn onto wire rack.

CHEESE & CHIVE MUFFINS

Muffins as savory appetizers are very common and popular in the last 10 years in Macedonia. Almost every housewife holds a muffin pan in the kitchen. Muffins are ease to made and tasty too. There are many recipes, lets start with this one.



Ingredients: 
  • 2 ¼ cups (335g) self-raising flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons castor sugar
  • 50g butter, chopped
  • ¾ cup (60g) coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • ½ cup (40g) coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, extra
  Grease 12 hole muffin pan (1/3 cup / 80ml capacity). Combine flour and sugar in large bowl, rub in butter. Add cheese, mustard, chives, egg and milk, stir with large metal spoon until just combined. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, sprinkle with extra cheese. Bake in moderately hot oven about 20 minutes. Turn onto wire rack.

PEPPERS STUFFED WITH CABBAGE

This is a traditional Macedonian winter relish. Combine with every main dish and of course, with rakia :)

stuffed peppers relish


Ingredients:
  • 4 kg of peppers (baburi)
  • 10 kg cabbage
  • 8 tablespoons of salt and a bit more for the cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons of grained black pepper
  • 2 l alcohol vinegar 9%
  • 2 l water
Preparation:
  1. Wash peppers, remove handles and seeds so that the edges are smooth.
  2. Finely chop cabbage, add salt and pepper and leave to stay for a few hours to soften.
  3. Strain the liquid from the cabbage by pressing with hand.
  4. Firmly fill peppers with cabbage so peppers maintain shape.
  5. Place stuffed peppers in jars and fill with a mixture of vinegar, salt and water previously boiled and coolen.
  6. Leave for a couple of days covered only with a towel because of fermentation, and then close the lid.

GINGER JAM WITH LEMON AND HONEY - THE BEST AGAINST COLDS

This time of year, when people are most susceptible to colds and other viral infections, it is necessary to take care of their health. Therefore, it is important to strengthen the immune system.

The recipe you will read below, is a real vitamin bomb - ginger jam with lemon and honey. This delicious sweet will help to strengthen yours and your loved ones health. It's become quite popular in the last years, since Macedonia's winters can be really harsh and people are forced to find different natural ways to keep their health in good condition during winter time.




Ingredients:
  • 1 average ginger root
  • 3 lemons
  • 0,5 l honey
Preparation:

1.Wash lemons, cut into cubes and grind using a blender.

2. Carefully peel ginger and grate finely.

3. Mix ginger and lemon and pour honey. Stir the mixture well and store in a glass jar. That's it!

This jam does not require heat treatment. You can keep it quite long thanks to preservative properties that honey has. You can add jam to tea (not very warm), put it on bread and eat it for breakfast or simply consume 1 tablespoon daily. I nowadays prepare it with 1 tsp of cinnamon. It's even better!

BAKLAVA (THE PERFECT RECIPE)

Baklava is another pastry that is typical of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire. Today, it is one of the most popular desserts in Macedonia. It is a rich sweet pastry made of layers covered with sherbet (syrup) which seduces with it's taste.
This is the perfect recipe of baklava. You can find the phyllo dough for this recipe in the freezer section of most grocery stores. 

Ingredients:
  • 500 g or 1 package phyllo dough
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 200 g of crushed walnuts
  • 200 ml of oil
  • cinnamon

For the syrup:
  • 600 g sugar
  • 600 ml water.

Preparation:
  1. Mix eggs and sugar well until they reach the proper density. Then, add all the other ingredients (baking powder, flour, grounded nuts, cinnamon and oil) and mix with a spoon.
  2. Put some oil on the baking pan. Place 3-4 sheets of dough in the pan. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of the mixture on top. Continue until you finish all layers.
  3. Cut baklava in rhomboid shapes before baking and sprinkle with a little oil on top.
  4. Bake at 200 ° C temperature until you get a beautiful golden yellow color. Finally, allow to cool.

Syrup: put sugar and water on fire to simmer about 10-15 minutes. Add 2 circles of lemon. Pour cold baklava with hot syrup and leave to stand for several hours (5-6 hours).


Enjoy!

PIFTIJA (MACEDONIAN ASPIC)

Piftija is a traditional Macedonian dish usually served in winter. This dish when cooled congeals because meat naturally contains gelatin. Each house has its own recipe for piftija and usually recipe never changes. I have to be honest and admit that I don't like piftija, I don't like that jelly structure in my mouth, but I love that smell of garlic mixed with meat. So, basically I only like to smell piftija.


