Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Croatia: Cooking Around the World

Our Cooking Around the World Adventure continues...to Croatia which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known as Yugoslavia after 1929. And it remained part of Yugoslavia until the bloody, high-intensity civil war in 1991 when Croatia severed its ties and declared its independence.
Some interesting numbers about this Mediterranean-climated country: it has almost 6000 km of coastline and its islands make up more than three times the area of its mainland. With that in mind, we traveled to one of the Croatian islands via tabletop when Riley made a dish that originated on the island of Hvar.

I found Hvar called 'the island of lavender and sunshine' or 'the crown jewel of the Dalmatian coast.' It sounds deliciously relaxing with its vibrant patches of lavender and rosemary carpeting the hillsides.

So, while I toyed with making a Croatian paprikash, the Chicken in Lavender and Dried Plum Sauce from Hvar won out. Paprikash is on my list for another day.

Croatian-Inspired Chicken in Lavender and Dried Plum Sauce

This was "Croatian-inspired" because I started with the traditional recipe but made a few changes: I skipped the red wine and tomatoes subbing for beer and addiing some wild arugula to cut the sweetness. It was a hit!

I served this with rosemary potatoes (cubed potatoes pan-fried, seasoned with freshly ground salt and pepper, and topped with fresh rosemary).


And we capped off our feast with Croatian Cherry Cake and - for the tall Manns - cordials of liqueur made with Marasca cherries: Maraschino liqueur.


This Knight of the Global Table is signing off for now. We're off to Cyprus next with a recap of a Cuban dinner from a few years back checking that country off the list.

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