Croatian cuisine

Croatian cuisine, recipes, specialties, cookies, you can't taste food so good ...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Black risotto (Crni rižoto)

If you are looking for a recipe to impress seafood-loving guests, this is definitely one to try. This version of recipe is courtesy of Joso’s restaurant in Toronto, Canada, whose celebrity clientele raves about the black risotto served there. The owner, Joso Špralja, is a Croatian from Dalmatia who introduced the Canadian food-loving public and visiting Hollywood celebrities to this delectable dish! This is a highly prized and unusual dish!

1kg (2 lbs) fresh cuttlefish (also know as sepia, about 3 medium sized)
0,5kg (1 lb) fresh squid (about 2 medium sized)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs finely chopped parsley
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
¼ cup dry red wine
1/24 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup arborio rice (short grained Italian rice)
1 Tbs olive oil (for rice)
lemon slices for garnish
parsley for garnish

To clean the cuttlefish: wash the cuttlefish under running water. Pat dry and then cut through the back of the cuttlefish using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Remove the insides, carefully separating the small ink sac and setting it aside. Discard the rest of the innards, also removing the hard white bone from the back. Next, cut the tentacles from the body and set aside. Squeeze out the chickpea sized, round, beak which will be protruding from the body and discard.

To clean the squid: gently pull the body and head apart. Clean the stomach of all of the entrails, and carefully remove the small ink sac and set it aside for later use. Remove and discard the transparent quill form the body sac. Wash the inside of the squid thoroughly under cold running water. Remember to squeeze out the beak and discard. Cut off the tentacles and set aside.

Next, slice the cuttlefish and squid into 1 inch strips, and then 2 inch cubes and then set aside. Chop tentacles and place in bowl with the rest of the seafood. In a small bowl break the ink sacs and scrape out the ink. Add a few s of water, and using a fork stir into a thick paste.

Heat a large, deep skillet with the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions and when soft, add all of the cuttlefish and squid (including tentacles). Cook until soft and golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic and parsley, stirring to combine. Pour in the wine, vinegar and then stir in the ink paste. Cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Rinse the rice, and then add it to the skillet along with the 1 Tbs of olive oil. Stir to coat the rice in oil and skillet juices and sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes. Then add enough hot water to cover the rice completely and cook uncovered until the rice is al dente, about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. If the rice dries out, add another ½ cup of hot water (reduce the additions of water to ¼ cup after 20 minutes) and then stir-cook. Remember to stir well and always loosen the rice from the bottom of the pot so that it doesn’t stick.

Remove from heat when done and place on serving platter. Garnish by surrounding with sliced lemons and sprinkling additional parsley if so desired.

Black risotto may be served on its own with salad and crusty bread or it may accompany grilled fish or squid including calamari. Actually, it is sinfully delicious with any seafood!

• Some fishmongers will clean the cuttlefish and squid for you, just remember to ask them to reserve the ink sacs!
• Reduce the 1/3 cup of olive oil somewhat by using a non-stick skillet.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

National goulash (Croatian specialty)

Beef neck
100g of smoked bacon
3-4 big onions
Salt & pepper

Wash the beef meat and cut it to small squares. Smoked bacon must also be sliced into small squares. Put bacon and onion (sliced into tiny pieces) into a pot and start stewing. When onion becomes almost transparent throw the meat in. Add salt and pepper, cover it and let it stew slowly on the light fire. Rolling over the meat is required all the time. Otherwise meat will burn, and you can throw the meal away. When the sauce becomes darker add water enough to cover all the meat at least twice. If there is not enough water you can add it later, but don't overdo it. Add potato cut into small parts and cook it on the stronger fire. If potato is cooked, then it is all over. You can serve it with potato in or you can take it out.

If you plan to leave this food till tomorrow remove all of the potato immediately because it will spoil the goulash very quickly.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bajadera - Chocolate bars

This tasteful treat is very rich, so please remember to serve it in thin slices. It is not difficult to make, although it seem to be difficult. This recipe is homemade version of very famous chocolate treat from Kraš, biggest chocolate company in Croatia. This recipe is for about 35 to 40 slices

2 cups of granulated sugar
1 and a quarter cup of butter (unsalted)
3 cups ground tea biscuits (Arrowroot type)
3 cups ground walnuts
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated
1 teaspoon rum or rum extract (optional)

3 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate

Boil 1 cup of water in medium-size pot and add sugar. Boil slowly so water evaporates until mixture slightly thickens. Then add tea biscuits, ground walnuts and butter, creamed before. Mix it all together, until dough forms. Remove it from the heater and divide it in two halves. Take one half and knead grated chocolate into it (you can also add rum if you like)

Now make your hands wet with water to prevent the chocolate dough to stick on them. Put that chocolate dough in a baking dish, greased previously. Recommended size of a dish is about 28x33cm (or 11x13“). After putting chocolate part, take lighter dough (one without chocolate) and place it on top of dark one. Press it evenly on every part. And go to creating the glaze.

