It's food time. For the "Taste of my Town" Theme this week over at Friday My Town Shoot Out, I decided to share two very local recipes for two dishes, that everyone loves and everyone eats. Of course they are not related to my town in the sense that they were created here, but still many restaurants serve them, especially in the old part of town.
500 gr (1 pound) minced beef
5 cloves of garlic
2 tsp of baking soda
Salt and pepper to taste
1 dl (1/2 cup) of sparkling mineral water
This is very easy. Just combine all the ingredients in a food processor until thoroughly mixed (the water activates the baking soda), and then transfer to a bowl, cover it up and refrigerate for 2 hours (this lets all the flavours bled well together). You can also make this mixture the night before.
After the mixture has been in the fridge, you take it out and form the Cevapi into these shapes like in the picture, and fry them in oil until browned!
Traditionally they are served on toasted or grilled buns with sliced up onions on the side.
Pita Zeljanica (Spinach Bake)
Now this needs an introduction. Typically, the so called pita is a recipe that can be filled with meat, cheese, spinach, pumpkin or potatos (and are accordingly called Burek, Sirnica, Zeljanica, Tikvara and Krompiraca). My favoirite is the Spinach filling.
Traditionally these are made with a home made dough that you have to roll out thinly and then wrap the mixture inside of it. This is very time consuming, but it is sevred in the restaurants that way. The recipie I'll write down uses Fillo (Phyllo) Pastry (it's not puff pastry!).
1 kg (2 pounds) of spinach (fresh, cleaned and chopped, or frozen and thawed spinach leaves, and then chopped, don't use the mashed or creamed frozen spinach)
1/2 tbsp salt
230 gr (1 cup) sour cream
500 gr (1 pound) fresh cheese (for example cottage cheese, a tub of cream cheese (Philadelphia), or maybe even the more fatter ricotta)
some oil for greasing
some melted butter for brushing the Fillo dough
1 package of Fillo dough
Again, you just combine all the ingredients (except the oil and butter) in a bowl and mix everything well. Then, you oil a big baking sheet or baking tray and layer 3 layers of fillo dough, then you brush it with some butter, then some of the mixture, then 2 layers of fillo, then butter, then some mixture, and you repeat the process until you run out of mixture. The top layer has to be the fillo dough. Before baking you slice the top into squares (I usually slice 4x4 to get 16 pieces). You bake this in a preheated oven 220 C (420 F) for 30 mintes or until the top is golden brown. The baking time can and will depend on your oven, so if you see it browing up to quickly reduce the heat.
Zeljanica is traditionally served with a glass of runny yogurt.
I hope you liked the recipes. If you have further questions, please let me know in the comments below. I'll finish this post with an image of Kujundziluk which is a part of The Old Town of Mostar, where you'll find most of the restaurants that serve these dishes!