Bulgarian delights – Banitsa

Greetings beautiful people!

I’m so so happy it’s the weekend, finally a lie-in when I needed it the most, as have started to get abit sick these past few days (thank you Louis for passing me your cold).

Hmm, what else will I treat myself to this samedi and dimanche? Firstly copious amounts of home-made chai, YUM! Secondly, copious amounts of red wine, because duh. I’ve just popped open a bottle, after having an exhausting but satisfying day picking fruit and veg at our local coup de coeur, Les Fermes de Gally. Today we got pumpkins (!!!), leeks, rosy apples, onions (Louis has his eye on making French onion soup, always welcome), fresh corn, green bell peppers and the most fragrant carrots I’ve ever smelt. I have to do a full-on post about how incredibly useful, cheap and gratifying it is not only buying your produce locally but also getting your hands dirty in the process!

I also want to share this little recipe with you guys, something I learnt about 5 years ago at university that my amazing Tanya taught me. This is a traditional Bulgarian dish called banitsa, made from feta cheese sprinkled between layers of phyllo pastry and topped off with a sweet egg mixture and put to bake. A dash of sugar helps take the edge off the salty feta which literally melts in your mouth. I made this for Louis to try especially as he’d never had it before, and ended up making it twice in one week after my tastebuds realised how much they’d missed it. Thank you Tanya for teaching me, I have never forgotten it and gladly so because it is a winner.

DSC_0182

This is a perfect, simple option for breakfast or even lunch with a fresh salad on the side. Comment faire? Good job I’m here to tell you how –

Ingredients

8 sheets of phyllo pastry (I say 8 purely based on the pack I bought which sold 8, but I also think it’s a good minimum. If you have a few more just add some more feta)

1 brick of feta cheese (around 250g) crumbled by hand

2 eggs

50ml of milk

Teaspoon of sugar

Method

First, crumble the feta into small pieces, around the size of a thumb-nail but honestly do not feel the need to be pedantic about that. You just want to ensure that there’s enough feta to sprinkle on every layer of pastry (at the same time, don’t be too stingy for fear that you won’t have enough. You will).

DSC_0171

Line your baking tray with a sheet of baking paper or cover the base in some melted butter so the pastry doesn’t stick. Stick one layer down and start sprinkling feta. Lay another sheet down and repeat, continuing until all the sheets are finished. (Mine were too big for my baking tray – no biggie, just cut off the edges that spill out with a pair of scissors).

DSC_0172

In a bowl, crack the eggs and add the milk and sugar. Whisk. Before pouring this over the pastry, which when baked gives a golden colour and creamy taste, you want to cut through your layers of pastry and feta to make squares, as so.

DSC_0176

This ensures the mixture seeps through all the layers evenly. It can be abit tough cutting through raw pastry, again get out the scissors if it makes it easier.

Pour the egg mixture on top and pop into a pre-heated oven for about 15-20m on 180 C. This doesn’t take long to cook at all, it’s just cheese and egg!

DSC_0179

 

DSC_0183

When ready, eat hot because it is at its ultimate best when fresh out of the oven I swear.

Bon appétit!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s