Katerina Nitsou, author of Macedonia

Kitchen Quiz with Katerina Nitsou (author of Macedonia – Recipes & Stories From The Balkans)

Author Katerina Nitsou

Katerina Nitsou spent her childhood in the kitchen helping her grandmother, mother and aunts prepare family feasts using fresh herbs and vegetables from the family’s prized garden. Growing up in a large Macedonian-Canadian community in Toronto, she was immersed in Macedonian culture through language, dance and of course, food. 

Family in Macedonia in the 1960s

She began writing about traditional Macedonian cuisine long before she completed her training at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She honed her recipe writing skills in the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen and developed her cooking style working as a food stylist, caterer, and private chef in California. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two young children, whom she is teaching to cook.

Katerina Nitsou and her family today

Macedonia – The Cookbook; Recipes & Stories from the Balkans is out on Kitchen Press now. It is such a beautiful book and a wonderful culinary journey into this part of the world.

We caught up with Katerina recently and asked her a few questions so we could all get to know this talented, enterprising and creative woman a little better. 

Q: Hey Katerina, was there a cookbook that really inspired you?

A: It wasn’t any cookbook in particular that inspired me, it was actually the lack of Macedonian cookbooks in the market that inspired me. I will say however that when you love food and cooking, being surrounded by cookbooks is just a part of daily life and then it makes it hard to pick a favourite.

Macedonia book cover

Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

A: I had this tiny thin spatula with a watermelon print on it that I’ve probably had for 12 years. I had to toss it out recently because it was literally falling apart, and I’ve been trying to find the same one with the same shape and profile and sadly not succeeding.  

Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to?

A: I’m a big Spotify fan, I always have music on at home. These days I’m listening to Michael Kiwanuka and Federico Aubele’s radios, but I also am known to jam some old school 90’s and early 2000’s Hip Hop and R&B.

The podcasts I’ve loved most over the last year are “Second Life” with Hilary Kerr  and “More Than One Thing” with Athena Calderone. For those that may not know this is about me, in addition to being a retired chef and cookbook author, after a journey of working in real estate for Sotheby’s and doing our own developments, I now work in interior design and property development as a professional renovator here in Melbourne. These podcasts that focus on featuring women who are not afraid to embark on new experiences and try new business helped me so much in my waves of doubt and transition in my recent move from Los Angeles California to Melbourne Australia this past year and enterprising and creative women are certainly the ones in the world I connect to.

Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?

A: Macedonia, I would love to spend time traveling around Macedonia, cooking and learning in all the villages and towns.

Q: If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be?

A: Trust yourself and your senses. Cooking is about sight, touch and smell just as much as taste and don’t over think it… Worst thing that can happen is you’ll have to order in.

Katerina’s delicious Braised Quail recipe from Macedonia – Recipes & Stories from the Balkans

Thank you so much for your lovely insights Katerina! 

You can purchase the book direct from us here and begin your own journey into Macedonian food culture.

new cookbooks for Autumn 2020
First copies of our new cookbooks for Autumn 2020

The most exciting day in any publishers week – next to publication day – is when the advances arrive. The first copies of Tomorrow’s Kitchen and The Seafood Shack – Food & Tales from Ullapool arrived on our doorstep this week, and the excitement in the office was palpable. Don’t take our word for how beautiful these cookbooks are: pre-sales are now open for both titles over at https://kitchenpress.bigcartel.com/ so be the first to get your hands on a copy.

Launch Events

Well, Covid ain’t gonna put paid to all our plans. We have a glorious array of online events organised so you the reader can meet the authors and will let you know in the next few weeks how you can get involved. And keep your eyes out in the press for features and interviews about our cookbooks. In the meantime you can find out more about our collaborators on Tomorrow’s Kitchen here and meet the people behind the Seafood Shack here. We’ll see you in the kitchen very soon.

