Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 26 - Bulgaria - Monastery Gyuvetch Stew - Up Next, Burkina


 Tools of the Trade: Laptop, insanely sharp Wusthof knife and...a stick of butter - all set!

True story: Driving home along a busy road this afternoon, the traffic suddenly slowed to a crawl.  Up ahead,  cars seemed to be swerving to avoid something, when I suddenly saw the problem - an obviously disoriented black and white dog trotting very close to the middle of the road into on-coming traffic. Nobody seemed to care to take the time to help him. I slowed to a crawl, put my blinkers on and called out to him. The dog looked at me, wagged his tail, but picked up his trot, moving ever closer into on coming traffic. I continued following him, pissing off the long line of impatient drivers behind me off to no end... and I do admit to flipping off some arrogant jerk in a Hummer (my all time most hated car in the world). Finally, I pulled over, got out of my car and tried to catch the dog but he took off. And, since I was coming from an Irish wake and had heels and all black dress clothes on, let's just say my dog chasing ability was severely compromised not to mention comical. Thankfully, another nice woman and a young girl saw me, pulled ahead and between the three of us, we successfully corralled the frantic pooch. Fortunately, he had tags identifying him as Dillon,  along with his owner's phone number. One quick call on my cell  and the relieved owner had his sweet Dillon back safe and sound. Total time spent? 10 minutes out of my day and a very happy ending. More and more, the world seems to be divided into a few who care and the "busy" rest who could care less.

 NOW, about the beautiful country of Bulgaria 

 Bulgaria (Sofia)(EU):    Bulgaria is located in South -Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey.  As in many countries, food is one of the great pleasures of Bulgarian lifestyle. Because of its geographical position and long history Bulgarian cuisine is a mixture between the Slavonic, Greek and Turkish cuisines. The basic food products used in the Bulgarian cuisine are beans, milk, yogurt, cheese, tomatoes, potatoes, apples, water-melons, grapes, etc. National specialties include:  Monsastery Gyuvetch, (a stew of beef, mushrooms, olives and rice) - the meal I made tongiht, Shopska salad (sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and parsley topped with grated sheep's cheese); and tarator (a cold soup of chopped cucumber, walnuts and yogurt). White sheep's cheese baked with eggs is another favorite.

Traditional food includes Bulgarian bread, pickled vegetables, salads, soups, stews, casseroles, stuffed vegetables, kebabs, spicy sausages and cheese dishes. Add to this, lots of garlic, onions, oil and spices.

Unbelievably, I found a website the lists every single country's national dish - how cool is that!!?? But be forewarned, that song "I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony...." plays as soon as you click on the link.

The basic ingredients
Cube the beef (I used London Broil) and onions - then saute
Slice mushrooms (I used more than the recipe called for) and add to pot with rice and simmer
Add tomatoes - I used grape tomatoes because that's what I had
What a day! I saved a cute little dog and cooked in Bulgaria - Whewww....

Monastery gyuvetch

2 lb. braising beef
4 medium tomatoes
1/4 lb. mushrooms
1 cup rice
1 onion 
5 oz. olives
a bunch of parsley
2 tbs. vegetable oil
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs. sugar
2 1/2 cups beef stock
black pepper, paprika and salt

Cut the beef into cubes or small pieces and fry in a pan with a little oil for about 5
minutes. Add the chopped onions, beef stock and paprika, 5 minutes later add the
mushrooms and rice and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, add
salt to taste, the butter, 1 tbs sugar and whole olives, and cook for further 5 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 190 C. Transfer the content of the pan into a baking dish and cook for
about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and pepper before serving.
Final Assessment: A very good, easy to prepare and satisfying meal!


RobinWM said...

What a great story about the dog. I'll even bet that some of the ticked off drivers thought twice when they saw your actions and will stop in the future when an occasion arises. You helped the dog :) but probably influenced others, either by being there or who read the story.
Now, the dish sounds delicious! Since your commentary also lists it as easy, I'll give it a whirl. Thanks, Sarah!

sadie said...

Thanks, Robin!!! Go for it girl!!

Clayton said...

Love the saving the pup story! You rock!