All posts filed under: Croatia


Monday Meal Review: Croatia

I gave the wine bottle opener a final twist of the wrist, dropped the bunny ears, and smiled at the satisfying “pop” as the cork released the wine to the air. I brought my nose closer and gave the bottle a  cautious sniff. I wanted it to be bad. Terrible. One step shy of vinegar would be okay. But I knew. I knew that, having paid an exorbitant fee of $5 for the wine, I was probably destined for a perfectly mediocre bottle. Darn. I took a sip and, as feared, the bottle was not terrible. I swished it around my mouth like mouthwash. On second thought, there were some slightly sour notes. I could work with that. With two quick motions – splish, splash – I poured the wine together with some cola. Perfectly mediocre wine ruined by … cola. Ugg. I cringed, feeling my brain tighten around the thought. I tried to get Mr. Picky to sample the Bambus first, but he simply smiled at my outstretched hand. Reluctantly, I brought the fizzing …

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Celebration Drink | Bambus

Makes 1 serving Bambus is a creative way to help make poor wine pass. Simply sweeten with equal parts cola and wine. This clever technique is popular in Croatia, as well as many neighboring countries. Ingredients: 1 part cola 1 part “cheap” wine Method: Get a bottle of “cheap” wine. I was looking for Two Buck Chuck, but the liquor store I went to apparently doesn’t sell booze that “cheap,” so I was stuck paying $5 for this Cabernet Sauvignon. The cola was a bit easier to find … Pour together into a glass. We used a wine glass since they are prettier and, plus, there’s still a great deal of wine in this drink! Give it a taste and see… does it make that “cheap” wine taste better? Hmm. What does Mr. Picky think? Here, have a glass. You can play this game, too! Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Bambus is a creative way to help make poor wine pass. Simply sweeten with equal parts cola and wine. This …

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Warm Christmas Potato Salad | Seasoned Potatoes with Salt Cod

Serves 6 This warm salad benefits from the resourcefulness of Croatians who still enjoy preserved fish with salt. Mixed with creamy red potatoes, a bit of bacon, and green onion – this salad makes a great side dish for any eastern European meal. Ingredients: 1 pound boned, salted codfish 2 lbs red potatoes 3 green onions, sliced thinly fried bacon – 2-4 slices, crumbled olive oil Method: The day before serving: First, gather the salt cod. Salt cod is literally fish packed in salt so that it won’t spoil. Our box came with some nifty directions. Thank goodness since, frankly, I was a little scared. As soon as we opened the box, the scent of fish wafted through the kitchen. The salt looked exactly like snow. Nice fluffy seasalt. If it didn’t smell so fishy, I would have boxed it up and used it on something. But… wow. No choice but to follow the instructions. Rinse the salt off of the fish with cool water. After a little while, the pieces will begin to separate. …

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Crepes or Pancakes?

Morning, noon, and night, Croatians love a good pancake. There’s just one catch. They aren’t really eating “pancakes,” … if you define pancakes as thick and fluffy, griddle-fried, chemically leavened batter (i.e. baking soda and baking powder). Which… they don’t! So what exactly are they eating? Thin, delicate, crêpe-like “pancakes.” These sort of pancakes don’t have any leavening at all, unless you count a splash of bubbly water.  And they aren’t alone – most of the countries I’ve run into prefer this style of “pancake.” All these fun facts inspired me to write an ode to the Croatian Pancake: Fill ’em with jam, fill ’em with cheese. Eat ’em with ham, eat them for tea! Bake them til bubbling, Eat as many as you please! It’s an amazing work of poetry. I know. I’m expecting a call to be featured on the Writer’s Almanac. Any day now, any day. And that’s about all the fun I can stand this Friday… but, if you’re still looking for amusement, take our poll and hop on over to Jim’s …

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Croatian Holiday Nut Roll | Povatica

It’s all in the wrist. The secret to making good Povatica, that is. This famous Croatian Holiday Nut Roll gives its maker a workout. You will be rolling, and pulling, and stretching the dough until it is thin, thin, thin. We’re talkin’ paper thin, like a curtain of dough, blowing in the breeze. I bet Croatian grandmother’s everywhere compete for the most delicate, thin walled Povatica. (Note this bread is also common- under various names- in other areas, such as Poland, Austria, etc) Unlike cinnamon buns, which ooze fluffy bready goodness as much as anything else, Povatica is all about showing off the filling, framed by delicate layers of bread. And Povatica is worth the effort. Here’s one Croatian’s description of good Povatica: I’ve tasted many different versions of Povatica. Some are made with honey and tend to be heavy, others are too doughy. My grandmother’s version is, to me, the perfect balance of dough and filling. Made properly (with dough stretched thin), it is delectable. My mother put together the recipe while watching my grandmother make the bread, as …

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Menu: Croatia

The leaves outside my window are gold, crimson, and brown, but have yet to fall completely to the ground.  I can’t believe it is already November. In the spirit of the times, I’ve loaded our Croatian meal with holiday foods. So… feel free to spread the table with Balkan cheer this year. Warm Christmas Potato Salad (Seasoned Potatoes with Salt Cod) [Recipe] Red potatoes tossed with salt cod, bacon, green onion, and a splash of fresh olive. This dish is often served at Christmastime in Croatia. Ham and Cheese Bread (Prisnats) [Recipe] Yeasted batter bread loaded with ham, bacon, green onions and cheese. Croatian Holiday Nut Roll (Pavotica) [Recipe] Fill your loaf pans with sweet, doughy Pavotica. This bread hides a lovely spiral sweetened with brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and loads of finely crushed walnuts. Bambus (Celebration Drink) [Recipe] Wondering what to do with subpar wine? Have a little fun, Croatian style, and try mixing it with coca-cola. You’ll be falling in line with the Croatians and many other Balkan countries.

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About the Food of Croatia

Croatia is a rambling collection of mountains and forests with bursts of plains which hide secrets of scrumptious food, wonderful olive oil and tasty, age-old wine. But what about bad wine? Well, if you happen upon such a dismal thing as a bottle of bad wine on their turf, the Croatians (and other nearby countries) know what to do. The remedy includes coca cola or fanta. You’ll just have to wait a week to find out what Mr Picky and I think about that! (Officially, you’ll have to wait another 20 years to get Ava’s take on the whole thing. If you leave it up to me? You ‘ll have to wait another 98.9 years.) Thanks to a meandering and lengthy coastline, eastern Croatia boasts an abundance of seafood, including oysters, shrimp, and other fresh fish.  Eating fish must be like breathing – the houses on the shore literally seem to float on the water. Incredible. For those who like the old standbys our grandmother’s loved, salt cod – literally fish dried and stored in a …

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