I am still trying to recover from the shock of reading in the FT earlier this week that a current British minister has voiced support for the UK having a relationship with the EU similar to the one of Albania. I had images in my mind of thousands of British people rushing to Wikipedia to check where Albania is. Clearly neither whoever wrote the speech for the Minister nor the Minister himself had bothered to check Wikipedia or they would have immediately realised how plainly absurd that comment is.
Albania is a country that is trying to become a member of the European Union and is therefore working on reinforcing the rule of law and the transition towards a full market economy. It is also beautiful place. I have never been there myself but have friends and family who have and they say the food is superb - excellent vegetables and filo-based pies and also a very nice traditional lamb dish. We have tried one of their traditional recipes (a vegetarian fergese) from the blog www.myalbanianfood.com and it is great.
- a large onion (diced)
- four tomatoes ( diced)
- 6 peppers (first roast them in the oven at 220 degrees for 30-35 minutes; then tear them into bite size pieces)
- a tablespoon of chopped basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
- 20 gr butter
- 20 gr plain flour
- 150 gr feta cheese
- four tablespoons plain yogurt
- chilli flakes (we did not have any so added a pinch of hot paprika instead)
Preheat the oven at 170 degrees.
Put the onions in a pan with a tablespoon of oil and let them soften for 10 minutes. In a separate pan add the other tablespoon of oil, the diced tomatoes and the basil and let it fry for 10 minutes under strong heat. Mix the onions and peppers with the tomatoes and fry for a further 8 minutes until there is no moisture. Put the vegetables mixture on a clay or ceramic tray.
In a different pan melt the butter, add the flour and mix well, let it fry for 2-3 minutes while you stir it so that it does not get burnt. Crumble the feta cheese and add it to the pan. When the feta melts (a couple of minutes) add the yogurt. Mix it well and pout it over the vegetables, mixing it a bit. Add salt (not much as the feta is salty) and the chilli flakes (or paprika).
Bake for 30 mints.
All except my youngest approved of this dish. It is almost like a dense chunky dip. Very nice on its own for lunch with bread and a salad. Or on the side of beef or lamb.