Baked Turkey Meatballs / Pečene pureće mesne okruglice

I’ve been in a mood for meatballs for the longest time ever. Since the weather is pretty warm, I decided to make the meatballs with ground turkey, as it’s lighter than beef or pork. Naturally, the batch I’ve prepared was huge, so I munched on these for the whole week. Feel free to scale down and adjust the amounts to your liking.

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INGREDIENTS:

(Yields about 40 meatballs / 0.21 EUR per meatball, 8.35 EUR for all)

1 large onion (0.10 EUR)

5 garlic cloves (0.17 EUR)

1.200 grams of ground turkey (6.67 EUR)

1 egg (0.20 EUR)

1 cup bread crumbs (0.40 EUR)

¼ cup sunflower seed oil (0.10 EUR)

1 tbsp Gochujang – Korean chili paste (0.13 EUR)

½ cup Ajvar – red horn pepper paste, here and here are recipes for homemade (0.40 EUR)

1 tsp smoky red paprika (0.07 EUR)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (0.07 EUR)

½ tsp dried chili flakes (0.03 EUR)

2 tsp salt (0.01 EUR)

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METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Finely dice the onion and mince garlic. In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together with your hands. Using a spoon or a small ice cream scoop (which is my personal favorite for this job) scoop up the mixture and form into small balls. Spread the meatballs on a baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes, until they are nice and crispy on the outside. You can also bake the meatballs in a silicone muffin tray, which I find even better for the job as it makes the cleaning less tedious. These meatballs reheat great and once baked should keep in your fridge for at least five days.

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Već mi se sto godina jedu mesne okruglice, a pošto je vrijeme dosta toplo, odlučila sam se za mljevenu puretinu jer je lakša od svinjetine ili junetine. Naravno, morala sam odma napraviti enormnu količinu pa sam okruglice tamanila cijeli tjedan. Vi slobodno prilagodite količine sastojaka svojim potrebama.

SASTOJCI:

(Za oko 40 okruglica / 1,56 kn po okruglici / 62,52 kn za sve)

1 veliki luk (0,75 kn)

5 češnjeva češnjaka (1,25 kn)

1.200 grama mljevene puretine (50,00 kn)

1 jaje (1,50 kn)

1 šalica krušnih mrvica (3,00 kn)

¼ šalice suncokretovog ulja (0,75 kn)

1 žlica Gochujanga – korejske chili paste (1,00 kn)

½ šalice ajvara – tu i tu su recepti za domaći (3,00 kn)

1 žličica dimljene crvene paprike (0,50 kn)

1 žličica svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,50 kn)

½ žličice sušenog čilija u pahuljicama (0,25 kn)

2 žličice soli (0,02 kn)

PRIPREMA:

Zagrijte pećnicu na 200°C. Fino nasjeckajte luk i češnjak. U velikoj zdjeli rukama dobro izmješajte sve sastojke. Žlicom ili malom žlicom za sladoled (što je moj osobni favorit za ovaj posao) grabite smjesu i oblikujte u male kuglice. Okruglice raširite po protvanu za pečenje i pecite oko 30 minuta, dok se izvana lijepo ne zahrskaju. Okruglice možete također peći i u silikonskom kalupu za mafine, što je po meni još bolje jer olakšava čišćenje. Ove okruglice se super podgrijavaju, a jednom pečene u frižideru mogu držati barem pet dana.

Baked Turkey Meatballs / Pečene pureće mesne okruglice

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