Ode to the last week of August and to many the last unofficial week of summer. Back to school for many (myself included) but the start of a brand new academic year certainly breaks up the feeling of summertime sadness. I personally love the coming of autumn and cooler weather because it can only mean seasonal vegetables (pumpkin everything) and hand warming mugs of cider or hot chocolate.
As I mentioned at the end of my post last week, I have cut back on nomming out excessively, winding back in for the start of the new school year and taking this time to expand my passion for making soups and such. I have however had some lovely cheat days that I am eager to share with you all…BUT FIRST as promised I will share with you the nomness that is Serbian stuffed peppers with cheese.
Serbian stuffed peppers with cheese (Punjena Paprika sa sirom)
- 6-10 yellowish ‘Serbian’ peppers (long, not spicy or bell)
- 5-6 eggs
- 500-800 grams of soft white cheese
- 4 tablespoons oil (vegetable, olive etc.)
- salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Gut and discard the innards of the peppers. I like to keep the tops so that I can place them over the peppers once they are stuffed. Optionally you can use a slice of potato.
In a medium bowl mix the eggs together then add cheese and oil, stir together until combined.
Lightly oil the bottom of desired baking dish.
Fill the hollow peppers with the cheese/ egg mixture. Don’t be shy, it’s ok if it oozes out! Leave a small amount left in the bowl to cover the exterior of the peppers.
Place the peppers in the baking dish. Thin out the remainder of the mix with a few table spoons of water (depending) then spoon over each peppers, ensuring they are coated.
Stick the dish in the oven for around 40 minutes to one hour. The skin of the peppers will begin to brown. If browning too quickly it could be because they are too dry but just dab a few more spoons of oil/water mix over them.
You will know they are ready when you can pierce the peppers with ease. They might be a bit juicy but this only adds to the flavor!
The cheesy, eggy goodness will practically melt in your mouth. Eat along side grilled meats, salad or just as is. Prijatnom!
I have been doing a bit of nom recon around the Novi Beograd (New Belgrade) area as of late and have happily discovered a plethora of modern restaurants looking to shine on the rather high-falutin Belgrade eating scene. New Belgrade is set up into blocks and therefore is very easy to get around on foot though unlike the old part of the city things are somewhat spaced apart. So if you happen to take the bus (any of the 80’s) you might have passed by a chic looking restaurant by the name of Umbrella, wedged beneath a residential building, just before the overpass to airport city.
Umbrella is the perfect place to meet friends or to have a business lunch with coworkers. With ample (and colorful) seating inside and out, Umbrella provides a relaxed environment but with high class charm. Their staff is very friendly and the restaurant appeared to be dog friendly which is always a plus. That day we sat in the outdoor dining area where the convertible roof allowed us to soak in all of the glorious sunshine (no need for an umbrella that day).
I knew even before I saw the menu that I would be ordering a salad (a bit of clean skin eating people remember) and I also knew they would have precisely what I was in the mood for, a luscious turkey salad. Tired of eating chicken throughout the week and because the price of turkey is steep at the grocery store in Serbia, it is one of those things I love ordering when we are nomming out.
Not only did my salad look incredible but it tasted as such. The turkey slices were coated in crispy sesame seeds, something I would love to try to do on my own one of these days. There was just the right amount of tangy dressing so that it wasn’t drowning and the crispy lettuce and other veggies were complimented by generous hunks of feta cheese. Om nom nom, I was in salad heaven.
Milan had pizza on his brain that day and came to a dilemma when we was forced to choose one of the mouth watering pies from the menu. I urged him to go with something other than capricciosa and so on a whim he decided on Quattro Stagioni. Said to represent the four seasons, Umbrella’s QS comes complete with pepperoni, ham, bacon, mushrooms and a gooey egg smack dab in the middle. This cornucopia of a wood-fired pizza was a sight to behold and had Milan struggling to nom all it’s contents.
Of course he managed to nom it all, this time without any of my assistance (insert winky face).
Based on our experience that day and the countless other delicious sounding things I saw on their menu, we will definitely be returning to Umbrella in the near future. I am however sad that we have just now gotten around to Umbrella this late in the summer and missed out on the enjoyment on their patio but as Serbia would have it we could have decent weather into even October. Rain or shine, head over to Umbrella for a tasty meal.
