20 Albanian Recipes


MAIN COURSES


Recipe One
Baked Lamb and Yogurt (Albanian Name: Tavë Kosi)

Servings: 4
Ingredients:

1-1/2 lbs lamb
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons rice
Salt, pepper

For Yogurt sauce:

1 tablespoon flour
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
2 lbs. yogurt
5 eggs
Salt, pepper

Cooking Instructions:

Cut meat in 4 serving pieces, sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper, and bake in a moderately-heated oven with half the butter, sprinkling the meat with its gravy now and then. When meat is half-baked, add rice; remove the baking pan from the oven and leave it aside while you prepare the yogurt sauce:
Sauté flour in butter until mixed thoroughly. Mix yogurt with salt, pepper and eggs until a uniform mixture is obtained, and finally stir in the flour. Put the sauce mixture in the baking pan; sauté it with the meat pieces and bake at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes.
Serve hot.



Recipe Two
Veal or Chicken with Walnuts (Albanian Name: Gjellë me Arra)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons flour
15 finely crushed shelled walnuts
2 beaten egg yokes
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 lb. sticks butter
2-3 lbs of Veal or Chicken meat cut up in 1" cubes

Cooking Instructions:

Place the meat or chicken in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until tender. Then remove the meat setting it aside in a dish while leaving the remaining juices in the saucepan. In another saucepan, add the flour and sauté over heat until it becomes light brown in color (do not overcook!) and add the half a stick of butter. Then, add the finely crushed walnuts, minced garlic clove, and the two egg yokes, stirring constantly. Add the juices from the other saucepan and sauté until all the ingredients thicken. Immediately remove from the heat to avoid solidifying the egg yolks. Then fold in either the meat or chicken. Pan fry the remaining half stick of butter until brown and pour over the four servings. Enjoy it.



Recipe Three
Albanian Vegetable Pies (Albanian Name: Byrek shqiptar me perime)

Servings: 4-6.
Albanian pies are generally made of thin pastry leaves which can be rolled out at home or bought as FILO dough at a supermarket. Most of the pies prepared by Albanian cooks are not sweet; instead, pie fillings are almost always salty. Thus, a piece of such a pie may well serve as the main dish of a meal.

Spinach Pie (Albanian Name: Byrek me spinaq)

Ingredients:

1 cup oil, preferably olive oil
1 1/2 packets (or about 30) pastry leaves (Filo Dough)
1 1/2 pounds spinach, chopped
1 cup diced feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 eggs
salt, half teaspoon
(NOTE: A medium-sized, round baking pan is recommended because it's more authentic but any medium-sized baking pan will do).

Cooking Instructions:

Brush the baking pan with some of the oil, and start laying the pastry leaves inside. First, lay two leaves, sprinkle or brush with oil, then lay two other leaves, and repeat the procedure until half of the leaves are laid. Make sure that they cover the pan by hanging them about one inch over the edges of the pan.
Sprinkle spinach with salt, then mix well by hand. Add the feta cheese, oil, onions, eggs and salt, and spread this mixture over the already laid pastry leaves. Finish by covering the spinach with the rest of the pastry leaves repeating the first-half procedure and then roll the hanging edges of the bottom leaves over the pie (think of a pizza crust), sprinkle top with oil and bake moderately at 3501_F for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot, accompanied with buttermilk, or beaten yogurt, thinned down in cold water or with chilled stewed prunes. Enjoy it.



Recipe Four
Leek Caserole (Albanian Name: Tavë me presh)

Servings: 4
Ingredients:

2 lbs leeks
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 lb ground meat
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
Mild red pepper
Salt
Pepper

Cooking Instructions:

Cut off the green leaves from leeks; wash and cut leeks slantwise into 1-inch thick slices. Sauté in a little oil and place in a baking pan. Sauté onion and ground meat in remaining oil. Add beef stock, tomato sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Pour meat mixture over the Sautéd leeks. Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees F. Serve hot.




Recipe Five
Bean Yahni Soup (Albanian Name: Jani me Fasule)

Servings: 4
Ingredients:

2 cups of dry white beans
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped mint
salt, chili powder

Cooking Instructions:

Boil beans in hot water in an uncovered pot for 5 minutes. Rinse and boil for another 15 minutes in a covered stock pot in 3 cups hot water. Sauté onion in olive oil until it turns yellow. Add 2 tablespoons bean stock from the pot along with tomato sauce, parsley, salt and chili powder for taste. Cook for 10 minutes or until a thick sauce is formed, then pour everything into the pot. Add chopped mint, cover tightly and cool for 2 hours over low heat, or for 30 minutes in a pressure cooker. This should produce a thick juice, covering beans by _ inch. Serve hot.


