Lemon and lime curd tart with Italian meringue Chantilly

Nothing screams summer like a good citrus tart, and this is a great one. Now it takes a little time, and a little patience to get this one right, but it’s worth the effort. The tart shell and the lemon and lime filling are the easy parts. Just remember slow and steady when you are thickening the curd, too much heat and you will have citrus scramble eggs. And never stop stirring.

The Italian meringue can be tricky. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer (I don’t, and still manage) there is a way to tell when the sugar is at the right consistency.  First wait until the sugar has dissolved, you can stir up until this point, but after this no stirring allowed.  Then, on a medium high heat boil the sugar for about 10 minutes, you will notices the bubbles on the top of the mixture starting to get bigger, and hold their shape better (as if they are slowing down), at this point the sugar is ready to combine with the partially whipped egg whites. Try not to get the sugar syrup on the whisk, as it will solidify, and  you will end up with a grainy texture. Now the rest is in your hands. Enjoy 🙂

Filling

2 large lemons

2 limes

115 g butter, at room temperature

340 g sugar

4 large eggs

¼ tsp salt

Pastry

145 g unsalted butter, plus more for greasing, at room temperature

110 g sugar

245 g plain flour

1/2 tsp pure vanilla essence

Pinch salt

For the Italian Chantilly

150 g sugar

60 ml water

60 g egg whites (2 eggs)

½ sheet gelatin

150 ml chilled whipped cream

Method

For the tart shell

Mix the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.

Shape the dough into a flat disk. Press pastry into a 25cm round pie tin, making sure that the finished edge is flat. Chill in the freezer until firm.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C.Place a piece of parchment paper over the pie shell and fill with dried beans or rice.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, prick the tart all over with a fork, and brush with egg yolk. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.

For the filling

Remove the zest of the lemons and limes with a zester, being careful to avoid the white pith. Squeeze the fruits to make 125ml of juice and set the juice aside.

Add the sugar to the zest and process for 2 to 3 minutes, until the zest is very finely minced.

In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the lemon and lime juice and salt. Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. The lemon curd will thicken at about 68°C or just below a simmer. Remove from the heat.

Fill the tart shell with the warm lemon curd and allow to set at room temperature.

For the Italian meringue Chantilly

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and place on a medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Bring the temperature up to a boil.

In the meantime, whip up the egg whites until they are almost able to hold their shape. Place the gelatin in some cold water to soften.

Once the sugar has reached 116 C, remove from the heat, and slowly pour into the egg whites, whisking all the time. Once you have added all the sugar syrup, squeeze out the excess water from the gelatin and put it into the egg white mixture. Whisk constantly for about 7 minutes, or until the bottom of the mixing bowl is no longer hot.

Fold the meringue into the whipped cream and immediately place on top of the lemon tart. Chill for two hours before serving.

Caramel banana upside-down cake

Ultimate rewards for as little work as possible-This is how I like my desserts. This cake reminds me of my first bite of “Bananas Foster” in New Orleans. A rich, dark caramel sauce flavored with rum, poured over fresh bananas and served with ice-cream, cant be bad.

This cake is made in no time, and the hardest part is getting the caramel right, after that its all easy-going.  Use a heavy based pan to caramelize the brown sugar, the heavy pan helps retain the heat, and gives you more control your sugar. The caramel should be a deep mahogany brown, and the smell of caramel should fill the kitchen. To stop the caramel getting to dark, carefully dip the base of the pan in cold water when you are satisfied with the color, then layer the bananas and pour over the batter. ITS THAT SIMPLE.

 

Caramel banana upside-down cake

60 g butter

110 g brown sugar

¼ tsp. Salt

3 banana

 

180 g plain flour

1 ½ tsp. Baking powder

¾ tsp. Salt

110 g sunflower oil

180 g white sugar

2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 egg q egg yolk

170 ml buttermilk

 

Melt the butter in a cast iron pan, stir in the brown sugar and cook until it melts, on a medium heat. Stir the caramel occasionally to ensure an even color.

Slice the bananas and place them flat side down into the caramel, set aside.

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, oil and buttermilk until smooth. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter over the bananas and caramel.

