Friday, May 6, 2011

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Background: Was in turmoil for much of the 1990's, breaking off from the former Yugoslavia and engaging in ethnic wars
Random: The warring parties initialed a peace agreement in Dayton, Ohio
Location: Southeast Europe
Area: Under 52,000 km; 128th in the world
         Slightly smaller than West Virginia
Population: Over 4.6 million; 120th in the world
Birth rate: 8.9 births/1000 population, 212/222 in the world
Capital: Sarajevo
Borders: Still some disputes with Serbia along the Drina River
Bosnian cuisine: Many spices in moderate quantities
Source: CIA World FactbookWikipedia

Most of what I know about Bosnia and Herzegovina comes from one source: Zlata's Diary.  I can't be the only person with this memory, can I?  The specifics are eluding me, but considering I devoured books in grade school the fact that I could even recall this was about Sarajevo means it made an impression.

The national dish of Bosnia and Herzegovina was apparent: Bosanski Lonac.  It is a beef or lamb stew with a lot of vegetables.  Oddly enough, this sounds very familiar to a lot of the things in the Bolivia recipe.  Except I didn't have any exclusive sources this time, and the search wasn't very fruitful.  There were a lot of mentions of the dish on the interwebs, but not a lot of instuctions on how to make it.  I even found an alternative dish, Bosnian pitas that I really liked.  However, Kevin overruled.  Man.  Beef.  Lamb.

This recipe ended up being the only one I found.  So now we have a plan.  A quick trip to the grocery store and we are ready for the rest.

Somehow I didn't notice it when reading through the recipe before I cooked, but there are basically three steps.  Cut everything.  Mix everything.  Cook it for a long time.  That doesn't result in a ton of pictures.

Look at all of those veggies!  It was the first time I bought a regular cabbage.
I went with lamb for Kevin.
It looked much more like a salad than a stew when I was putting everything into the pot.
It was also a little difficult to stir due to how full it was.
Mmmm, salt and pepper.
Filling with water.
Everything is all floaty now.
I also wanted to make a side.  This recipe was the winner.  I am really starting to like the whole roasted broccoli thing.  Especially when it is this simple.  Toss with garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Once it is done, toss again with lemon juice.
It was a gorgeous weekend, and to top it off my Uncle Chris was visiting to go to a Nationals game.  With the nice weather, we have been opening up the sliding door a lot for the cats to enjoy the fresh air.  They have a new favorite spot in the house.
Look at them sharing.  They are getting along a lot better.  Still not great - and she still won't play with him - but better.
Investigating all of the new smells.
Baseball!
And still staring outside.
After this, it is pretty much ready to serve.  Told you it was easy.
All done!

Unfortunately the result was not as exciting as the amount of free time in there.  It was really...bland.  I guess that makes sense as there was no stock, just water.  The flavors didn't really get drawn out of the ingredients at all.

A lot of things could have improved this.  Stock.  Spices.  Maybe longer cooking?  The version at myhungrytum seemed to turn out much better, and he did some of those things.  I think this was just a problem of having a base recipe that would be better modified to individual tastes.  There wasn't anything bad in it.

The broccoli, however, was amazing.  Kevin's official statement:"This is healthy food I can get behind!"  There are a lot of ways you could modify it for variety, as well.  Not Bosnian as far as I can tell, though.

There are some questions I've been meaning to ask, and this seems as good of a time as any!
-When a recipe calls for a tomato, what kind do they normally mean?  There are too many options in the store.
-Same question for onions.
-What should I do with the other pound of lamb I now have?
-Any suggestions for improvements/things you want to see?

Next time: Botswana

1 comment:

  1. http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/food/guide-tomatoes-10000000679334/index.html

    http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/visualguideoniongarlic

    I couldn't find a guide by world region, but maybe these will help your choices on what type of meal you are making. Maybe we should make one. Research mode, activate!

    Also, make some Indian food with your lamb!! Korma it up!

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