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Croatian recipes
Chocolate Walnut Bars | Walnut Roll | Zagorje Cheese Štrukli | Roast Turkey with Pasta Tatters | Pasta Tatters
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Chocolate Walnut Bars

This is a very easy and economical recipe to make. It is served in small thin slices, as it is very rich! The alternating layers make this recipe look more difficult than it is. A great addition to your holiday treats selection! Once you make these you will definitely do so again! The name actually comes from that of a famous layered chocolate treat produced by Croatia's top chocolate company.

Makes 4 dozen
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, creamed
3 cups ground tea biscuits (Arrowroot type)
3 cups ground walnuts
3 squares (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate, grated
1 teaspoon rum extract (optional)

3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
6 squares (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate
chopped walnuts (optional)

In a medium-size pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add sugar, simmering until thickened slightly. Then add the butter, tea biscuits and ground walnuts. Mix all ingredients well, until dough forms. Remove from heat and divide into 2 equal halves. Knead the grated chocolate and rum extract if desired, into one of the halves of dough.

Press the chocolate dough into a greased 11x 13" baking dish Sprinkle some water on your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them. Spread the lighter batter on top of the chocolate, press evenly covering chocolate.

Glaze: in a small saucepan on the stovetop, heat the milk, sugar and butter. When the butter has melted, add the chocolate squares. When the glaze is smooth, pour over top of the dough in the baking dish. Sprinkle finely chopped walnuts over top (if desired). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut into small thin bars.

$ Use a microwave to combine all ingredients. Grind the biscuits in a food processor or use graham cracker crumbs.
? Use light butter and skim milk.

Source: The Best of Croatian Cooking

Walnut Roll

Serves 10 (one 4-pound loaf)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/4 cup warm water (105° F)
2 tablespoons (2 packets) dry yeast
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 eggs, beaten
4 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

Dough: heat the milk in a medium saucepan, when hot, stir in 1/2 cup sugar, the salt and butter. Cool to lukewarm.

Put the warm water into a large mixing bowl; add 1 teaspoon of sugar and the yeast.
Allow to rise and bubble for about 10 minutes, and then stir in lukewarm milk mixture.
Add the eggs and 2 1/2 cups flour as well as the lemon rind; beat at high speed with electric mixer. With a wooden spoon gradually beat in the remaining 2 cups of flour. Knead with hands until the dough is stiff enough to leave the side of the mixing bowl.

Spray another mixing bowl with cooking spray, and then place dough in greased bowl.
Turn the dough over to bring up the greased side. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place free from drafts, until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Filling: put the beaten eggs in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add nuts, brown sugar,
butter, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves. Stir to thoroughly mix. Set aside until the dough is ready.

To assemble walnut roll: punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface turn out the dough; cover with cloth and let rise for 10 minutes. Roll out to a 30 x 20" rectangle. Spread with the filling to about 1-inch from the edge. Starting from the wide side, roll up tightly, just as if for a jelly roll. With the palms of hands, roll back and forth so that the roll is even all over. On a large greased cookie sheet or round baking pan, form roll into a large coil, seam-side down. Let rise in warm place covered with a towel, free from drafts, until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350° and brush the roll with the melted butter. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden. Cool on wire rack. Slice crosswise ¼ inch thick.

$ Double the recipe and freeze after baking by wrapping tightly in foil. Melt butter in microwave.
? Use light butter and skim milk.

Source: The Best of Croatian Cooking

Zagorje Cheese Štrukli
Zagorske štrukle

This is a famous Croatian appetizer from the Zagorje region. It is quite satisfying and filling so don't eat too much, unless of course you are serving it as a main dish.

Serves 8 to 10
5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
5 eggs
1 tablespoon cooking oil
pinch of salt
2 1/2 pounds dry curd cottage cheese or ricotta
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
4 cups heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl make a dough from the flour, 1 egg, the oil and a small
amount of salted water. Keep kneading the dough, either in the bowl or on a floured surface, until bubbles start to form and dough becomes smooth. Then shape the dough into a ball. Coat the surface with cooking spray, cover with a clean dishtowel and let stand about 15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, make the filling: Mix the cheese with the remaining 4 eggs
in a mixing bowl. Add salt and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Blend until the mixture is
smooth. Sprinkle a large work surface such as a kitchen table with flour. Roll out the dough to paper-thin thickness. Then spread out the cheese mixture evenly over dough. Brush the dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion.

Cut the roll into 20 pieces (the cutting is traditionally done with the rim of a plate).
Boil the štrukle in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain and arrange in a greased ovenproof dish. Preheat oven to 400°. Pour the remaining ½ cup butter over the štrukle and top with cream. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until golden.

$ Double the recipe and freeze štrukle after boiling them. Prior to baking, thaw slightly, place in ovenproof dish and top with butter and cream and then bake.
? Buy low-fat cottage cheese. Use light butter and evaporated 2% or skim milk in place of cream.

Source: The Best of Croatian Cooking

Roast Turkey with Pasta Tatters
Purica s mlincima

This is a very well-known Croatian specialty served on special occasions. Croatians in North America will often serve turkey in this manner on Christmas, thus putting their own ethnic touch on the holiday. The turkey should be served sliced on a bed of mlinci (pasta tatters) on a heated platter. Coleslaw is a good side salad to serve with this dish as is stewed red cabbage.

Serves 6 to 8
1 turkey, about 12 pounds
salt and pepper to taste
1 apple
3/4 cup oil or butter
1 pound mlinci (pasta tatters see pg 74)

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a roasting pan liberally with oil or butter.

Salt the cleaned turkey and place a whole apple inside the body cavity. Coat the whole turkey with oil or butter and place into the liberally greased roasting pan and add a bit of water to the bottom of the roaster.

Place in oven and roast for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, basting periodically with the oil or
butter. When the turkey is almost done, add the scalded mlinci and roast for another
20 to 30 minutes in order for the mlinci to soak up the drippings in the pan.

Source: The Best of Croatian Cooking

Pasta Tatters

In some areas of Croatia, mlinci are coated with butter, cream or cottage cheese.
When served with roasted meats, the mlinci should be coated with the roasting juices.

Serves 4 to 6
1 pound all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup roasting pan drippings

Put the flour into a mixing bowl and create a well. Add the eggs and enough
water to make a stiff pastry. Roll out the dough and cut into flat square pieces. Dry them on a hotplate, warm stove burners, a hot ungreased skillet, or in the oven on a baking tile or pizza stone. They should be nicely browned on both sides. Tear into pieces (uniformity is not required) and put into a heatproof dish.

Boil enough water to soak the mlinci in. When the pot boils, remove from heat
and soak the mlinci in the water for about 10 minutes. Then drain and use as required in a recipe or coat with drippings and serve with salad or as an accompaniment to meat dishes.

$ Some Croatian grocers carry commercially prepared mlinci.
? Rather than using roasting pan dripping, coat the mlinci in low-fat cottage cheese.

Source: The Best of Croatian Cooking

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