Place the dish into an oven preheated to 180 C for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn the dish 180 degrees and continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes, until the cake is beautifully brown.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to sit for five minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen it from the dish. Turn out the cake onto a serving dish and allow it to cool for 20 minute. Serve it with dollops of whipped cream.

Fennel and crispy prosciutto risotto

Creamy, rich risotto flavored with herby, anise fennel and served with crispy shards of salty prosciutto, now that sounds good, doesn’t it?

There are a few little tips I’d like to share with you about „risotto“.

First and most importantly is your choice of rice. Arborio or Carnaroli, are the best for this dish, the grains are short and fat, and therefore release more starch than their long grained cousins. This starch is what gives the rice a creamy and rich texture.

Second, toast the rice. This may sound strange, but before any liquid goes into the rice, you should first „toast” it in the pan with the onions and whatever other aromatics you have chosen. Just add the rice to the pan, and on a medium heat stir it until its glossy and toasty, it should take about 5 minutes. This process helps the rice maintain its structure as you are adding the liquid.

Third, the stock. Risotto is best made with a good stock, whether its vegetable, chicken etc.. the stock should be rich and flavorful. Make sure not to pour all the stock into the rice at one time. It should be added „ladle by ladle“ and between every ladle you should stir the rice, until it absorbs almost all the liquid, before adding the next one.

Fourth, although you should never leave the rice alone, try not to over-stir; you will lose the creamy texture if you do. Give the rice a good stir every 30 seconds or so, that is just enough.

Fifth, once the rice has absorbed all the liquid (about 18 mins), it’s time to let the risotto rest for about 5 minutes in order for the it to reduce in temperature a little, then you have  „mantecatura“ stage, when you enrich the risotto with good butter and Parmesan cheese.

Fennel and crispy prosciutto risotto

200 g onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

200 g fennel bulb, cut into thin slices

1 tsp. fresh thyme

300 g Arborio rice

600 ml chicken/vegetable stock

70 ml white wine

6 slices of prosciutto

30 ml olive oil

50 g butter

50 g grated Parmesan

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C, line a baking dish with parchment paper, and lay the slices of prosciutto on it. Place in the oven for about 13-15 mins until crisp.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, and add the onions and garlic. Saute until they start to turn golden, and then add the fennel. Saute the fennel until it is soft, about 8 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper.

Add the rice to the fennel and onion mixture, and toast for 3 or 4 minutes (this helps the grains of rice hold their shape). Pour in the white wine and stir until it completely evaporates. Reduce the heat to medium and ladle by ladle, add the stock, stirring all the time. Allow the liquid to almost “disappear” before adding the subsequent ladle.

This process should take about 15 minutes, by then the rice should be cooked, and very creamy. Stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese right at the end, and allow the rice to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

To serve, spoon the risotto onto a plate and top it off with shards of crispy prosciutto and torn basil. Enjoy

Chicken in creamy paprika sauce (Pileći Paprikaš)

Chicken parpikash (Paprikaš) originates in Hungary, a dish packed with the summer-flavors of deep red peppers, and Moorish smoked paprika. It’s always best to use chicken on the bone for this dish, I recommend using chicken thighs and/or drumsticks. When they cook slowly in this sharp and creamy sauce, the meat simply falls from the bone. Paprikaš has, like so many dishes, been adopted into the traditional Croatian kitchen cookbook. Most popular in the north and north-east of the country (giving its closeness to Hungary), paprikaš is traditionally served with široki rezanci (wide noodles), a little like pappardelle, but shorter and wider. This is the definition of summer comfort food, and it’s even more comforting to know how easy it is to make.

Chicken in creamy paprika sauce (Pileći Paprikaš)

What you need

150 g red peppers, diced finely

200 g onion, finely diced

2 clove of garlic, crushed

150 g fresh tomatoes, chopped

2 tsp. sweet paprika

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. concentrate

2 tsp. corn flour

70 ml white wine

100 ml water

150 g sour cream

Thyme, basil

600 g chicken thigh, leg, and wing

Method

Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Sear in a hot pan, until the meat is golden brown, and set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the same pan, sweat the garlic and onion along with the thyme, until slightly golden in color, scraping off all the brown pieces from the bottom of the pan.

