Bulgarian Musaka (Мусака)

Bulgarian Musaka (Мусака)

Ingredients

750 grams minced beef
1,25 kg potatoes
1 onion
2 tomatoes
3 eggs
300 millilitres of yoghurt
2 table-spoons of flour
salt
pepper
1 handful of chopped parsley
1 tea-spoon of paprika powder
1/2 tea-spoon of cumin powder
1/2 tea-spoon of savory (NO and DK = Sar, DE = Bohnenkraut)

Making Bulgarian Musaka (Мусака)

Set the oven to 200 degrees Celsius  Chop the onions and the tomatoes into small pieces and cut the peeled potatoes into 1 centimeter thick dices. Fry minced beef and onions in a bit of oil until it the mince has become browned and transfer the lot into a large oven dish. Add spices, parsley, plenty of salt and pepper,  chopped tomatoes and diced potatoes. Mix it all up and add about 300 millilitres of water. Leave to cook for 45 minutes in the pre-heated oven.

While the Musaka is cooking in the oven, you can make the top layer. Whisk the eggs, flour and yoghurt together with a bit of salt until it becomes a smooth paste. When the 45 minutes are up and most of the water has disappeared from the dish, take the Musaka out and add the top layer to the dish. Put the dish back into the oven for another half hour or until the top has browned nicely. Serve with some more yoghurt and enjoy!

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Pepper Steak with Pine Nut Pesto

Pepper Steak with Pine Nut Pesto

Ingredients

2 steaks (300 grams)
100 grams of Rucola
50 grams of Pine Nuts
1 garlic clove
Zest of one lemon
1 tee-spoon of sea salt
1 tea- spoon of mixed peppercorns
30 grams of Parmesan
1 twig of thyme
Butter
Olive oil

Making Pepper Steak with Pine Nut Pesto

Take the steaks out of the fridge early enough for them to be room temperature before you fry them. I’m not completely sure why this is done, there must be some kind of chemistry thing explaining this, but the point is that the steak becomes less dry this way. Add peppercorns and sea salt to a mortar and grind it up. Cover the one side of the steaks with the peppercorns, leave while you bring out the rest of your ingredients. Take out to frying pans, one for the steak and one for the pine nuts and rucola. Warm the on pan to medium to high heat and add butter to the pan. Lay the steaks on the pan pepper-crust down. Turn the steak when the other side is browned, making sure the heat is not to high for the other side. In the end you add in more butter, let it melt, and tilt the pan so that you can use the spoon to pour the butter over the steak. When the steak is done, raw, medium or well done. Add it to a plate while you make the pesto.

Heat the second frying pan on the oven and add pine nuts. Let the pine nuts get some colour, before you add in chopped rucola. Mix it well until the rucola becomes soft. Add it to a cutting board with grated parmesan, grated lemon zest a bit of olive oil as well as a finely chopped garlic clove. Chop well and mix well. Add the steaks to plates as well as the pine nut pesto.

Homemade Vegetable and Meat Pasties

Vegetable and Meat Pasties

Pasties are one of my cooking favourites. They can be eaten warm or cold and can be filled with nearly anything. They are not only nice for vegetables or pizza-fillings, but are also ideal for leftovers from the day before and work as an edible and delicious lunch-box.

Pastry Dough

500 grams flour
250 grams butter
150 ml milk
1 teaspoon salt

Making Vegetable and Meat Pasties

Mix the salt and flour together and rub in the warm butter until the mixture has the consistency of bread crumbs. Add the milk and combine to a dough. Work the dough shortly to make sure the ingredients are well combined, form it into a round shape and chill it in the fridge for a half hour. You can  leave the dough in the fridge over night,  but keep in mind that the dough becomes very hard because of the butter and is more difficult to roll out.

Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Try to roll it out as flat as you can without tearing it apart. It should be about 3-5 mm thick, otherwise the pasties can get quite doughy. Cut the dough into squares (about 15×15 cm), put a bit of the filling into one of the corners of the squares and fold the other corner over, so that you get a triangular pasty. You can brush the edges of the square with some water, milk or beaten egg to make the dough stick. Make sure the pasties are sealed and add them to a baking sheet. Cut a cross shaped hole into the top of the pasties like you see on the picture to release some of the pressure that builds up during the baking. Bake the pasties in a 180°C preheated oven for 30 minutes on the middle shelf. If you use two baking sheets, make sure to change the top and bottom sheet after 15 minutes so that they get browned evenly.

Vegetable filling

1/2 courgette
1 green pepper
8 champignons
4 tomatoes
3 carrots
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/3 teaspoon fresh oregano
1/3 teaspoon fresh basil
1/3 teaspoon fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper
Creme fraiche
Grated cheese

Chop all the vegetables into relatively small pieces and press the garlic through a garlic press. Fry the chopped carrots, onion and garlic in a frying pan until they all got a bit of colour, then add the other vegetables and chopped spices together with plenty of salt and pepper. Fry the mix shortly, then take it off the heat and add it together with 2 teaspoons of creme fraiche and 2 teaspoons of grated cheese onto the pasties.

Meat filling

Meet and vegetables leftover from Homemade Tacos
Grated cheese
Creme Fraiche

For this batch of pasties I used vegetables, cheese, creme fraiche and taco meet from the Homemade Tacos. They also made lovely Mexican style pasties.

Generally pasties are useful for any kind of filling as long as it is not too dry. Just get creative with your own pasties!

Beef stew with Norwegian Brown Cheese

Beef stew with Norwegian Brown Cheese

Ingredients

1 yellow onion
4 carrots
600 grams of potatoes
3-4 slices of bacon
4-6  champignons (depending on size)
2,5 deciliters of crème fraîche
40 grams of Norwegian brown cheese
400-500 grams of red meat in cubes
Chives

Making Beef stew with Brown Cheese

Peel potatoes and carrots and cut them into big cubes, the champignon you cut in slices. Add potatoes and carrots to a casserole with boiling water and boil shortly until they are a little tender. This way they won’t take to long to cook through in the finished stew.

Finely chop onion and bacon and add it to a casserole where you let it sizzle away on medium heat until golden in colour.  Add diced beef and let brown in the pan, add some butter if the grease of the bacon does not suffice. When the meat has gotten some colour you add potatoes, carrots and mushrooms and let fry for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Finally you add the  crème fraîche and finely chopped brown cheese. Leave to boil until the vegetable and the meat is tender and the sauce begins to thicken. This shouldn’t take long now that you have pre cooked the vegetables (which by the way is up to you).

Add salt and pepper by taste, sprinkle some freshly cut chives on top and serve with a side of lingonberry jam.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of oil
1 small red onion
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
500 grams of minced beef
10 small champignons or 4 big ones
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 can of chopped tomatoes (400 grams)
1 handful of fresh basil
1 handful of fresh oregano
2 cubes of chicken stock
2 deciliters of water
1-2 teaspoons of sugar
(Salt and Pepper)
Grated cheese

Making “Norwegian” Spaghetti Bolognese

I have read many recipes for Bolognese sauce and I am not sure this is in any Italian cookbooks, probably not. That is why I have decided to name this a Norwegian take on the red sauce, it tasted a lot like the one I have been served in the home country so I figured the name suits well.

You begin by finely chopping the garlic and slicing the onions. Cut the champignons in quarters and add them with the onion and garlic into a deep casserole with sizzling olive- and neutral oil. Lower the heat and let sizzle until tender and golden in colour. Add the minced beef, tomato paste and chopped herbs, while boiling some water for the stock cubes (water cooker works fine). Mix the cubes in the water and add stock water and chopped tomatoes to the casserole. Let boil up and turn down the heat so the sauce boils at a steady simmer. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as you wish, as well as some sugar to complement the tomatoes.

Let the sauce simmer for about 30-40 minutes while stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn at the bottom. Boil spaghetti after the instructions on the pack. Drain and add on to plates, ladle some sauce on top and add some grated cheese of your choice.