Friday, March 13, 2015

A Taste of Europe - Macedonian Style Pizza

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A Taste of Europe - Macedonia @

Once again, I'm pulling up a recipe that we actually made several weeks ago in our Taste of Europe project, because it's taken me this long to remember to share it. This one is from the little country of Macedonia, which many of us remember as the king of Alexander the Great. You may also remember that Macedonia is mentioned in the book of Acts, when a man from Macedonia appears to the apostle Paul in a dream with a plea for Paul to come and help them. Paul and Barnabas heeded the "Macedonian Call" and founded the first Christian churches in Europe.  That historical region is now divided between Greece, Bulgaria, and the modern nation of Macedonia.

A Taste of Europe - Macedonia @
Macedonia is a small landlocked country in the middle of the Balkan Peninsula, bordered by Greece, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, and Bulgaria.  The country is mostly forested mountains, with limited grazing and mining in some areas. Agricultural resources include cotton, wheat, and fruit. 

After the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the countries in the Balkan Peninsula were in conflict as they fought for control. During the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria combined to defeat the Turks, and then fought among themselves for control. At that time the northern portion of Macedonia became part of Yugoslavia.  Macedonia declared independence after the breakup of Yugoslavia, but Greece refused to allow the European Union to recognize its independence. Even today, the US and UN officially designate the nation as "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" because of the still-unresolved dispute over Greece's opposition to the name.

 The food of Macedonia is similar to the traditional foods of Greece and Turkey, with pork and lamb being the most commonly used meats. Vegetables, fruits, and desserts such as baklava are popular. The dish we tried has an unpronounceable name - Pastrmajlija - and is traditionally made with smoked pork. We got our recipe from Global Table Adventure and here's how we made it.

We started with homemade whole wheat pita dough (recipe also from Global Table Adventure), which was a lot easier than I would have thought, and made a good pizza crust.  After allowing the pita dough to rise, we divided it into two pieces and rolled and patted each into a circle. It's really important the you make a good "lip" around the edge of the circle, because you don't want the egg to drip off! I thought I'd made it large enough the first time - I was wrong.

Dice a large boneless pork loin chop, and toss with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread onto the crust, and brush with  a bit more olive oil. Break an egg over the pizza before baking if you prefer the egg completely set. If you prefer it a bit runny, add it after about 6-8 minutes of baking time.

A Taste of Europe - Macedonia @

Bake on a preheated pizza stone in a 400* oven. 
A Taste of Europe - Macedonia @

You may also want to try it with the egg scrambled before being added to the pizza. This was how we preferred it, and I did a better job of making the lip of the crust tall enough on this one too.
A Taste of Europe - Macedonia @

A Taste of Europe - Macedonia @

Very simple, with only a few ingredients, but it was tasty. We found it was best eaten right away, not reheated.


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Nina said...

Hi Kym,
This bread-pizza look delicious - a great idea to include the egg! I had a collega from Macedonia some years ago, a very sweet and cheerful lady - I had the possibility of hearing her speak some Macedonian ... all the different languages have their own charm!

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