Friday, September 7, 2007

Kremsnite (custard slices)



Preparation time: 45 min
Served as: desert

Ingredients:

Puffed pastry:

(I will put the recepie for the puffed pastry soon, but one can use biscuits
dipped in coffee or warm milk) or normal pastry for the base and the whipped
cream on top)

Filling:

  • 5 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
  • 200 g suggar
  • 140 g soft flour
  • a bit of backing soda
  • 1300 ml milk (1000 + 100 + 200)
  • 200 ml water
  • 40 g vanilla sugar (or vanilla essence)
  • a bit of salt

Split the puffed pastry in two halfs and flatten it to the size a bit larger than the baking pan. Bake the pastry on the baking pan (positione up-side-down) on 200 degrees celsius until becomes golden.

Use the first baked pastry as the base and put it in the pan (30 x 23 cm)

Filling:
Add egg yolks, sugar and vanilla sugar and mix well until the foam is obtained. Add 100 ml milk and stir.
Add flour and a bit of backing soda, stir well.
Add 200 ml milk and stir again.

Prepare a big cooking pot (make sure that the filling would not skorch in it). Add 1000 ml milk and put on fire. When it starts brewing add the above prepared mixture of yolks, sugar and flour.

Let it cook but stir continously so it would not skorch! When the filling condenses and start boiling add 200 ml of water. Continue to stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

In another pot add egg whites, a bit of salt and mix well. Add this mixture in the hot filling. Stir slowly and pour into the baking pan, over the puffed pastry leaf.

Cover with the second puffed pastry leaf and let it cool down couple of hours on the room temperature. After that, put the cake in the fridge and let it cool down for another couple of hours.

Prior serving, scatter the powder sugar over it.


The best kremsnite in Croatia one may found in Samobor. It is a small city, 25 km from the Croatian capital Zagreb. The city is settled on the slopes of Samobor hills, beutiful but not too demanding mountainous region. In Samobor one will find couple of churches, monasteries and castles from the 17th century.
In the spring each year, the city hosts Fashnik or Carnival. Some people prepare their masks for couple of months, hence some of the masks are real artistic creations. In those days
Samobor shows a different face, not just the people, but the streets, squares, public transportation... Under the mask everything is easy to tell and no one should be offended by the small childesh intrigues.
After the evening long stroll through the streets of this small city, observing masks, taking a part in this atmosphere, it is a must to visit one of the main square restaurants and taste their famous kremsnite.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Skampi na buzaru (shrimps)




Preparation time: 30 min
Served: as starter or as a main dish

Ingredients (for two persons):
  • red shrimps (Croatian (you wish :-)) Argentinian or Norwegian, we usually buy it in Costco Japan)

300 g of scrubbed out
or 700 g non-scrubbed

  • 0.1 l olive oil
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1 table spoon chopped parsley
  • 1 peeled chopped tomato
  • 1 table spoon of bread crumbs or corn starch
  • 1 bay(laurel) leaf
  • 0.2 l white wine
  • 0.1-0.2 l water
  • pepper
Put olive oil, garlic and bread crumbs in the pot and heat slowly. Add shrimps and pour 0.2 l of white wine. Stew it for 10 minutes.


Add peeled and chopped tomatoes, laurel leaf and parsley. Add pepper and salt.


Continue cooking slowly 10 minutes adding some water from time to time.


When the sauce is ready, serve warm with bread.

This dish comes from Dalmatia, Southern Croatia, from the shores of the Adriatic Sea. People in that part are living with the sea and for the sea. It is a beautiful area with the high rocky mountains, next to the blue (many says the most intensive blue) sea in the world. World popular middle age cities of Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Sibenik ... are distributed between the sea and the mountains like the pearls on the necklase. Today Dalmatia is one of the tourst world destinations.



Saturday, August 25, 2007

Broccoli cream soup



Preparation time: 35 minutes

Served: warm


Ingredients (for 4 persons):

  • 30 dkg broccoli
  • 4 dkg butter
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 100 ml whipped cream
  • 1 300 ml water
  • 200 ml milk
  • salt, pepper
  • depending on taste, a bit of nutmeg

Description:

Clean broccoli, separate the flowers and wash well (it can be also quickly blanched)

Separate the flowers from the stalks and cut the stalks in short pieces.

Melt the butter, add the flour, mix shortly and pour the hot water over. Continue mixing to get the smooth mixture. Add salt.

When it starts boiling, add the cut stalks and let it cook slowly (10 – 15 minutes)
Do not cover the pot, while cooking!

Add milk, whipped cream and the remaining broccoli flowers. Continue cooking until soften (5-10 min)

Add pepper and the nutmeg.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Zagorska buńánica (Buchniza, pumpkin cake)

Needed time: 45 minutes
Served: as a starter or the main dish

Ingredients (for 4 persons and 31 × 23 cm loaf pan):

Dought (pastry):

  • 15 dag flour

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil

  • a bit of salt

  • water 100 ml

Filling:

  • 30 dag cottage cheese

  • 30 dag grated zucchini

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 100 ml sour cream

  • 1 slice of white bread dipped in 100 ml milk

Cover:

  • 100 ml sour cream mixed with 100 ml whipped cream

Description


Grate the zucchini, salt them and leave them half an hour aside. When they let the watter out, dry the zucchini (but not totally) and mix with

the cottage cheese, cream, an egg and the crashed bread that was dipped in the milk. Add sugar and salt according to your taste. Mix the ingredients well.




Mold the dought: in the sieved flour add oil, salt and water. Mold the mixture to get the smooth dought. Split the dought in two pieces (one a bit bigger than the other).

Thinner the bigger piece in a flat sheet (35x40 cm) and put it in the loaf pan that was sprinkled with butter.


The sheet should cover the pan totally and exceed a bit.

Put the filling on the dought and cover it with the visible piece of the bigger flat sheet. Thinner the smaller piece of the dought in a flat sheet (25x20 cm) and put it on the filling.

Sprinkle the butter over the dish and pour over the 1.5 dcl of the cream. Preheat the owen to 200 ˚C and bake for 35-40 minutes (until golden brown).


When finished, pour over the remaining cream and add sugar as wished.

Serve warm.

Even the longest journey starts with a small step

Living in Japan for more than a year, I am enjoying the richness of the Japanese and Asian cuisine. This encounter is expanding my horizonts, showing me a completely different philosophy of the food preparation and consuming. Yet, being in a position to receive so much from this beautiful country, I feel obliged to give something back.

And that's why I start this blog: to reveal a bit of cooking tradition of my home country. Croatia is a small country in South Eastern Europe, famous by its beautiful sea, old cities and untouched nature. In the same time, Croatia is on the crossroads of different cuisines: Italian on the southern part, Hungarian and Austrian in the northern part and a bit of oriental influence in the central part. All these influences are combined in a typical Croatian cuisine and I would like to share with you the excitement of this long tradition.

There is an old saying in my homeland that love can come through the stomach. I would be more that happy to reach your hearts through these recipes. I would also like to send them as the best ambassadors of my homeland, as a gift for all the open hearts I encounter here in Japan.