Clare Bear: “Did you eat dinner last night?”
Me: [Furiously thinks: Am I super grumpy this morning? Have I been really cranky with everyone? Does Clare think I’m Hangry?!] “Yes, of course – why do you ask?”
Clare Bear: “Because you didn’t post a picture on your Instagram last night. I got worried.”
As anyone who follows my Instagram knows, I might not have been blogging much the last year, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t cooking, and I certainly didn’t stop eating.
I’ve decided to jump back on the blogging bandwagon, mainly because I always intended to, and partly because if I put my favourite recipes on the web, it makes it easier for me to check what ingredients I need when I’m at the supermarket!
Louis and I photographed this recipe back in February last year. I nearly didn’t post this recipe now, because it is not very reflective of what I’ve been cooking lately. But I have a soft spot for maznik, so here it is.
Maznik is a traditional Macedonian recipe, and the original one is much larger than this, and packed full of salty feta. It is served at Macedonian New Year (14 January every year), and served with kiselo mleko.
Now, most people think that I’ll eat anything – but I’ve actually never drunk kiselo mleko. It is a fermented milky drink, which Louis loves – and for some reason I’ve never been able to bring myself to drink it. Let me know if you try it.
Louis’ mum Vera, showed me how to make maznik from scratch. She showed me how to make the pastry, stretch it out into a super thin giant sheet, sprinkle it with cheese, and roll it up. While she was doing this, Louis’ aunt Trajanka dropped by, and as Louis was furiously scribbling notes (because I was up to my elbows in pastry and cheese), she sidled up to him and mentioned that when she is feeling lazy, she makes maznik using filo pastry. *Light Bulb Moment*
- 120g King Island Roaring Forties blue cheese
- 500g light ricotta
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- 80g grated mozzarella
- 50g finely grated Pecorino
- 500g frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and the excess liquid squeezed out)
- ¼ cup soda water
- ¼ cup skim milk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 packet filo pastry (Pampas), defrosted.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the blue cheese with a fork.
- Add the ricotta, and mix thoroughly.
- Add each of the following to the cheese mixture, stirring thoroughly after each ingredient: nutmeg, salt & pepper; egg; mozzarella and Pecorino; spinach.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soda water, skim milk, vegetable oil and flour.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan-forced).
- Prepare your baking trays by lining with baking paper.
- Remove the filo pastry from its packaging, and keep under a wet tea towel while not in use. Remove one of the sheets of filo pastry and lay flat on a clean surface. The longer edge of the rectangle should face you.
- Brush with the soda water & flour mixture.
- Dot about a quarter cup of the mixture over the sheet of filo pastry.
- Roll the bottom edge of the pastry away from you, to the mid point of the sheet.
- Roll the top edge of the pastry towards you- it should meet the other rolled edge in the middle.
- Gently holding each end of the pastry, turn the left side towards you, and the right side away from you (so that the pastry is twisted).
- Curl the pastry into a spiral, and tuck the end under (to stop the filling from leaking out).
- Place on one of the baking trays, and brush with more of the soda water & flour mixture.
- Repeat until all the filling is used up - I was able to make 18.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oven, and eat as soon as you can!