Beefy Hot and Sour Soup / Juneća kiselo-ljuta juha

A few days ago I’ve made an enormous pot of super tasty beef broth. I’ve decided to spice things up a little, so I turned a portion of it into a delicious hot and sour soup. Any broth would work here, though, so feel free to use whatever you currently have on hand. Also, any veggie combination will also do well, so adapt the things to your liking.

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INGREDIENTS:

(Yields 6 servings)

3 tbsp sunflower seed oil

3 large carrots

2 sweet red horn peppers

2 chili peppers

4 garlic cloves

Handful of shiitake mushrooms

Block of smoked tofu

4 spring onions

8 cups beef broth

¼ cup soy sauce

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

¼ cup corn starch

2 eggs

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METHOD:

Wash, peel and finely slice all the vegetables, mushrooms and tofu. Set aside and reserve a bit of peppers, chili and green parts of onions for garnishing. Add the oil to a large heavy pot and then add in the chopped vegetables one by one in this order: carrots, horn peppers, chili peppers, garlic, mushrooms, tofu and spring onions. Briefly stir-fry before adding a new veggie, so the flavors have time to develop. Pour broth over everything, then add in soy sauce, red pepper flakes, sesame oil and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Dissolve corn starch in a few tablespoons of water, then slowly pour the mixture into the simmering soup, while stirring the soup constantly. The soup will quickly begin to thicken, so turn off the heat when desired consistency is reached. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and slowly pour them into the soup. They’ll cook immediately since the soup is piping hot. Stir again to break the eggs. Serve hot, sprinkled with reserved peppers, chili and green onion parts.

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Neki dan sam napravila enormni lonac finog goveđeg temeljca. Odlučila sam stvari učiniti malo interesantnijima, pa sam dio upotrijebila za ukusnu kiselo-ljutu juhu. Bilo koji drugi temeljac bi ovdje funkcionirao, pa slobodno upotrijebite ono što vam je pri ruci. Također, i kombinaciju povrća isto možete modificirati prema vlastitom ukusu.

SASTOJCI:

(Za 6 porcija)

3 žlice suncokretovog ulja

3 velike mrkve

2 slatke crvene roga paprike

2 čili papričice

4 češnja češnjaka

Pregršt gljiva shii taka

Komad dimljenog tofua

4 mlada luka

8 šalica goveđeg temeljca

¼ šalice soja sosa

Prstohvat sušenog čilija u pahuljicama

1 žličica tostiranog sezamovog ulja

2 žlice jabučnog octa

¼ šalice kukuruznog škroba

2 jaja

PRIPREMA:

Operite, ogulite i fino nasjeckajte svo povrće, gljive i tofu. Izdvojite za kasnije malo narezanih paprika, čilija i zelenja od mladog luka. Dodajte ulje u veliki lonac, pa jedno po jedno ubacujte povrće ovim redoslijedom: mrkve, paprike, čili, češnjak, gljive, tofu i mladi luk. Kratko miješajte i pržite svako povrće prije nego ubacite novo, a sve kako bi se okusi bolje razvili. Prelijte preko svega temeljac i dodajte soja sos, sušeni čili, sezamovo ulje i ocat. Pustite neka zavrije i krčkajte 5-10 minuta. Kušajte i prilagodite začine.

Otopite kukuruzni škrob u par žlica vode i polako ulijevajte u juhu koja se krčka, s time da juhu bez prestanka miješate. Juha će se brzo početi zgušnjavakti, pa ugasite vatru kada dostigne željenu gustoću. Razmutite jaja u maloj zdjelici pa ih polako ulijevajte u vruću juhu. Ona će se odmah skuhati. Još jednom promiješajte da razbijete jaja na manje komadiće. Poslužite vruće, posipano sa paprikom, čilijem i zelenjem od luka.

