Thursday, 19 December 2013

Recipes of countries and cultures

Here are some national dishes from Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. We have prepared some during our project meetings or we exchange the recipes. Enjoy!

PANCAKES WITH WALNUT FILLING (from Slovenia, made during the project meeting in Spain, December 2013)

½ kg of ground walnuts
2 dl of cream
1 vanilla sugar
15 g sugar
1 tablespoon of cocoa
lemon peel
2 tablespoons of raisins

POTICA (from Slovenia)
Potica, a typical Slovenian festive dish/cake, differs in size, shape, and in particular, filling. Best known is the potica with nut filling, followed in popularity by a number of others such as poppyseed, cottage cheese, hazelnut, chocolate, tarragon, leek, honey, or carob fillings. The poticas made today, which are the most festive, have a relatively short history. They were developed more than 200 years ago from older shapes of “povitice” rolled-dough cakes containing a variety of fillings. In those days the cakes were not prepared in earthenware baking-dishes, but directly in ovens. Even today, potica remains the pride of each housewife.

Recipe for walnut potica (orehova potica)

1 large cake compressed yeast (2 oz.)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1 tablespoon sugar
Dissolve yeast in milk; add sugar and combine. Cover and let rise in warm place, about 10 minutes.
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
Scald milk; add butter. Cool to lukewarm. In small electric mixer bowl, beat egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla until lemon-colored. In large bowl, sift 3 cups flour. Pour mixtures of prepared yeast, milk, butter, eggs and sugar into mixing bowl with 3 cups of flour; beat with electric mixer until smooth and elastic. Then keep adding flour and mixing with a wooden spoon until of consistency that dough can be handled without sticking. Place on floured board and knead for about 15 minutes, adding flour as needed, to make a non-sticking dough. Place dough in well-greased bowl; turn to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 2 hours until double in bulk.
 Walnut Filling:
2 pounds walnuts (ground fine)
1 stick butter (1/4 pound)
1-1/2 cups milk or half and half cream
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
Grated peel from 1 orange or 1 lemon
5 egg whites
Grind walnuts in food chopper with finest blade. Melt butter in large saucepan. Add milk, sugar and honey; cook to rolling boil, taking care not to let it boil over. Pour hot mixture over walnuts. Add vanilla and grated peel. Mix thoroughly and allow to cool. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the cooled nut mixture.
Rolling and Baking:
Grease well the four 12" x 4" or five 9" x 5" loaf pans. Roll out dough on table covered with cloth, sprinkled well with flour (this amount of dough can be rolled to about 50" x 32"). Spread cooled filling evenly over entire dough, sprinkling generously with cinnamon. (If desired, raisins may be added at this point.)
Start rolling up dough by hand (jelly-roll fashion) from the wide side, stretching the dough slightly with each roll. Keep the side edges as even as possible. Prick roll about every several turns with a thin knitting needle or cake tester to help eliminate air pockets. Continue rolling by hand to opposite edge. With edge of flat plate, cut desired lengths. Seal ends more securely by gently pulling dough down to cover ends and tucking underneath when placing in pan. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about one hour. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 1 hour until medium brown. If a glossy top is desired, brush each loaf with 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon milk 15 minutes before potica is done.
Four 12" x 4" loaves, or five 9" x 5" loaves.
Recipe reprinted from “Pots & Pans,” a cookbook published by the Slovene Women’s Union of America (SWU).
(Source:, 2014)

PANELLETS (from Spain)

Panellets are  special pastries made in Cataluña and also in the Balearic Islands.

We usually eat them  during All Saints. They are sold at bakeries and some families prepare them at home too. So you will be very lucky if some locals invite you to try homemade panellets.

1 lb. ground almonds
2 ½  cups granulated sugar
½ cup water
1 small potato
Grated peel of 1 lemon
3-4  lemon juice drops

Pine nuts
Sweetened cocoa powder
Candied fruit
Instant coffee powder
Coconut flakes

Blanch almonds, then grind in food processor until almonds are a fine dust.
Peel the potato and cut it into quarters. Boil it and  mash it with a fork.
Put some sugar in a saucepan and dissolve it with ½ cup of water. Add as much water as necessary to complete the process. Put it on a medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring often. Add 3-4 drops of lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer until mitxture is a thick syrup.

