Mish-mash (миш маш) is a delicious omelette recipe from Bulgaria.
Eggs have always been the symbol of new life, a metaphor for the rebirth of the body. Besides being nutritious, they may be the most important ingredient in our pantry since they are the basis of many recipes. Poached or hard-boiled, scrambled or omelette, en cocotte or fried, there are so many ways to cook an egg.
Today’s mish-mash is an omelet.
There are countless variations of omelettes in the world. The one we are most familiar with is the French omelette, an omelette essentially prepared using eggs, butter or oil, salt and pepper. Slightly brown on the outside and creamy inside, it is sometimes filled with herbs, vegetables or cheese.
What is Bulgarian mish-mash?
Bulgaria chose an omelet, which as the name suggests, is a hodgepodge. Mish-mash consists of eggs, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, and sirene (Bulgarian feta). It is one of the most emblematic dishes served for breakfast or lunch in Bulgaria.
What is the origin of omelette?
It seems that omelettes surfaced at some point in every culture in the world. The Romans were known to use eggs to prepare dishes, Persians had their own variation of the omelet. It appears that different people at different locations and at different times have found that pouring beaten eggs in a hot pan, and sometimes adding other ingredients, was a great way to eat.
Evidence of these variations can be found in all sorts of very old cookbooks, like the famous Le Cuisinier François in 1651 and each country has its own versions; but nobody really knows where and by whom the omelette was invented.
But it is clear that omelette is a French word, which originated in the mid Seventeenth century. Numerous writers and poets cite the omelette in their work and always with gourmet words. According to the famous book, Le Ménagier de Paris, omelette was known under the names “alumelle” and “alumete” in 1393.
In his work Gargantua and Pantagruel (1571), famous French author François Rabelais called the omelette “homelaicte”. For Olivier de Serres, omelette was “amelette” and Francois Pierre La Varenne, in his book Le Cuisinier François (1651), omelette was known as “aumelette”. References of the modern omelette spelling appeared in 1784 in La Cuisine Bourgeoise.
According to the legend, Napoleon Bonaparte and his army were the first to taste omelet. When they arrived in the south of France, they decided to rest at an inn near the town of Bessières. The hostel manager made an omelet in honor of Napoleon. He loved it so much that he ordered to hunt for all the eggs in the village to prepare for the biggest omelette for his army the next day. And this is how the famous tradition of cooking an annual giant omelette at Easter in Bessières (Haute-Garonne, France) started.
Omelettes around the world
Many countries have given a name to the omelette: namely Spain with tortilla, Italy with frittata, UK for omelet, Germany for Omelett, Portugal for omelite , Thailand with kai jeow or today’s mish-mash.
How to make mish-mash
Mish-mash is prepared with peppers that can be roasted or used just raw. I decided to prepare my recipe with roasted peppers. Here’s to another recipe prepared with sirene, just like banitsa, tutmanik, or shopska salata.
I absolutely loved the mish-mash. Your turn now!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 red bell peppers , roasted and peeled
- 2 green bell peppers , roasted and peeled
- 3 tomatoes , peeled and seeded
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 lb sirene or feta cheese , crumbled
- 6 eggs , beaten
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Finely dice bell peppers. Coarsely chop tomatoes.
In a large heavy skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. First, add the onions and garlic, and sauté for about 2 minutes, until the onions are soft, but not completely cooked.
Add the bell peppers and mix well. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, stir, cover and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the sirene and mix. Pour the eggs. Stir occasionally until the mixture is less liquid.
Finally add the parsley and cook for a minute before removing from heat.