Friday, February 25, 2011

Dalmation Style Fish - Lenten

This easy, wonderful fish recipe has many options.  I've had it with lots of ketchup and an addition of brown sugar.  Too sweet for my taste.  I prefer a lighter version.  Don't leave out the vinegar, it's a key ingredient!
Make it as spicy as you wish with the type of peppers you use.  I don't always use the wine.  If a bottle is open around the house I use it.  This makes a great lenten meal.

It's origins were from the Dalmation coast in Croatia, where seafood was abundant



·  2 lbs frozen or fresh cod or any firm fish
·  ¼ cup Olive oil
·  ½ cup celery, chopped
·  2 large onions, sliced
·  1 cup peppers, sliced (assorted red, yellow & hot)
·  3 cloves of garlic
·  1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
·  1/2 cup red or white wine  (optional)
·  1/3 cup red wine vinegar
·  3T tomato paste or 3T ketchup
·  Salt, Pepper & Flour for dredging *
   Several dashes of Tabasco Hot Sauce

5. Serve over rice pilaf or polenta.  Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.

*This can be done without this step.  I’m sure it is better for you w/o the added flour.


Galettes (Italian Waffle Cookies)

Galettes (Italian Waffle Cookies)

This simple, sweet cookie needs no topping.  This recipe comes from my Italian kumovi or comare from the Pittsburgh area.  Thanks,  Rosemarie and Nonnie Vi  for this recipe you gave me years ago!  Men seem like this cookie, maybe because it has no sweet frostings on it.

Anytime I’m asked to bake for a wedding I make these cookies.  Ethic weddings in these parts require massive amounts of cookie baking. ( I had 550 guests at mine, but that's a whole other blog!) This recipe makes a whopping 12 dozen cookies…. and my daughters always enjoyed helping me with the waffle iron.


1 lb oleo, or butter or mix of the two (I use 3 sticks oleo & 1 stick butter), softened
2 ½ cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups sugar
10 eggs
5 TBS vanilla, Ameretto, or Kahlua (I prefer the vanilla)
4 ½ cups flour

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs a few at a time and mix well. Add vanilla and mix in flour.
Heat waffle iron. (Can be refrigerated at this point if you’re not ready to make.) 
Drop by spoonfuls onto a galette maker or waffle maker set to medium (can do 4 at a time) Close lid and let cook for approximately 1 minute or until they appear lightly  browned in the middle and lighter around the edges.  You will need to adjust time to your waffle iron (practice on a few). Remove cookies to a wire rack or on a clean cotton cloth.

I place them on a clean cotton towel then move them to another clean towel when they cool a bit. You need to keep moving them so they don’t ‘sweat’ on the cloth.  I do it this way because I don’t have the wire racks to accommodate 144 of these little delights.  Finished cookies should be 1 ½ to 2” in diameter.  Dust with sugar if desired.

NOTE:  I almost forgot....take a scoop of ice cream and place between 2 cookies, wrap and freeze.  Mini ice cream sandwiches!!!

Prijatno!  Buon appetito!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Presnac - Savory Serbian Cheese & Spinach Pie

Presnac (pronounced  preh-SNATZ) is a savory cheese dish of Serbian origin.  This can be made by itself, with or with out spinach or any green vegetable, or layered between a dough or phyllo dough.  A similar dish is called  ‘Zeljanica’, a cheese and spinach pie, when encrusted in pastry or phyllo leaves.

I like it without the pastry.  Lower in carbs!.  It makes a great appetizer, brunch, or side dish.
This particular version is mine. The addition of ricotta gives it a velvety richness.  It can be made using flour or cornmeal, or the combination of both.  I used fresh spinach leaves, just chopping them slightly.  Of course, frozen can be used or left out entirely.  I serve it over a layer of tomato sauce or marinara….fantastic!


¼ lb fresh spinach (3 large handfuls out of a large 1lb bag) chopped
6 eggs, separated
1 lb container of cottage cheese, small curd
½ lb ricotta cheese
¾ cup cornmeal
½ lb shredded muenster or brick cheese
1 stick melted butter, reserve 2 T
1 tsp garlic salt, I prefer Lawry’s
½ tsp white pepper
Marinara sauce for plating, optional

Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees.
Beat egg whites in separate bowl and set aside.
Beat yolks, cheeses, melted butter, cornmeal and pour into beaten egg whites.  Gently fold so as not to deflate egg whites.  Add garlic salt and pour into a greased 9x12 pan.  Sprinkle the reserved 2T of melted butter over the top (esp since I used fresh spinach)  Bake for 1 hour.  Cool in pan.