Recipe Six
Fried Meatballs (Albanian Name: Qofte të fërguara)

Servings: 4
Ingredients:

1 lb ground meat
1 slice stale bread
1 small onion, finely-grated
2 tablespoons chopped Feta cheese
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt
Pepper
Mint
Oregano
1 cup flour
1 cup oil (olive oil recommended)

Cooking Instructions:

Soak bread in water and squeeze hard to drain. Add ground meat, bread crumbs, oil or melted butter, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and mint. Mix thoroughly, and form into 1-inch thick patties, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Roll in flour and fry in hot oil. Serve hot with French Fries or mashed potatoes.


Recipe Seven
Main dish of Mixed Vegetables (Albanian Name: Turli perimesh)

Servings: 4
Ingredients:

2 lbs various vegetables (peppers, eggplant, okra, zucchini, potatoes, etc)
1/2 cup oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup peeled chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt
Pepper

Cooking Instructions:

After cutting off inedible tips of vegetables, wash and slice them into 1-inch squares. Sauté vegetables in half of the oil and remove them from the frying pan. Sauté onion and tomatoes in the remaining oil, and season with parsley, salt, and pepper. Put everything in a stock pot with a cup of water, cover tightly, and simmer until almost all moisture has cooked away. Serve hot, accompanied by steak, meatballs, or any other main dish.


Recipe Eight.
Veal with large Lima Beans (Albanian Name: Mish Qingjji me Barbunja)

Ingredients:

Veal with large Lima Beans (Mish qengji me barbunja)
1 1/2 lb veal
1 large onion, grated
salt, pepper, tomatoes
1 1/2 lb of large Lima beans

Cooking Instructions:

Select shoulder parts of the veal and cut them into 1" cubes. Wash the meat thoroughly with cold water, drain, and then place the meat in a pot together with butter and grated onions and stir fry for a few minutes. As the meat is frying, add water until the pieces are covered. Also add salt, pepper, and only two to three tablespoons of tomatoes (note: tomatoes can be cut into pieces to the size of your choice). Cover the pot and let the meat boil.
In the meantime, cut the ends off the Lima beans and clean them well (you also cut them in half if you desire). Add the Lima beans to the meat after it has been boiling for several minutes. Also add water until everything in the pot is covered. Finally, when the beans are done boiling, add the rest of the tomatoes. Then let the stew boil for a few more minutes so that the liquid can thicken.
*** Please note that tomatoes should not be added all at once in the beginning since they don.t allow the Lima beans to boil at the right pace. If you would rather use fresh tomatoes, when you add the Lima beans, add whole tomatoes instead of cut ones.


Recipe Nine
Rabbit Casserole with Onions and Wine Vinegar (Albanian Name: Çomlek)

Ingredients:

1 rabbit, jointed
2 tablespoons tomato puree or 4-5 fresh tomatoes, approximately 350 gr., chopped
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
150 ml olive oil
0.25 teaspoon sugar
4 cloves garlic, peeled
300 ml hot water
small piece cinnamon stick
salt and black pepper
700 gr. small onions, peeled but left whole
1 sprig of rosemary
1 small glass of red wine

Cooking Instructions:

The same recipe can be used for hare, with excellent results, by increasing quantities of other ingredients, since hare is much heavier than rabbit. Rabbit or hare should be treated in exactly the same preparatory way, i.e., being soaked in vinegar. (This only applies to wild varieties.) Served with fried potatoes on the side, this is a piquant dish, or if you prefer a milder taste to counterbalance the richness of the rabbit, serve with plain while rice. A green salad is always welcomed as it adds a refreshing note.
Rinse the rabbit pieces and put them in a salad bowl with the bay leaves. Sprinkle the vinegar over the pieces and let them marinate for at least 2 hours or preferably in the fridge overnight. Heat half of the olive oil in a saucepan, pat the rabbit pieces dry and fry them in it until they are quite brown on both sides. Take out and put on to a plate. When all the rabbit pieces have been fried, put them back into the saucepan along with the garlic cloves, bay leaves, spices, rosemary and the wine. Then add the tomato puree or tomatoes, sugar and the hot water. Season, cover and cook for about 1 hour. In the meantime, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions. Stir them occasionally, in order to make sure they turn golden all over, for about 15 minutes. Add the contents of the frying pan to the saucepan, and shake it so that the onions spread evenly. Then cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Serve with fried potatoes or plain white rice and a green salad.


