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Dalmatian Culinary Delights: 3 Recipes to Savor the Flavors of the Adriatic

Dalmatian culinary delights have been captivating palates for generations, bringing together the finest ingredients. In this gastronomic exploration, we invite you to savor the essence of Dalmatia through three remarkable recipes that exemplify the region’s culinary legacy.

Dalmatian Culinary Delights 3 Recipes to Savor the Flavors of the Adriatic 1

From the timeless allure of Dalmatian Pašticada to the succulent embrace of Buzara-Style Prawns and the hearty goodness of Focaccia with Olives, these dishes encapsulate the soul of Dalmatia and transport you to a world of unforgettable flavors. Let’s dive into this captivating culinary journey and unlock the secrets of Dalmatian gastronomy once more. 

Olive Focaccia Recipe

Olive focaccia, a beloved dish in Croatia, particularly in the stunning region of Dalmatia, holds a special place on festive occasions like Christmas Eve or Easter. While its roots trace back to Italy, this Mediterranean delight has taken on a local twist, with Croatians savoring it in their own unique way. Notably, in contrast to its Italian counterpart, olive focaccia here may feature an array of enticing ingredients including fragrant sage, rich cheeses, or zesty onions. Furthermore, the Croatian culinary scene offers a delightful range of sweet focaccia variations, boasting additions such as eggs, honey, plump raisins, aromatic anise, tantalizing sugar, and zingy lemon or orange zest.

Dalmatian

Crafting the perfect olive focaccia, a traditional gem among the Dalmatian culinary treasures, involves a delightful blend of flavors and techniques. With this recipe, you’ll be able to replicate the magic of this dish, cherished not only for its taste but also for the memories it evokes. 

Ingredients for the dough:

 

500 g of soft flour

15 g of fresh yeast

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of salt

300 ml of warm water.

Ingredients for the topping:

 

approximately 60 ml of premium olive oil

1.5 teaspoons of salt (adjust to your preference)

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

fragrant rosemary (around 4 teaspoons of dried)

luscious black or green olives

a dash of ground red pepper (optional)

vibrant cherry tomatoes

Adad

Begin by activating the yeast: crumble the fresh yeast, add a tablespoon of sugar, and pour 150 ml of warm water. Let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes, allowing the yeast to come alive with bubbling energy.

 

As the yeast awakens, sift the soft flour and salt into a spacious bowl, setting the stage for the dough.

 

A central well in the flour beckons the yeast, joined by the remaining water. Engage your hands in kneading, a process lasting around seven minutes that transforms the mixture into a beautifully smooth dough.

 

Transition the dough onto a lightly floured surface, kneading for an additional 2 – 3 minutes to perfect its texture.

A clean bowl cradles the dough, graced by two tablespoons of exquisite olive oil. A gentle press melds dough and oil, paving the way for an hour and a half of rising.

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While the dough ascends, concoct a harmonious topping blend, combining olive oil, salt, garlic, pepper, finely chopped rosemary, and, if desired, a touch of red pepper for a warm hue.

 

The risen dough returns for a second kneading session, further refining its essence.

Nestled once again in its bowl, the dough luxuriates beneath a cloth, indulging in another hour and a half of elevation.

 

With the dough’s ascent complete, transfer it to a spacious baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Stretch and shape it with care, allowing your fingertips to create the classic focaccia holes, capturing its essence in form.

 

The tantalizing topping is meticulously brushed across the surface, anointing the dough with flavors that promise a true Dalmatian culinary experience. The hollows beckon slices of olives, and, if your desire, occasional cherry tomatoes.

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Preheat the oven to 200 °C (392 °F), laying the foundation for the final phase.

While the oven prepares, grant the dough a final ascent of approximately 10 minutes in the tray.

The oven’s warmth cradles the focaccia, gently baking it for roughly 20 minutes, filling your kitchen with an irresistible aroma that captures the essence of Dalmatia.

The baked masterpiece emerges from the oven, a moment of anticipation that only heightens the joy. Allow it to rest for five minutes, a brief interlude before the culinary adventure continues.

The ideal moment arrives for savoring, as the warm olive focaccia stands as a testament to the artistry of Dalmatian cuisine, best enjoyed in the company of loved ones. 

Dalmatian Pašticada Recepie for Whole Family

Picture yourself strolling along the sun-kissed streets of Croatia, the Adriatic’s shimmering blue waters a constant companion to your adventures. As you soak in the culture and vibrant history, your taste buds embark on a culinary journey like no other. And what better way to tantalize your senses than by savoring the delectable Dalmatian Pašticada, a timeless dish that whispers stories of tradition, love, and shared meals.

 

When you visit Croatia, particularly the enchanting region of Dalmatia, you’re greeted not only by stunning landscapes and rich heritage but also by a treasure trove of mouthwatering culinary delights. Among these treasures, the legendary Dalmatian Pašticada takes center stage. A dish celebrated across generations, it weaves together the finest ingredients and an artful preparation method to create a symphony of flavors that dances on your palate.

