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Food Flight: An Albanian Breakfast

Food Flight: An Albanian Breakfast

I love food, but what I love the most is trying foods from different cultures and listening to people’s stories about what that particular dish really means to the individual. My partner is Albanian from Montenegro and their foods are just as rich as their history, so from time to time he'd ask me to prepare one of his favorite Albanian foods and being the foodie that I am, I often oblige. Last weekend, we had a delightful Albanian breakfast and for the first time in a while, I exercised my hands at making Cevapi!

According to Wikipedia, “Ćevapi has its origins in the Balkans during the Ottoman period, and represents a regional speciality similar to the kofte kebab.” Given most of these Balkan countries’ history and Middle Eastern influence it’s clear why Cevapi is such a treasured meal. I'm a big fan of Middle Eastern food and I am almost willing to try anything, so I'd like to share this deliciousness with you! Here's what you'll need…

 

1 lbs ground beef

1/4-1/2 Tsp salt

1 Pinch black pepper

1 1/2 Tsp paprika

1/2 Tsp baking soda

1/2 Tsp dried parsley

1 Sliced red onion

2 Cloves garlic chopped

Feta cheese

Pita/Naan bread

3-4 Tbsp Olive oil

 

Directions

It's always best to use ground beef that has a little bit of fat because if it's too lean, your Cevapi will come out too dry. After you've gathered your ingredients, go ahead and mix everything together into your mixing bowl as you would for meatballs, saving the red onions for last. Once it's all mixed in, let it sit for a little, roughly 15-20 minutes just so that the meat absorbs the seasonings and also, for the baking soda to do its job of plumping up the meat. When you're ready, heat up your skillet and add about 3-4 Tbsp of Olive oil. While your oil is being heated, go ahead and start rolling out your Cevapi. I like making them medium sized because once it goes into the pan it'll puff up due to the baking soda. Anyway, continue rolling them out and placing each piece in the skillet. Allow meat to cook thoroughly and once it's your desired shade of brown, go ahead and remove it from the pan. Continue this process until all pieces have been cooked. Typically 1 lbs ground beef should give you about 10-13 links. When it's all ready, add the sliced red onion on top for garnishing and serve with feta cheese and pita bread or a great substitute, naan bread. Enjoy!

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