Add the peppers and sauté for a few minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side down and add the wine, water, both paprika, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook slowly for 25 minutes.

Mix the sour cream with the cornflour and tomato concentrate and add to the pan. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and cook for a further 10 minutes. The sauce should be rich and thick.

Just before serving, add the fresh tomatoes and basil, and check for seasoning. Serve over cooked pasta. Enjoy

Gnocchi with green beans, cashew nut and goat cheese

Gnocchi are easy and fun to make. I make them in huge batches and freeze them for later, so I always have a supply for the week. This recipe can be chopped and changed as you like. No rocket, no problem use courgette, no Parmesan, use what you have in the fridge!

All you need to make the dough is; potato, salt and flour. No butter, eggs, cream, or anything else people have been telling you about. JUST flour, salt and potato. They are as light as air, and just melt under the tongue. Potato gnocchi are from the northern part of Italy, as the climate and land there is good for growing spuds. You can find all sorts of gnocchi dating back to roman times, when they were made from old bread and eggs, but these are without a doubt my favorite.

Steam the potatoes, then mash and spread out on a cold surface. Slowly work the flour in starting from the edges and working your way into the middle. Try not to knead the dough too much or they become tough.

Gnocchi with rocket, cashew nut and goat cheese

For the gnocchi

1 kg potato

Water for steaming

2 tsp salt

250 g flour (ostro)

 

For the sauce

1 handful of baby rocket (you can use ordinary rocket if you can’t find baby)

80 g roasted and ground cashew nuts (keep some whole for garnish)

2 tsp of torn basil

100 ml of chicken stock

60 ml white wine

30 g pecorino/ Parmesan

5/6 cherry tomato

Gnocchi

Wash the potatoes and put them to steam for about 30-40 minutes, or until soft. Mash the potatoes, or put through a potato ricer and spread out on your worktop.

Add the salt, and sprinkle half the flour around the edges of the hot potato. With your hands, slowly fold the flour into the mixture, working from the outside in, until it is combined, slowly add more flour until you reach a smooth texture, with a slight spring. (You may not need all the flour)

Cut the dough into small sections and roll into cylinders, about 1.2 cm in diameter. Then cut the each cylinder into individual gnocchi about 2 cm in length. Place on a floured tray until ready to use, or freeze until a later date.

Sauce

Pick and wash the basil and rocket and set aside. Toast the cashew nuts and grind to a fine powder (set some aside for garnish). Reduce the chicken stock and wine in a small sauté

Njoki sa mladom rikulom, bosiljkom i indijskim oraščićima

1 kg krumpira

Voda

2 žličica soli

250 g oštrog brašna

Za umak

1 šaka mlade rikule (možete koristiti i normalnu rikulu ako nemožete naći mladu)

80 g tostiranih i smrvljenih indijskih oraščića (neke ostavite cijele za dekoraciju)

2 žličice trganog bosiljka

100 ml pilećeg temeljca

60 ml bijelog vina

30 g pecorino/ parmezan

5/6 cherry rajčica

 

Njoki

Operite krumpire i stavite ih pariti oko 30-40 minuta dok ne omekane. Zgnječite krumpire (da dobite smjesu kao pire) i stavite smjesu na radnu površinu.

Dodajte sol i posipajte pola brašna oko ruba vrućeg krumpira. Rukama polako dodavajte brašno u smjesu krumpira, umješavajući izvana prema unutra dok se smjesa ne poveže, lagano dodavajte ostatak brašna dok ne dobite glatku smijesu. (možda nećete trebati svo brašno)

Izrežite tijesto u nekoliko manjih komada i izrolajte ih u cilindar, otprilike 1,2cm dijametra. Zatim svaki cilindar izrežite u njoke, otprilike 2cm dužine. Stavite njoke na pobrašnjenu površinu do korištenja, a možete ih i smrznuti ako ih ne planirate odmah koristiti.

