Yesterday was the first big cooking day of 2010. I started out with making more baked cabbage, since I didn't feel I had enough at my Mum's place over the holidays. I also followed my own advice on the blog entry of frying the paprika for 1 minute. At about 45 seconds the burnt smell hit me very hard, but I didn't have the necessary resources to do a second batch, thus, I used it anyway. I've updated the entry to say 30 seconds only. Otherwise it baked fine and is quite edible, but not as tasty as it could have been.
While this was baking, I went to the butchers to stock up on meats as we'd completely run out. I bought 2 kg pork mince, 1 kg braising beef and 4 large chicken breasts.
The second thing on my cooking list is a new idea that I want to try out, which is Bulgarian meatballs "on demand". The thing is, the meatballs can be frozen, but are never as good when re-heated, so I was thinking, what if I prepare the mixture and freeze it in decent sized chunks, then just defrost one when needed, quickly form the balls and fry. That way it won't require as much planning and will be something that can be done mid-week. So I mixed up according to the recipe and put in the fridge overnight for the flavours to develop. I'll divide it up today and freeze. Speaking to my Mum, she's once again way ahead of me and has already tried this out. Let's hope it works for me as well.
Third on the list was gyuvetch, this time with meat. Due to the snow in our area, the shops have been struggling with re-stocking and so I picked what they had vegetable-wise and used carrots, French beans and courgette in addition to the potatoes. In the freezer I also had diced green pepper and peas. I'd also bought a jar of mixed mushrooms in sunflower oil. That's more of an antipasti thing, but should add to the overall flavour.
Before starting, I did a quick google search, which spat out the following interesting recipe/video. It's substantially different from the one I make, but had a few elements in it that I'd quite like to try out sometime. What I tried out this time is to make sure the meat gets more colour this time, rather than a quick seal in the frying pan. Then I made sure to fry the onions, carrots and potatoes. I think now that I only slow cook gyuvetch, it's become rather bland of late and I'm trying to figure out why. For starters, I think I've reduced the amount of fat used too much. This time the fat of the mushrooms went in as well. Also I've been skimping on frying the onions and carrots and I think the potatoes might benefit from a turn in the pan too. I also doubled the amount of tomatoes, so let's see if this'll work out better. We're having the gyuvetch for dinner tonight, fingers crossed.
The last thing I did before going to bed was to feed my sourdough starter. The chicken breasts are still in the fridge, waiting to be trimmed and frozen.