Pork Kebap Bulgarian Style

Pork Kebap Bulgarian Style

This is Pork like you’ve never had it before! I cooked it with my mom and insisted on writing the recipe down, so I remember every detail of the way she and my grandmother before her used to make it.

Every time I start this dish, the aromas transcend my kitchen walls and I time travel to me being 4, sitting in grandma’s kitchen. It’s still dark on a cold January morning. I couldn’t sleep, I heard some noises in the kitchen, so I went to check it out. Grandma was already up for hours. She gave me a cup of warm milk, tucked me in a huge throw in the couch and told me to nap some more. .. I did, and dreamed a delicious dream……

So you can see why I love everything about this dish.
The beauty of it is, that it’s simple to make, and makes the house smell so cozy, you’d be able to close your eyes and imagine a mountain cottage and pure white snow falling peacefully outside, while the fire is quietly crackling…

This is a great recipe to utilize that type of pork that you may deem too fatty to grill or cook in any other way. But especially because it’s fatty, it makes perfect kebap material!
So here is my Grandma and Mom’s recipe:

Products:
1 lb of shoulder pork meat
5 onions (medium) chopped
1/2 lb canned tomatoes
1 cup red table wine
3 jalapeño peppers chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp black pepper crushed
5 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
3 tsp turmeric
1 tsp nutmeg
4 tsp savory
1 bunch of chopped fresh parsley

Chop the onions
Cut the meat in cubes
Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven and drop the meat to brown on all sides
Add the onion slices, then the jalapeno peppers
While the onions and the meat are simmering, use a hand held mixer and roughly crush the tomatoes. You don’t need to juice them all the way. .
Add all the spices to the meat, onions and jalapenos, and mix well.
Add the tomatoes to the pan and mix all together.
Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375F
Put the Dutch Oven in the oven and bake for 1hr.

Dutch oven is the easy and effective way. I personally like to use a clay pot with a lid that I have from Bulgaria. I transfer the mixture from the Dutch Oven into the clay pot and put in a COLD oven, rather than preheated. (However tempered your clay pot is, I would rather not chance it and have it crack in a hot oven with all that food in it. .. It may make a mess much bigger than you can imagine.)

The only difference between baking it in a Dutch oven and a beautiful clay pot, is that the presentation is more authentic, but the taste is pretty much the same.

Serving options:
Best way to serve this is while it’s still warm, on top of either warm polenta, or rice or quinoa, with sprinkled fresh parsley on top.

All of the above make good gluten free additions.

Optional Polenta recipe:

1 cup corn meal
1 cup cold water
4 cups cold fat-free milk
Mix well and put on the stove
Keep mixing pretty much the whole time while it’s cooking
Mix until it becomes a thick mixture and the boiling resembles molten lava
Then turn it off.
Take an oven proof dish
Melt one stick of butter in the microwave
Pour half of it in the oven proof dish (it’s good to have a narrow dish so that the liquid butter can form a deep layer.
Pour the cooked polenta in it on top of the butter.
Then pour the rest of the melted butter on top and bake in the 375F preheated oven for about 20-25 min. It only needs to get slightly brown on top. As soon as you take it out of the oven, cover it with an aluminum foil and a towel on top, so it stays soft and juicy.

Goes great with a robust red wine – a Chilean Cabernet or an Argentinian Malbec of your choice will complement it very well!

DOBUR APETIT!
ENJOY!

Bad Sandy stew

I’ve been watching and reading news and twitter feeds all day long from the north east.. Thinking about friends in this terrible weather,…. Having been in hurricanes myself (covering the for a major worldwide cable TV network) I felt all day long like something hearty and warm and delicious, to make anyone who eats it feel cozy and at home,… So I rushed home after work and school and I fried Sandy’s “wrath” with a lot of enthusiasm! Eat this you monster storm you!

“Bad Sandy” stew

1 table spoon olive oil
1 large onion
1/4lb apple smoked bacon
2 cloves garlic
1/4 lb okra
1/4 lb chopped fresh kale
1 box organic chicken stock
2 cans organic great northern beans
1 lb chunked cabocha pumpkin
Sea Salt to taste
1 to 2 pinches of paprika
1-2 pinches curry
1-2 pinches dried peppermint
Cayenne pepper as much as you can take
Chop the onion, but not too fine
Chop the garlic cloves
Chop the bacon or use scissors to slice it (I use scissors for many things in the kitchen)
Chunk the pumpkin and peel (if you want to get fancy,you may roast the seeds and the peel them and toss on the soup as a delish crunchy garnish
Start by heating up your French oven (or another thick bottomed deep pot)
Heat up a table spoon of olive oil
Throw in the bacon and turn your heat down to low
let the bacon get crunchy
Throw in the onions and garlic
Keep them sautéing for another couple of minutes until they get brownish but not burned
Throw in the chunked pumpkin keep stirring and sautéing
Next,throw in the sliced okra, and in a minute, the kale
Once the kale is in, it will look like there is no space…take 2wooden spoons and fold everything well. The volume will subside
After you have taken control of your pot, pour in the chicken stock, add your spices, and keep stirring
The important thing about this stew is, unlike Sandy, who is a b….ch, you need to show it some love, so keep stirring and sending it happy thoughts
When you see things are getting nice and incorporated, throw in these two cans of organic beans (if you had time to cook 2-4 cups of dry beans in your pressure cooker overnight until the are mushy, then by all means, keep the cans for another day and use the freshly cooked beans)
Fold the beans into the rest of oowey gooey goodness ( You should be seeing the okra and the other juices just become one..)
Turn the hear to ultra low, and get your bowls and spoons ready..
By the time you have all that set, the stew will be ready.
Now take your favorite crusty bread, or Melba toast and crumble itat bottom of the bowl, the pour generously the steamy Bad Sandy over it.
Dont forget to blow!
Now eat and let all your worries melt away …
A glass of merlot or Malbec makes that bowl worth its weight in gold!… Just suggesting.. 🙂
I may have left something out. In which case, you are on your own…which is a good thing, cause you will make my Bad Sandy, yours!
Love your body! Love your food!