                          Cut in squares and serve.  Or cut and serve it over a puddle of marinara sauce.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Easy No Knead Pogača ~ Pogacha ~ Serbian Flat Bread

Easy No Knead Pogača ~ Pogacha ~ Serbian Flat Bread

Pogacha (POH-gah-cha), also known as pogaca, is a bread eaten in Serbia, Croatia and throughout the former Yugoslavia.  Many recipes abound for pogacha over the web but most, if not all, breads are kneaded.  Not this one!  Trust me!  Mix and let rise in the same bowl.  My hands do not touch this dough. 

When I was younger I would go visit my Teta (aunt) in Canada and every morning she would have fresh bread made before I woke up.  Nothing like the smell of fresh bread wafting through the house.  So I got up early one day and watched her make it.  So easy….thanks Teta Seka!
Bake Time: 40 to 50 minutes *
·                        1/2 cup warm water with 1 tsp of sugar
·                        1 package active dry yeast
·                        3 teaspoons salt  (1 Tbl)
·                        1 ½ cups water
·                        3 tablespoons vegetable oil
·                        4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose


1.               In a 2 c measuring cup, dissolve yeast in ½ c warm water with sugar. Let proof (5 to 10 min).  In a large bowl add 4 cups of the flour and salt and make a well. Add yeast mix and 3 T oil then the remaining 1 ½ cups water and mix with spatula until mixture is smooth.
2.               Add the remaining flour, a little at a time,  until you can no longer mix by hand with spatula, 2 or 3 minutes.  (You may not use the entire 5 cups of flour)  DOUGH WILL BE STICKY.  NO KNEADING IS REQUIRED.  Do not be tempted to add more flour like you would if you kneaded the bread, this pogacha is more lighter in texture.  Clean around the top of bowl and spray with PAM, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
              Heat oven to 360 degrees. Punch dough and ‘dump’ it into a  greased round pan or shape into a round loaf onto a greased sheet pan.  Let rise for 20 minutes in a warm place. Sprinkle top of bread with a pinch of kosher salt and a quick spray of PAM.  Bake 40 minutes * until golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting……or just pull it apart and enjoy hot with a piece of butter or cheese in the middle!!!

 This was mixed by hand with the spatula.  Dough never leaves the bowl.  How easy is that?????

  *This took about 40 minutes in my electric oven but takes 50 minutes in my new gas oven,          so check time until it is golden.  You can tap the bottom to hear a hollow sound signaling it is done.  Sometimes I’ve cranked up the oven to 400 in the last 10 minutes if it seems like it’s not browning.  Some people cover their out of the oven bread in a cotton towel to retain the moisture.  I only do this if I forgot to set a timer and baked it too long

Don’t be afraid to add toppings on this like olive oil drenched sliced sweet onions, chopped rosemary or cheeses right before baking.   Prijatno!

                                                    This recipe is lenten

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chicken Paprikash with Homemade Dumplings

Chicken Paprikash over Homemade Dumplings

I'm starting my new blog with one of our family's favorite meals. Chicken paprikas, also spelled Chicken paprikash , it is of Hungarian origin.  Paprikash can be made may ways.  I choose to serve mine over dumplings instead of potatoes

8 chicken thighs, skin on can use whole chicken cut up
1/2 cup flour for dredging
2 large onions, chopped or sliced
2 red peppers & 1 yellow pepper....your preference here, most definitely can use hot peppers
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 T Hot paprika & 1 T smoked paprika (use sweet if you prefer)
4 cups chicken broth
8oz sour cream
1 t Garlic salt
S & P to individual taste
Parsley for garnish

Dredge chicken in flour that has been slightly seasoned with a PINCH of the above spices, and saute, on moderately high heat, both sides using olive oil until it is browned.  After you brown the first side, flip and add onion, garlic & peppers.  Watch that it doesn't burn.  When vegetables start to soften a bit add the chicken stock.  Add the remaining spices. Cook over stove on low heat for 1 hour.   I keep it uncovered so the sauce evaporates slightly.  Skim fat if needed.  I keep the skin on the chicken for the fullest flavor.  It will eventually fall off during cooking.