Our senses can only take so much of Janko, Jelena, Nole, and Ana, so if you want to get your Serbian fix in other ways, how about trying out their food? My friend Jeff passed along these recipes (all of which he got from his grandmother). It’ll be a good way to expand your palate. Or to impress Janko with pancakes the morning after.
Ingredients: 1 C flour, 1 T sugar, 1 t salt, 4 eggs, 1/2 C milk
Directions: Mix flour, sugar and salt. Add eggs, one at a time and mix the batter until smooth. Slowly add the milk, a little a time. Mix after each addition, smoothing out the batter.
When the batter is thin enough, heat 1 T oil in a large skillet. Make sure the pan and oil are hot before adding any batter. Tilt the pan sideways as you start to pour batter into it, swirling the pan to get a thin layer coating the surface. When top side is just set, flip the crepe over, just browning the other side.
Roll the crepe around the filling of your choice. Eat it.
Ingredients: 3/4 C rice, 1 1/2 C water, 1/2 t salt, 2 lb ground beef, 1 large cabbage, 4 celery stalks, 2 onions, 2 cans tomato soup, 2 eggs, parsley to taste, minced garlic, 2 t salt, pepper
Directions: Combine rice, water and 1/2 t salt in pot. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and let steam for about 20 minutes. Core cabbage. Put in a large kettle of boiling water and separate leaves. Place in colander to drain. Trim the vein on the back of each leaf to make them easier to roll.
Chop celery and onions, sauté in pan with parsley and garlic. Combine with ground beef, eggs, rice, salt, and pepper. Mix well, roll in cabbage leaves.
Place a few cabbage leaves on the bottom of a large pot. Place the rolled cabbage leaves on top of that. Dilute the tomato soup with 2 cans of water and mix well to avoid lumps. Pour over top of cabbage leaves. Cover pot and heat to build steam. Lower heat and simmer for an hour and a half.
Spinach Pita, aka Zeljanica
Ingredients: 1 lb Wisconsin Brick cheese (or 2/3 white cheddar and 1/3 monterey jack), 1 large package cream cheese, 1 16 oz carton cottage cheese, 6 eggs, beaten, 1 lb spinach, , 1/2 t salt, 1 T sugar, 1/4 farina (or cream of wheat), 1/2 C milk (as needed to desired thickness), phyllo dough
Directions: Soften the cream cheese. Blend in the beaten eggs until the mixture is smooth. Add cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and spinach. Add the salt, sugar, and farina. Add enough milk to make the mixture easy to spread, but not too runny.
Melt 1/4 lb unsalted butter. Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Place 4 layers of phyllo on the bottom, spreading butter between each layer. Spread the filling on top of the phyllo and finish with 4 more layers and butter. Butter the top sheet of phyllo and prick it (to prevent bubbling).
Bake at 375 for about one hour, until the phyllo is golden on top.
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