Book Review: Serbian Cooking

I don’t like to apply the term “foodie” to myself, but I am interested in food, beyond just pizza, and I’m particularly interested in the foods of different cultures, especially those with which I’m unfamiliar. So when I was recently offered a choice of titles to review from Schiffer Publishing, I quickly chose Serbian Cooking: Popular Recipes from the Balkan Region.
I think my geographical knowledge is better than the average American’s (which isn’t saying much), and I had a rough idea where Serbia is, but it was a little fuzzy. Serbia is in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Hungary lies to the north, Macedonia and Greece to the south. At various times, Serbia has been part of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, and more recently, Yugoslavia. So considering all those neighbors, and Serbia’s history, I was intrigued by what Serbian food might have to offer.
Tbe book comes in at a relatively modest 104 pages, but it is well written and illustrated, and it’s made for thumbing through. Most dishes take up two pages, with the recipe on the right and a color photo on the left.
The recipes, which are arranged in three chapters — appetizers, entrees and desserts — do reveal cross-cultural influences. The recipes for chicken paprikash (two versions), baklava, stuffed peppers, and cherry strudel take in culinary influences from Hungary to Greece, Poland and Austria.
The more intriguing recipes, to me, were for dishes with which I was unfamiliar, even if the ingredients were pretty basic, like djuvec (baked pork chops with rice and tomatoes) and cevapi, a hand-formed sausage of ground pork, beef and turkey. Many recipes include interesting ingredient combinations, like the roasted peppers with cheese, balsamic vinegar and capers.
The desserts also encompass unfamiliar but …read more

Source:: Rochester NY Pizza