Beefy Hot and Sour Soup / Juneća kiselo-ljuta juha

Beefy Shepherd’s Pie / Juneća pastirska pita

I know that you need to have sheep to have a real shepherd’s pie. What I’ve made would technically be cheating. Or blasphemy, depending on how seriously you take your food. Or you could simply name it a cowboy’s pie and just call it a day. IMGP4557

INGREDIENTS:

(Yields 8 generous servings / 1.36 EUR per serving / 10.89 EUR for all)

For meaty part:

1 tbsp sunflower seed oil (0.01 EUR)

1 large onion, diced (0.10 EUR)

1 kilo minced beef (7.33 EUR)

3 garlic cloves, minced (0.10 EUR)

3 large carrots, diced (0.10 EUR)

1 cup frozen peas (0.53 EUR)

½ cup white wine (0.67 EUR)

1 cup beef stock (0.33 EUR)

2 tablespoons tomato concentrate (0.13 EUR)

1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika (0.07 EUR)

Pinch of salt (0.01 EUR)

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (0.03 EUR)

Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped (0.27 EUR)

For mashed potatoes:

1 kilo potatoes (0.67 EUR)

3 tbsp butter (0.40 EUR)

½ cup milk (0.10 EUR)

Pinch of salt (0.01 EUR)

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (0.03 EUR) IMGP4560

METHOD:

Saute onion with tablespoon of oil on high heat until it becomes slightly translucent. Add in minced beef and break it into small chunks with your spatula. Cook for about five minutes before adding garlic, carrots and peas. Stir everything and cook for a few minutes for vegetables to soften a bit. Pour in wine and cook until alcohol evaporates. This may take two to three minutes.

Add in stock, tomato concentrate, paprika, salt, pepper and parsley, reduce heat and allow everything to simmer for about 30 minutes, so all the tastes can combine, with a lid cracked open. You’d want to stir occasionally, so it doesn’t burn. If necessary, add a splash of water. You want the sauce to be thick and rich. IMGP4566

Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes and add to a pot of water. Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 20 minutes. Once done, drain potatoes and mash together with butter, milk, salt and pepper, until uniform.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Pour the cooked beef into a casserole dish and carefully scoop mashed potatoes on top. Using a spoon or a spatula, even out the potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is crispy and slightly golden. IMGP4568

Just a small note, be sure to use a big enough casserole dish (unlike me!), as the pie will get all bubbly while cooking. Just to ensure you don’t have a whole oven to scrub, place a baking tray underneath your casserole dish to catch any drippings.

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Znam da bi trebali imati ovce za pastirsku pitu. Ono što sam ja napravila zapravo bi se moglo nazvati varanjem. Ili blasfemijom, ovisno o tome koliko ozbiljno shvaćate svoju hranu. Ili jednostavno možete ovo jelo nazvati kaubojskom pitom i tako riješiti probleme.

SASTOJCI:

(Za 8 izdašnih porcija / 10,19 kn po porciji / 84,52 kn za sve)

Za mesni dio:

1 žlica suncokretovog ulja (0,10 kn)

1 veliki luk, narezan na kockice (0,75 kn)

1 kg mljevene junetine (55,00 kn)

3 češnja češnjaka, sitno nasjeckana (0,75 kn)

3 velike mrkve, narezane na kockice (0,75 kn)

1 šalica smrznutog graška (4,00 kn)

½ šalice bijelog vina (5,00 kn)

1 šalica goveđeg temeljca (2,50 kn)

2 žlice koncentrata rajčice (1,00 kn)

1 žlica slatke crvene paprike (0,50 kn)

Prstohvat soli (0,01 kn)

Prstohvat svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,20 kn)

Pregršt svježeg peršina, sitno nasjeckanog (2,00 kn)

Za pire krumpir:

1 kg krumpira (5,00 kn)

3 žlice maslaca (3,00 kn)

½ šalice mlijeka (0,75 kn)

Prstohvat soli (0,01 kn)

Prstohvat svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,20 kn)

PRIPREMA:

Prodinstajte luk na žlici ulja na jakoj vatri, da postane staklast. Dodajte mljevenu junetinu, pa ju špatulom razlomite na sitne komadiće. Kuhajte oko 5 minuta, pa dodajte češnjak, mrkvu i grašak. Sve dobro promiješajte i kuhajte nekoliko minuta dok povrće mrvicu ne omekša. Prelijte bijelim vinom i kuhajte dok alkohol ne ispari. To obično traje oko 2-3 minute.