Ingredients:

  • 1 kg pork legs
  • 1 kg of calf muscle
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 grains allspice
  • 5-6 grains of black pepper
  • 1 celery root
  • 1 parsnips root
  • 2 -3 rounds lemon
  • salt


Preparation:

1. Wash pork legs and muscle and place them in a pot of 5-6 liters. Pour cold water to cover and let them boil. While boiling, constantly remove the generated foam so the aspic remains clear. When there's no longer foam formation, add all the other ingredients and cook covered with a lid on a low heat for 4-5 hours. It's done when the content in the pot decreased by 1/3 to 1/2 and the liquid becomes sticky. If you are unsure, take 2-3 tablespoons of the aspic, place in a small bowl and leave in the refrigerator. It needs to gel quickly.
2. Move the meat on the side. Remove the vegetables and discard them. Strain liquid through fine sieve in a wider bowl. Let it settle. Collect all the grease from the surface with a spoon so there won't be any white spots on top.
3. Once again strain the liquid through the same sieve, but this time put on the sieve a filter paper or a rougher paper towel. Piftija will be crystal clear this way. Add salt if needed and add smashed garlic if desired (I highly recommend adding garlic).
4. Remove the meat from the pork legs, remove all membranes and tendons from the muscle and cut into pieces. Arrange the meat in one or more deep plates according to your needs and pour the liquid.
Leave to harden in the fridge. Serve as an appetizer for your guests or your family.

Enjoy!

ZELNIK FROM BITOLA (MACEDONIAN PIE)

This is my mother's recipe. Believe me, I've tried many different pies, but this one is my benchmark for pie! My mother is from Bitola and I know many housewives that prepare zelnik this way, so I'm free to name it "Zelnik from Bitola" :)

Ingredients:

For filling (or optional):

  • 500 g minced meat
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 tablespoons bread crumbs (or a little soy crumbs previously soften in water)
  • Salt, pepper, mixed spices
Preparation:

Cook the chopped onions until soften, add meat, spices and bread crumbs. Cook until they change color.
If you are using cheese and eggs as filling, add a little oil on the crust before applying the filling .

For dough:
  • 1 kg of flour
  • 500 ml lukewarm water
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 margarine / butter 250 g, divided in half
Preparation:

1. Mix all ingredients and knead until dough is smooth, split into two balls and let them rest for 10-15 minutes.
2. Roll out a 2-3 cm pastry from one ball and coat with half butter. Cut a smaller circle in the middle and cut in rays the remaining ring.

3. Each piece of the ring is placed on one another in the middle and then closed.

Put the dough in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
4. Repeat the procedure with the other ball.
5. When the dough is nicely chilled, stretch a crust the size of the tray, put the bottom crust on a greased tray, add the filling and place the second layer. Seal the ends spirally.
6. Sprinkle some oil and water on the top.
7. Bake at 200 C degrees in preheated oven, until pie gets a beautiful golden color.

Enjoy!


БИТОЛСКИ ЗЕЛНИК

Состојки:

За фил:
  •     500 г мелено месо
  •     2 големи главици кромид
  •     4 лажици презла (или малку соја трошки претходно омекнаит во вода)
  •     Сол, бибер, вегета
Подготовка: Се пржи кромидот додека не омекне, додадете го месото, зачините и лебните трошки. Пржете додека не се промени бојата. Ако користите сирење и јајца како фил, додадете малку масло врз долната кората пред додавање на филот.


За тестото:
  •     1 кг брашно
  •     500 мл млака вода
  •     2-3 лажици масло
  •     1 лажица сол
  •     1/2 лажица оцет
  •     малку шеќер
  •     1 маргарин или путер 250 г, поделен на половина

Начин на подготовка: 

1. Измешајте ги сите состојки и месете додека тестото не стани мазно, поделете го во две топки и оставете да се одморат 10-15 минути.
2. Исукајте кора со дебелина 2-3 см од тесто од едната топка и премачкајте ја со половина путер. Исечете помал круг во средината, а останатиот прстен од надворешната страна се сече на зраци (види слика).
3. Секое парче од прстенот се става едно врз друго во средината, а потоа се затвора (види слика). Ставете го тестото во најлонска фолија и нека почива во фрижидер најмалку половина час.
4. Повторете ја постапката со другата топка.
5. Кога тестото е убаво изладено, се сука кора со малку поголема големина од тавчето во кое ќе се пече зелникот, се става кората во подмачкан плех, рамномерно се распределува филот и се става втората кора. Краевите на двете кори се спојувааат и се затвораат спирално.
6. Засечете го горниот слој со остар нож на парчиња со големина по ваш избор, така зелникот нема да се подуе при печењето и попрскајте го со малкy вода и масло.
7. Се пече на 200 степени во загреана рерна, додека зелникот не добие убава златна боја.

