September 2013 Archives


bosnia-herzegovina, bulgaria, croatia, serbia
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Meatballs, or 'minced meat fingers' as they are often translated, are found all over the Balkans.  The best I have had were in Belgrade, served with fantastic kaymak (slightly soured clotted cream) and ajvar (red pepper relish).  They are also great with pickled cucumbers or raw chopped onion, and puffy white bread.  To mimic kaymak, simply mix clotted cream with a little sour cream and a pinch or two of salt.  

Cevapcici.JPGThis recipe is very simple.  The secret to success is making the mixture ahead of time, and then cooking the čevapčiči at the last minute and serving them immediately, since they dry out quickly. 

Bosnian burek

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bosnianburek.JPGBosnian burek is considered by many to be the best version of the pie which is found all over the Balkans including Turkey.  It usually comes in three varieties - meat, cheese and potato - and is sold by the kilo at special burek restaurants.  It's best enjoyed with a sour creamy drizzle on top and a large glass of thin plain yoghurt to drink. 

After visiting Sarajevo in August 2013 I came up with this recipe - my attempt to recreate the delicious savoury, sticky, buttery pies I had enjoyed in the Old Town.  I recommend using large sheets of fine baklava pastry from the refrigerator section in a Turkish shop.  Do not skimp on the onion, salt, pepper or butter - they are all essential!

Secret Kitchen menu, 20th & 21st Sept 2013

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Balkan inspiration

Serbian forest fruits cocktails
Čevapčiči with ajvar and kajmak

Balkan bean soup with sudžuk

Bosnian burek with sour milk drizzle
Bulgarian banitsa with sheep's yoghurt & cheese
Šopska salad

Yoghurt with wild bilberries
Mountain tea and homemade liqueur


Culinary Anthropologist