Qofte me Kunguj / Zucchini Fritters
500 gr of zucchini, grated
200 gr of white cheese, grated
½ liter of milk
1 package of baking powder
bunch of parsley, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
15 heaping tablespoons of flour
oil for pan
Grate zucchini, add eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix and add milk, baking powder, parsley, garlic, and flour. Drop by spoonfuls into 2 to 3 inches of hot oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Turn once, remove from oil, and drain. Continue in batches until all batter has been fried. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Speca te Mbushur / Stuffed Peppers
7 large peppers, green or red, washed with tops removed
500 grams of onion, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
500 gr of fresh tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 espresso cup (2 to 3 ounces) of rice
Tops of peppers, seeds removed, chopped fine
Olive oil or cooking oil
Sautee vegetables in oil and continue to cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Put peppers into baking pan, add stuffing to peppers, spoon leftover filling over all. Bake at 225 degrees Celsius (450 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 20 minutes.
Keke me Kunguj / Zucchini Cake
300 gr of zucchini
2 cups (1/2 liter) of milk
10/12 heaping tablespoons of sugar (14 if you have a sweet tooth)
15 heaping tablespoons of flour
1 package baking powder
One espresso cup (2 to 3 ounces) of butter
Combine all ingredients, pour into greased baking pan. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Top should be golden brown. Cut into squares and serve.
Kaçimak / Cornbread Topped with Cheese
1 kilo cornmeal
2 liters water
Bring to a boil on the stovetop and then remove from heat and stir to eliminate lumps and get an even texture. Place by large spoonfuls in an ungreased pan and add topping.
200 grams of butter
200 grams cream with full butterfat
300 grams fresh white cheese with low salt
Salt to taste
Melt topping ingredients in frying pan, preferably on a woodstove, stirring constantly.
Dab on top of cornmeal mixture.
An alternative topping may be made of smoked pork, diced and fried.
Bake 10 minutes in oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
Maze e Zier / Boiled Cheese
½ kilo cheese with no (or very low) salt, grated
½ liter of water
Two or three handfuls of flour
One or two large spoons of butter
Warm frying pan, preferably on a woodstove; no need to add any kind of grease. Put grated cheese in pan and mix with spoon. Add water and flour. Stir vigorously for at least five minutes. If cheese isn’t starting to solidify, add butter. Keep stirring then flip the cheese in the pan. (See video for how this is done.) When cheese melds together into a solid mass, it’s done. Serve plain or drizzled with honey.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
See my post on Albanian traditional food: Coffee with Breakfast: Are You Crazy?
I’m constantly collecting recipes as part of Our Mediterranean Comfort Food Tour. I take extensive notes, film every bit of the process I can, and review the details with the chef. I strive for accuracy, but as you can see from the videos, measurements are usually by eye, and the ingredients may be subtly different than what we find at home. Since I’m on the road, I have not had the opportunity to test any of these recipes in my own kitchen. If you do try a recipe and have comments or suggestions for refining it, please let me know.