National Dish of Albania Qofte Ferguara
|Ground meat (chicken, lamb, beef)||1 lb.|
|Feta cheese (crumbled)||2-3 tbsps.|
|Ground black pepper or ½ tsp. black peppercorns||1 tsp.|
|Slice of stale bread||1|
|onion (finely grated)||1|
|Crushed garlic||1 tsp.|
|of crushed dried mint leaves||1-2 tsp.|
|Olive oil||1 cup|
Qofte Ferguara (or fried meatballs) is considered to be the national dish of Albania. The country’s cuisine is largely influenced by Greek, Italian and Turkish cooking.
Directions for Preparing Qofte Ferguara
- Cut off the edges of the slice of bread and break up the slice.
- Soak the pieces of bread in water for a few seconds until it becomes very soft. Then squeeze the bread to remove the water.
- In a bowl, add the ground meat and season it with salt, peppercorns or black pepper, grated onion, mint leaves, and garlic.
- Add the crumbled feta cheese, and bread bits.
- Work the seasonings, bread bites, and crumbled feta cheese into the meat.
- Mix thoroughly to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Leave the meat to marinate for about fifteen minutes.
- Take a tablespoon of the meat mixture in hand and shape the Qofte into ½ inch thick patties that resemble sausages.
- Place ½ cup of flour onto a shallow dish or plate.
- Roll each Qofte in the dry flour.
- Pour olive oil into a frying pan or skillet and heat to approximately 350° – 365° before frying the Qofte (Fry a few Qofte at a time instead of filling the pan).
- When the Qofte turns golden brown, use a slotted spoon to take them out of the pan.
- Place them on absorbent paper to remove any excess oil.
Qofte Ferguara is traditionally served hot with potato or rice.
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