2. Albania: Byrek Filopastry with spinach and feta cheese

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Albania another country I know nothing about, but as you must know by now I’m very eager to learn. What do I know about Albania, it’s in Eastern Europe (Balkan country) and the capital is Tirana,… euhm I guess that’s about all I know about Albania. So I looked up some fun facts about Albania:

  • Albania, Armenia and Vatican City are the only European countries without a McDonald’s branch.
  • Albanians nod their head up and down to mean ‘no’, and shake it from side to side for ‘yes’(I guess that would beconvienient to know for people who are visiting Albania, could solve a lot of misunderstandings)
  • Sometimes Albanians add an extra zero to the end of numbers. Albanians do this sometimes not to be shady but rather out of habit since that is the difference between the “old lek” and “new lek”. For instance, someone might say you owe 1000 lek when they really mean you owe 100 lek. (I find this very odd to say the least!)
  • Mother Teresa was from Albania and is the only Albanian Noble Price Winner.
  • There are more Albanians who live outside Albania, then inside Albania. (a lot of the people outside of Albania are gypsies)

This seems like a very odd little country, but again we are eager to learn, let’s hope there kitchen is better then their counting :D . But I read everywhere that Albanians are very generous and when they invite you for diner you will get enough to feed an army eventhough the host has to go hungry the next day, which I think is very admirable because they don’t have a lot to give. It’s close to Greece, so their kitchen must contain products and spices that are similar to the Greek kitchen.

Here is some albanian pop music for you to enjoy while cooking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVgsYttAlCc

So this week I made Byrek, it’s a kind of vegetarian side (although sometimes they put in meat as well). I can also be eaten with a sweet filling of pumpkin for instance. But I chose to make the most traditional recipe. I served it for lunch with some green salad. I guess you could compare it to an East European form of quiche.

So this week I made Byrek, it’s a kind of vegetarian side (although sometimes they put in meat as well). I can also be eaten with a sweet filling of pumpkin for instance. But I chose to make the most traditional recipe. I served it for lunch with some green salad. I guess you could compare it to an East European form of quiche.

albanie byrek

 

Ingredients: 1 cup of olive oil, filodough about 30 pastry leaves, 600gr of spinach, 1 cup of diced feta cheese, 1 cup of chopped green onion, 2 eggs, salt

Preheat the oven to 180C. Fry off the spinach in a little olive oil and salt. Brush the baking pan with some of the oil and start layering the pastry leaves inside. First lay 2 leaves, sprinkle or brush them with oil, then lay 2 other leaves and repeat the procedure. Until half of the leaves are laid. Make sure that they cover the pan by hanign them about one cm over the edges of the pan. Mix the spinach with the feta cheese oil onions and eggs and spread the mixture over the already laid pastry leaves. Finish by covering the spinach with the rest of the pastry leaves repeating the procedure with the oil. Put in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Next week it’s Algeria’s turn! I can’t wait! :D

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