Dodajte temeljac, koncentrat rajčice, papriku, sol, papar i peršin, smanjite vatru na srednje i pustite da se krčka sa odškrinutim poklopcem oko pola sata, da se svi okusi prožmu. Povremeno promiješajte da vam ne zagori, a po potrebi dodajte i malo vode. Želite da vam umak na kraju bude gust i bogat.

U međuvremenu ogulite i narežite krumpir na kocke i stavite da se kuha u lonac vode. Kuhajte 20 minuta nakon što zakipi, a kad su krumpiri kuhani, ocijedite ih i izgnječite skupa sa maslacem, mlijekom, soli i paprom da postanu jednolični.

Zagrijte pećnicu na 200°C. Ulijte mesni dio u posudu za pečenje i pažljivo žlicom po vrhu raspodijelite pire. Poravnajte pire žlicom ili špatulom i pecite 30 minuta, dok se ne uhvati zlatna korica.

Samo mala napomena, pazite da (za razliku od mene!) upotrijebite dovoljno duboku posudu za pečenje, jer će umak bubriti i pjeniti se kako se peče. Kako bi ste se kasnije spasili od ribanja cijele pećnice, za svaki slučaj ispod posude podmetnite veliki pleh za pečenje, da ulovi sve što kapne van.

Beefy Shepherd’s Pie / Juneća pastirska pita

Burrito Bowls / Burito zdjelice

These were initially planned to be made as burrito wraps. However, my tortilla making game definitely needs a lot more practice. My tortillas came out too tiny and too thick. Maybe I could’ve wrapped a carrot stick in them. But definitely not all the sauce, cheese and veggies I’d wanted to. Hence I’ve decided to take the bowl route. And what a great journey that has been, ha!

INGREDIENTS:

(Yields at least 8 generous servings / 1,75 EUR per serving / 14.03 EUR for all)

For the meaty sauce:

1 tbsp sunflower seed oil (0.01 EUR)

1 large onion, diced (0.10 EUR)

1 kilo of mixed ground beef and pork – 50:50 (6.67 EUR)

4 garlic cloves, minced (0.13 EUR)

3 large carrots, diced (0.10 EUR)

3 bell peppers, diced (1.33 EUR)

1 can beans (0.67 EUR)

1 can diced tomatoes (0.53 EUR)

1 tsp salt (0.01 EUR)

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (0.13 EUR)

1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika (0.07 EUR)

1 can corn (0.80 EUR)

Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped (0.27 EUR)

To assemble the bowls:

1 cup grated cheese (0.67 EUR)

2 cups tortilla chips or 4 tortillas, cut into triangles and lightly toasted (1.33 EUR)

1 cup lettuce, roughly chopped (0.27 EUR)

2 tomatoes, diced (0.67 EUR)

½ cup sour cream (0.27 EUR)

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METHOD:

In a large pot, sauté onion on a medium heat with a tablespoon of oil until softened and slightly translucent. Add in minced meat and break it off with your spatula into small chunks. Cook the meat through for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in minced garlic, diced carrots and peppers and stir everything thoroughly. Cook for additional 5 minutes before adding drained beans, can of tomatoes, salt, red pepper and paprika. If needed, you can add a splash of water to the pot as well. Just a small heads up, for milder bowls reduce the amount of hot pepper flakes. You can easily add more later on if needed.

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Gently simmer the sauce for about half an hour, so all the tastes can develop, stirring occasionally. Lastly, when the sauce is done stir in drained corn and roughly chopped parsley. Remove pot from heat, taste and adjust seasoning.

To assemble bowls, ladle finished sauce into small bowls. Top sauce with grated cheese, and divide tortilla chips or triangles, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream between the bowls. A scoop of guacamole would also be awesome.

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Ovo sam jelo inicijalno planirala raditi kao burrito. Međutim, moja vještina pečenja tortilja baš i nije nešto. Tortilje su mi ispale sićušne i predebele. U najboljem sam slučaju u njih mogla zamotati komad mrkve. Nikako ne sav umak, sir i povrće koje sam planirala. Iz tog sam razloga odlučila krenuti u smjeru burito zdjelica. I kakvo je to samo čudesno putovanje na kraju ispalo!

