Saturday, October 11, 2014

Soup with orzo pasta and lemom-Supe me fidhe ose magjerica me lemon

  • 1 1/2 Lb  beef soup bones ( can be used any meat  to your likings )
  • 3-4 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 4 Tbs orzo pasta
  • 3-4 green onion ( only whites of the onion chopped )
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs dill or parsley
  • black pepper
  • 6 cups of water

Heat the butter in a stockpot 6 quart  over medium heat. Add green onions and cook, stirring until  translucent about 4 to 5 minutes. Add beef soup bones and continue to stir around for few minutes, or until you see light browning. At this point pour the water, bring to a boil, and let simmer for one hour. If the meat is not cook yet you can add more water until is done. Stir in the orzo pasta and cook for 10 more minutes, and season with salt and black pepper. Remove the stockpot from the heat to cool down at room temperature. Meanwhile in  a medium size bowl beat lemon juice,egg yolk. While whisking slowly pour one cup broth from the stockpot into the egg mixture. Pour egg mixture to the stockpot and stir well to blend. Serve right way with hard crusted bread. Enjoy!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fried small pita -Albanian petulla me veze

  • 1 1/3 warm water
  • 1/2 Tbs salt
  • 1Tbs yeast
  • 3 1/3 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of canola or any vegetable oil for frying                                                                                                                                                                 

Mix  the first tree ingredients in a large bowl in the same order as they appear in the list with a wooden spoon. Gradually stir in the 3 cups of flour and continue stir in until you get a smooth batter. Meanwhile whisk eggs in a small bowl for few few seconds and add this to the batter. At this moment stir in the 1/3 of the flour left and beat the butter for 2-3 minutes.The batter should be more to the thicker side. Cover the bowel and let sit for 15-20 minutes. In a skillet heat 1/2 cup of oil over medium high and scoop one spoon of batter after the other leaving space enough from each other. Fry for one minute on each  side or until you see golden brown. Keep adding oil until needed. The skillet should not be with out oil during frying the batter or small pita or petulla.

Note: When you get a scoop of the batter it should not droop of the spoon as easily .
          The heat should be always constant to medium high
          Always leave space between spoonful butter to the other on frying skillet

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Baked spaggeti with milk and eggs-Pasticio

  •  2 cups of 2 % milk 
  •  3/4 of a package of spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese ( goat , cow or sheep )
  • 4 Tbs of stick butter cut in cubes
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • black pepper as desired
  • 4 eggs 
Level: very easy
Serving: 4to 6

Preheat oven on 385 degrees F
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook for half of the amount what it says on the package label. Example if the label says 11to 12 min then our  spaghetti has to be cooked for 6 min. After boiling  for half the amount of time drain them in a colander, and pour them into a baking pan. Spread the pasta evenly throughout the pan, then add crumbled cheese and butter all over it. Meanwhile in a medium bowl whisk eggs, milk, salt and black pepper, and pour this mixture on the top of the pasta on the baking pan.The mixture has to be covering the pasta on the baking pan, if not you can add some more milk. Bake for 1to 1 1/2 hour or until lightly brown to reddish color and serve immediately.

Note: You also can use bechamel sauce to pour on top before baking the dish.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Oven baked crepes with cheese and garlic- Petullnica me djath and hudhra

Crepe is a type of very thin layer of pancake.They are made int many countries, but the origin of crepe is from a region of northwest of France, and they are usually made with wheat flour.In Albania in a city called Korca this is a dish used very often because its very inexpensive but also very tasty. This recipe is divided in few steps:  making the batter,frying the batter to create crepes, making the broth and layering them on the baking pan.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of 2 % milk
  • 1/2 cup water  for batter
  • 1 cup all -purpose flour
  • 6 Tbs butter
  • Pam no-stick cooking spray
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic mashed or pressed
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese ( any white hard cheese like sheep,cow or goat )
How to make crepes
Pour four first ingredients the  in a bowl in the same order as they appear on the list gradually and whisk them gradually 2 to 3 minutes all together until you get a smooth batter with no lumps. If you have a blender you can  mix all of them for few seconds and the process will be much faster. Place the batter in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Frying crepes:
Pour 1/4 of the cup of batter in the middle of the heated frying pan medium size lightly oiled, or sprayed with Pam no-stick cooking spray for each crepe.Right way start tilting the pan with a circular motion so that the batter spreads evenly.while the crepe is cooking always have ready the cup filled for the next crepe. Cook the crepe for about 2 minute or until you see the edges getting a little brown an loose then turn them with the spatula on the other side. For each crepe you pour, the frying pan has to be lightly oiled before medium heat.

