Food From Around the World | Bulgarian Inspired Recipes

I love to cook and trying out new recipes. I was recently set the challenge to prepare some Bulgarian food. I had a lot of fun, researching and coming up with new options of classic Bulgarian options, as I have never been specifically to Bulgaria.

A typical recipe is a Beef Moussaka but Bugarian’s tend to use yoghurt as a topping, compared to a white sauce or cheese. Here is a typical Bulgarian Moussaka recipe, with a little twist. Good and hearty comfort food – (it is hard to get a good picture of a moussaka… it tastes better than it looks haha).

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Bulgarian Beef Moussaka

Serves 12

Ingredients
  • 500g minced beef
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 1 medium onions
  • 1 cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium tomato
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp mixed spice seasoning
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • grated cheese, optional
Method
  1. Heat oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add chopped onions and fry for about 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots, celery and pepper, season with salt and fry until vegetables are tender. Add finely chopped tomato to the skillet and minced garlic, and cook for few minutes until it looks like sauce. Season with freshly ground pepper, paprika and spices, and stir well.
  2. Transfer vegetables to a plate. Add the minced beef to the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes until brown. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, summer savory & cumin. Break it up in small pieces with wooden spoon. Mix vegetables and beef together. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  3. In the same pan, heat oil and add the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt, paprika, freshly ground black pepper and spices. Let potatoes cook covered for about 10 minutes until slightly tender, and stir every couple minutes. When the potatoes are done, add them to the beef and vegetables mixture in the baking dish. Repeat with the second batch of potatoes.
  4. Pour 2 cups of water over the moussaka. (The water should not cover the potatoes, the water line should be just below them.)
  5. Place in a preheated 200°C oven and bake for about 50 minutes.
Topping
  1. About 10 minutes before moussaka is ready, prepare the topping. Beat 4 egg whites until fluffy. In a separate bowl beat 4 egg yolks and add 4 tbsp water. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup yogurt with ¼ cup milk, and add ½ tsp baking soda. Gently fold in egg yolks and egg whites. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread over baked moussaka, top with grated cheese, if using, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes.

I love to serve moussaka with a salad. The crisp and fresh veggies add such a lovely dynamic to the creamy moussaka. In Bulgaria, a salad you will often find there is a Shopska Salad. This isn’t too dissimilar to a typical greek salad. It consists of large tomatoes chopped into chunks, cucumber, roasted (or jarred) peppers, olives and feta.

For dessert, it would be rude not to, I altered a recipe I found online for an Almond & Peach tart. Using pre-made pastry it made it really quick to make – so delicious too!

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Peach & Almond Tart

15 minutes prep time 25 minutes cooking time serves 4

Ingredients

  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 50 g soft butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 25 g sugar for sprinkling + extra for sprinkling
  • 250g puff pastry
  • 3 - 4 peaches, cut into thin slices

Instructions

  1. In a bowl mix the almonds, sugar, butter and egg. Stir the mixture until smooth.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry sheet with a thickness of 3-5 mm. Cut the pastry into four rounds with a diameter of around 13 cm. (I used the tops of breakfast bowls to measure with). Put the dough onto a greased baking tray.
  3. Brush each pastry round with the almond mixture. It should be like spreading peanut butter onto bread.
  4. Arrange the peach slices on top of the almond mixture. Concentric circles look good but any style that you like.
  5. Leave the tart for at least 10 minutes in the fridge before cooking.
  6. Heat the oven to 220 degrees.
  7. Bake 10 minutes at the top level of the oven.
  8. After 10 minutes, sprinkle each tart with sugar. Then move them to the middle of the oven and cook for a further 10 -15 minutes, checking that the pastry is cooked through.
  9. Serve with cream or ice cream.
http://aaublog.com/bulgarian-recipe/

When the tart was ready to go I brushed it with some apricot glaze, to add the lovely shine that you see on pastries. If you can’t find apricot glaze on the baking isle in your supermarket, just get some apricot jam and mix it with a little bit of water, until it is smooth. Works just as well!

Let me know if you try out these recipes – I hope you like them!

Rebecca x

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17 Comments

  1. 5th December 2015 / 11:47 pm

    Never tried Bulgarian food! The moussaka looks really nice though! #KCACOLS

    • 6th December 2015 / 2:29 am

      Thanks so much, it tasted good!

  2. 6th December 2015 / 3:15 pm

    That peach tart looks amazing, especially with it sliced. Well done you! #KCACOLS

    • Rebecca U
      8th December 2015 / 12:26 pm

      Thanks so much, I’m trying to get better and better at cooking!

    • Rebecca U
      8th December 2015 / 12:26 pm

      evenings! Have to wait until the kids are in bed! x

  3. 6th December 2015 / 8:51 pm

    The Moussaka sounds really good. I went to Bulgaria on holiday (I think it must have been cheap) when I was about 10ish and we had Shopska salad and veal most nights! There wasn’t much variety though its probably changed a lot since then! #KCACOLS

    • Rebecca U
      8th December 2015 / 12:27 pm

      Veal did come up a lot when I was looking for recipes – really interesting x

  4. 6th December 2015 / 10:18 pm

    The dessert looks amazing. One of my dearest and nearest has been living in Bulgaria for almost 3 years now and she raves about the food there so I will definitely be giving your recipes a go! #KCACOLS

    • Rebecca U
      8th December 2015 / 12:27 pm

      That is so cool, thanks for sharing x

    • Rebecca U
      8th December 2015 / 12:28 pm

      thanks Ellie x

  5. 7th December 2015 / 8:45 pm

    This sounds yummy, I love moussaka, so I’m definitely bookmarking this to try. Thanks so much for sharing with #KCACOLS and hope you can link up next week x

    • 7th December 2015 / 8:59 pm

      thanks so much! Hope you like it x

    • Rebecca U
      8th December 2015 / 12:28 pm

      Thanks so much, trying to get better at cooking!

  6. Martina Evans
    19th February 2016 / 8:50 pm

    I must admit I’ve never tasted Bulgarian food, though telling from your pictures I’ve been missing out! The moussaka looks delicious and the Peach & Almond Tart looks lush. I would most definitely love to make these two fab dishes.

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