I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and raised for 5 years before my family moved to North America. My parents were both raised Bulgarian their whole lives, and their values, culture, and recipes have followed me in every aspect of my life. Now that I’ve moved out on my own, I’ll cook my mom’s Banitsa, or put up the red and white interwoven strings on March 1st for Baba Marta (Granny March) around my apartment for good luck, or hang an evil-eye charm on top of my front door, and immediately recreate the feeling of being at home and of being truly connected to my family and our roots. This is so so important to my sense of well-being and to my identity.
This recipe is a go-to for my mom — it’s quick and tasty. Запечени кренвирши с кашкавал (pronunciation: Zapecheni krenvershi c kashkaval) translates to Baked Sausage and Cheese. It’s a Bulgarian dish best served with a side salad or sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt.
Chubritsa is a popular Bulgarian spice used for seasoning that I sprinkle on top of the sausages. I grew up eating Chubritsa on sausages, toast with cheese, and other savory dishes but had to look up what it was actually made of. It’s not readily available in North America (although I found that Amazon has some available, and European stores online will ship it). It has a savory flavor as it’s made up of fenugreek and chillies. That didn’t give me too much info as I have no idea what Fenugreek is.
Some Google searches later, I found that Fenugreek is a super healthy plant used for digestive troubles like loss of appetite, upset stomach, stomach inflammation, constipation and used for kidney/heart related ailments. Some women use it for breastfeeding to promote milk flow. The fenugreek leaves are eaten whole as a vegetable in India (how cool!), but in this case, they are crushed into the Chubritsa. All good things if you ask me!
Bulgarian Baked Sausage and Cheese (Zapecheni Krenvershi c Kashkaval)
Makes: 10 sausages
Time to prepare: 10 minutes
- 10 sausages (Kielbasa, turkey, beef)
- Slices of cheese
- Optional: Chubritsa (you can order some on Amazon here for $9.00)
WHAT DO I DO?
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Slice sausages lengthwise down the middle stuff with slices of cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle with Chubritsa (or salt) and serve while hot.