Sunny food on a rainy day: Croatian brudet (fish stew) and lepinja (flatbread)

Croatia is a country that is both beautiful and humbling in equal measure. It is known amongst the Contiki crowd as an island-hopping destination but, as with any tourist hotspot, it is many of the lesser-known areas that are the most breath-taking. Miranda has been twice and is just waiting for the chance to take Ash for his first visit. On her first trip, it was the small island of Vela Luka rather than party central Hvar that had the most appeal, and touring the inland areas that still showed evidence of the not-so-distant war was a sobering reminder that there is so much more to this nation than the 18-30s experience. More recently, the little bay near her Dubrovnik apartment provided a week’s worth of secluded early morning swims in an area that the hordes of cruise ship day-trippers wouldn’t have gone anywhere near.

Dubrovnik

But this blog is about food, not waxing lyrical about Adriatic countries. Due to the amount of coastline and islands, our first thought relating to Croatian cuisine was seafood. Crni rizot, or cuttlefish risotto, was a known delicacy, but we weren’t sure whether we’d be able to get hold of any cuttlefish ink. After further research, we came across the seafood-rich brudet, the Croatian equivalent of the French bouillabaisse, or fish stew. Full of all sorts of aquatic bounty, this was a traditional Croatian dish that definitely ticked the ‘seafood’ box. It’s easy to make, because you can mix up the different types of fish as much as you like. There were many different variations of this recipe online, but we decided to go with the one from The Life She Made. Continue reading

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The blog is back: Slovenian potica

Followers of our blog have probably noticed that our quest to cook our way around the world has slowed (well, stopped) in recent weeks. This is because we’ve been on an incredible holiday in Australia so had to put the challenge on hold while we put all of our energy into eating as much Aussie food as possible, and have certainly enjoyed munching our way through a menu of macadamia nuts, fresh prawns, Vegemite, Tim Tams, barramundi, Caramello koalas, proper salad sandwiches, meat pies, Arnott’s Shapes, Allen’s lollies, lamingtons, LSA, banana bread, Jatz crackers and kangaroo. Miranda (hailing from those parts) has also enjoyed eating capsicum, zucchini and eggplant instead of peppers, courgette and aubergine for a while.

Sunrise in Caloundra, Queensland, Australia

But now we’re back in the ‘Mash House’ and back to our challenge, with Slovenia the first country on our list. One observation we’ve made is that nearby countries often have very similar cuisine, and having made plenty of foods involving stewed meat, stodgy carbs and lots of butter and cheese through Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany, we wanted to try something a bit different. For Slovenia, therefore, we decided on potica, or nut roll, which resembles a Swiss roll but is filled with nuts or poppy seeds instead of jam, and is more of a sweet bread than a cake. This recipe is from Vicky on allrecipes.com. Continue reading