Recipe Ten
Meatballs with Egg and Lemon Sauce (Albanian Name: Qofte me vezë dhe limon)

Ingredients:

250 grams ground meat (lamb)
1/5 glass rice
1 tablespoon margarine
1 bunch parsley
2 1/2 glasses water
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 large onion

Sauce:
2 egg yolks or 1 egg
1/3 glass of water
1 lemon (the juice)

Cooking Instructions:

Grate the onion. Boil rice in 3 glasses of water and drain. Chop the parsley. Add the onion, rice, black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt to the ground meat and knead for 3 minutes.
Moisten hands and form walnut sized balls of the meat, put them in a pan containing chopped parsley leaves and shake gently to coat meatballs with parsley. Add 2 1/2 glasses of water, the margarine and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pan and cover. Cook over moderate heat for 30 minutes.
When the meatballs are cooked, put the egg yolks or the egg, the lemon juice and water for the sauce into a bowl and beat gently.
Add the sauce to the pan, stir a couple of times to blend and serve. Instead of parsley you can put dried mint.


Recipe Eleven
Stuffed Peppers (Albanian Name: Speca të mbushura)

Cooking Instructions:

Take some peppers suitable for stuffing, wash and remove the seeds. Chop 1 large onion finely and fry. Add some mince meat (optional) + rice 11/2 cup + chopped dill and parsley + some tomato puree. With this stuff the peppers. Put them on a baking tray and let them bake, adding water if necessary until the rice and peppers are soft.


Recipe Twelve
Eemam Bayalldee (Albanian Name: Imam Bajalldi)

Cooking Instructions:
Clean the Egg Plant and peel into strips. On one side cut a hole lengthwise, removing some flesh. Keep the flesh and chop it finely. Chop 1 large onion in thin strips and fry. Add the chopped Egg Plant and fry it too. Add chopped garlic, tomato puree and chopped parsley. With this mixture stuff the Egg Plant and put them in the oven to bake. Add water if necessary.


APPETIZERS


Recipe Thirteen
Tirana Furghes with Peppers (Albanian Name: Fergesë e Tiranës me speca)

Servings: 4
Ingredients:
Green or Red Peppers, half- pound
Red Tomatoes, one pound
Salted Cottage Cheese or Greek Feta Cheese, half-pound
Flour, one tablespoon
Butter, one quarter-pound stick
Virgin Olive Oil, 3 tablespoons
Add Salt, Black Pepper, and Chili Pepper to your taste

Cooking Instructions:

Peel the skin off the tomatoes and peppers. Sauté them in a saucepan for 5-7 minutes only in the olive oil and then set them aside to cool down for 15 minutes. Dice them the way you like. In another saucepan, melt the butter. Add flour, cottage or Feta cheese, and black pepper, salt and chili pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients together and place them in saucepan. Put saucepan in a preheated 350 oven for 15 minutes. Take out and serve immediately.


Recipe Fourteen
Tirana Furghes with Veal (Albanian Name: Fergesë e Tiranës me mish viçi)

Servings: 4
Ingredients:

Veal Cutlets, one pound
Salted Cottage Cheese or Greek Feta Cheese, half-pound
Flour, one tablespoon
Butter, one quarter-pound stick
Virgin Olive Oil, 3 tablespoons
Onion, one medium-sized
Add Salt, Black Pepper, and Chili Pepper to your taste

Cooking Instructions:

First, cut the veal cutlets into small pieces and then dice the onion. In a saucepan, preheat the olive oil and Sauté the meat and onion for 15 minutes. In another saucepan, melt the butter and then add flour, cottage or Feta cheese, and black pepper, salt and chili pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients together (adding the Sautéd meat and onions) in the saucepan and place in a preheated 350 oven for 15 minutes. Take out and serve immediately.
Note: Instead of veal cutlets, beef liver can be used in the same quantity of meat and preparation/cooking instructions as above.