Umak

Uberite i operite bosiljak i mladu rikolu i stavite sa strane. Tostirajte indijske oraščiće i smrvite ih (neke ostavite cijele za dekoraciju). Reducirajte pileći temeljac i bijelo vino u tavi i dodajte kuhane njoke. Kuhajte dok se tekućina ne reducira i malo zgusne. Ubacite smrvljene indijske oraščiće, bosiljak, rikolu, rajčice, i sir, te začinite soli i paprom po želji.

Dekorirajte gotovo jelo sa indijskim oraščićima, bosiljkom i svježe mljevenim paprom.

Dobar tek!

Brown butter Cookies with white chocolate, almonds and peanuts.

Brown butter Cookies with white chocolate, almonds and peanuts.

Since I moved to Croatia in 2016, I’ve developed the mother of all sweet tooth’s. This is partly down to the amount of bakeries that cover every street in Zagreb, the selection of desserts and kolaci that can be irresistible when tackling that after lunch sugar and caffeine crave. When it comes to “krafne” I can easily sit back and scoff 8-10 minimum in a row bez problema, no joke it has been done!  However, “krafne” aside, cookies are my “go to” addictive little crispy circles of joy, and THESE are by far my favourite. The best I have ever made, they are crisp, sweet, salty, nutty, and packed with melting buttery white chocolate.

The combination of toasted almonds and peanuts, which infuses every bite, with melting white chocolate is a combination everyone needs to try. Not to mention the secret ingredient; brown butter.

My perfect cookie is thick, and packed with nuts and chocolate, not thin dry “bračani” cookies that taste like sweet cardboard. For these cookies I recommend making them 50-60 g, one is enough for a person but 10 is also doable.

Ingredients

150 g + 100 g Butter

335 g flour (glatko)

1 tsp. bicarbonate soda

¼ tsp. salt

200 g sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

100 g white chocolate

50 g almond

100 g salted peanuts

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Method

  1. Place 150 g of the butter into a small saucepan and melt on a medium heat, continue to „cook“ the butter until it turns dark brown, and smells rich and nutty. Place in a dish and refrigerate until solid.
  2. Put the other 100 g butter in a mixing bowl (paddle attachment) and add in the solid browned butter, vanilla, and sugar. Beat on a medium speed until smooth and a little fluffy, this takes around 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the speed to slow and add in the egg yolk and egg; continue to beat for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Put in the flour, salt, and soda and mix until just combined, you should be able to see a little flour around the loose dough.
  5. Toast the almonds in a hot pan until brown, and all the oils have been released, chop them, and add to the mix. Chop the chocolate and peanuts and add them at this stage as well.
  6. Gently combine the mixture and roll into a cylinder, wrap in baking paper and place in the fridge for two hours.
  7. Preheat your oven to 165 C (fan). Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and cut into 1 ½ cm thick rounds, place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake the cookies for around 15 mins (a little chewy in the middle), or, 17 mins (crisp and melting). Leave to cool( if you can resist), and Enjoy.

Apple Štrudel

Apple strudel

At least a few wee desserts to keep the sweet tooth satisfied. Pastry was never my strong point, I never had the time, or the patience to make the perfect cake or perfect pie, but I really love making filo pastry. This is my therapy, when I feel I’m getting a step closer to „Vrapče bolnica “, then it’s time to whip out the tablecloth and get rolling.

Filo pastry was brought to Croatia by the Ottomans, and like every good food the Croatians held on tight and made it their own. In the north of Croatia they make „Štrukli“, filo dough bursting with fresh cream cheese, sometimes served in soup, and other times baked with gallons of thick double cream. Today we will talk about Strudel, a simple dessert that makes the most of seasonal fruit. Sweet, crisp, and melt in the mouth pastry, enveloping tart apples, it’s the perfect balance.

A few must haves: 1. You will need time, once the pastry is made, it needs to rest for at least two hours, but it’s better made the night before and placed in the fridge. This way the gluten has the time to stretch, and the pastry will be much easier to work with.

  1. You need a good-sized table and tablecloth to stretch out the pastry, this is done mainly by hand, but you need a rolling pin to start it.

Apart from time and a bit of patience, which I have neither of, the process is pretty straight forward, and very rewarding.

