Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Macedonian Feast (AKA Best Meal EVER!!!!!!)

Right now, I am very excited.  I have a meal that I have been dying to share with you, and I finally have a chance to sit down and type this out.  Here's what you need to know about this meal.

1.  It is hands-down the single-most delicious homemade meal I have ever eaten.
2.  I didn't cook it.
3.  My friend that did cook it calls garlic, "Macedonian Perfume."

Kofte (Macedonian Kebobs)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 garlic head (or more)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/c up bread crumbs (may need more for better consistency)
  • 1 egg
  • vegetable oil for frying
1.  Mix meat, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.
2.  Remove crusts from bread slices and moisten in wine or water.
3.  Add bread and egg to meat. Knead mixture.
4.  Shape into 1-inch kabobs, and sauté in  oil. 
5.  When meatballs are cooked and browned on all sides, place immediately in covered casserole and keep warm until ready to serve.

Lebanese Spinach with Rice and Pine Nuts
  • 2 cup uncooked rice (I use Trader Joe's organic brown rice)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard (or more)
  • 1/4 tsp black peper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1.  Simmer the rice in 4 cups of water until the water has been absorbed and rice is tender.
2.  In a medium pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, and saute the pine nuts over medium heat until golden.  Set aside.
3.  In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute the chopped onion for 4 minutes.  Add the spinach, mustard, pepper and salt.  Saute over medium heat for 12 minutes.  
4.  In a large bowl, mix the rice, pine nuts, and the spinach mixture.  Sprinkle with the fresh lemon juice and serve hot.

Shopska Salad
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large cucumer, unpeeled and chopped
  • 4 green or red peppers, roasted or raw, chopped (Optional)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped, or 6 green onions, sliced (Optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I always add way more - I LOVE parsley)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil (or light tasting oil)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Bulgarian or feta cheese, shred the block of feta with a cheese grater
    (don't crumble it)
1.  Place tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onion and parsley in a large bowl and toss.
2.  Place oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste in a screw-top jar. Cover and shake until well blended.
3.  Toss dressing with vegetables, turn into a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with crumbled cheese and portion on chilled plates.

My amazing-beautiful-garlic-loving friend also brought a cheese zelnik with ajvar.  I'm not going to share the ajvar recipe because I think it's a Macedonian family secret.  But you can google it and find your own recipe.

Here is the shopska salad.  I could have licked the bowl, it was so good.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I licked the bowl.

My minis loved the Lebanese rice.

Here's the kofte with the rice.  They were equally delish served cold the next day.  (For breakfast, I confess).

Like I said....hands down, the best homemade meal I have ever had.  I am hoping to recreate it myself very soon.  And you should too.  And after you eat it, you should go breath on your spouse and find out how much they really do love you.

Speaking of love, I thought I'd share this photo of my 3 loves.  You may notice something different about my oldest mini.  He got a haircut :)