Heat the milk in a small pan together with butter and sugar. Very gently. After the butter has melted add the chocolate and stir them together. When the glaze became smooth, pour it over the dough in the baking dish. Let it cool down slowly and then put it in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, the more the better.

Cut it in small bars and serve it.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Star Wars: Clone Wars!

Finally Star Wars movies available for download! Just click bellow.
Apple iTunes

If you are not Star Wars fan, there might be something for you too!
Apple iTunesApple iTunes

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Is my butt too big?

How many times have you heard that line from your spouses? And you can't answer that.

If you say it is not, then she will say: „Why can't you be honest with me? You never tell me the truth. I need you to tell me if I'm too fat. I need motivation to always look good. “

If you say that it is too big, she will say: „How can you say that? Am I not beautiful! How can you be so heartless? You don't love me. You are so rude! “ or something similar.

Because we never know how will they react we have to be artist of avoiding answering. Well my dear ladies, some guy obviously had enough and created the site where other guys can tell you the truth. Post your photo and wait for results. But you must realize something, the truth can be very painful. Just click bellow

>>>Is my Bum Big?<<<

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Deep freeze cooking

Under presumption that you already ate those hot Croissants with ice cream in the middle, or fried ice cream from China, I expect you to know what is feeling to eat something that is frozen and then fried. Very tasteful! But, have you tried reverse? I don’t mean “when the cake is done, place it in the fridge for a few hours”, but something more extreme. Something dangerous.

The newest thing in modern cooking is molecular gastronomy. Experimenting with completely new flavors and new cooking techniques, among them combining sardines and vanilla ice cream, or deep freeze cooking with liquid nitrogen. Or some other new technique which is secret known only to a few chefs. At the moment the most famous is cooking with liquid nitrogen. Well, the word cooking is not correct, because at the temperature of -196 degrees Celsius (-320 Fahrenheit) only nitrogen is cooking.

The real point is that you have already done food and you put it in liquid nitrogen few moments before you eat it. The mousse can be cooled that way. Working with liquid nitrogen can be dangerous! But no more than working with boiling water or boiling oil.

The most famous food prepared with liquid nitrogen is ice cream. It can be found all over internet. Because it is cooled extremely fast, the ice crystals in the cream are so fine that taste of ice cream is wonderful. That was confirmed also from people who ate two ice creams one prepared with nitrogen other without, but they didn’t know which is which.

But we won’t eat just ice cream! Not even in summer! Can you imagine beef dices roasted dry in high heat, and then frozen in nitrogen, with crusty skin all over? Or hot mousse covered with hard frozen chocolate? Or tenacious pork fried, then deep frozen in nitrogen and then returned into sauce?

Don't worry; it is not dangerous to put such deep frozen food into your mouth. Nitrogen evaporates in matter of seconds, and the food quickly regains the original temperature, but the structure shock from freezing is still there, making food very tasteful.

Where does the idea come from? Well, I don't know who thought of it first, but plenty are doing it now. The liquid nitrogen is very cheap (depending on purity) in the USA. It can be bought for 0,20 – 0,25$ pre liter. That makes it cheaper than water in the bottle. But, the Dewar containers to store the nitrogen can be really expensive. Up to 1000$ per container. But they can be borrowed. Restaurants serving such food are not concerned with price of nitrogen or containers because most people are willing to pay much for food created that way. They think it is something exotic. So the restaurants get their investment back pretty quick. But beside elite restaurants, freezing mousse in nitrogen can be cool stuff on the parties (IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING). Everybody will want to eat one (even women on diet) same as burning oranges.

There aren't many recipes for that sort of making food, because they are jealously guarded by chefs that know them.

Is such food harmful? No one had any consequences yet. Except maybe diarea from food being too cold. If there are any chemical or structural changes in molecules of carbohydrates, lipids or proteins is not known. We will definitely find that out after somebody press charges against some restaurant. Considering the fact that lyophilization (dry freezing with liquid nitrogen) is recommended for keeping blood cells, because it is much better than cryopreservation (classical freezing) and do not changes anything in the blood cells, there should not be any harmful changes in the food also. But I’m sure somebody will do research on that.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Among the huge amount of the spams I receive every day I get this:

Dear Sir,

PayPal is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its community of buyers and sellers. To protect the security of your account, PayPal employs some of the most advanced security systems in the world and our anti-fraud teams regularly screen the PayPal system for unusual activity.

Recently, our Account Review Team identified some unusual activity in your account. In accordance with PayPal's User Agreement and to ensure that your account has not been compromised, access to your account was limited. Your account access will remain limited until this issue has been resolved. This is a fraud prevention measure meant to ensure that your account is not compromised.