 

Apple Štrudel

 

Ingredients

For the pastry

400 g Flour (plain)

200 ml warm water

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Vinegar

40 g melted pork fat

Sunflower oil

For the Filling

6 medium apples

10 g vanilla sugar

150 g sugar

1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

2 tbs. Apple brandy

Method

For the dough:

Dissolve the salt in the water. Place all the dry ingredients in the mixer and add the salt water mix. Knead on low until combined. Increase the speed and knead for a further 15 mins(the dough should form into a ball, and “beat” off the sides of the mixing bowl).

Form the dough into a ball, cover with the fat or oil, and set aside to rest for min 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

After the dough has rested, get ready to roll. Place the dough on a large table, covered with a clean tablecloth, dust with flour and roll out until it’s around 5mm thick. Again cover with oil or fat and leave to rest for a further 15 mins while you prepare the filling (you need to use a lot of oil, this prevents air getting at the pastry and drying it out).

For the filling:
Peel and grate the apples, place in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and squeeze out the extra liquid.

Begin to stretch the dough out using the backs of your hand, until you can see through it. Sprinkle with the apple mixture and a little oil and roll up. Dot with a few knobs of butter and place in a preheated oven at 180 C for 40mins.

Štrudla od jabuke

 

Sastojci:

Za tijesto:

400 g glatkog brašna

200 ml mlake vode

1 žličica soli

1 žličica octa

40 g otopljene svinjske masti

Suncokretovo ulje

Za filu:

6 srednje velikih jabuka

10 g vanili šećera

150 g šečera

1 1/2 žličice cimeta

2 žličice rakije od jabuke

Metoda:

Za tijesto:

Otopite sol u vodi. Stavite sve sastojke u posudu za mikser i dodajte slanu vodu. Miksajte na najmanjoj brzini dok se sastojci ne sjedine. Pojačajte brzinu i miksajte još 15 min.

Formirajte kuglu od tijesta, stavite u posudu, premažite uljem ili svinjskom masti, prekrijte plastičnom folijom i pustite tijesto da odmara minimalno 1 sat.

Nakon što se tijesto odmorilo, pripremite se za razvlačenje tijesta. Na veliki stol, prethodno prekriven sa čistim stolnjakom stavite tijesto te ga razvaljaljte na otprilike 5mm debljine. Opet premažite uljem ili svinjskom masti i ostavite da odmara još 15 minuta dok pripremate filu.

Za filu:
Ogulite i naribajte jabuke, stavite ih u zdjelu i dodajte ostale sastojke. Dobro promiješajte, te iscijedite višak tekućine.

Krenite razvlačiti tijesto koristeći nadlaničnu stranu šake sve dok tijesto nebude dovoljno tanko da se vidi kroz njega. Filu rasaporedite po tijestu, poprskajte sa malo ulja i zarolajte. Maslac narežite na listiće i rasporedite po zarolanoj štrudli. Štrudlu stavite peći u prethodno zagrijanu pečnicu na 180C 40minuta.

Kada je štrudla gotova pospite po njoj šećer u prahu i uživajte!

Eggs Benedict

Moj omiljeni doručak

My first experience of eggs Benedict was in San Francisco a few years ago. A friend of mine who I was staying with promised me the best breakfast in the USA, and she kept her word. We went to Sausalito, just across from the Golden gate bridge, to a diner sitting on the edge of the bay. It wasn’t anything fancy, a casual, no fuss restaurant with smiling service staff and top dollar food, my kind of place. “Steak and Eggs” , “Stacks of pancakes”, or “Eggs Benedict”, I had a hard time choosing, but in the end settled with the “Eggs Bene”, and didn’t regret it one bit. This is how a love affair with brunch starts.

