Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trying out the Cookbook

Last week, Wiley and I found a cookbook called Bosnian Cook that has lots of Bosnian recipes. Today, we tried to make moussaka. There were a couple different versions in the cookbook, and while I like the book, sometimes a few things are left out. For example, in one recipe for moussaka, it said to bake the dish for 10 minutes, but in another recipe for moussaka, it didn't mention it at all. So we kinda took the info from both recipes and tried to make it. For our version, we had potatoes, onions, red peppers, tomatoes, and something called kajmak (kie-mack), which we think is basically sour cream, but they want it to have the consistency of ricotta cheese, I think. Anyway, this is what we ended up with:

Looks tasty, eh? Not too shabby, but next time, we need more and bigger potatoes. And we've decided to cook some more American food, like lasagna or my fettucine alfredo, instead of just pasta with whatever sauce. It gets a little old, and I haven't been here long enough for things to get old!!

8 comments:

Unfortunately Cheap Traveller said...

May I ask you, please, to post a photo of your Bosnian Cook cookbook? My husband and I were in Sarajevo in May/June, and I have been kicking myself since then because I did not purchase the Bosnian Cook cookbook that I found at a newsstand there! A photo of the cover, please, and perhaps an author/ISBN/publisher/ something that would make finding the book actually feasible from the States?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
M

Melinda said...

The ISBN is 978-9958-39-046-3. The author is Lamija Hadziosmanovic, and the book is white and says "Bosnian Cook" in grey letters at the top, and it's got a picture of round burek.

unfortunately cheap (but now hopefully delighted) traveler said...

Melinda,

You are a delightfully fabulous, spectacular, phenomenal woman!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I will try to put this information to good use! :)

Anonymous said...

Did anyone figure out where to buy the book, "Bosnian Cook" online? If so, please post it here! Thank you so much. I would LOVE to buy the book as well! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I got mine several days ago, from an on-line store knjiga.ba

Mine is in Bosnian, bit I am sure they have it in English too.

Being a Bosnian myself, I am pretty disappointed. While the book in technical sense is very rich (hardcover, nice photos of dishes, a lot of pages), it looks to me as a great opportunity wasted. Instead of presenting dishes in traditional Bosnian setting, they all are presented in white dishes which were never a part of Bosnian tradition. They look as if they are served in a high-end chef-managed restaurant, instead of a cozy, intimate setting of a Bosnian home.

The preface was written in very poor language, and, on top of that, all in capital letters, which adds to a very bad read.

The author brags, in many places, about how healthy Bosnian cuisine was (which I could agree with), but on the contrary, most of her recipes are loaded with -- sometimes many at the same time -- sources of worst kinds of fats, sugars, and very sporadic use of vegetables.

I hoped the book will bring back fond memories, but I really do regret buying it.

Melinda said...

Hey Anon,

Thanks for the comment. What are your suggestions for good Bosnian cookbooks? My husband and I really enjoy the food, and are in luck that we can buy burek in the States, but I'd like to make more on my own. I ran into a few problems with this cookbook.

Anonymous said...

Melinda, I am in a search of a good cookbook myself, not only judging by recipes, but many other aspects.

As you most likely know very well, Bosnia for centuries had been a crossroad of many influences, Oriental, Mediterranean, and European both West and East. Those influences left national cuisine quite different from any other around, although pretty similar to all, with all the differences nicely blended.

My ideal cookbook would be written as a collection of essays, each one describing, not just ingredients and preparation, but the origin of a dish, or reference to the real life anecdote, or its special meaning. It should be full of original or authentic photographs of many historic places, its famous restaurants, and historic figures that enjoyed the food.

Unfortunately I also live in the USA, and can judge only by someone else's review and recommendation. That's how I ended up buying this book -- it seemed to have received high praises, unfounded, IMHO.

I will keep my eyes open, and I will share if I find anything interesting.

Melinda said...

Anon, this is how Julia Child published her cookbook...maybe it's time for you to write what you know. I know I'd buy!