In order to secure your account and quickly restore full access, we may require some specific information from you for the following reason:

We would like to ensure that your account was not accessed by an unauthorized third party. Because protecting the security of your account is our primary concern, we have limited access to sensitive PayPal account features. We understand that this may be an inconvenience but please understand that this temporary limitation is for your protection.

Case ID Number: PP-046-631-789

We encourage you to log in and restore full access as soon as possible. Should access to your account remain limited for an extended period of time, it may result in further limitations on the use of your account or may result in eventual account closure.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please understand that this is a security measure meant to help protect you and your account. We apologize for any inconvenience.
To keep your account active, click here:
(link stripped for your security)

PayPal Account Review Department

PayPal Email ID PP576

This is obviously a phising! How do I know that? Weel, I tried to open PayPal account several times, but I can't because I live in Croatia, and they don't have contracts with the banks in my country. So how could they verify my account if I don’t have one? Link that was in mail is not PayPal link.

You must be very careful with such mails. They are not sent form PayPal. It is somebody’s clever idea of collecting free information on credit cards. If you verify your account after this mail, don’t be surprised if some money is missing from your bank.

Blogged with Flock

Friday, June 16, 2006

How different we are

Every day I get numerous mails about some crazy things in Japan. Some of them are just jokes, some are silly quizes. But some are just unexplainable. I just can't figure out how can this be normal.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Anonymity is history! Become paranoid!

Several times I watched some criminal sitcoms on TV and there were criminals mentioned to have access to public records. At first I haven't really realized what that mean. I know that white pages or public address books are available to everyone by law, but there is also a service like Secret phone number with which you won't be listed in public address books. Then by accident I wrote friends name into a Google. I clicked Search. I couldn't believe what kind of information I get. After filtering for information that really is of my friend and not some person with the same name there were still numerous information that shouldn't be available to the public. Address and phone number are secret and are not available in the public address book, but still they were on the Google. Test grade from University were also available, and they shouldn't be if you're not a student of that University. Results of some award game which my friend won. Then out of curiosity I wrote several other names and last names into Google. And I get lots of information about my friends I didn't know even though I know them for several years. Then I tested for my own name, and there were information about me also.

At that moment I realized why some people so concerned with anonymity on internet are. Because nothing on internet is a secret. If somebody wrote it, everybody can see it. Most of the times are white pages and public address books are programmed correctly, so they won't leak information in search engine indexing process. You have to go to their pages to get it. But some organizations are not concerned and they haven't configured their robots.txt correctly. By that search engines can index any available information. And they shouldn't.

Beside the fact that there is available information on search engines, there are also person search services all over the web. Here are some: Whowhere, Ussearch, Nettrace – People, Pretrieve, USA Search Record, and many more. By search there freely you can find all sort of information about people in USA, Canada, and UK etc. Fortunately lots of European countries are NOT available. By so I couldn’t find myself, but I did find some relatives which live in USA.

There are also genealogy services which can tell you about your relatives or relatives about someone else. Here are some: Genealogy, Ancestry and Familytreemaker. Almost every one of those services are offering even better information if you pay something. You can pay by search or on monthly basis, depending how much information you need. After finding out all of that, I realized it is scary how much can somebody find out about you.

„How do you know that? I haven't told anyone about that! Who told you that? “

Do you have a problem with somebody stalking you? He knows everything about you? Which college you studied in? Which seminars you wrote? Which sport competitions you were participating? Every person you dated in your life?

How does he know all that? You probably wrote it somewhere. In some forums, blog, college essay or wherever. Everything written in internet is indexed and can be found.

Please do yourself a favor and check out what information can be found about you. Don't be lazy about it, go deep in searching attempts. That way you will be informed about the fact what some psycho can found about you.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

5 Ways to Make More Money With Your E-zine

Have you been publishing an e-mail newsletter for at least six months but still aren't seeing real results (read: revenue) from it? Don't fret - you may just need a tune up. Here are five ways to kick your e-zine income into gear this year:

1. TOOT YOUR OWN HORN MORE The adage goes, "If you don't blow your own horn, someone else will use it as a spittoon." If your focus is providing your readers with useful information that enriches their lives and businesses, bravo! That SHOULD be your focus. But now I want you to look out for yourself as well: Take at least 25 percent of your e-zine space and make it all about YOU. Give promos for your services, products, books, workshops, etc. List raving testimonials from clients and customers who LOVE you. Weave your business success stories into your articles and tips. Share something funny about your weekend that makes me feel closer to knowing you personally. (For more self-promotiontips, see my article at

2. MAKE ME AN OFFER I CAN'T REFUSE Let's suppose I'm one of your subscribers. Even if I realize you offer wonderful products and services, I may need a kick in the pants to make a move. To entice me, offer me a special, limited-time deal. Examples: three months' of consultation for the price of two, a 20% discount on your latest book or newest service, or one of your usual offers with a few exciting bonuses thrown in. Make the offer obsolete within a few days or by next week. By putting a time limit on it, I'll be more apt to act now instead of later. Don't overlook how powerful this tactic can be. Some of my most profitable weeks have resulted from running a limited time, special promotion of this type in my e-zine.