SASTOJCI

(Za barem 8 izdašnih porcija / 13,14 kn po porciji / 105,11 za sve)

Za mesni umak:

1 žlica suncokretovog ulja (0,10 kn)

1 veliki luk, narezan na kockice (0,75 kn)

1 kg miješanog mljevenog mesa, svinjetina i junetina 50:50 (50,00 kn)

4 češnja češnjaka, sitno narezana (1,00 kn)

3 velike mrkve, narezane na kockice (0,75 kn)

3 šarene paprike, narezane na kockice (10,00 kn)

1 konzerva graha (5,00 kn)

1 konzerva sjeckane rajčice (4,00 kn)

1 žličica soli (0,01 kn)

1 žličica sušenog čilija u pahuljicama (1,00 kn)

1 žlica slatke crvene paprike (0,50 kn)

1 konzerva kukuruza (6,00 kn)

Pregršt svježeg peršina, grubo narezanog (2,00 kn)

Za složiti zdjelice:

1 šalice naribanog sira (5,00 kn)

2 šalice tortilja čipsa ili 4 tortilje, narezane na trokutiće i lagano tostirane (10,00 kn)

1 šalica zelene salate, grubo narezane (2,00 kn)

2 rajčice, narezane na kocke (5,00 kn)

½ šalice kiselog vrhnja (2,00 kn)

PRIPREMA:

U velikom loncu na srednjoj vatri izdinstajte luk na žlici ulja, da malo omekša i postane staklast. Dodajte mljeveno meso, pa ga sa špatulom izmrvite na sitne komadiće. Prokuhajte meso oko 5-10 minuta uz povremeno miješanje.

Ubacite nasjeckani češnjak, mrkvu i paprike i dobro promiješajte. Kuhajte 5 minuta prije nego što ćete dodati ocijeđeni grah, konzervu rajčice, sol, čili pahuljice i crvenu papriku. Ukoliko je potrebno, podlijte sve sa malo vode. Samo mala napomena, za blaži umak prepolovite količinu čilija. Kasnije po potrebi lako možete dodati još.

Pustite da se umak nježno krčka uz povremeno miješanje oko pola sada, kako bi se svi okusi proželi. Na kraju, kada je umak već gotov, umiješajte ocijeđeni kukuruz i nasjeckani peršin. Maknite lonac s vatre, kušajte i prilagodite začine.

Burrito Bowls / Burito zdjelice

Sauerkraut Meat Wraps / Sarma

This dish is, hands down, one of my favorite local specialties. It’s an old folk dish, hearty and filling. And it is said that it tastes the best on the seventh day, when you reheat it for the seventh time. So you simmer it in your largest pot, hoping that it will actually last for seven days. It never does, though. We always polish off whatever we have in a couple of days.

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Sarma is traditionally prepared for New Year’s Eve celebrations. It’s supposed to be eaten after midnight, when everyone already has a steady alcohol flow in their bloodstreams. It warms you up and puts you back on your feet, so you can go party some more. Isn’t that a perfect dish, the one that brings you back to life?

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Don’t get intimidated by what seems like a lengthy process. Making a batch of Sarma isn’t really such a big deal.And, once cooked, you’ll have lunch and dinner situations solved for many days to come. This dish also freezes really well.

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INGREDIENTS:

(Yields 20 wraps / 0.96 EUR per wrap / 19.30 EUR for all)

1 medium sized whole sauerkraut head, about 2.5 kilos (5.00 EUR)

0.2 kilos of smoked bacon (1.47 EUR)

1 large onion (0.10 EUR)

1 chili pepper (0.07 EUR)

4 garlic cloves (0.09 EUR)

Handful of fresh parsley (0.13 EUR)

1.5 kilos of 50:50 mixed minced beef and pork meat (11.00 EUR)

1 large egg (0.20 EUR)

1 cup rice (0.13 EUR)

Crack of fresh black pepper (0.01 EUR)

3 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika, divided (0.20 EUR)

2 bay leaves (0.03 EUR)

1 tbsp tomato concentrate (0.07 EUR)

0.5 kilo cured smoked pork ribs, broken into smaller chunks(0.80 EUR)

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METHOD:

First taste your sauerkraut. If you think it’s too salty or sour, give it a quick rinse from excess brine. Using a small paring knife, gently separate 20 whole leaves from the head, cutting out and discarding the tough middle vein, and set aside. You’ll use these to make wraps. Thinly slice the remaining cabbage, discarding the tough middle stem. Place about 1/3 of shredded cabbage on the bottom of a large pot. This will ensure that wraps don’t stick to the pot and burn while cooking.

