Friday, 4 July 2014

World Cup Food Recipes - Croatia

Cuspajs is a simple but delicious Croatian cabbage and potato soup

Croatia were drawn in Group A of the World Cup and helped open the tournament with a match against their hosts, Brazil. They were largely uninspiring, losing by the same 3-1 scoreline firstly to Brazil and subsequently to Mexico. A 4-0 victory in between these two matches over Cameroon consequently proved meaningless in terms of qualification.

Croatian Cuspajs (Cabbage and Potato Soup)

It is not especially easy to identify traditionally Croatian dishes. This is due to the political upheaval the region has endured - particularly in recent decades - as well as the extensive influences Croatian cuisine has known from the likes of Austria, Hungary and Greece. Although this soup sounds very basic, it is genuinely Croatian and really is surprisingly delicious - I promise! I've made a couple of significant ingredient changes by using a white cabbage rather than a green one and red onion rather than white/yellow. I've also simplified the cooking procedure as most recipes seem to make it what seems to be unnecessarily long and complicated.
Main vegetable ingredients for cuspajs

Ingredients (Serves Four)

1/4 white cabbage, core cut out and roughly shredded
1 medium baking potato, peeled and diced to around 3/4 inch
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Water as required
1 ounce (1/4 stick) butter
1/2 small red onion, peeled and moderately finely chopped
1 teaspoon plain/all purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
Chopped parsley to garnish

Prepared vegetables and seasonings are added to soup pot


Add the cabbage, potato and green bell pepper to a large soup pot. Season well with salt and pepper and pour in enough cold water to ensure everything is comfortably covered to a depth of about an inch.

Water is added to vegetables, the mix is stirred and brought to a simmer

Stir the mix carefully but well with a wooden spoon and put the pot on to a high heat. When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about twenty-five minutes until the potatoes and cabbage have just softened.

Starting to prepare zafrig, a Croatian soup thickening agent

When the soup has been simmering for about fifteen minutes, it is time to prepare the zafrig - the soup thickening agent. It works on a similar basis to a roux for thickening sauces.

Put the butter and the red onion in to a separate large soup pot and on to a gentle heat to melt the butter. Fry off the onions in the melted butter for a couple of minutes until soft and glistening.

Flour and paprika are added to softened onions in butter

Add the flour and paprika to the butter and onion and stir to form a thick paste. Cook off for a minute or so before adding one ladleful of liquid from the soup to free it up a bit. SImmer as gently as possible for five minutes to cook off the flour.

Cuspajs is ready to be added to zafrig

The cuspajs (soup) now has to be added to the zafrig  (thickener) and not the other way around. For safety reasons and to avoid potentially scorching splashes, this is best done with a ladle.

Cuspajs is carefully ladled in to zafrig

Take your time combining the two components but you should find it won't take long.

Cuspajs and zafrig are stirred together and brought to a simmer

Stir the soup well and bring to a simmer for ten final minutes, stirring occasionally, until the zafrig has done it swork and caused the cuspajs to thicken.

Thickened cuspajs is ready to serve

Ladle the cuspajs in to serving dishes, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.

Cuspajs is carefully ladled in to a soup serving bowl

No comments:

Post a Comment