Food, Cooking and Misc.

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For a small 5 x 7 pyrex dish

5, 13 x 18 phyllo sheets cut in eights (about 5 oz)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups (about 1/3 lb) walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice juice
2 tsp grated citron
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons honey

Thaw phyllo dough.

Preheat Oven to 325˚F.

Butter the bottom and sides of the baking dish.

Make honey sauce. (do this first, this should be cool by the time the baklava is baked)

Combine sugar, honey, lemon juice, citron, and water. Bring to a boil, dissolve sugar, and simmer for 4 minutes.  Cool

Pulse walnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Move to bowl and add cinnamon.

Place 10 phyllo sheets into the pan one at a time, brush each sheet with butter before adding the next.

Spread about 1/5 of nut mixture over phyllo dough.

Add 5 buttered sheets of phyllo, then more nuts. Try to have 5 latyers of nuts.  

Finish with 10 layers of Phyllo.  Butter last layer.

Cut pastry into small squares, about 1 1/2 by 1 inches.

Bake at 325˚F for 1 hour or until tops are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and immediately spoon cooled syrup evenly over the baklava.

Cool, uncovered at room temperature.

For best results, let it sit 4-6 hours or overnight at room temperature.

Written by dhirschi

15 January 2021 at 11:36 pm

Boza Palacsinta (Crêpes) II

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Boza Palacsinta (Crêpes) II

Second attempt.  Using cheese filling for some.


2 eggs plus one white
3/4 cup flour
1 cup boza
Pinch salt

Beat egg.

Mix in flour and boza.

Allow to stand about 30 minutes


1/2 lb ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 to 2 tsp grated citron

Spread each pancake with filling and roll up.

Brush with melted butter

Bake about 20 minutes at 350.

Written by dhirschi

15 January 2021 at 12:02 am

Boza Biscuits

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Boza Biscuits

This turned out to be a good way to use up my first batch of boza.

(Adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Dry ingredients:

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda

Sift dry ingredients together.

5 tbsp butter

Cut fat into dry until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Mix in:

3/4 cup boza

Briefly knead on a floured board.

Pat dough to 1/4 inch thick.

Cut with a biscuit cutter.  Do not twist cutter.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Written by dhirschi

14 January 2021 at 11:45 pm

Posted in Cooking Notebook, Golden Festival

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Giant Baked Beans II

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Giant Baked Beans II

Φασολι Γιγαντες (Fasoli Gigantes/Yigandes)

Inspired by the dish served at Golden Festival.  https://goldenfest.org/

This is the second attempt.  This time I ordered dry Greek giant beans.  I also saw a second ingredient list from the Golden Festival dish listing Mastiha (anise liqueur).

3/4 cup dry beans
14 oz crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cubanelle, diced. Small part of red bell pepper
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 celery stalk diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
Allspice (4 whole berries?)
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Oregano
1 Bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon Urfa chile pepper
Mastiha (anise liquor? mastic liquor) [I used a dash of ouzo with small amount of mastic paste]

soak beans overnight in salted water

cook in instant pot, 17 minutes

Sauté onion, Add garlic

Add carrots and celery, then cubanelle and red bell

Add spices and stir once, immediately add tomatoes and simmer

Add beans and liquor. Move to a baking dish. Scatter feta on top. Drizzle olive in on top

Bake covered 350 about an hour

Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

Written by dhirschi

11 January 2021 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Cooking Notebook, Golden Festival

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Saganaki (Pan-Fried Cheese)

Not actually served at Golden Festival, but uses cheeses served there.


Kefalograviera cheese, kashkaval, and or feta (today I used kefalograviera and feta)
Flour for dusting cheese
Olive oil
Ouzo liqueur
Freshly ground pepper


Cut cheese in one-half-inch slices
Dip in water (not necessary for the feta)
Dust with flour
Fry briefly in olive oil
Flambé with ouzo

Serve with Greek salad and bread (and hummus here)


Red Onion
A little feta


Lemon juice
Olive oil

Written by dhirschi

7 January 2021 at 10:58 pm

Boza Palacsinta (Crêpes)

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Boza Palacsinta (Crêpes)

Since I have extra boza, here is my first attempt to use it up. (A mash-up of Bulgarian drink and Hungarian Crêpes)

1 cup thick boza
1 egg
About 1/4 cup flour
Seltzer to thin as needed
Pinch salt

Beat egg.  Mix in flour, boza, and salt.  Allow to stand about 30 minutes.  Thin with seltzer as needed.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan (8 to 10 inches). Use a basting brush to put a thin film of butter in the pan.

Use ladle to put a small amount of batter in the pan. Tilt and swirl the pan to cover the bottom. For each new pancake, grease the pan, quickly add the batter, and quickly swirl to cover the bottom.

When the batter bubbles, turn the pancake and cook very briefly on the other side.

Remove from the pan and set aside. (the palacsinta may be stacked, while waiting to be filled)

Spread filling over half, roll from the filled side.

Written by dhirschi

6 January 2021 at 10:37 pm

Posted in Cooking Notebook, Golden Festival, Hungary

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For Golden Festival, some volunteers are trying making boza.  This will be interesting since I have not tried it, and will have no reference to what it should taste like.  If I don’t like it, will it be because I did it wrong, or just don’t like it?

I am trying a Turkish version that can be made with yeast.  There are instructions for making a starter that looks similar to sourdough starter.  Also, active boza will start a new batch.  Other recipes use baking yeast. This looked like an easy way to make my first batch–and the recipe was written for a pressure cooker.

First Attempt:


1 1/4 cup bulgar
1/4 cup rice (white jasmine)
7 cups water

Instant pot 30 minutes (try 40 minutes next time)

Stick blend

Let sit 2 hours

[one recipe said well-blended bulger might not need straining, but this looks like I will need to strain after fermenting.  I also may need to dilute it a little more]

Made about 7 cups thick paste. Added water to make about 9 cups.

Yeast mixture

1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp sugar

Mix. Let raise. Add to grain mixture.

Add 3/4 cup sugar

Since the recipe wasn’t entirely clear about when to add the extra sugar, I split the mixture and the sugar.  For half, I added the sugar prior to fermentation. For the other I added the sugar after fermenting.

Ferment about 36 hours.

Strain, adding a little water to help the mix through the strainer.

Tasting note after one day.  Both are odd and fizzy.

After refrigerating, a bit more sour taste. Still weird.

Written by dhirschi

6 January 2021 at 12:19 am

Beet Salad

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Beet Salad (Panzarosalata)

Another recipe inspired by food served at Golden Festival.

Beets, red onion, dill, feta cheese, walnuts

Attempt one:

I’m adding a little vinegar since the original recipe uses canned beets.

3 small red beets
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp chopped dill
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Clean and roast beets.  Peel and slice.

Mix in other ingredients.

Written by dhirschi

4 January 2021 at 9:37 pm

Posted in Cooking Notebook, Golden Festival

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Quick Hummus

I prefer cooking the chickpeas from dry, when I have the time.

1 can chickpeas (drained, but save a bit of the liquid)
3 cloves garlic
Small piece of raw onion (was leftover from other dishes)
Extra virgin olive oil

Urfa chile to garnish

Blend in a food processor.  Use chickpea liquid and oil to thin as needed.

Garnish with chile and drizzle of olive oil.

Written by dhirschi

4 January 2021 at 9:28 pm

DIY Golden Festival Food

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A Google map list of stores to purchase products served at previous Golden Festivals. It also includes stores where similar products can be purchased. https://goldenfest.org/

Use comments to suggest more stores to include.

Google List

Written by dhirschi

23 December 2020 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Golden Festival