Finely chop bacon, onion, garlic, chili pepper and parsley. Add all to a large bowl and mix with your hands with minced meat, egg, rice, black pepper and 1 tbsp of paprika until thoroughly combined. I intentionally avoid adding any salt to the mixture, as cured meats and sauerkraut are already salty enough on its own.

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Squeeze a handful of meat mixture in a ball and wrap into sauerkraut leaf you prepared earlier. Neatly arrange wraps on the cabbage bed on your pot bottom, squeezing chunks of pork ribs in between and filling any gaps with shredded sauerkraut. When you finish the first row, add a row of shredded sauerkraut, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of paprika, add a bay leaf and repeat once more with another row of wraps. Once everything is used up, sprinkle with remaining tbsp of paprika, add bay leaf,tbsp of tomato concentrate and enough water to the pot that everything is submerged.

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Place pot on high heat until it starts boiling. Then reduce heat to medium and cook with lid cracked open for 1.5 hours. Don’t even attempt to stir during cooking as the wraps will fall apart.

Once cooked, serve on its own or with some mashed potatoes.

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 Ovo je jelo, bez imalo dvojbe, meni najdraži lokalni specijalitet. To je staro narodno jelo, zasitno i punog okusa. Kažu da je sarma najbolja sedmi dan, kada ju sedmi puta podgrijete. Pa ju uvijek kuham u najvećem loncu, u nadi da će nam možda i trajati sedam dana. To se još nije desilo. Uvijek smažemo sve što imamo u samo par dana.

Sarma se tradicionalno jede na dočeku Nove Godine, iza ponoći, kada su svi već dobro potkresani i imaju dovoljno alkohola u krvotoku. Ali sarma je tu da vas ugrije i digne natrag na noge, da možete dalje tulumariti. Zar jelo koje vas vraća natrag u život ne zvuči savršeno?

Nemojte se bojati pripreme sarme koja se možda čini dugačkom i kompliciranom. Sve je to zapravo jako jednostavno, a kada se sve skuha, imati ćete ručak i večeru riješene za sljedećih nekoliko dana. Također, sarma se i super smrzava.

SASTOJCI:

(Za 20 sarmi / 7,23 kn po sarmi / 144,70 kn za sve)

1 srednje velika cijela glavica kiselog kupusa, oko 2,5 kg (37,50 kn)

0,20 kn dimljenog špeka (11,00 kn)

1 veliki luk (0,75 kn)

1 čili papričica (0,50 kn)

4 češnja češnjaka (0,70 kn)

Pregršt svježeg peršina (1,00 kn)

1,5 kg 50:50 mješavine mljevenog goveđeg i svinjskog mesa (82,50 kn)

1 jaje (1,50 kn)

1 šalica riže (1,00 kn)

Prstohvat svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,05 kn)

3 žlice slatke crvene paprike, podijeljene (1,50 kn)

2 lovorova lista (0,20 kn)

1 žlica koncentrata rajčice (0,50 kn)

0,5 kg dimljenih suhih svinjskih rebrica, nasiječenih na manje komade (6,00 kn)

PRIPREMA:

Prvo probajte kiselo zelje. Ako je prekiselo i preslano, isperite ga pod tekućom vodom. Nožićem nježno skinite 20 cijelih listova i odstranite im i bacite tvrdu glavnu žilu. Stavite na stranu. U te ćete listove kasnije umatati sarme. Tanko narežite ostatak zelja, a debelju stabljiku bacite. Oko 1/3 narezanog zelja rasporedite po dnu lonca, jer ćete tako osigurati da se sarme ne prime za dno i ne zagore dok se kuhaju.

