Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pogacha (Pogaca, Погача) version 1

Hi guys, so holidays are gone and hopefully I'll have more time to write on this blog. Many of you e-mailed me about recipe for pogacha (pogaca, погача), which I assume that is the sweet version you're looking for. Well, I have three different recipes for sweet version of pogacha, so you can choose which one you want to make. This is the first version:

1000 gr flour
150 ml milk
250 ml yogurt
50 ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cube (or package) yeast
100 gr sugar
125 gr butter
pinch of salt
water (if needed)

If you're using frozen yeast cube, warm the milk a little bit, dissolve the yeast into it and then add and dissolve the sugar in it. If you use package of dry yeast, the milk can be cold, just dissolve the sugar and yeast in it. Sift the flour, mix the pinch of salt in it and then add the milk with the dissolved sugar and yeast, the yogurt and oil. In a bowl crack one egg, and from the second one just add the egg white. Keep the yolk for egg paint. Beat the egg and egg white and add them to the flour and other ingredients. Mix everything until it's soft and smooth dough (add water if it's too hard or flour if it's too soft). Knead the dough until smooth, shape it into ball, and leave it to rest until the size of it has doubled (approximately 1 hour in warm place). When the dough has raised, roll it into rectangle and spread 1/3 of the butter on top of it. Overlap the dough one half on the other (like you're closing a book). Spread the second 1/3 of the butter and overlap again. Then spread again and overlap again. Roll the dough in 2 cm thickness and cut it into equal pieces (cubes). Shape each piece into ball (the size should be like golf ball) and into place it in the center of a greased round baking pan. Shape the other pieces into balls and arrange them to the center piece so you'll have flower shape. Keep arranging the dough balls until you use all dough. Add 1 tablespoon of water into the egg yolk and beat it well. Spread the egg paint onto the pogacha and sprinkle it with little bit of sugar. Leave the pogacha to rest for 10 minutes (until the oven is heated). Heat the oven to 200 degrees C and bake the pogacha for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 180 degrees C and bake for 20-25 min more (until the sides of the pogacha are brownish). When the pogacha is baked, take it out of the oven and cover it firs with some clean thick plastic bag (the plastic foil might melt), and on top of the bag place a kitchen towel. Leave it to cool like this. Then you just break pieces of it and eat:-)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Potatoes in Bechamel sauce

This dish is easy to make and it can be great for a side dish or as an easy supper.

500gr peeled potatoes cut into large cubes
For the Bechamel:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2-3 cloves minced garlic
little bit of nutmeg (or you can skip it)
salt and pepper.

Boil or steam the potatoes until they are cooked. In a meantime make the bechamel sauce. Warm the milk in one saucepan, but do not bring it to boil. In another saucepan on low heat, melt the butter until it starts to foam. Add the flour and with constant stir cook it for 3-4 minutes or until the flour is lightly yellow. Than add the warm milk and whisk it with wire whisk so that
the sauce remains smooth and without lumps. Cook it for 10 minutes on low constantly stirring. Then add the potatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cook it for another 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add some water.
Bon appetit :-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rice and Tomatoes

Maybe it sound strange but this is a great recipe for the hot summer days, and also great as a side dish. And even greater if you have a steamer.

200 gr rice (any kind)
100 gr finely chopped tomatoes (save the juice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
salt, pepper

Clean and rinse the rice untill the water start to become clear (around 5 times). This way you rinse the starch and the rice won't stick. Then cook the rice until is cooked. I cooked mine in a steamer for 40 minutes, you can cook in on the stove too. When the rice is done, add the olive oil, tomatoes, oregano, parsley and the tomato juice and mix everything. Add salt and pepper and it is done. You can add more vegetables or some sauce, It is up to you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Katerina cake

Well this is a cake which in Macedonia is made mainly for birthdays, and the thing is that we in Macedonia make our cakes big and with many different fillings so that nobody stays hungry:-). I don't have a picture but this is the recipe for Katerina (Katherine) cake.


The cake has many steps but it's not too difficult.
10 eggs
10 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons flour
10 tablespoons grounded wallnuts (or finely crushed)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
200 gr finely chopped wallnuts
100 gr chopped raisins soaked in 80-100ml rum
200 gr chopped jelly candy
300gr crushed biscuits mixed with 200gr warm milk
250 gr unsalted butter or margarine
250 gr powdered sugar

On top:
200gr cooking chocolate (or chocolate chips) - any kind bitter, semi sweet...
or whipped cream, or any kind of frosting.

