Recipe: Pitalka (Bread)

Pitalka

 

What a delicious and easy recipe!  Pitalka goes well with any meal, especially with peppers in cream.

Ingredients:

1 package dry instant yeast (“suvi kvasac,” 7 g – package is about the size of a business card)

1 cup warm water

3 – 4 cups flour (divided)

1 tsp of salt

Directions:

1.  Use water that is very warm, but not boiling.  Pour the water into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top.  Let sit for about 5 minutes; the yeast will foam up a bit.

2.  Add in the salt and about 2.5 cups of flour to start, stirring until a dough starts to form.  Start kneading on a liberally floured surface and work in as much flour as possible into the dough, until the dough gets stiff.  Form the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl.  Cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for 45 minutes so the dough can rise.

3.  Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and form into two flat rounds, about 8-10″ in diameter.  Again, cover the dough and let rise for about 20 minutes so they will puff up.  Preheat the oven at this time to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

4.  Bake your bread on the center rack for about 10 minutes or until the top gets golden brown.

5.  Enjoy your fluffy and delicious pitalka!    

 

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Pasul me Mish

Pasul me mish (Stew with meat) is a hearty traditional Albanian dish made with a few simple ingredients.  Slow cooked on the stove, it makes a great meal on a cold winter day.  Serve with fresh, crusty bread.

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Ingredients:

8 cups water

1 cup white beans

1 pound meat with bone in (lamb, beef, or chicken)

1 white or yellow onion

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon Vegeta seasoning (Ms. Dash or similar will also work)

 

Directions:

1.  Put the beans into the water on the stove and let cook for a few hours.

2.  Add meat and reduce heat to low.

3.  Sautee the onion in a pan with the olive oil.

4.  Add the onion and the spices into the water, cover, and let simmer on the stove on low heat for hours until the beans and meat are nice and tender.

Special thanks to Albulena Ukaj for this recipe!

Recipe: Peppers in Cream

While you’re in Kosovo, why not learn to cook delicious Albanian food?  Use the fresh local ingredients!  The following recipe makes a very pretty, hearty dish and it is so easy to make.  There is no picture because it was eaten so quickly.  Next time I make it, I will post a pic!

Ingredients:

-6-8 red peppers (hot or sweet or mixed, depending on your taste)

-1 container (500 ml) vegetal cream, such as Halta or Hopla

-1 small container (180 ml) sour cream, such as Schmand

-Salt to taste

-Drizzle of olive oil

-Fresh parsley (optional)

-Bread (to serve with it)

Directions:

1.  Heat the oven to 450 F.  Wash off the peppers.  Stick them on a baking sheet (whole) in the oven and drizzle them in a little olive oil.  Watch for the skin to turn just slightly brown and bubble up, letting them roast around 20-30 minutes.

2.  Get a big bowl of water.  When the peppers are done, drop them into the bowl of water whole.  Then pick each one out separately and peel the skin off.  It comes right off!  Take the stems and the seeds out.  You are left with roasted red pepper fillets.

3.  In a sautee pan on the stove over medium heat, heat some olive oil in a pan–just a few tablespoons.  Salt the peppers to taste and lay them in the oil, letting them infuse their flavor.

4.  After a few minutes, add your creams.  Add most of both containers, mixing vegetal and sour cream.  Let the pepper/cream mixture simmer for a few more minutes.

5.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley and put on the table with a loaf of fresh, crusty bread from your local bakery.  Voila!

Eat:

Rip off chunks of the bread and scoop up creamy pepper pieces with it.

Thanks very much to Lena Ukaj for this amazing recipe!