Croatia

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Unusual Fact: The smallest town in the world, according to Guiness World records is Hum in the central part of Istria. It has only 23 inhabitants.

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Firstly I want to apologise for what I did a few days ago. I made a major booboo. I accidentally pressed the publish button instead of the save button. Even though I’ve been doing this for almost two years now, the save button is still easy to miss.

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Now then, for Croatia we had a three course meal. My friend Emma-Kate over at Great Big World has recently been to Croatia ad she can confirm what we ate is eaten there. Well at least the main course is. She and her family came over for dinner and tried some of it, well all of it.

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For entrée we had grilled eggplants with marinated feta cheese. I have to say that I did cheat a little on this recipe. I didn’t marinate my own feta. I bought it pre marinated……shock horror! In all fairness the marinade in this recipe is just oil and salt but the pre-packed stuff has herbs and peppercorns and other lovely flavours.

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So the eggplants is sprinkled with garlic salt (which we made ourselves, does that make up for the feta?) and then an oil and paprika mix. This mix makes the eggplant go an awesome colour.

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While making this dish I learnt that eggplants don’t go crispy they go to quote my mother “deliciously creamy,” and squishy. While they where in the oven the eggplants got another two coats of the paprika mix on both sides. So they were packed with flavour! Topped with the feta and edible flowers (that I grew myself!) they are a real sight. A real pretty sight.

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For mains we had asparagus risotto, this was the dish that Emma-Kate said that she ate in Croatia. Although this recipe has a stack tonne of asparagus, half of it is blitzed up for the sauce. This gets the flavour of the asparagus throughout the whole of the dish. This dish has heaps of parmesan cheese though it so it is thick and well, cheesy. This is most definitely best served straight away and warm.

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This dessert is amazing. It is called Bajadera and it has a chocolate-y and nutty taste. We chose hazelnut meal and I think it was a good choice because hazelnut goes so well with chocolate. And as you can see it was very popular.

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The icing on top was incredible, it tasted like ganache. We continued eating it throughout the week. The nutty cream-yness of the base and the sweet chocolate-y top is incredible. If heaven had a flavour, this would be it! This is definitely going on my favourites list at the end of the year.

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Grilled Eggplants

Mum 9

Dad 7.5

Me 8

Liz 9

John 8

Emma-Kate 9

Risotto

Mum 9

Dad 9.5

Me 9

Liz 10

John 8.5

Emma-Kate 9.5

Bajadera

Mum 9

Dad 9

Me 10

Liz 10

John 8

Emma-Kate 9

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Grilled eggplant with marinated feta Recipe from SBS Food

  • 500 g feta cheese
  • 250 ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 eggplant
  • 1 cup garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 cup olive oil

Crumble feta into a bowl, add olive oil and crushed garlic. Cover and refrigerate overnight (if possible) for the best result.

Slice eggplant into 1 cm thick discs. Lightly sprinkle each disc with garlic salt. Mix paprika with olive oil and brush some over each disc.

Preheat a grill plate over high heat. Cook eggplant, in batches, to golden brown on each side, brushing occasionally with more of the paprika and olive oil mix.

Once flesh is soft, transfer to a serving platter, top immediately with feta mix and enjoy!

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Asparagus Risotto – Rizot od Sparoga Recipe from  SBS Food

  • 100 g unsalted butter, chopped
  • onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 bunches asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 750 ml (3 cups) hot good-quality vegetable stock
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g (1 cup) carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) dry white wine
  • 50 g (⅔ cup) grated parmesan
  • 100 g Maffra cheese (strong cheddar), thinly sliced

Melt 50 g butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add half the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Add two-thirds of the asparagus and 125 ml stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Process in a food processor until smooth.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Add rice and cook for a further 2 minutes or until it starts to stick to the base of the pan. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes or until almost evaporated. Add remaining 625 ml stock, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 12 minutes or until stock is almost absorbed and rice is al dente.

Uncover, increase heat to high, add asparagus purée and remaining asparagus, and stir for 2 minutes or until sliced asparagus is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 50 g butter and parmesan. Serve with Maffra.

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BAJADERA Recipe from 196 Flavours

Ingredients (for 16 bajaderas)

Dough

– 1/2 cup of water
– 1 cup of sugar
– 1/2 lb of crushed plain tea biscuits
– 1/2 lb of walnut, almond or hazelnut meal (or blend)
– 2 sticks of butter (16 tablespoons)
– 3 oz. of dark chocolate
– any alcohol (for flavor)

Icing

– 2 tablespoons of milk
– 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
– 3 tablespoons of butter
– 3 oz. of dark chocolate

Preparation

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan then add the sugar. Stir. Wait until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 3-5 minutes) then add the crushed biscuits, nut powder(s) and butter in small pieces. Mix well until homogeneous.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (double boiler).

Take saucepan off the heat, then add alcohol to the batter and mix.

Divide dough into 2 equal parts. In one of them, add the melted chocolate, and incorporate.

Place a square baking frame (approximately 8×8 in) on a plate (or you can also use a square pan) and line with parchment paper.

When the dough is warm, spread half of the chocolate batter at the bottom of the frame (or pan). Pack well to form a very uniform and dense layer. Reproduce the process with the plain dough, then the remaining half of chocolate batter, making sure to smooth the surface at the end of each step.

Prepare the icing. Start by simmering the milk, powdered sugar and butter. When everything is dissolved, add the chocolate and mix until you obtain a uniform glaze.

Pour the icing, spreading it evenly and gently then tapping the plate on the work surface to level the surface and get rid of any air bubbles.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).

Using a large sharp knife, cut strips about 1×3 in.

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