Recipe Fifteen
Fried Eggplants, Zucchini and Green Peppers with Plain Yogurt (Albanian Name: Tarator)

Ingredients:

1250 gr. eggplants
1500 gr. zucchini
salt
a piece of cucumber finely chopped
250 gr. yogurt
2 tablespoons salt
4 cloves of garlic
salt

Cooking Instructions:

Peel the eggplants in lengthwise strips at 1 1/2 cm intervals, then cut either in circles or in long slices. Sprinkle salt over and place the eggplants in salted water for half an hour to drain off their bitter juices. Squeeze each eggplant before putting into hot oil. Fry both sides, drain away excess oil and place on a serving plate.
Scrape the skin of the zucchinis until their green parts can be seen, sprinkle with salt and leave aside for 1.5 hours. Put flour and water into a bowl and blend together. First place the zucchini in flour-water mixture and then into the hot oil. Fry until both sides are golden. Place them with the eggplants and peppers.
Mix cucumber and yogurt, pour over the fried vegetables (if desired, crushed garlic can be added to the yogurt).


DESSERTS


Recipe Sixteen
BAKLLAVA (Albanian name: Bakllava)

Ingredients:

1/2 kg (about 18 ounces) of ready made rolled dough
200 g (about 7 ounces) of pressed walnuts
3 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Cooking Instructions:
Spread the rolled dough, and sprinkle the walnuts with the cinnamon, then cover it with another layer of dough. Cut the baklava in equal squares or diamond shapes. Cover the baklava with melted butter and leave it to bake in a hot oven. Afterwards, leave it to cool. Prepare the syrup with the water and the sugar, using the amounts given above. Let the syrup boil for 5 minutes. Before removing the syrup from the heat, add the juice of half a lemon. Let the syrup cool for about 5 minutes, and then spread it on the baklava.


Recipe Seventeen
Flour Hallva (Albanian Name: Hallvë)

Ingredients:

1 glass flour
1 glass margarine
1 1/4 glasses granulated sugar
5 glasses water

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the margarine in a saucepan very gently, and Sauté the flour until golden brown in the margarine for 40 minutes over low to moderate heat. When the flour turns light golden, put the sugar and water in a separate saucepan and make syrup by boiling gently. Add the syrup to the saucepan with flour and simmer for 20 minutes, and then take out small pieces of the Hallva with a wooden spool, form into balls and place on a serving plate. Serve warm.


Recipe Eighteen
Kadaif (Albanian Name: Kadaif)

Cooking Instructions:

On a baking pan covered with butter spread 1/2 kg (about 18 ounces) of kadaif. In the middle of the pan spread a row of walnuts and some cinnamon (1 cup of pressed walnuts should suffice). From above, spread on the kadaif 1/4 kg (about 9 ounces) of melted butter or place pieces of solid butter on the kadaif. Bake the kadaif in a hot oven until it has obtained a red color. The syrup must be added to the kadaif after it has completely cooled. Prepare the syrup using 1 kg (about 35 ounces) of sugar and 1 liter of water, which you boil for 20 minutes


Recipe Nineteen
Fried pastry with Syrup (Albanian Name: Tullumba)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons melted margarine
1 glass flour
3 tablespoons water
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 glasses olive oil
Syrup: 2 glasses sugar
1 3/4 glasses water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cooking Instructions:

SYRUP:
Put the sugar, water and lemon juice into a saucepan, and after melting the sugar by stirring, allow it to boil until moderately thick. Set aside to cool.
PASTRY:
Heat the margarine in a saucepan, add the water and salt and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and add the flour at once. Stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spool and continue until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. This should take 6 minutes, then remove pan from heat and set aside to cool.
When cool, add the eggs and knead for approximately 10 minutes, using a pastry bag with a large nozzle, put 7-8 pastries in a pan containing the heated olive oil. Start frying the pastry over low heat, increase heat when pastry puffs up a bit and fry until golden. Remove fried pastry with a perforated spoon, draining away the oil, then put into the syrup. Strain off the syrup, place Tulumba on serving plate and serve cool.


Recipe Twenty
Cookies (Albanian name: Kurabie)

Ingredients:

1 cup of yogurt
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 packs of vanilla or the peel of half of a lemon
1 kg (about 35 ounces) of flour.

Cooking Instructions:

Mix the baking soda in the yogurt, add the above mentioned products one by one and prepare the dough. With hands covered with melted butter take pieces of the dough and shape into ovals about the size of a walnut, then place them on a butter covered baking pan and leave spaces in between each piece of dough. From above cover the pieces of dough with beat eggs, sprinkle sugar and cook in a medium-heat oven.