Sitno nasjeckajte špek, luk, češnjak, čili i peršin pa ih u velikoj zdjeli rukama pomiješajte sa mljevenim mesom, jajem, rižom, paprom i 1 žlicom slatke paprike, dok ne dobijete jednoličnu smjesu. Ja namjerno ne solim meso iz razloga što su i kiselo zelje i suho meso dovoljno slani da začine svu sarmu.

Oblikujte loptice od mješavine mljevenog mesa i umatajte u ranije pripremljene listove zelja. Slažite sarme na posteljicu od narezanog zelja u loncu, a između njih rupe popunjavajte sa suhim rebricama i ostatkom narezanog zelja. Kada složite prvi red, pobacajte po vrhu još malo narezanog zelja, posipajte sa 1 žlicom paprike i stavite lovorov list, pa sve ponovite u drugom redu dok ne potrošite sve sastojke. Na kraju sve posipajte preostalom žlicom slatke paprike, dodajte list lovora, žlicu koncentrata rajčice i prelite vodom dok sarme ne budu potopljene.

Stavite lonac na jaku vatru dok ne zakipi, potom smanjite na srednje i kuhajte sa odškrinutim poklopcem 1,5 sat. Nemojte niti pokušavati miješati jer će vam se sarme raspasti.

Kada je sarma gotova, poslužite ju samu ili sa pire krumpirom.

Sauerkraut Meat Wraps / Sarma

Stuffed Peppers / Punjene paprike

You know it’s autumn in Zagreb when you’re walking down the street and whole neighborhoods smell of stuffed peppers simmering. It makes me want to just randomly invite myself to peoples’ apartments and sit down at their table. Feed me your peppers, yo! I am crazy about this dish. It’s perfect – warm, hearty, filling, tasty, simple. And, you can make a humongous batch and freeze for later, which I always do. More often than not, my ambitions exceed the capacities of my pots. There’s always something spilling and bubbling over, because I’ve filled the pot to the brim. What can I say, I have a problem.

The key to making fantastic stuffed peppers is in two things: picking out the right peppers and picking out the right meat. Pick out peppers that are big, meaty and with intense smell. They don’t need to look perfect. You’re not gonna force them into a beauty pageant. Mine were all spotty and overripe. Petals were dark brown with a bit of gunk here and there. In other words, they were just right.

When it comes to meat, try to avoid buying prepackaged ground meats. Ever. That’s just not the right way to do ground meat. Supermarket ground meat is filled with preservatives to extend its shelf life. No one knows how long it’s been minced and hanging around. I won’t even go into the abyss off imagining from how many animals and which body parts it came from. I really think that ground meat should be used up on the same day it was minced. So, if you can’t mince it yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you and use it up on the same day.

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Okay, now that we’ve got these important questions out of the way, let’s do some stuffed peppers!

INGRIDIENTS:

(Yields 14 stuffed peppers / 1.03 EUR per stuffed pepper / 14.55 EUR for the whole batch)

14 large bell peppers – around 2 kilos (2.13 EUR)

1.5 kilo of mixed ground beef and pork – 50:50 (10.66 EUR)

1 large egg (0.20 EUR)

1 large onion, finely diced (0.13 EUR)

4 garlic cloves, minced (0.13 EUR)

1 chili pepper, seeds discarded, then finely diced (0.07 EUR)

Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped (0.13 EUR)

½ cup rice (0.07 EUR)

1 ½ tsp salt (0.01 EUR)

1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika (0.07 EUR)

¼ tsp cayenne pepper (0.01 EUR)

½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper (0.01 EUR)

1 kilo tomato puree – 2 boxes (0.93 EUR)

Warm water to submerge the peppers – around 1 liter (–)

METHOD:

Wash peppers and remove stem and seeds with a small paring knife. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix ground meat with egg, diced onion, minced garlic, diced chilly, chopped parsley, rice, salt, paprika, cayenne and black pepper until thoroughly combined. Stuff prepared peppers with the filling and neatly arrange in a deep pot. Once all the filling and peppers are used up, pour tomato puree over. As necessary, add warm water until most of the peppers are submerged. Don’t worry if they are peeking out here and there, as they will cook through from the steam within the pot.