Illustration of graffiti in brick lane east london by Want Some Studio

Brick Lane graffiti artwork

We have many favourite things about the Brick Lane Cookbook. But high on the list is Wantsome Studio‘s awesome original artwork so we are delighted to announce that you can now buy a super-limited edition print of his Brick Lane graffiti illustration.

  • Archival digital Giclée prints.
  • Available in A2 and A3 size.
  • Signed and stamped by the artist.
  • Limited edition of 10 in each size.
  • Printed on fine art 350gsm Hahnemuhle Museum Etching Matt Textured paper (a heavyweight paper used for gallery and museum quality prints).

The prints really are a thing of beauty so go go go and get them before they’re gone! Exclusively available through the Wantsome website, you’ll have to move fast to get your hands on one: http://wantsome.studio/Buy



Chanachur in a Lady Di cone





(Bombay Mix with Onions, Chillies and Lemon)

by Dina Begum

Serves 6


Boishaki Mela is a festival which welcomes the Bengali New Year, and it weaves through Brick Lane every year with elaborate processions, music and dance. There’s something magical about public celebrations where everyone is welcome to join in. Street food stalls are an essential part of Boishaki and there’s always a long line of festival-goers queuing up for Chanachur – one of my favourite snacks growing up. It’s very moreish – the crispy Bombay mix pastry softens a little in lemon juice, while sharp, thinly sliced onions and finely chopped green chillies add freshness and crunch. An occasional burst of pomegranate sweetness is one of my favourite additions. This is especially good during hot summer days, served with a cold drink.

  • 275g regular Bombay mix (make sure it’s not an extra hot kind)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds

Simply pour the Bombay mix into a container with a lid and add the onion, chillies, coriander and lemon juice. Place the lid back on the container and shake vigorously for several seconds. Open the lid and stir through the pomegranate seeds just before serving.

Cooks Tip:

Make sure to mix everything together just before serving; otherwise your Bombay mix will become soggy.

Brick Lane Cookbook cover 

Order Brick Lane Cookbook here.

making pancakes


From The Mountain Cafe Cookbook by Kirsten Gilmour

Serves 4

This recipe for pancakes is a cafe classic and was originally my nana’s pikelet recipe, which I think she adapted from a copy of her mother’s Edmonds Cookery Book. I loved making these with her. She would stand and supervise while I stood on a chair flipping away. My granddad and I would then sit at the kitchen table stuffing in hot pikelets with lashings of whipped cream and raspberry jam. Poor Nana would never sit with us – she was too busy cleaning up my mess! I guess that’s where I get my clean-freakishness from now.

  • 3 large eggs
  • 145g caster sugar
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 400g plain flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10g salted butter

Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar. Using a whisk, beat the absolute hell out of them (Nana’s words would be, ‘give them billio Kj!’). You want to beat until the mix is pale, light and fluffy – you could use an electric mixer if you have one. Now add the milk, flour and baking powder and whisk vigorously until you have a smooth batter.

Heat a heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan till hot over a medium heat. Carefully drop half the butter into the pan and rub it around using a little kitchen paper, being careful not to burn yourself. Now the pan is greased and at temperature, drop in a small spoon of batter to make a test pancake. The first pancake is usually not great, but as the pan gets to an even heat they will cook to a lovely golden brown.

If the pan is hot enough, pour large spoonfuls of batter into the pan and cook until the underside is golden and you start to see bubbles forming on the top of the pancake. Then it’s time to flip them and cook for another minute or so on the other side. If the pancakes start to stick, re-grease the pan with the remaining butter using the method above.

Serve hot straight from the pan and maybe give them a try with our cardamom oranges.

book cover



The Mountain Cafe Cookbook is available here.












butternut chorizo sage soup

From The Mountain Cafe Cookbook by Kirsten Gilmour

Dairy free

Serves 4-6

An autumnal butt-kicking, tummy-warming, filling soup for the colder months. If you want to make this veggie-friendly or don’t want to use chorizo then some chopped red peppers make a good alternative. Chorizo quite often has gluten in it – check the ingredients if you are making this for gluten-free people.