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Ingredients for 10:

 

1.60 kg beef (chuck or shoulder)

150 g dry bacon

100-150 g lard or oil

400 g mixed vegetables for broth (carrots, celery root, parsley root + leaves)

2 large onions + 4-5 cloves of garlic

coriander seeds, and optionally a bit of hot pepper

200 ml prošek wine or sweet red wine

2 tablespoons of canned tomato paste

nutmeg, 5-6 cloves, a bit of cinnamon

5-6 pitted dried plums

salt, pepper

dried plums

Rinse a nice piece of beef, remove the skin, and pierce it with bacon, garlic cloves, carrot sticks, and cloves. Make sure the carrot sticks and cloves are about 1-2 cm long. Let the prepared meat marinate in diluted wine vinegar with a bit of wine, water, chopped onion (red onion and the remaining vegetables from the broth, sliced into rings or smaller cubes).

 

Turn the meat a few times to ensure it’s evenly soaked. I started marinating on Friday evening, left it on Saturday all day and night, and cooked it on Sunday for lunch. However, it’s enough to marinate it for one night, but it’s even better to let it marinate a bit longer – around 48 hours. Some people place it in marinade or brine for 2-3 days.

 

The longer the meat marinates, the tastier it becomes. In the morning, remove the meat from the marinade, drain it well, pat it dry with paper towels, and sauté it in hot lard until it gets nicely browned on all sides. This seals the pores on the meat and helps it retain its juiciness when seared. 

Pašticada must simmer gently for at least 3 hours. You can do this on the stove or bake it in the oven at 150°C (302°F) until the meat is tender and the sauce thickens to the desired consistency. The sauce should ideally be darker in color. If the sauce is too thick, add some broth or water. If it’s too thin, add breadcrumbs or oat bran to thicken it.

 

Once the meat is completely tender, remove it and slice it into thin, finger-sized pieces. Place them in another pot or dish, strain the sauce over the meat, and cook it for about 30 minutes. Add dried plums towards the end of cooking, around 2.5 hours into the process when you strain the sauce. If the sauce is slightly sour, adding dried plums (or figs) will provide the necessary sweetness. At the end, you can also add some vinegar if desired.

 

Serve with one of the side dishes: homemade gnocchi, pasta, or dumplings, and generously sprinkle with cheese. 

Traditional Buzara-Style Prawns Recipe for 2

Embark on a culinary journey to the Adriatic coast with a delectable dish that captures the essence of Dalmatia’s seafood treasures. If you’re a seafood enthusiast seeking a taste of authentic coastal flavors, the Traditional Buzara-Style Prawns are a must-try. Bursting with the aromas of fresh prawns, aromatic herbs, and a touch of local wine, this recipe brings the coastal charm straight to your plate.

 

Dalmatian culinary delights 5 gtrztr

Ingredients for 2:

 

½ kg fresh prawns

1 larger red onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of tomato puree

2 ½ dl dry white wine (Pošip or Malvazija)

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ dl extra virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon of Dalmatian herbs (rosemary, thyme)

1 tablespoon of prošek wine or brandy

A handful of finely chopped parsley

½ tablespoon of breadcrumbs

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Grate the red onion and sauté it in olive oil over low heat until it turns golden. Add minced garlic and tomato puree.

 

Introduce the prawns to the mixture and give it a gentle stir. Pour in the white wine and cover the pan, allowing it to cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

 

Enhance the flavors by adding prošek wine, minced parsley, Dalmatian herbs, and breadcrumbs according to your preference. Season with black pepper and salt, letting it simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

 

Indulge in the warm and enticing flavors of this dish, best accompanied by fresh white bread for savoring every last bit of the rich sauce. Elevate your experience with a chilled glass of local white wine, and let the waves of Dalmatian cuisine wash over your taste buds.

wine white

Savoring the Essence: Embrace the Enchantment of Dalmatian Culinary Delights

As we conclude our exploration of these Dalmatian culinary delights, we hope you’ve felt the warmth of the Adriatic sun and the rich history of this enchanting region through every bite. From the harmonious blend of flavors in Dalmatian Pašticada to the captivating essence of Buzara-Style Prawns and the comforting aroma of Focaccia with Olives, these recipes have given you a taste of Dalmatia’s heart and soul.

Dalmatian Culinary Delights 7

Whether you’re planning a trip to Croatia or simply looking to infuse your kitchen with coastal magic, these dishes will transport you to the idyllic shores of Dalmatia. So, gather your ingredients, light the culinary torch, and bring the spirit of Dalmatian culinary delights to life in your own home. Let each dish you prepare become a piece of this beautiful region, connecting you to its history, culture, and, above all, its irresistible flavors.

Indulge in the symphony of tastes that Dalmatian cuisine has to offer, and let these recipes be the gateway to your own culinary adventure. From the bustling markets to the serene coastal villages, the spirit of Dalmatia is yours to savor and share. Bon appétit, and may your kitchen forever be a canvas for Dalmatian culinary delights!

Hungry for more? Dive into Dalmatia’s flavors with these recipes and experience the magic of Dalmatian culinary delights firsthand. Share your creations with us and let the taste of the Adriatic come alive in your kitchen.

Your CTC Team

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