Now it is said that this dish was created in the Waldorf hotel in New York for a hungover wall street broker, who needed something rich and tasty, after a night on the town, Don’t we all…

There isn’t really anything difficult about this dish, for the poached eggs just make sure you use a big pot, and the water isn’t boiling like crazy. The star of the show in this dish is the sauce. Creamy, buttery, a little tart, and a hint of anise. Not only great with ” Eggs Bene” but fantastic with grilled fish, steaks and steamed vegetables. Enjoy

Butter, cardamon, anise, apple vinegar, eggs, lemon juice

 

Ingredients

For the sauce

2 large egg yolks

120 g Melted butter

1 tbsp. water

1 cardamom pod

Pinch. Anise powder/ l point star anise

Squeeze of lemon

Zest of 1/6 lemon

For the eggs

4 XL eggs

Pot of boiling water

2 tbsp. apple vinegar

1 tsp. salt

For the garnish

4 slice smoked ham

2 pieces toast/2 English muffin/2 scone

Chopped parsley

Method

Put the large pot of water on to heat with the salt and vinegar. Start with the sauce. Put the vinegar, water and spices into a small pot, and reduce the liquid by 2/3. In another small pot, or, in the microwave melt the butter and skim off the milk solids floating on the top (this is called “clarifying” the butter and leaves the sauce with a silky texture and no greasy aftertaste), pour the butter slowly into the egg-mix whisking all the time, until the sauce thickens and is almost the consistency of mayonnaise. Discard the milk solids that have settled at the bottom of the butter. Finish the sauce with a squeeze of lemon and a quick zest, and salt to taste. Cover with plastic wrap until needed.

Cut the muffin in half and toast, top each half with a slice of smoked ham.

Reduce the water to a slow bubble and crack each egg into the water very slowly. Allow the eggs to poach gently for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the water and drain onto a clean towel, trim the excess white, and place on the ham. Dollop the sauce thickly onto the poached eggs, season with salt and pepper. Enjoy

Jaja benedikt

 

Sastojci

Za umak

2 velika žumanjka

120 g otopljenog maslaca

1 žlica vode

1 sjemenka kardamoma

Prstohvat mljevenog zvjezdanog anisa

Iscjeđeni limun

Naribana limunova korica

Za jaja

4 XL jaja

Lonac proključale vode

2 žlice jabučnog octa

1 žličica soli

 

Za dekoraciju

1 šnita dimljene šunke

4 šnite tosta/ 2 pogačica/ 2 engleski muffin

Nasjeckani peršin

Metoda

Veliki lonac napunite vodom. Dodajte sol ,jabučni ocat i pustite na vatri da se grije. Zatim počnite sa umakom. Stavite ocat, vodu i začine u mali lončić i reducirajte tekućinu za 2/3. U drugi mali lonac (ili u mikrovalnoj) otopite maslac te oklonite mliječne krute tvari koje plutaju na površini maslaca (ovaj postupak zove se eng “clarifying”, odnosno pročišćavanje maslaca tako da dobijete umak sa svilenkastom teksturom i bez da ostavlja masni okus u ustima), ulijte maslac polako u žutanjke mješajući kontinuirano sa pjenjačom, sve dok se umak ne zgusne i dok ne poprimi konzistenciju majoneze. Na dnu maslaca vidjet ćete još mliječnih krutih tvari, njih također uklonite prije dodavanja u umak. Završite umak sa malo iscijeđenog limuna, malo naribane limunove korice i soli. Prekrijte sa plastičnom folijom do uporabe.

Prerežite muffin i tostirajte ga, na svaku polovicu stavite komad dimljene šunke.

Smanjite vatru na velikom loncu tako da voda lagano kipi, razbijte svako jaje u vodu polagano. Jaja neka se nježno poširaju u vodi 3-4 minute. Izvadite jaje iz vode, stavite ih na čistu krpu, maknite višak bjelanjaka i smjestite ih na šunku. Stavite na svako jaje nekoliko žlica umaka, te začinite soli i paprom. Dobar tek!

My mini Soparnik

Soparnik. I first met you in 2016, it was the morning after a few too many Karlovačko on the island of korčula. The sun was burning through my clothes, and my fair Irish skin was beginning to resemble the shell of a freshly cooked lobster. I was in need of something light and tasty, anything with a large amount of garlic would hit the spot. And there you were, on a corner of a street, your garlicky perfume luring me towards your equally heat blistered skin, and that is exactly the moment I fell in love with Croatian food!

Now these aren’t  the real thing, as much as I would like to tell you they are, but they’re not, you will have to live with that, jebiga.  Soparnik is a bread, stuffed with chard, wilted in garlic and olive oil. Its baked on the open fire and the top is covered with hot coals, which scorches the bread, and imparts a toasty char to the whole thing.  This flat-bread can be served as a light lunch or a snack, and typically goes great with a chilled glass of Plavac mali, one of the most famous wines in Croatia.