PROJARA (PIE) WITH YOGURT AND CHEESE

Proja is a Macedonian dish made of corn flour. It's also widely prepared all over Balkan countries. It used to be very popular during poverty period after WW2, but today it is used as an everyday meal. The fancier variant of proja is called projara, which includes eggs, yogurt and flour.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 baking powder
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g of cheese
Preparation:

  1. Mix the eggs are salt and sugar, then add all the other ingredients to obtain a compact mixture. If it's very thick, add a little milk. 
  2. Then add the cheese, mix nice and pour in greased pan and bake. Bake at 220 degrees for about half an hour. 
  3. Optionally you can add spinach, leeks, olives, ham. I've tried different combinations and they are always very tasty.

The glass of the measure is 250 ml.
Combine with fermented milk or yogurt.

Enjoy!

RAVANIJA (DOUGH COVERED WITH SHERBET)

Ravanija is an old traditional dessert which is widely prepared in all countries that were under Ottoman empire. It's one of the most delicious desserts, it's easy to prepare and it's a must try sweet.

Ingredients:

For the dough:
  • 5 eggs
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons semolina
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 baking powder
For the sherbet (syrup):
  • 800 g sugar
  • 400ml water
  • 1 vanilla sugar
Mix eggs and sugar with mixer. Then add semolina, flour and baking powder. You can add some coconut powder too. Mix until the mixture is even. Put in a pan and put in the oven to bake. Once you bake the dough, leave to cool.
For syrup: Put sugar, water and vanilla sugar to a boil in a pot. When the syrup is ready, pour on previously coolen dough. Put some coconut powder on top to decorate.

Enjoy!



TULUMBA (FRIED PASTRY WITH SYRUP)

Tulumba is a popular dessert found in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire. It is a fried pastry soaked in syrup.

Ingredients:

● 400g flour
● 1/2 liter of water
● 5 eggs
● 6 tablespoons oil
● 1 baking powder

For the syrup:
● 1 kg of sugar
● 1/2 liter of water

 Preparation:

Step 1: Put water and oil to boil. Then, remove the pot from the fire and add the flour. Allow to cool.
Step 2: When the mixture cools nicely, add the eggs one by one and then mix with a mixer until mixture is smooth and homogeneous.
Step 3: In the meantime prepare the syrup. Put the sugar and water to boil.

Step 4: Use a tulumba syringe or an icing bag with a special nozzle, fill with the mixture and put them to fry in hot oil. Remove when golden. Once tulumbas are coolen, pour them with previously prepared syrup (cold). Allow to soak for couple of hours.

Enjoy!


SUTLIJASH (RICE PUDDING)

Sutlijash originates in Turkey, it's a Turkish widely known dessert. Today, it is prepared in every country in the Balkan, including Macedonia. Sutlijash is a family dessert, it's easy to prepare and comes in large quantities. I love sutlijash. I love everything that can be combined with cinnamon. And I like to eat it while it's still hot and with lots of cinnamon on top.
homemade sutlijash


Ingredients:
  • 500 ml. milk
  • 800 ml water
  • oil
  • 150 g sugar
  • 250 g rice
  • 1 vanilla sugar
  • cinnamon
Preparation:

  1. Put rice with a little oil in a pot of water to boil until it thickens. A traditional measure of the proportion of rice to water is 1: 4. Stir constantly to avoid burning. 
  2. When rice is almost done, add milk and continue to stir.
  3.  In the end, add sugar and vanilla sugar and cook for some time. Once fully thickens, move from fire and serve in glass bowls. Place cinnamon on top.

Enjoy!

RICE WITH CHICKEN LEGS

This is one of the mostly prepared dish in Macedonia, one of my favorite too. I'll present my way of preparing this dish, so we'll get a chicken soup too.



Ingredients: 

  • 1,5 big cup (250 ml) of rice 
  • 6 or more chicken legs
  • 2-3 carrots
  • mixed spices
  • salt, black pepper.
Preparation:

  1. First, cook chicken legs with carrots in water for 30 minutes. We'll use water from chicken legs to prepare the soup later.
  2. After that, put the rice in a baking pan and cook with some oil. Stir constantly. When rice starts to become darker (be careful not to burn it), add 2 cups of the chicken legs water and 3 cups of  hot water. Add salt and spices and mix. 
  3. Let it cook for several minutes, then put the chicken legs above the rice, add some oregano, salt and spices on the legs and place the pan in a preheated oven to bake on 250 degrees until rice gets a beautiful golden color. Baking time is about 30-45 minutes.
  4. While we cook rice with chicken legs, we'll prepare the soup. Put some vermicelli (quantity depends on how much water we have), salt and mixed spices in the water where we cooked the chicken legs and cook until vermicelli are done. Blend carrots through strainer and add them to the soup. That's it!

Combine everything with fresh salad.

Enjoy!

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