3. PACKAGE IT AT A LOWE`R PRICE POINT This is a super strategy for service professionals such as consultants and coaches. As your subscriber, I know the way to get the BEST service from you would be to hire you one-on-one, but perhaps I can't afford that right now. BUT consider that I may likely be interested in lower-priced options such as group coaching, teleclasses, online seminars, or a manual / e-book. This is exactly how I became an e-book author. When I started my first e-zine, my main business was writing for corporate communications. After I gained a few thousand subscribers, I realized that my readers were mostly small business owners and entrepreneurs. So I began creating products and services geared toward them. And now I profit more from those each month than from my corporate work.

4. PROMOTE A PRODUCT/SERVICE THAT COMPLEMENTS YOURS Do your readers and clients often ask you about a certain topic that's related to - but not exactly - what you offer? Then resell a resource that you heartily recommend and would put your reputation behind. For example, while my specialty is e-zines, I get many questions about creating and selling information products online. So I continually research credible resources on this topic to share with my readers. Many of the creators of these products offer a handsome commission on any sales I refer to them. (I do this myself by paying out up to 25% commission on any referred sale. NEVER recommend any service or product to your readers that you haven't personally tried and wouldn't back 100 percent. Otherwise you'll blow the trust that you've worked so hard to build up in your readership.

5. SELL AD SPACE AS IT SUITS YOU E-zine ads won't make you wealthy, but they can make for somehandy extra cash. (I call it my "margarita money.") Most e-zinesoffer one sponsor ad at the top and several "classified" ads at the bottom. Sponsor ads typically cost three to five times more than the classified ad, but you'll see the ranges vary greatly. Start by offering ad specials to your own readers. Then also list your e-zine in the many e-zine advertising directories on the Web. These services help match advertisers with appropriate publishers just like you. (Need help? My manual gives step-by-step instructions on how to accept and profit from ads in your e-zine.) Remember that you have every right to be selective about the type of ads you accept. While your readers know these ads don't represent YOUR business, their quality will indirectly influence their perception of you. REMEMBER THE *SILENT* BENEFITS OF YOUR E-ZINE Keep in mind that even if you aren't getting direct business from your e-zine at this time, it's still delivering many benefits that may be less obvious. Your e-zine is helping to establish you as an expert in your field. It's giving you massive online exposure. You're gaining further credibility with your current clients and customers. And it's forcing you topackage your knowledge into concise articles on a regular basis,which you can recycle for many other marketing uses.

(c) 2000-2003 Alexandria K. Brown. All rights reserved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more tips like these,visit her site at

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Miserable thoughts

Do you have feeling sometimes… I mean do you have moments you don't feel anything? Absolutely anything? I can't realize why is that happening to me. Finally I have almost everything I ever wanted, in the terms of normal life, but now I feel nothing. I’m not even bored. I love this bar on top of the blog so I can just click NEXT BLOG. Until few minutes ago, I was reading random blogs and there are all sorts of them. I don't have desire to read about something specific because then I would go to a specific sites, but here, on blogs, you can see random thoughts of the people. People write things here they wouldn't normally write anywhere else, because they are anonymous here. Here is one very stupid blog I stumbled upon, create email address, but it is efficient in search engines.
Last weekend I spent in Austria. We were guests in 35th anniversary celebration of one orchestra. We played and singed, but most of the time we were drinking. Here is more about it>>>>
This few days after I was working on my other site, and I would probably need several months to get it done. I must write hundreds of pages of text, and for that I need time. But I can't just copy it from somewhere, but I must write my own texts.
Even after realizing that I'm killing myself with work, because I'm constantly working on something, I do not stop. Some friend told me that I need to find somebody and tried to hook me up with some woman. Well she is nice but to hysteric. She gets mad on some things nobody else is mad at.
But at last I know one thing; I won't be bored next week. My „vacation" will be over and I'll be at work again. And there I would have to fight lots of rumors. Why? We get a new member in our team. Very beautiful blond woman. As I was leading that team most of new members were women. So some of them accused me of that fact that I'm choosing only women. But the fact is that women are just better in communicating with customers, especially if the customers are males so I wanted my team to be real good and I chose the best female agents I could get. Now those women know I like the new one, even though I really haven't got anything to do with her coming into the team.
Well, we shall see...