  • 550g butternut squash peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 150g chorizo, roughly diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 12 sage leaves
1600ml chicken/vegetable stock  (or 3 stock cubes in 1600ml hot water)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan).

Put the butternut squash in a roasting tin and drizzle with the runny honey and two tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the paprika and some salt and pepper, stir to mix and roast for 20 minutes until the butternut starts to soften. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot, then add the onions, chorizo, garlic, chilli and sage, and sauté until the onions start to soften and the chorizo has released its oil. Add the roasted butternut squash and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer on a gentle heat till the butternut squash is very soft – about 40 minutes. Blitz the soup, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper – if it’s too thick for you, add a bit more water. If you have any chorizo left over, cut it into thin slices and crisp them up in a hot pan. Spoon a few slices on top of each serving of soup as a garnish, then I love to drizzle over a little of the hot chorizo oil from the pan for extra flavour.

Mountain Cafe Cookbook Cover






The Mountain Cafe Cookbook is available to buy here.






Thanks to the Evening Standard for this nice little Greenwich Market Cookbook video:

You can buy it right here, priced £15.99 + free p&p in the UK.

colour bowls small

It being pancake day and all, let us introduce you to the glory that is Vietnamese Pancakes. Tran from the Bánh Mì NêN stall at Greenwich Market gave us this recipe for The Greenwich Market Cookbook, and it is not only absolutely delicious but also happens to be gluten-free.

It is a great starter or light lunch – a thin, crispy coconut pancake stuffed with chicken, prawns and beansprouts and served with fresh coriander, mint and a salty-sour dipping sauce. It’s a very straightforward batter but you really do need a non-stick frying pan to cook it. The key is to let the pan get really hot, then turn the heat down to low when you start frying the pancake.


for the batter:

  • 150g rice flour
  • 270ml coconut milk
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt

for the dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1–2 chillies, finely chopped

for the stuffing:

  • 100g chicken fillets, thinly sliced
  • 100g raw prawns, shelled
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced
  • bunch of spring onions, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1⁄2 iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • small handful of mint
  • small handful of coriander
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

First make the batter. Mix the rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric and salt together in a big bowl and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. If it looks too thick, add another 30ml coconut milk or water so you have the consistency of double cream.

Make the dipping sauce: add the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and chillies to 250ml water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Put the chicken in one bowl and the prawns in another and season both with salt and pepper.

When you’re ready to eat, put a teaspoon of olive oil in small non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once it’s good and hot, add about a quarter of the onion and fry for a minute. Next, add a quarter of the chicken and prawns and fry briefly until the chicken is pale and the prawns have turned pink. Turn the heat down to low. Ladle over enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan – tip the pan around so it spreads evenly and is as thin as possible. Scatter a handful each of beansprouts, mushrooms and spring onions over one half of the pancake, then cover and leave to cook for 3 minutes. When the batter is cooked through and crispy on the bottom and edges, fold over the side with no filling on it to form a half moon. Cut into four pieces and serve hot on a bed of iceberg lettuce, coriander and mint with the dipping sauce on the side. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make three more pancakes. Each diner can then roll up bits of pancake with the cool crisp shreds of lettuce and herbs inside, and dip it into the sauce before eating.

Serves 4

Buy The Greenwich Market Cookbook here.