Making broth and layering crepes:
In a small pan melt butter until foaming then add 3/4 cup water not listed on the ingredient. Also add mashed or pressed garlic, 1Tsp salt and let simmer for 3 to 4 min. Remove the pan from the heat to cool down just a little.
On a baking pan size 10" by 6" spread 1 Tbs of butter and  start layering crepes in the way that you cover the whole pan. On each layer of crepes placed on the baking pan add crumbled feta cheese and drizzle a few spoons of broth with butter and garlic on the top until all crepes are layered.  At the top layer just add broth and cut the crepes in square pieces. At this point you can  drizzle a few tablespoons of broth and bake on preheated oven 380 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

Note: For the cup that we use to pour the batter, that you can replace with any scoop to that size of serving or cup.
The first part and second  how to make crepes that recipe can be served with honey, nutella, jams


    Friday, October 3, 2014

    Oven Baked Lamb with Yogurt Sauce

    This recipe in Albanian is called Tave Kosi, Tave Elbasani or in English Lamb Yogurt Sauce. There are two ways of  make it depending on where you live and what kind of meat you use. I am trying to publish this old authentic recipe mostly for Albanians that live in America or other countries, so they can enjoy their authentic cuisine. Albanian cooking is influenced a lot from years under Ottoman occupation. Lamb or sheep meats are widely used in my country in many different recipes. Here is the way my mom made it. I will try to preserve her way of making it.

    Level: Very Easy 
    Serving: 4

    • 2 lb of lamb leg with bone, roasted lamb shoulder or leg steaks
    • 3 Tbsp. of flour
    • 1 Tbsp. of salt divided between the meat and the yogurt sauce
    • 1/2 Tsp. of black pepper
    • 5 cups of yogurt
    • 4 eggs
    • 4 Tbsp. of butter cubed
    Preheat oven to 385 degrees F. Cut the lamb in small pieces and place them in a 4 quart pot.  Add water until the meat is covered. Boil the lamb on medium heat until the broth reduces to 1 cup. Right before the broth reaches reducing point, season it with 1/2 Tsp. of salt and 1/2 Tsp. of pepper. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. After the lamb is cooled put it in a baking pan. In a separate bowl whisk together the broth and the flour until the mixture is smooth. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the eggs, 1/2 Tsp. salt and yogurt. Continue to whisk them together to a yogurt sauce consistency. Pour the yogurt sauce on the top of the meat and add the butter cubes. Season it with black pepper and bake it in a preheated oven on 385 degree for 1 and 1/2 hour.

    Before baking

    After baking

    Yogurt Sauce with Cucumber & Dill aka Tarator

    Tarator is more like a dip or a sauce used mostly during summer time as an appetizer. Each Balkan country has different way of making it with almost the same ingredients. In Albania is called Tarator, in Greece the name is Tzatziki and Cacik in Turkey. This recipe is smooth, refreshing and if you love yogurt as I do you are up for something very Mediterranean.

    Level: Easy
    Servings: 2

    • 2 cups plain yogurt
    • 1 medium cucumber, unpeeled finely grated (the cucumber has to be seeded before grated)
    • 1 Tsp sea salt
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh dill chopped
    • 2 to 3 garlic cloves pressed or mashed
    • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup cold water
    In a bowl mix cucumbers, garlic, sea salt and 1 Tbs olive oil. Meanwhile in a separate bowl thin the yogurt with cold water not to thin but not to thick. Personally, I like it more on  the thicker side. At this point pour in the mixture from the first bowl and mix them all together. Serve in small bowls and drizzle 2 Tsp of olive oil. Lastly, garnish with fresh chopped dill. Put in the refrigerator for half an hour to an hour to chill. This can be paired with grilled fish or meats and vegetables. Enjoy!

