Monday Meal Review: Albania

This is Meal #2 in my personal challenge: to eat one meal from every country in the world.

I’ll be honest with you. I spent most of Saturday feeling a bit put out.  I rummaged through my spice drawer for nothing in particular. I picked up and put down a head of garlic at least 5 times.

Cooking with just one herb or spice per dish felt very, well, foreign to me.  None of these dishes even had garlic in them. Exercising restraint was not easy but, as we all know, this is what I am here for!

Tava Elbasani (Lamb in Yogurt) [Recipe]

Lamb in Yogurt

What do I like most about this dish?

I loved the tangy yogurt laced with Hungarian paprika. This complemented the lamb perfectly.

What do I like least about this dish?

Unfortunately, the recipe I consulted did not specify oven temperature, so I guessed… and I guessed wrong. At 400F the yogurt custard got blasted by too much heat. I adjusted the recipe to 350F; this gentle heat should produce a creamier custard.

Byrek ose Lakror (Leek Pie) [Recipe]

The filling sets up after properly cooling.

What do I like most about this dish?

Did I mention the pie contains leeks? Yum. Leeks are my favorite. Also, the crust is beautiful when it comes out of the oven. Make sure to add the feta to give it some pizzazz (this was my friend Jason’s idea).

What do I like least about this dish?

Having to wait at least an hour before cutting into the pie. I cut into the pie after only 30 minutes the first time and it had not “set up” yet. The silver lining? If you wait an hour, the dish can be prepared well before the guests arrive.

Turli Perimesh (Vegetables with Parsley) [Recipe]

This week Albanian Vegetables were my favorite

What do I like most about this dish?

Everything. This dish was a real winner. Quick. Easy. Simple. Full of flavor (because of the parsley). Turli Perimesh would make a great weeknight meal with a side of rice and/or fish.

What do I like least about this dish?

Nothing.

Albanian Cornbread [Recipe]

Abanian Cornbread with Feta and Green Onion

What do I like most about this dish?

The addition of green onion, feta, and cottage cheese made cornbread exciting again.

What do I like least about this dish?

The cornbread was kind of dense and dried out very quickly. This is definitely best served hot.

Llokume (Turkish Delight) [Recipe]

Turkish Delight

What do I like most about this dish?

This sweet treat was a good pick-me-up after dinner. Also, the bitesize portions make it easier not to over indulge…Yeah, right… who am I kidding. Bitesized portions just make it easier to pop ‘em into my mouth!

What do I like least about this dish?

Waiting four days to eat Llokume is torture. Also, the recipe is pretty tricky. I would have done much better if I had the help of an experienced Llokume maker. Anyone know one?

Ava’s Corner

Albanian Vegetables is the only dish I feel comfortable sharing with Ava. She loves Zucchini and summer squash, so it was natural that she would enjoy these foods. I gave her very soft pieces for her to chew on. I kept my eyes on her, but she did really well. Pieces could also be pureed for a young baby. I let her sample pieces of tomato since the acid can bother some babies.

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Comments

  1. The cornbread and lamb were my favorite. Cornbread was a suprise for me since it’s all fancy being filled with extra non-cornbread goodies. It’s the second time I’ve had lamb. It was very tender and the yogurt stuff gave it an awesome tang (but not too much).

    7/10

  2. Amanda Roberts says:

    I have ALWAYS wanted to “cook around the world” with my kids (I’m such a foodie. most people teach their kids about the culture. I want them to EAT the culture. :)) and i just stumbled upon your site and you did all the amazing hard work and research already for me…with reviews! So if you don’t mind, i’ll be frequenting your site and using some of your recipes for different countries! Glad i wasn’t the only one with this idea!!!! :)
    thank you for sharing

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