Balkan Recipes 

Recipes and thoughts on cooking by Sidanija Delic, co-owner of Café on Main.

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[Editor’s note: Many of these recipes call for grams and milliliters instead of traditional measurements used here in the states. Conversions may be found below.]

Bosnian cuisine uses many spices but usually in moderate quantities. Most dishes are light, as they are cooked in lots of water. The sauces are natural, consisting of little more than the juices of the vegetables in the dish. Typical ingredients include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, carrots, cabbage, spinach, beans and paprika.

Cevapi is a popular dish in Bosnia. They are small grilled rolls of minced beef, lamb, or a mixture of the two, in pita bread. Chopped onions served on the side and cheese or ajvar (red pepper spread) are optional.

500 g premium grade minced beef (or 350 gr of beef and 150 gr minced lamb)
40 ml natural mineral water
20 ml oil
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1. Combine ingredients for cevapi. Refrigerate mixture overnight.
2. Wet hands and shape the mixture into uniform rolls.
3. Cook the cevapi on a hot, lightly oiled barbecue 6-10 mins, turning frequently.
4. Cevapi can be served on its own or between slices of lepina

What is pizza in Italy is pita [not to be confused with pita bread] in Bosnia. The trick is to transform the dough into the thinnest possible phyllo-pastry. By rolling the dough carefully and persistently across the table, you can make it so large that it covers the whole table and falls abundantly over its sides. Then you cover the pastry—called jufka in Bosnia—with potatoes, cheese, spinach or meat. The pita is named after the filling—crompirusa, sirnica feljanica or burek. Roll pastry—known as jufka—so that you can create a hose not thicker than the one you have in your garden. Lay the rolled jufka onto the baking pan and bake it in the oven.

The place where you can get a pita is called Buregdzinica. With burek, one should always drink yogurt or kefir.

1 kg of flour
2 cups of water
1 tbs oil
1 tbs salt
Makes four dough balls

This is a Bosnian national dessert.

10 apples
500 gr sugar
100 gr ground walnuts
1 lemon
1 l. water
2 bags vanilla sugar
Whipped cream
Chocolate syrup

Peel and core apples. Boil water with sugar, 1 vanilla sugar and lemon for five minutes. In boiling water cook apples until they are soft. Take out the apples, keep boiling water 10 more minutes to make syrup. Mix walnuts, 1 vanilla sugar, some whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Serve apples with syrup whipped cream and topped with chocolate syrup.

Baklava: a Balkan speciality
You need:
1 pound of unsalted butter
1 pound of ground walnuts
1 pound of phyllo dough
1 cup of bread crumbs

4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 lemon

Mix walnuts, 1/4 cup of sugar and skin of lemon
1 cup of bread crumbs
Melt the butter
Take a leaf of phyllo pastry and lay it in your pan (that fits the phyllo pastry dough).
Spread butter with pastry brush. Lay 6-8 layers of phyllo dough and butter. Then spread 1/4 of the nuts.
Continue to put about 3-4 layers of phyllo pastry and butter and a layer of nuts, until the nuts are all used up. On the top be sure to have six sheets of phyllo. Spread thick layer of butter on the top.
Make a syrup with sugar and water, adding lemon juice from the lemon. Boil the water and the sugar for 30 minutes. The syrup should be thick and amber colored.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the baklava into diamonds using a very sharp knife.
Bake baklava for 10 minutes on 350 degrees, then 50 minutes at 325 until it is a medium brown. Spoon the cold syrup evenly over the baklava. And wait until the next day to eat it.

 1 milliliter = 1/5 teaspoon
 5 ml = 1 teaspoon
 15 ml = 1 tablespoon
 34 ml = 1 fluid oz.
 100 ml = 3.4 fluid oz.
 240 ml = 1 cup
 1 liter = 34 fluid oz.
 1 liter = 4.2 cups
 1 liter = 2.1 pints
 1 liter = 1.06 quarts
 1 liter = .26 gallon

 1 gram = .035 ounce
 100 grams = 3.5 ounces
 500 grams = 1.10 pounds
 1 kilogram = 2.205 pounds
 1 kilogram = 35 oz.
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