Bowl illustration by Kath Van Uytrecht

banh mi nen 2


Greenwich Market Cookbook - blackboardWe’ve been, happily, spending a lot of time at Greenwich Market over the last 18 months, working on The Greenwich Market Cookbook. For a market with such a huge footfall (around 8 million people last year), Greenwich still feels like a bit of a hidden gem. Since the 1830s, the market has been located in ‘the island’ – a purpose-built, covered area surrounded by wide streets and fringed with shops. When you first walk through the arch to the cobbled space inside, you’re immediately in another world. What makes it so special? Each day sees a changing roster of independent traders selling everything from jewellery  to jam,  military memorabilia to comics – and it’s a bargain, too. It has an authentically bohemian and friendly feel: some of the traders have been there for years, but there are also plenty who have given up day jobs to start up market businesses and they bring with them a freshness and enthusiasm that keeps the place brimming over with energy and ideas. Julia Johnson has been part of the market for forty years, ever since her parents established Pickwick Papers and Fabrics, their shop on the southern edge of the market which she now runs. “We are all creative here,” she says. Relations between the traders are friendly and supportive, and Julia still exchanges her own hens eggs for goods from other businesses.  “You can’t come here and be superior,” she says. “You won’t fit in and you won’t last – this is a place for quirky, welcoming people.” She adds: “Apart from fabrics and colour, my other passion is food – I love being able to pop out and get freshly made sushi, or a beautiful box of halloumi and salad. I use the food market far, far too much!” Ah yes, the food…

2014-08-14 13.25.57

Half of the market is given over to street food traders, selling food from all over the globe. The smells! The sights! The foods you’ve never even heard of and really had better try out! There is Madagascan coconut chicken. There is Ethiopian injera. There are wonderful, silky but robust La-mian (noodles) in amber broth. There are cakes galore: vegan cakes, gluten-free cakes, sugar-free cakes, full fat and full dairy cakes. It’s been a real pleasure to work with the traders on the book – and a real learning experience too. It’s such a global community that the recipes cover food from all over the world – from ramen burgers to ravioli, bánh mì to burritos. Now I know what they do with pounded cassava leaf in Madagascar – and very soon, so will you.

DSC_9886 Mini Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Banana Bread

The market is owned and run by Greenwich Hospital, an ancient Crown charity providing charitable support including annuities, sheltered housing and education to serving and retired personnel of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and their dependents. Greenwich Hospital have great vision for the market, and 2015 saw a raft of major improvements being implemented – a new glass roof, relaid cobblestones and a brand new pavilion that will host the all the street food traders. The market has remained open throughout, but traders and punters alike will be delighted when the works are completely finished in March this year.

Next time you have a spare day in London, I can wholeheartedly recommend getting the river boat up the Thames and having a wander around the parks of Greenwich, leaving plenty of time for a market lunch.

The Greenwich Market Cookbook comes out in March 2016. Pre-order here!



Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato PieA week or so ago, I was reminded about this glorious Sweet Potato Pie recipe when the designer who worked on the Savoy Kitchen book posted some pictures on Facebook of his annual crayfish boil. He finished it off with a perfect looking pie, which made me hungry just looking at it. Sarah describes this as a ‘cool-weather pie’ – which I think pretty much covers December in the UK. This is just the sort of thing you should be eating when the wind is howling outside and the rain is splattering on your kitchen windows – a taste memory of warmer times.

Sweet Potato Pie

I can’t imagine how Mom ever got me to try a pie made from a potato, sweet or not. I probably thought it was pumpkin because I’m sure I wouldn’t have tried this as a kid if I knew what it was. I now prefer it to pumpkin. It’s another one of those cool-weather pies, spicy and creamy and absolutely comforting.


  • 450g (1lb) sweet potatoes
  • 110g (½ cup) butter, softened
  • 225g (1 cup) white sugar
  • 125ml (½ cup) milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g pastry


Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F).

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks, then boil them until tender. Drain, and leave to cool a moment.

In a large bowl, mash the sweet potato with a fork or potato masher. Using a hand mixer, add the butter and process until it’s fully incorporated. Stir in the sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla extract and mix until you have a smooth batter.

Roll out the pastry and line a 23cm pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges, and make some holes in the base with a fork. Pour in the filling.

Bake the pie for 50–60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. The pie will rise as it bakes, but it will settle again as it cools.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Serves 8


All photographs © Joby Catto

Buy The Savoy Kitchen – A Family History of Cajun Food here