27 May 2007


Well, yesterday was barbecue day. Yes it was cold and rained most of the day, but a decision had been made and tools and materials had been purchased. So we had a barbie and we had luck with our timing in that the rain stopped just at the crucial time. A hot tip from our friend Wombat is to cook all the food and keep it warm in the oven. Then when everything is done, lay it out and let everyone help themselves.

A miscalculation from last year on hamburgers taught us a valuable lesson and I decided to just do the Bulgarian meatball mix, but after a consultation with my Mum, she recommended skipping the bread and egg as it would make the meat stick to the grill. Then my Dad scanned in some recipes from the Swedish Lidl and emailed to me and I thought I'd give one of them a go - Cevapcici. Or kebapcheta (кебапчета), as you'd say in Bulgaria. And I added a couple of things to the recipe and almost all went very quickly. Looking at the recipe it's for 4 people, but that would be if these 4 people only ate the kebapcheta and nothing else...


4 medium sized onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 kg minced meat
4 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 dl mineral water
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Peel and chop the onions finely, even run them through a food processor if you have one, along with the garlic.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Leave overnight to allow the flavours to come out, but this is not necessary.
  3. Form small sausages and either shallow fry or barbecue.

I added the coriander and cumin. I also thought to speed things up a bit, I made fairly long sausages and put them on bamboo skewers, but this wasn't a good idea at all, as they disintegrated a bit on the barbecue and ended up into smaller sausages anyway. But they were very tasty, we had them in hot dog buns with mustard and ketchup.

Toffee cake

This is a recipe I got from a very good friend of mine, who usually does it for her Name Day. It's ever so tasty. I haven't done it for many years and managed to burn the toffee a bit, but that was no problem at all.


Cake base

3 dl plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
3 dl caster sugar
6 tbsp boiling water
5 tbsp lemon or lime juice
5 tbsp water


3 dl whipping cream
2 dl caster sugar
1 dl syrup
40 g dark chocolate
3 tbsp soft butter (i e at room temperature)

  1. Butter a cake tin and line it with dessicated coconut.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour and the baking powder well.
  3. In a different bowl, blend the eggs and sugar until they go white and fluffy.
  4. Add the boiling water, a little at a time to the egg mixture, while still whisking.
  5. Add the flour, also a little at a time and incorporate well.
  6. Pour the cake mixture in the cake tin and bake on gas mark 3 (or 175 degrees C).
  7. When the cake comes off the edges of the tin, it's ready, also test with a stick in the middle to ensure that it's baked through.
  8. Take the cake out and turn out onto a sheet of baking paper with a little sugar on it and leave to cool completely.
  9. Cut into two layers, mix the lemon juice and water and spread evenly over both layers of the sponge cake.
  10. In a saucepan put together cream, sugar and syrup and bring to the boil slowly. Put a lid on, as it will splatter. Bring to the soft ball stage (112 - 116 degrees C) and take off the heat and place in ice water to stop it going hotter.
  11. Stir in the chocolate and the butter so they dissolve completely.
  12. While still fairly hot, spread just under half of the toffee onto the bottom layer, then place the second layer on top. Cover the cake with the remainder of the toffee, both top and sides and leave to cool.

I used extra thick double cream for both the toffee and the decoration. The packet said that it's not good for whipping, but I beg to differ, it worked very well indeed, but you need to be careful and stop at the right moment, or it'll turn to butter. Also I got some gigantic raspberries, they look almost look like strawberries. The original recipe suggests red currants for decoration and the point here being is that the acidity of the fruit will offset the sweetness of the cake itself.

Needless to say, this cake disappeared very quickly.

17 May 2007

Courgettes with Rice

The other night Lundulph was out on a company do and I decided to cook something with cheese in it. As I've mentioned before he doesn't like cheese, so I've adapted my recipes after that and removed the cheese from them.

This is another traditional Bulgarian dish. I eat it as a main course, but I think it's best served as a side dish with some sort of meat or perhaps salmon.


0.5 dl grapeseed oil
5 medium sized onions
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
4 dl rice (pudding or arborio)
6 dl water
5 medium sized courgettes
salt, black pepper, dill
500 g strong Cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Peel and dice the onions and the courgettes. Peel the garlic cloves and press them.
  2. Heat up the oil and fry the onions and garlic until they go translucent.
  3. Add the rice and stir in to get the grains covered in the oil, then add the water and bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer until most of the water has been taken up, then add the courgettes, stirring from time to time.
  5. When the courgettes begin to soften, add salt, pepper and dill and stir in well.
  6. Transfer to an oven safe dish, then spread the cheese on top. Bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6 (200 degrees C) for about 30 minutes, until the cheese goes golden brown and crispy.

10 May 2007

Lundulph's Chilli Con Fowl

Today was a special day as Lundulph cooked and I helped. He made up this recipe all on his own and it was very tasty.


2 medium sized onions
2 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
500 g turkey steaks
1 tbsp plain flour
3 chicken stock cubes
2.5 dl boiling water
2.5 dl white wine
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Greek style plain yogurt
5 chillies
0.5 tsp hot chilli powder
2 cans of kidney beans (at 400 g each)
3 medium sized peppers
black pepper


  1. Peel and dice the onions. Cut the turkey steaks into small pieces. Drain the beans and dice the peppers. Chop the chillies fairly finely.
  2. Dissolve the chicken cubes into the boiling water, then add the white wine, tomato puree and Dijon mustard.
  3. Heat up the oil in a large pan, then add the onions and press in the garlic and fry until they go translucent.
  4. Add the turkey and stir until the pieces are sealed.
  5. Sprinkle the flour and stir in so it soaks up some of the fat.
  6. Add the stock mix and yogurt and stir well.
  7. Add the kidney beans, chopped chillies and chilli powder and black pepper and bring to the boil.
  8. Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes, then add the peppers and leave to simmer for another 5 - 10 minutes.
  9. Boil the rice in the meantime.

Actually it was very hot with the 5 chillies, since we put in the seeds as well. Lundulph thought the heat was ideal.

We used Thai rice, because the brown rice would have taken too long to boil. The wine was the excellent Muscadet from the local Coop for £2.99. And as Lundulph said, drinking the left-over wine from the cooking tastes nice because it doesn't really count.