    Note: In the absence of cucumbers thick sliced fried zucchini can be used along with chopped fried or roasted red peppers with the skin peeled off. Also if you would like to use your own homemade yogurt you can find the recipe in my blog.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    Mango Rice Pudding Dessert Semi-Homemade

    • Rice pudding - Kozy Shack original recipe 
    • 1 Pineapple chopped in small bite size
    • 1 Cantaloupe melon chopped in small bite size
    • Dulce de leche
    Divide Kozy Shack rice pudding among small serving bowls and top this with chopped pineapple and cantaloupe melon. Drizzle with warm Dulce de leche and sprinkle with toasted of shredded coconut.

    Note: Toasted coconut can be stored in air tight container for p to a month in a dry and dark area.
              Also in stead of these fruits you can replace them with any other preferred ones.

    Sunday, September 28, 2014

    Homemade Yogurt Made Very Easy

    Yogurt is a product with very high nutritional properties such as protein, calcium, vitamin B6, B12 and riboflavinYogurt is made by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt is known as yogurt cultures. Cow's milk is the most commonly used to make yogurt. The word yogurt is derived from the Turkish language and it means to be curdled or coagulated; to thicken.

    As a child, I saw my mom covering container or saucepan of milk with clean towels and blanket and telling me not to touch it. The importance of not opening the blanket covering during the fermentation is that you will stop the process of making yogurt. This is an old recipe and the method is the same as when my mom used to make it. It does not require too much active time to make it.

    • Half-gallon Stony Field - organic Whole milk - ultra pasteurized
    • 3 Tbsp of  Yogurt  to use as a starter.
    • Pyrex or Glad-ware container
    Boil the milk in a saucepan to a medium heat until you see a skin forming on the top of the pot. Pour about about 4 quarts milk into a plastic or glass container, and let it cool down at room temperature. Meanwhile mix the yogurt starter with 2 Tbsp. of milk so that is easily poured. After you put the lid on the container, cover it with a plastic bag and a clean towel or blanket. After 3 1/2 hours open and place the container in the refrigerator for a few hours.

    • The yogurt will come out sour if you pour the yogurt starter in the hot milk or if you use more yogurt starter.
    • Do not open the container before the recommended hours once you covered because you will stop the fermentation. 
    • Always save some yogurt to use as a starter for your next batch in the refrigerator in a small container.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Cookies with Fruit Preserves

    Making desserts was not  my forte, until my sister in law came to visit me. She talked to me about this simple and no time consuming cookies that she had seen it on the food network channel. Can we call cookies desserts? Well, it depends where you are from or where you live. In United States a cookie is a small, flat, baked treat. In Scotland a cookie is a plain bun, however in most English speaking countries outside North America the most common name for a small, flat, baked treat is biscuit.

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened ( no substitute)
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup fruit preserve or jam 
    Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl combine sugar and butter. Beat at medium speed, until creamy. Add egg and continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until well mixed. Scoop dough into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto baking sheet and press down with your thumb to create a well in the middle of each ball. Fill the well with 1 teaspoon fruit preserve and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden.

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

    Bread with Baking Powder aka Kulac

    Bread is a nutritious assortment used widely from ancient time as staple of our food. This recipe bread in Albania is used for Turkey stuffing for New Year celebration. It is also very delicious when is paired with butter and cheese.

    • 4 cups of flour
    • 4 teaspoon baking  powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 1/2 cup milk 2%
    • 1 egg
    Preheat oven to 385 degrees F and lightly grease an 9 inch oven proof loaf pan. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Slightly beat the egg with the milk and olive oil and pour to the flour mixture. Knead the mixture on a surface lightly floured into a round shape dough. Place the dough into the 9 inch pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.

    Note: Cover the bread and let it sit for 15 minutes before served.

    Hope you enjoy this recipe.