From the kitchen

Wild Thyme Farmstay

Delicious food all season from the garden – from our first fruit of the season (cherries) to pumpkins!  We’ve also included a photo of what we receive from our neighbours every start of November.

In this beautiful tradition, they spend all day lovingly preparing gifts of food to pass to all the neighbours, in memory of their ancestors.  There’s always a little candle included which we burn and remember ours too!

 

Julie’s Recipe Chicken Liver Pate

homemade chicken liver pate

 

Recipe Chicken Liver Pate

This is a recipe from one of our guests, Julie, who stayed in the eco guesthouse last summer.  I didn’t realise it was so easy to make pate.

Ingredients:

8oz chicken livers

8oz butter

2tbsp brandy

1/2 tsp savory or thyme

1/2 tsp nutmeg or mace

4 cloves crushed garlic

Fry livers in 1oz butter.  When tender, mince them.

Melt 5oz butter in pan and pour into liver.  Add brandy and 2oz butter.  Pour some brandy into pan to rinse out yummy stuff and add to livers.

Mix well.

Put into a ceramic pot with lid and smooth over.

Melt 2oz butter and our over pate.  Leave for 2-3 days before eating.

Toi’s Onion Comfit Recipe

Recipe for confit of onions

This is another delicious recipe from our friend Toi.  A great way to use your baby onions and is delcious with cheese or cold meats.  Very rich and lots of flavours.

750g of baby onions

50ml water, 50g honey , 50g brown sugar, 100ml sweet white  wine, 100ml balsamic vinegar, 70ml olive oil, 3tbsp tomato paste, 1/2 teasp cumin, pinch cinnamon, 2 cloves powdered, salt, pepper

 

Peel onions and sautee in olive oil until golden brown.  Add remaining ingredients.

Mix well and cook, covered on very low heat for 1 and 1/2 hours.

I didn’t bother jarring it but it kept in a container in the fridge for a couple of months.

 

Mini Scotch Eggs

Recipe for homemade scotch eggs

Scotch eggs are not found in Balkan cuisine but our friends Toi from Spain and Borislav from Bulgaria were intrigued when they saw them on our blog last year.  So they had a go at making their own versions of Scotch eggs and sent us some photos:

‘Here there are the pictures of Scotch eggs. There were delicious although  it was not that easy. We wanted the eggs not to be hard, but medium or soft inside, so that when you cut it all the yolk spread over the meat.

After several tries we got it but it was very difficult to wrap it with the meat because it was very
soft.’

Making scotch eggs with quail eggs

‘The small egg  is a quail egg with a piece of my home made focaccia. The quail egg was very difficult to peel so that
we decided it was not worthy to make it with such a small egg.

These 6 Scotch eggs took us more than 2 hours but we enjoyed it very much.’

Balkan Cuisine

Bulgarian cuisine: Stuffed cabbage leaves

One of the joys of living in Bulgaria is learning the traditional village recipes.  A favourite winter dish across the Balkans is stuffed cabbage leaves. Having preserved cabbages through lactofermentation (see our previous blog), this is a delicious and healthy way to eat them up.  The soft texture and tangy flavour of the lactofermented cabbage gives them a unique taste sensation!  This is a traditional recipe which involves stuffing the leaves with meat and rice.  I make a vegetarian version swapping the meat for peppers, courgettes or whatever vegetable is available.  This recipe comes from The Melting Pot: Balkan Food and Cookery by Maria Kaneva-Johnson.

You'll need:

20 sauerkraut leaves with thick central rib cut away; 2-3 tblsp of sauerkraut liquid (very good for the digestion); 1 tbsp veg oil

Stuffing:

400g pork finely minced; an onion finely chopped; 2 tbsp veg oil; 50g round/short grain rice; black pepper

Mix stuffing ingredients together and moisten with a little water.

Lay leaf on flat surface with vein facing up.  Place a ball of stuffing on the vine leaf.  Fold over top of leaf and then sides and roll up tightly.

Put the oil in shallow pan and cover with a few loose cabbage leaves.  Pack stuffed cabbage rolls on top in a single layer. Place a plate on top to hold them down and cover in a mix of water and sauerkraut liquid.  Put a lid on and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until tender.