I make these mini ones by getting the baking dish roasting hot before setting the raw little disks into the oven. They are a bit “fiddly” to make, but are a joy to eat, and an interesting addition to your party food repertoire.

I use both garlic cloves, and young garlic shoots from the garden to really “beef up” the flavor. The cloves are intense and give a bit of heat, whilst the shoots are sweet and aromatic.

Since this is such a basic recipe, its essential to use top quality ingredients. That means super fresh chard, good garlic and the best olive oil you can find, which is easy for me, since Croatia literally have the best olive oil in the world.

Dosta moje filozofije, evo recepta, idemo delat 😉

 

Mini Soparnik

Za tijesto:

500 g glatkog brašna
1 žličica soli
5  žlice maslinova ulja
340 ml vode (mlake)

Za nadjev:

1 kg blitve
1 žlica soli
50 ml maslinova ulja
60 g Mladog češnjaka  ili mladog luka

Za premazivanje:

50 ml maslinova ulja
2 češnja češnjaka

Priprema

Zamijesite tijesto od brašna, soli, maslinova ulja i vode dok tijesto ne postane glatko, otprilike pet minuta. Pokrite krpom i ostavite da se odmori, nekih sat vremena.

Blitvu operite i odrežite bijele dijelove stabljike. Narežite na rezance i “utrljajte” sol, stavite u plastičnu vrećicu, napravite rupice. Na vrećicu stavite neku težinu (npr. Limenku graha) i pustite da se blitva ocijedi.

Za premaz: usitnite česnjak sa malo soli i pomiješajte sa maslinovim uljem.

Narežite mladi češnjak i stavite ga sa strane.

Istisnite višak tekućine iz blitve, i prosušite ju u krpi. Sotirajte blitvu i mladi češnjak na maslinovu ulju i po želji dodajte soli i papra. Stavite sa strane da se ohladi.

Prepolovite tijesto na dva jednaka dijela i izvaljajte svaku polovicu na otprilike 0,5 mm debljine.

Čašom izrežite krugove (od ove količine dobit ćete otprilike 40 krugova), dobivene krugove izbodite vilicom.

Na krug stavite jednu žlicu nadjeva od blitve, premažite vanjski dio kruga vodom, i jos jednim krugom preklopite prvi. Utisnite krajeve prstima.

Zagrijte pećnicu i lim na 200C, staviti mini soparnik da se peče 7 min, zatim ih okrenite i pecite još 7-10min. Izvadite iz pećnice I dobro premažite ranije napravljenim premazom.

Dobar tek

Mini Soparnik.

For the Dough:

500g plain flour

1 tsp. salt

5 dessert sp. EVOO

340 ml tepid water

 

Filling:

1 kg chard/mangold

1 tsp. salt

50 ml EVOO

60 g wild garlic/spring garlic/spring onion

 

Brushing oil

50 ml EVOO

2 cloves of garlic

 

Preparation

For the dough: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, add the water and oil and knead until smooth, about 5 mins. Cover with a dry cloth and leave to rest for 1 hour.

Wash the chard, strip the green leaves from the stems. Cut the leaves into ribbons, rub in a little salt to help remove the liquid, and place in a plastic bag with a few holes in it, put something heavy on top, and leave to drain.

For the brushing oil: crush the garlic with a little salt and mix with the oil.

Finley chop the wild garlic.

Dry the chard in a cloth and sauté with some EVOO and the wild garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

When the dough is rested, spit in two, and roll each half out until about ½ cm thick. With a glass cut out about 40 smaller circles and jab each a few times with a fork (this will prevent the mini soparnik from rising too much in the oven).

Put 1 tsp. of the chard mix inside one disk of dough, and place another on top like a ravioli (rub a little water around the edge to help it stick).

Preheat the oven and baking tray to 200 C, bake the soparnik on one side for 7 minutes, turn and bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until golden and brown. Remove from the oven and brush generously with the garlic oil. Enjoy.