Ten years ago I got my first passport and Croatia was the first country for me to visit. At the time I knew absolutely nothing about traveling so even the choice of country was left to the travel agent. I obviously picked a good agent as the trip was absolutely brilliant. I traveled with my daughter who had just turned 15 and was well into the moaning teenager phase but even she loved it there. I want to go back there again some day.
At the time Dubrovnik was the most popular Croatian destination but we went to Split
(Unfortunately I recently lost all my photos of Croatia apart from this one of the view from my hotel room.)
Split is an amazing city with beautiful architecture and as you can see from the above pic beautiful beaches and blue sea. There is very easy access for day trips from here to both Greece and Italy but we didn’t opt for these this time. We did however take a day trip to the lakes of Plitvice. Although it was a long bus trip there it was well worth it. The lakes are so clear that you can see the fish from a distance. Having to travel so far to get there does have its advantages in that we got to see a lot of the countryside. It was very old world and the land was very poor but despite that the local farmers still managed to produce high quality food with very little resources and I really admire them for that. In the city one thing that struck me immediately was that all the apartment blocks had something growing in all the balconies. It looked like every balcony had tomatoes growing and most had vines too but some had a wider variety. This is where I have got my inspiration from to grow my own vegetables in containers in my concrete backyard. If vegetables can be grown on a balcony then I can grow them in a backyard (although I don’t think they had the the problem with feral cats that I do)
The food that we had during our trip had quite a strong Italian influence with lots of Risottos and Pasta dishes available and of course like many Mediterranean countries fish was popular on menus. This was where I had my first taste of Calamari which was in a delicious pasta sauce but unfortunately I couldn’t remember the name of the dish and I couldn’t find anything similar in a search. Croatia was also the place where my daughter developed her love of pancakes.
Seeing as I couldn’t find my Calamari recipe and as it turned out I couldn’t get Calamari here anyway I had to pick another dish to make. I decided to try Croatian Chicken with Sour Cream and it is a recipe that I will definitely do again (although I probably shouldn’t as it used a lot of cream ). It is so easy to make and tastes delicious.
Croatian Chicken with Sour Cream
Chicken pieces (I used drumsticks as that was all I could get) 500 g approx.
60 g of butter
1 1/2 tablespoons of flour
2 teaspoons of paprika
200 g sour cream
250 g of sliced mushrooms
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
On a medium heat melt the butter in a pan then brown the chicken. When browned remove the chicken and place in an ovenproof dish. Lightly saute the mushrooms then add them to the chicken. Add the flour and paprika to the remaining melted butter and make a roux by cooking for about 1 minute. Next add the sour cream, lemon juice and chopped parsley, mix together and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. When heated pour over the chicken and mushrooms then place in a preheated oven 180 C for about 45 minutes. (Times may need to be adjusted if using larger pieces of chicken).
Serve with rice, pasta, or crusty bread and a leafy green salad (I served mine with brown rice and home grown mixed salad leaves with zucchini) and enjoy.
Join me next time for Malaysia night