February 2015 archive

Not much to report.

Sunny Beach is completely dead at the moment and there isn’t much to do. Last weekend we were in Sofia to see a Dj show we had bought tickets to months ago. We had a great time, the weather was mild and we got to walk around everywhere and test out new street foods. The concert was a blast, the music was incredible, I ended up dancing non-stop until 6am!

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Now we are back at home and I’m doing work for a friend while Matt plays with the cats.

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Funny before and afters:

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Only one “fits”.

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Stotinki hates the camera!

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Vanilla meringues.

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Vanilla meringues
Yields 10
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64 calories
15 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
25 g
17 g
15 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
25g
Yields
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 64
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 17mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 15g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
0%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 egg whites
  2. 3/4 cup white sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. a splash of white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Whisk egg whites until stiff. Slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time, continue beating for 5 seconds between each addition. Add vanilla and vinegar. Whisk an additional 3 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  2. Pipe or scoop the mixture onto a baking paper lined cookie sheet making sure there is enough room for the meringues to expand. Let rest on counter for one hour.
  3. Set oven to the lowest setting and bake the meringues for 30-40 minutes (they should be crispy to the touch). Let rest for 20 minutes for stiff meringues or eat while warm for ooy-gooy toasted marshmallow type meringues.
Notes
  1. Add thick caramel and a sprinkle of salt over the meringues before placing in oven to get salted caramel meringues.
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calories
64
fat
0g
protein
1g
carbs
15g
more
Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

This might come as a surprise to you but it turns out Bulgaria doesn’t celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. How am I to quench my enormous craving for Chinese BBQ pork buns!?!   The answer is simple, make my own at home. This recipe is very easy to make, I suggest you try it out for yourselves. Gong Hey Fat Choy everyone!

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Buy some BBQ pork (Cha Siu) premade and mix with green onions or make your own*.

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Mix the dough until smooth, place in a warm place and let rise in an oiled bowl covered with plastic cling film for one hour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces for large buns, 8 pieces for smaller buns.   

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Roll out the dough into circles leaving the center thicker than the edges. Put one large spoonful of BBQ pork in the center, wet the edges and pinch together making sure the buns are sealed tight then twist the dough together at the top. Let rise for an hour (very important if you want fluffy buns).

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Boil water in a pot or wok then place a metal or bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper or cabbage (cabbage works best). Place a few bun in the steamer making sure they don’t touch. Cover with a lid and wait 15 minutes, try not to open the lid too often as the buns might deflate.

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Cha Siu Bao, Steamed BBQ pork buns. (DOUGH)
Yields 6
For the dough.
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597 calories
104 g
0 g
12 g
17 g
1 g
262 g
794 g
5 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
262g
Yields
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 597
Calories from Fat 102
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
18%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 794mg
33%
Total Carbohydrates 104g
35%
Dietary Fiber 4g
14%
Sugars 5g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 Tablespoons sugar
  2. 1 pack active dry yeast
  3. 1/4 cup warm water
  4. 2 1/2 cup cold water
  5. 6 cups bread flour plus additional for kneading
  6. 2 teaspoons salt
  7. 1/4 cup oil
Instructions
  1. Mix yeast, sugar, salt and warm water in a bowl, set aside until the yeast is foamy. Add the flour and most of the oil then slowly add water until the dough is lumpy. Knead until smooth and springy.
  2. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about an hour.
Notes
  1. All measurements are estimated as I don't own measuring cups or spoons. My recipes are made by eye (and with love!).
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calories
597
fat
12g
protein
17g
carbs
104g
more
Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/
Cha Siu Bao, Steamed Bbq Pork Buns. (PORK)
Yields 6
BBQ Pork
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181 calories
4 g
57 g
9 g
19 g
2 g
104 g
154 g
2 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
104g
Yields
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 181
Calories from Fat 84
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 57mg
19%
Sodium 154mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 4g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 2g
Protein 19g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
5%
Calcium
5%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 pork chops (or pork necks)
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/4 soy sauce
  5. 1/2 hoisin sauce*
  6. 2 tablespoons chili sauce of your choice
  7. 1/4 sugar
  8. 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  9. a handful of green onions, chopped
  10. white vinegar to taste
  11. oil for cooking
Instructions
  1. In a hot pan, sear the pork chops for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and let rest. Cook onions until translucent then add the rest of the ingredients, simmer until the sauce has reduced to half. Cut the pork into tiny little cubes, mix with the sauce and green onions. Let cool.
Notes
  1. All measurements are estimated as I don't own measuring cups or spoons. My recipes are made by eye (and with love!).
beta
calories
181
fat
9g
protein
19g
carbs
4g
more
Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/