Remove saucepan from heat. Using a large wooden spoon, gradually stir in ground almonds, potato and grated lemon peel. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, cover it tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Pre-heat oven to 380 F degrees. Grease cookie sheets. Spoon out dough with a teaspoon. Roll dough into small balls with your hand palms. Then roll the balls in powdered cocoa or pine nuts. If using pine nuts, brush each one with a bit of egg white. Please them on greased cookie sheet.

If you want to flavour the cookies, separate a portion of the dough and with your hands, work in a bit of instant coffee flakes, candied fruit or cinnamon. Then make individual balls.

Bake cookies just long enough to brown the pine nuts – about 4 minutes. Using a spatula, remove immediately before cookies cool.



 8 eggs
1 kg of potatoes
2l oil
(most people love it with onions too, but it is optional)

Slice the potatoes very thinly, put them in a big bowl with some salt.
In a big frying pan heat some oil. When it’s very hot add the potatoes and start to fry them. They can’t stick so be sure to stir them all the time.
After 10 minutes add an onion. This should be chopped very fine. Stir.
Now break the eggs into a bowl, add some salt and beat them.
Be sure the potatoes do not turn brown. Turn the heat down if necessary.
When the potatoes are ready add the potato/onion mix to the bowl of beaten eggs. Drain any excess of oil that’s left in the frying pan.
Mix the potato and egg mixtures together well while the frying pan gets very hot with no extra oil in it.
Now add the mix to the frying pan. Flatten it down in the pan and keep the heat at medium for a few minutes.
Put a plate over the mix and turn over the tortilla. When you return it to the pan press down the sides to create the classic shape of tortilla de patatas.
Turn the tortilla several times. You’ll find it gets heavier each turn.
It is ready when you put a knife into it and the knife comes out clean.

Spinach and feta gozleme
A traditional Turkish pastry with a savoury filling of feta cheese and spinach.

Spinach and feta gozleme

  • 8g sachet instant dried yeast
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (see tip)
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • lemon wedges, to serve

  1. Combine 300ml warm water, yeast, salt and sugar in a jug. Stir with a fork. Cover. Stand in a warm, sunny place for 5 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface.

  2. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons oil. Mix to form a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until elastic. Cut dough into 4. Place on a greased baking tray. Cover with a clean tea towel. Stand in a warm, sunny place for 20 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

  3. Roll each piece dough into a 35cm x 45cm rectangle. Place one-quarter of spinach over half of each rectangle. Top with feta and season with salt and pepper. Fold dough over to enclose filling. Press edges together to seal.

  4. Preheat a barbecue plate on medium-high heat. Brush one side of each gozleme with 2 teaspoons oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until base is golden. Brush uncooked side with remaining oil. Turn over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove to a serving plate. Cut gozleme into quarters. Serve with lemon wedges.
 Source:, 2014

Turkish lamb, feta & spinach melts
Toasted then cut into V-shaped pieces, these easy tangy melts are sure to triple your total when it comes to compliments.
Turkish lamb, feta & spinach melts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 400g lamb mince
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon currants
  • 3 pieces Lebanese bread
  • 100g Greek-style feta
  • 60g baby spinach leaves
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until golden. Add the garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until aromatic.
  2. Step 2
    Increase heat to medium-high. Add the mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 4 minutes or until mince changes colour. Stir in the water and tomato paste. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the currants. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Step 3
    Preheat a sandwich press. Place the bread on a clean work surface. Divide the mince mixture among the bread and spread over one-half of each piece of bread. Crumble the feta over the mince mixture and top with the spinach. Fold in half to enclose.
  4. Step 4
    Add 1 sandwich to the sandwich press. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until toasted and heated through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Cut into wedges to serve

    Source:,turkish-recipes, 2014