This past weekend Belgrade hosted Frozen Fest, a three day event where multiple ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt and juice shops around the city came together to cool things down during this end of summer heat. Throughout the day families with children could enjoy magic shows and other entertainment which then transitioned into live music and DJ for party goers in the evening. Frozen Fest was held at Showroom Live which is located appropriately in one of the coolest areas (in my opinion) of Belgrade, hidden away behind the kafanas of Skadarlija.
We met with friends that evening and all had one thing in mind, rolled ice cream. As you can recall in my blog ‘Happy Places : Pizza Bar and Špaklica‘ I had my first adventure into the wonderful world of rolled ice cream and have since been completely enamored with it. When I looked through the list of event vendors and saw I Scream Rolls , I was thrilled to see that there was another place rolling out these delicious dessert.
There is a seemingly unlimited selection to create your own I Scream Rolls, however, the they were kind enough to have an enticing menu of popular flavor combinations (as seen in the above menu board and down at the variety of ingredients) at their store’s location near Pionirski Park. An I Scream rep came over and explained the process and full contents of the combos we were interested in but as you might already have guessed I was screaming for Dexters because of my insatiable love for all things peanut.
The I Scream men were hard at work and ironically enough the temperature inside of Showroom Live was sweltering (maybe because of all the ice cream rolling??). There was actually a line snaking around the room specifically for I Scream Rolls which we patiently waited in while rolling ice cubes over our wrists next to the bar to keep us cool. When it was finally our turn it took less than two minutes to dice and shape the rolls, which I ran outside with the moment it was put into my hands in order to get some much needed fresh air.
Now don’t be scared, it is just ice cream after all….
AH! Feast your eyes on Dexters and Crunchy!
Dexters is a combination of sweet cream, a scoop of peanut butter and salty miniature pretzels, made complete with caramel sauce on top. The sweet and salty mixture had my taste buds screaming for more. I seriously can’t get enough of peanut ice cream. The Crunchy was chopped together with Bueno candy bar, corn flakes and Nutella, topped off with a healthy dusting of ground plazma cakes. Milan was like a kid in a candy store and thoroughly enjoyed each creamy bite, he even let me have a nom or two. We were both screaming for more and agreed that we would be visiting the I Scream Rolls shop very very soon.
Frozen Fest (which turned out to be quite the sweltering venture) was definitely worth experiencing and even though we only tried I Scream Rolls and some rather tasty freshly squeezed juice, seeing everyone enjoying one of Belgrade’s most coveted frozen treats was a sweet sight to behold.
One last not quite nom but something that I quickly wanted to share with you all because I would consider this place a must visit in Belgrade.
Someone had asked me recently if I drank alcohol (silly question) and if so what did I like and my first response was: beer. Maybe it’s because I’m not the fancy cocktail type but since I am from Boston I appreciate a properly brewed beer cold from the tap.
Majstor za Pivo (Meister of Beer) is a small storefront and taproom at the bottom of the lesser frequented and grittier Dunavski Kej below Dorcol, that has a phenomenal selection of brews from all over the Balkans, bottled, on tap and even spreadable beer ‘pivolada’ that you can put on bread. Along with their expansive wall variety, they carry a good handful of these in a fridge so that you can enjoy a cold one right then and there if you feel so inclined. With a large wooden table top and stools spread around the room and street side it’s hard not to.
I sampled a few of the beers on tap from a local brewery in Belgrade called Kabinet. Having a preference for lighter, floral ales, I landed on Rufaro, a citrusy hemp beer according to Kabinet to be perhaps the first of it’s kind in Serbia and is now one of my favorite pivos in the city. If a beer was considered nom, then this one would be it.
Majstor za Pivo might be your next go to spot to hit before you plan on heading out for the night or if you are looking to wind down after dinner. They close relatively early at around ten but are open at noon so there is the option (if you want to be truly Serbian) of day drinking.
To je to (that is that).
Looking back on these summer months I am happy to say that I have taken full advantage of all the outdoor nomming opportunities that have come my way and am looking forward to the crisp weather to come where dining outside may still even be an option (if there is a blanket to cuddle up with).
Things will be a bit hectic in the weeks to follow but I promise to keep you posted on any new and nom discoveries!