On our recent visit to Croatia we spent most of our time on the island of Korcula. A lot of the foliage and sounds reminded me of home. Home is around the inland base of the Santa Cruz mountains, which sadly on the other side are in flames right now! During the summer months the cicadas can be deafeningly loud. It was the same noise I heard on Korcula and it reminded me so much of home. Wine grapes also flourish in both locales...
as do fig trees...
But the thing that reminded me most about California was this ...
There was a time in high school where I spent more time in the water than in class! It's been a long time since I've seen a water polo cage. The Croatians are very good water polo players and with cages littered all over the coast its easy to see why.
I mentioned in an earlier post that we weren't that impressed with the food in Croatia which was a huge disappointment. They certainly don't do breakfast or much in the department of baked goods ... with the heat its understandable, but I was determined to find something! And, I did. Burek. It's cheese wrapped in phyllo and baked. There are lots of things that can be added to it. We had one for breakfast one day with meat so I recreated my version today.
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground lamb (beef or pork)
- 1 cup chopped cooked potato (3 small or 1 medium)
- 1 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 c cottage cheese
- 1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 c melted clarified butter
- 1 box phyllo dough
In a large saute pan with olive oil, sweat onion. Add ground lamb and cook through. Add pre-cooked potato, parsley, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that feta will be added and is often quite salty. When all is heated and cooked through set aside to cool.
Once cooled add to a mixing bowl and add cottage and feta cheeses. Set aside. Cut 1 sheet of phyllo in half. One half should be cut in half again. Start with one of the smaller pieces. Brush with butter and put a heaping 1/4 c of the mixture in the center.
Then start with one corner and fold the dough over. Add another bit of the mixture on top and place on the other smaller portion of the phyllo.
Brush the initial, larger half with butter and wrap the entire package. Brush the tops with butter and bake for about one half hour at 375 F or until golden brown. Serve warm.
It's great eaten cooled too. Perfect for taking the little parcels to the beach for lunch.