How to make the cake layers:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. In a mixing bowl break the eggs, add the sugar and mix this with mixer until the eggs are double the size and lighter and the sugar is disolved.
Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder and the wallnuts. Mix well and pour in greased baking sheet. Usually we make cakes with thin cake layer (about 1 cm),
so if you bake this in cake mold, you'll have to cut it in 3 pieces. Bake 30 min, or until toothpick come clear. When it's done cool the cake well.
If you have baked it in baking sheet, cut the cake in 3 equal pieces in lenght so you'll have 3 rectangles, if you baked it in cake mold (round) cut it in widht so you'll have 3 circles.
The cake layers should be around 1-1,5 cm thick.

How to make the filling:
Drain the raisins from the rum, but keep the excess rum. Drain the biscuits and keep the exces milk. Mix the raisins, bicuits, jelly bons and the chopped wallnuts.
Mix with mixer the butter or margarine and the powdered sugar untill foamy and well mixed. Mix this with the raisins, bisuits, jelly and the wallnuts until well combined.
Separate the filling in two equal parts.

Ensamble the cake:
Mix the excess rum and the excess milk.
Place the first cake layer on a cake plate and drizzle a little bit of the rum and milk mixture (If you want the cake non alcoholic skip the rum and soak the raisins in warm water).
Spread the first half of the filling. Place the second layer, drizzle with rum and milk and spread the second half of the filling. Place the third layer and frost the cake, or coat it with the melted chocolate.

I hope that you'll make it and you'll understand why we make our cakes big:-)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tips: Measures (EU to US)

So this post will be non recipe, but I'll explain something that is tied to cooking.
I'll try to post some cooking tips like this in the future.
I recieved many e-mails in which people are asking me to do conversion from EU measures to US (grams to cups), and I think that measures are very important, ecpecially when tou make desserts.
So roughly this is the list:
There's different measures for different ingredients, it's because of their volume.
Granulated sugar: 200 grams = 1 cup
Brown sugar: 220 grams = 1 cup, packed
Sifted white flour: 125 grams = 1 cup
White rice, uncooked: 185 grams = 1 cup
White rice, cooked: 175 grams = 1 cup
Butter: 227 grams = 1 cup
Almonds, slivered: 108 grams = 1 cup
Oil: 224 grams = 1 cup
Maple syrup: 322 grams = 1 cup
Milk, non-fat: 245 grams = 1 cup
Milk, sweetened condensed: 306 grams = 1 cup
Broccoli, flowerets: 71 grams = 1 cup
Raisins: 165 grams = 1 cup
Milk, dry: 68 grams = 1 cup
Yogurt: 245 grams = 1 cup
Water: 236 grams = 1 cup
Confectioners sugar: 110 g = 1 cup
Cocoa: 125 g = 1 cup
And about ounce well this is roughly calculated: 1 Ounce = 28.5 Grams.
Actually I've tried some recipes which are in cups, and I calculated the ingredients in grams by this table and it worked fine.
Also there are many web sites which have converters so you can get more accurate measures.
Hope this helps:-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homemade Chicken Meat Pate

This is great if you like pate and you want to make it yourself to make sure what's in it, or make it low fat, or just use leftover chicken meat.

300 gr chicken cooked meat (boiled, steamed, baked... doesn't matter just it has to be only meat without skin)
1 tablespoon of butter (if it's chicken breast meat you can add 1 tbs more)
1-2 tablespoon tomato puree (or ketchup will do)
2 cloves garlic
if you like you can add 1 tablespoon of brandy for aroma
salt, pepper

First melt the butter. In a blender or food processor add the meat, butter, garlic, tomato puree and blend until smooth. If it's too thick add more tomato puree or just little water or chicken stock or olive oil.
Blend it until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper by your liking. Add some herbs by your taste like dried thyme, parsley etc. You can put it in airtight container and it will last couple of days in the fridge.
And there you have it, easy homemade pate:-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Creamy Green Pea Soup

An excellent comfort food for those rainy spring days.

300 gr green peas
500 gr water + 2 cubes boullion (or chicken, or vegetable stock)
1 large onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
parsley finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
100 gr heavy cream
salt, pepper

In a medium pot melt the butter and saute the onions until translucent.
Add the garlic and the green peas and cook for 5 minutes.(If the peas are frozen, cook them for 3 minutes longer). After everything is softened a little bit, add the water and when the water is hot dissolve the bouillon cubes (or just add the stock).
Cook everything for 10-15 minutes until the peas are soft, but not mushy. Now this part is optional: you can roughly smash the peas with a mush potatoes tool for more textured soup, blend the half with blender for soup with whole peas, or like me blend everything until very smooth. After blending for your liking, add the heavy cream and the parsley (you can use other spices also like thyme, mint...). Garnish with croutons, parsley or whatever you like.

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