Delicious Macedonian Dishes You Should Know About, Part 2.

As a French volunteer here in Macedonia it was quiet difficult not to leave my country, but to stop eating French cuisine. After many tries in Macedonian restaurants and Kafana, and especially after having been invited by a Macedonian family which made me discover delicious dishes, I start to really appreciate some Macedonian specialities. That’s why I wanted to share Macedonian cuisine with you.

 

 

 

I was helped by another website: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jovcov/delicious-macedonian-dishes-for-your-inner-foodie-h04v#.emjjEJY5a7.

This week we will discover two new Macedonian specialities:

The first one I want to talk about is the famous Tavce Gravce:

 

 

Any child who grew up in a Macedonian household knows very well that this was certainly not your preferred choice of dinner. However, as you grew into the fine, well rounded and cultured adult you are today (one can only dream, right?), you have acquired the taste for this hearty dish. Tavce gravce (literally meaning beans cooked in a skillet) is a thick and chunky bean stew that is cooked in the traditional Macedonian earthenware. Tavce gravce has a variety of different spices and vegetables that enhance its flavour, including fresh Macedonian paprika.

If you want to create your homemade Tavce Gravce, here you can find the recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cups White Beans (dry, rehydrated)
2 medium Onions, chopped
1 cup (or a good handful) Sun Dried tomatoes, halved & seeds removed
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 cup Sunflower Oil (or any other oil with a high smoking point - Peanut oil)
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin, ground
1 tbsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (2 if you like it spicy)
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 tbsp Mint
1 Bay leaf (optional)

Preparation:

1)      Put beans in a large pot and cover with water about 1 inch over the beans. Add onions to pot, and an optional bay leaf. Cook on medium-high heat until soft and creamy (about 2 hours), stirring occasionally and topping off with water when it gets low. Look for a stew-like consistency.

**Pre-Heat Oven to 400 at this point** 

2)      In a saute pan, add oil and get it very hot. Once hot, add the mint, garlic, paprika, crushed red pepper, and cumin, and any other spices that you want. Stir them around until it’s all fragrant, just about a minute or so, and then stir the oil into the beans. The amount of oil you use is a bit nebulous. When you stir the beans up, they’re supposed to glisten with the oil.  

3)      Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the mix. Now you can add any other meats or vegetables (leeks are great in here).

4)      Put the beans in a clay pot, tagine, or a Dutch oven or whatever you have. Bake them at 400 F, for about 30 minutes, or until you reach a nice, thick consistency. Remember, when the beans cool, they will be thicker.
Serve with pita bread, or dense, crusty sourdough.

Recipe from: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1718702

 

The second one is the delicious Sarma:

 

Okay, so cabbage rolls may not be everyone’s idea of delicious, but I can seriously vouch for this particular recipe. Sarma does not necessarily have to use cabbage for the “rolls”. A common substitute for this dish is grape leaves, which are equally as tasty. Minced meat, onion, paprika and chopped veggies compose the filling of this dish. Sarma is typically served with a few heaping spoonfuls of plain yogurt.

If you are interested in realizing this delicious eastern speciality at home here you can find the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 large head cabbage

1 pound lean ground beaf

½ pound ground pork

½ pound ground ham

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice

1 onion finely chopped

1 egg

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1 ground sauerkraut

1 cup tomato juice

Water to cover

Preparation:

1)      Place cabbage in the freezer for a few days. The night before making the rolls, take it out to thaw.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, ham, rice, onion, egg, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Form meat mixture into oblong balls, using 1/2 cup of the mixture at a time.Then, wrap a cabbage leaf around each ball.

 

Spread the sauerkraut in the bottom of a large pot, then layer cabbage rolls on top, placing them seam-side down. Pour tomato juice over rolls, then add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 hours, adding more water as necessary.

 

Recipe from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sarma-stuffed-cabbage/

 

Enjoy and see you next week in order to discover new delicious Macedonian recipes!!

 

 

 

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