October 28, 2016

Fabulous Friday Flavour: Balkan Comfort Food

This week comes with no recipe of mine to share and as you are reading this post, we would be crossing the border into Belgium and making our way to Paris.

Yeah! Paris, baby!  An impromptu one at that.

Source: Social Economy dot eu dot org

And this was only decided barely 2 weeks ago when an old mommy friend from our years in Bangkok announced that she and her tribe would be visiting back home. Her home being Paris.

For us, it would only be a hop of several borders away; with Spud and Squirt in tow…who, like us, are as excited to see their old friends whom they have not seen for several years since the moved to the Philippines!

Looks like we’ll be pigging on French food this weekend!

So, while we get that sorted out as I have no clue as to what we’ll be stuffing our faces with (Macarons are high on my list!), I thought that I’ll make this week a little special for you by featuring Balkan Cuisines instead.

More specifically, a home-cooking book on Balkan Comfort Food that features more than 50 recipes by Jas Brechtl.

If you are not already familiar with this multi-talented dynamite of a woman, mother and a Grandma of 2, Jas is a bit of a celebrity chef, a humanitarian, an avid photographer as well as the wonderful and humble creator behind All That’s Jas. I also found out through our behind the scene correspondences that she’s quite the OCD who loves to unpack suitcases!

A few months back, Jas gave me the honour to a copy of her e-book when she launched it on Amazon.

As I read each and every page of her book, I am fascinated by the plethora of recipes she has put together…recipes that ooze nostalgia of her childhood before her 6-year exile in Germany. She now lives in Indiana.

Photo Credit: Jas Brecthl, Balkan Comfort Food

In each recipe, I can almost feel that sense of comfort in smells, taste and colours of childhood nostalgia filled with longing familiarity of the distant past…

….memories that keep a family together as they bond over profoundly unique traditional cuisines served at big weekend lunches.

…things that you grow up with, cognizant with deep impressions of flashbacks that were left behind yet never forgotten. 

From all sorts of stews to stuffed veg to delightful desserts, Jas’s book is all about dusting off old recipes and preserving the art of creating dishes that many generations before her have enjoyed.

A Balkan at heart, Jas has now put all those memories into a precious compilation of culinary treasures with the mix of flavours from the Balkan Region (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and European Turkey)  for the next generation to relish.

Here are a few dishes from Balkan Comfort Food: Food from the Heart which I have found to be interesting by Jas Brecthl:

  1. Cheese Pie – Sirnica 

A very traditional but versatile recipe made with phyllo and a mixture of cheeses and eggs. Jas told me she used to make her own phyllo dough, from scratch! How crazy is that?!

Photo Credit: Jas Brecthl, Balkan Comfort Food (page 45-46)

2. Chicken Paprikash

A classic yet colourful, flavourful and a heartwarming chicken dish beyond the Balkan region. In Jas’ words: flavours and colours that inspire happiness! I couldn’t agree more after having a go at this quick and easy to make dish (recipe to follow and will definitely be posted on one of my weekly Fabulous Friday Flavours!)

Photo Credit: Jas Brecthl, Balkan Comfort Food (Page 49-50)

3. Potato and Beef Casserole – Musaka

A rich casserole of what a Moussaka is to Balkan and what a Lasagna is to Italy! Enough said.

Photo Credit: Jas Brecthl, Balkan Comfort Food (Page 62-63)

4. Bread Panada – Popara

A satisfying dish of stale bread (say whaaaat!) showcasing the inventive use of leftovers to stretch a meal by Balkan grandmothers.

Photo Credit: Jas Brecthl, Balkan Comfort Food (Page 71-72)

 Jas Brecthl’s Balkan Cuisine Cookbook can be purchased online with the e-book available both on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. It is also available in Paperback for USD 17.99  from Amazon.

Before you click away, do pop by Jas’ blog over at All That’s Jas, and in case you are not sure where to start and/or not quite into recipes or food, I recommend you read That’s Why.

It was one of the most heartfelt, real-life story of humanity that I have ever read. And I promise you that you’ll never be sorry and that you likely leave the page a little choked-up. It was also through the interactions from the post where a friendship has since been forged halfway across the world.

To Jas, thank you so very much for the friendship, not to mention the privilege of receiving a copy of such an authentic e-book. In other words, I’m so very happy I got this  treasure trove of recipes for free. Bwahahhahahhaah!  

Bisous from Paris. Merci beauxcoup!

Posted by:    |    11 Comment
  1. Ann, you got me all chocked up! How did I deserve such a beautiful tribute I will never know. I never even unpacked your suitcases, ha! Thank you so very much, my dearest, crazy, virtual friend! It is a privilege to be featured on your blog.

    Enjoy your time in Paris. I’m so jealous! I spent a week in Saint Tropez and Cannes, but never went to Paris. Have one macaron for me, please! XOXOXO

    • You know you are so most welcome Jas! I’m so honoured to get a copy of your e-book, so don’t even mention it. Hmmm…when can you start unpacking suitcases? :p
      I’ve never been to St Tropez or Cannes! Only Paris, so far. I’m going to be eating a boatload of macaron for you – we brought some home and man, those things are expensive. I miss the prices back in Bangkok!

  2. Oh, I love All that Jas, too! Those dishes are tugging at me as comfort food – even the ones I’ve never seen/heardof/or tried! Safe and happy travels and eat all the great food you can!


    • She’s got great recipes indeed,Mollie! Some are really fascinating. And she’s a pretty awesome person too! 😀
      We had safe and super happy travels, Mollie but unfortunately, we only had time for sandwiches and some macarons. We didn;t get to stuff our faces like we intended to for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 🙁 But I guess macarons are considered great eats and I’ll take that. LOL

    • Thank you so much, Mollie! It means a lot. Hugs and smooches! 🙂

  3. Ooh Ann, I always love coming back to check on your blog and be greeted with yummy recipes! Hope you had loads of fun in Paris 🙂

    • Paris was fun! It was too short, though and we’ll really have to go back longer next time.
      I hope you get the chance to try those yummy recipes, Manny! Have a wonderful week! x.

  4. I love Jas and her cooking talents! You guys are masters in the kitchen and I have learned so much from you! Definitely worth all the mention on her book & recipes.

    • Oh! JAs is awesome!!! One hell of an amazing woman and her recipes are great! I hope you get to try them out and taste it for yourself, and even better add a little of your signature to it and make it your own. 🙂


Privacy Preference Center

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?