This family recipe by my friend Anamarija is being prepared by the third generation in the family. And when they are baked at Christmas holidays, they bring back memories of childhood and the taste of grandma’s cookies. Memories of postman knocking on the door and delivering a cardboard box full of sweet stars with jam, neatly folded between sheets of baking paper, do not fade either.
Goose is always prepared in festive occasions. It comes to tables mostly during celebrating Christmas, but also on st. Martin’s day, when good grape harvest is celebrated, and when stum is baptised into wine. This grand folk festivity also marks an ending of a season, when all the crops have been harvested and stored. Last year’s wine and baptised stum is served along the goose, and roasted chestnuts.
Fuži pasta, prosciutto and truffles are gastronomical synonyms of Istria. Home-made pasta in the shape of a spindle, prosciutto cured and dried on storm wind, the treasures of the Motovun forest, blended in a meat and butter stock, with added parsley and grated sheep cheese. Tasty perfection on a plate.
Croatian region of Gorski kotar is rich in various venison. Hence it was often found on manor tables where annual hunting parties were arranged for the selected persons. According to the old recipes, venison would be placed in brine in order for meat to soften, but also for it to lose it strong flavour particular for venison. The marinade is also used in preparation of sauces and it provides the finishing flavour to the meal. Serve the deer chops in sauce with potato croquettes or bread dumplings.
Even though it is unjustifiably neglected nowadays, buckwheat is a cereal mostly used in dishes of Međimurje and Podravina. In this recipe, buckwheat pastry is filled with an interesting filling made of cheese, buckwheat, pepper and chives into dark pillows. When cooked, they are incorporated in a complete meal with baked bacon or without meat, with breadcrumbs on butter.
Sugared blueberries are a refined topping for desserts such as ice-cream, pancakes, cheesecakes or as an addition to yoghurt and oat cereals. They distinguish in summer days and abundance of sun so that the blueberry juice would be mixed with sugar, lemon and maraschino. Abundance of summer fruit preserved so that we can also enjoy it in the wintertime.
Freshly fried sardines are a part of the Dalmatian brunch. Next to some fresh tomatoes, home-made bread, a pitcher of wine and some conversation, they make a unique experience of food and socializing by the seaside.
The first young cucumbers start arriving to the markets during June. Pickle them and enjoy them in the second part of the year. As a salad, in a sandwich, along meat cuts, in meat dishes and sauces… Continue the sequence and combine them to your taste.
As an ingredient, rabbit has been appreciated in the Mediterranean area ever since the Ancient Rome period. Its neutral taste allows for numerous combinations of victuals. In this coastal recipe, rabbit is sautéd on bacon and root vegetables, abundantly poured with wine. Serve it with boiled potato, and round up its aroma with fresh basil.
Minestrone in Istria is prepared with pulses, cured meat and vegetables. This spring version is added with vegetables – peas, Swiss-chard and fennel. Thickness will be achieved with added bacon, garlic and parsley, by finely chopping them into a paste and adding them at the beginning of cooking so that the bacon is overboiled. Excellent invigoration with home-made bread, and tastes will be imbued more if prepared a day earlier.