 

Black quinoa and pork meatballs with steamed broccoli in a sweet creamy tomato sauce.

Meatballs: lots of chopped onion, 1 part ground pork to 1 part cooked black quinoa, salt & pepper and an egg. You can add a small amount of breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet. I find that if I form the meatballs and let them sit in the fridge for an hour (or 20 minutes in the freezer) before cooking they don’t break apart as much. In a nice deep pan with a thick bottom, fry the meat balls at medium high heat for 3 minutes on each side. If the meatball is stuck to the pan let it sit for a few more minutes or gently shake the pan back and forth until it comes loose. Turn the heat down, discard any leftover oil then add the sauce and cover with a lid  and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so.

Sauce: slowly simmer a can of diced or pureed tomato with lots of garlic, a spoon full of tomato paste, a little bit of water, dried basil, salt, pepper and a small spoonful of sugar for an hour or more, stir occasionally. Once the sauce has reduced by half, slowly mix in a little  heavy and then pour over the meatballs. Serve with steamed broccoli.

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The best way to make pork hamburger patties.

Keep it simple: ground pork, lots of chopped onion, salt & pepper (or a pinch of dried chicken stock) and a dash of Worchester sauce.

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Make sure to get lots of fun fixings for your burgers and make it as ridiculous as possible.

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Ok, well Matt went a little overboard!

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Mongolian pork with peppers.

The peppers are easy to make and very tasty: stir fry onions with red and green peppers, a little chicken broth and lots of dried coriander.

Buy a nice piece of pork tenderloin and place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until it becomes a bit firm on the outside (this will make it easier to cut it as thin as possible). Matt likes thicker pork slices and I like mine ultra thin so I recommend cutting the pork they way you love it. Place in a marinade of soy sauce, sugar, chilies, vinegar, coriander and lots of garlic for a minimum of 40 minutes. In a hot pan or wok, stir fry the meat for a few minutes, it should cook faster if your slices are thin.

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Pork ribs with mushrooms and spinach.

I always boil my ribs in a pressure cooker with onions, garlic, water, maybe a slash of wine and a few spices. After about 40 minutes, I cool the pressure cooker and drain the broth (keep the broth and freeze it) then coat my ribs with a BBQ sauce and stick them in the oven on broil for a few minutes on each side. How do you  cook your ribs?

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Misiu being tortured by the smell of  ribs cooking.

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Our American football party!

We’re not sports fans but we thought it would be fun to stay up until 1:30am our time and “watch” the Superbowl. I chose the Seahawks because I like blue and green, the cats cheered for the Patriots. My team lost.

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American football parties need American style food and beers (we didn’t actually drink the Bud or Coors as they are disgusting).

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Shown above: store bought cakes, hot dog, sliders, deep fried pork ears, chicken wings, sausage, homemade KFC chicken in a custom made bucket, homemade mac n cheese, KFC style coleslaw* (I had to put food coloring to get it that neon green colour) and potatoes.

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*The coleslaw was exactly like the real KFC stuff: cabbage, carrot, onion, lemon juice, white vinegar, plain yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, salt and pepper.