Eastern Europeans love cheese -- from farmers cheese to kashkaval to feta -- and they use it in everything from appetizers to desserts. Explore the many ways to use cheese in these recipes.
Cheesecakes are popular throughout Eastern Europe. They don't resemble the type of cheesecakes Americans are familiar with, aka cream cheese or New York-style cheesecake (although they do exist), because they're usually made with dry curd cheese or farmer's cheese. Still, they are creamy and delicious but perhaps not as sweet as what Americans are used to.
This easy Serbian baked cheese and egg casserole is a great vegetarian main course, side, breakfast or brunch dish, or even an appetizer. Prijesnac wouldn't be considered a fasting dish, however, because it contains milk, eggs, cheese and butter. There are many variations of prijesnac. Here is one I like.
When sandwiched between pieces of dark rye bread, kashkaval, a Bulgarian sheep's milk cheese, has just the right pungency to make things interesting.
Serbian cheese bureks are flaky pockets of melted cheese that work as an appetizer or main course. Consider a glass of kefir as your beverage of choice. Delicious!
Farmers cheese is incorporated into the dough of this unfilled -- hence, "lazy" -- Polish dumpling. They are great with bacon and onions but, when fasting, melted butter serves just as well.
Croatians and Serbians make palachinke with sweet and savory fillings. In this recipe, the thin crepe-like pancakes are filled with sweet cheese and blanketed with a custard sauce.
Lithuanians call these potato dumplings, that can be filled with meat or cheese, cepelinai because their shape is similar to that of a zeppelin. Cheese-filled dumplings are served with a sour cream-milk sauce. Meat dumplings have the requisite bacon-sour cream sauce.
This Polish dumpling filled with sweetened farmers cheese is a favorite. But, there is also a savory cheese filling.
Like pierogi, Polish nalesniki or blintzes can be made with just about any filling imaginable, including sweet and savory cheese varieties. Here, the cheese filling makes this a perfect main course or appetizer dish.
10. Pampushki Recipe
This Russian-Ukrainian potato dumpling recipe is filled with savory cheese, breaded and then fried. It makes a great appetizer or main course dish.
Kashkaval Pane, a Bulgarian fried cheese appetizer, is traditionally made with sheep's milk kashkaval cheese, but Italian provolone or fontina, or haloumi from Cyprus can be used.
This cheese banitza recipe from Bulgaria is similar to a Serbian cheese burek, but the filling is rolled in filo dough, instead of being layered in it.