Friday, September 6, 2013

Traditional Bosnian Food: Cevapcici and Zeljanica Recipe

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.


Cevapi

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!).

You'll need
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
3 eggs
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!




28 comments:

  1. Looks very good Mersad..... also that third picture is lovely....must be a nice place with good food..

    Greetings, Joop

    http://joopzandfotografie.blogspot.nl

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    1. There are many restaurants in the old part of town, and the usually serve the traditional food, including the dishes above.

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  2. They sounds so yummy, definitely going to give them a try..

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    1. Please do, you won't be disappointed.

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  3. thanks for including that last photo of the town, so beautiful. both of these recipes i would love.. and they are easy to follow... they look delicious

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    1. You should deffinitly try them! Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Now this looks yummy! And the night shot of Mostar is just gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks. The Old Town is neatly lit at night.

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  5. Hi Mersad...

    also erst mal muss ich sagen gefällt mir das letzte Bild extrem gut, denn ich stehe ja total auf Architekturfotos.

    Die Bilder vom Essen gefallen mir auch, aber machen mir extrem Hunger :)

    Naja, Du warst ja so freundlich und hast gleich Rezepte hinzugefügt...von daher weiß ich ja was zu tun ist ;)

    In diesem Sinne wünsche ich Dir und Deinen lieben ein tolle WE

    Grüße

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    1. Hoffe Du machst die Gerichte nach, sie sind wirklch lecker

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  6. Oh yum! I love that you included recipes. How clever. And the town is gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks. Hope you'll like them.

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  7. You're making me hungry! Looks so good.

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  8. Lovely food images Mersad and they look so tasty. The photo at the end is gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you Nancy. I do hope you'll give the recipes a try.

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  9. While I cook most days, this is the first time I cooked my yam/taro dish. I am a freedom cook, meaning I don't follow recipes. I don't bake as this requires recipes.

    Do you get taros in your place?

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    1. No I don't, that's why I asked If I could use the regular yams. I also like to cock salty dishes as I please, but I was just aksing about the general steps. Thanks for getting back to me.

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  10. I'm not an adventurous cook but I think I could manage these recipes. The first one, however, appeals to me enormously. My mouth watered at the sight of the picture. the old town of Mostar looks really nice, I can imagine sitting there eating and watching what goes on there. Thank you for sharing it all.

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    1. You can definitely manage them, they are traditional recipes and people have been cooking them for a long time. It's the simplicity that helped them stay alive, I think.

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  11. I am so out of my depth here in this topic! The Cevapi looks and sounds delicious and the last picture is beautiful, but I often tell people, I eat to live, not live to eat. It must have been all that awful war-time British cooking and school dinners! My poor husband suffers because of my lack of imagination. But I CAN cook roast beef (or substitute chicken or turkey), Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes done round the meat.

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    1. But to live also means to try new things, and step out of your comfort zone once in a while. Thank you for your honest comment. (Btw I love roast potatos round the meat, and call them golden potatos :)

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  12. these look wonderful. but I will have to come to your town and have you cook for me, I am a Traditional Midwest farm cooking, if I had an audience (Camillo fir example loved to try new things) but now I am cooking for my daughter's family - and they have NO spirit of adventure. lovely photo of your town.

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    1. If you ever find yourself on a trip through Europe definitely give this area a visit!

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  13. I have noted the second recipe - looks good. So does the last photo - there is a wonderful atmosphere there.

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    1. I just had "Zeljanica" aka the second recipe today and it was quite delicious. I do hope you try it out. If you are doubtful about what cheese to put in, you can also substitute a tub of cream cheese that you like!

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    2. I probably will try it - I love cooking - and I'll have no problem choosing a cheese: cheese is one of my weaknesses. Actually I may have a problem just deciding which one of many.

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    3. That's a good predicament to be in, then! :D

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