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Simmer on medium heat for two hours, with lid cracked open, so extra steam can escape. There is no need to stir this dish at all, as peppers are lighter than liquid and will float above the pot bottom, hence escaping the peril of ending burned.

Once cooked, serve with mashed potatoes.

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This dish freezes and reheats tremendously and tastes even better on the second day.


Znate da je jesen u Zagrebu kada cijeli kvartovi mirišu po punjenim paprikama. Od toga mi dođe da banem ljudima doma i samo se sparkiram za njihov stol. Dajte mi vaše paprike! Luda sam za ovim jelom jer je savršeno – toplo, domaće, zasitno, fino i jednostavno. I možete napraviti gargantuansku porciju i onda smrznuti za crne dane, a što ja uvijek napravim. Često moje ambicije premašuju kapacitete mojih lonaca. Uvijek mi nešto iskipi jer natrpam previše paprika. Što reći, imam problem.

Dvije su stvari ključne kod toga da paprike ispadnu fantastične: prave paprike i pravo meso. Uzmite paprike koje su debele, mesnate i intenzivnog mirisa. Ne moraju izgledati savršeno jer ih nećete natjerati na izbor za miss. Moje su bile točkaste i prezrele. Peteljke su bile smeđe i povenute, sa mjestima koje je trebalo izrezati van. Drugim riječima, bile su savršene.

Kada je u pitanju meso, probajte izbjegavati pakirano faširano meso. Uvijek. Dućansko faširano meso puno je konzervansa da može dulje stajati na polici. Nitko nema pojma o tome kada je smljeveno. Neću ni ulaziti u priču od koliko je životinja napravljeno i kojih sve njihovih dijelova. Mislim da je najbolje faširano meso iskoristiti isti dan kada je smljeveno. Ako ne možete sami samljeti meso, zamolite mesara da vam to napravi od komada koje ste izabrali i iskoristite ga obavezno isti dan.

Okej, sada kada smo riješili ove bitne stavke, idemo puniti paprike!

SASTOJCI:

(Za 14 punjenih paprika / 7,80 kn po punjenoj paprici / 109,16 kn za sve)

14 velikih paprika babura – oko 2 kg (16,00 kn)

1,5 kg miješanog mljevenog junećeg i svinjskog mesa – 50:50 (80,00 kn)

1 jaje (1,50 kn)

1 veliki luk, sitno nasjeckan (1,00 kn)

4 češnja češnjaka, sitno nasjeckana (1,00 kn)

1 čili papričica, sjemenke bačene, pa sitno nasjeckana (0,50 kn)

1 svežanj peršina, sitno nasjeckan (1,00 kn)

½ šalice riže (0,50 kn)

1 ½ žličica soli (0,01 kn)

1 žlica slatke paprike (0,50 kn)

¼ žličice kajenskog papra (ili ljute paprike) (0,10 kn)

½ žličice svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,05 kn)

1 kg pasirane rajčice – 2 tetrapaka (7,00 kn)

Tople vode da paprike budu potopljene – oko 1 litra (–)

PRIPREMA:

Operite paprike i nožićem im odstranite peteljke i koštice. U velikoj zdjeli rukama dobro izmješajte mljeveno meso, jaje, nasjeckane luk, češnjak, čili i peršin, rižu, sol, slatku papriku, kajenski papar i crni papar dok se svi sastojci ne prožmu. Punite paprike smjesom i uredno slažite u duboki lonac. Kada ste iskoristili svu smjesu i paprike, prelijte sve pasiranom rajčicom i dodajte vode dok paprike uglavnom nisu potopljene. Nema veze ako malo i strše van jer će se skuhati od pare u loncu.

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Krčkajte na srednje jakoj vatri dva sata, sa poklopcem mrvicu odškrinutim da višak pare može izaći van. Nema potrebe uopće miješati jer su paprike lakše od tekućine pa će se odignuti od dna lonca i neće zagoriti.

Kada su paprike kuhane, poslužite ih sa pire krumpirom.

Ovo se jelo super smrzava i podgrijava, a još je finije idući dan.

Stuffed Peppers / Punjene paprike