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Euro 2012 Cooking Challenge – Croatia and Germany

Today has been fabulous. Despite weather reports warning of record levels of rainfall, I headed down to the beautiful Dorset coastline with my class for a day at the beach. The scenery was stunning and this part of the world is definitely on my list of places to revisit this summer!

Right, back to the kitchen…

I sat down this week and planned exactly what I was going to make for each country’s dish as part of my Euro 2012 cooking challenge. Whilst all the recipes sound delicious, and I am really looking forward to trying them all, I do feel that I have my hands full and I started wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew (excuse the foodie pun!)

Looking at my diary for the next few weeks, I worked out that I don’t actually have enough free evenings to cook a different dish every night and write about it so I made a decision to combine a few different countries in posts in order to complete the challenge in time for the final.

By this, I don’t mean that I will be creating a new fusion style of cooking but rather that I will serve a starter from one country and a main course from another.

Tonight’s post is a German-Croatian affair…

Croatian Chicken Paprikash

I have to admit that Croatia was one of the countries I struggled to find a tasty recipe for, but this dish is a clear winner! The heat of the chilli and paprika is calmed by the sour cream, and you could serve it with whatever you fancied; vegetables, rice, pasta or potatoes.

This recipe served 4 people.


A glug of olive oil

1-2 onions, chopped

4 chicken breasts

150ml of white wine

3 teaspoons of paprika

Half a teaspoon of chilli powder

Salt and pepper

3-4 tablespoons of sour cream

How to make it

  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions until they have softened and have started to turn transparent
  • Add the chicken breasts and sauté for about 5 minutes
  • Add the wine and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add the paprika, chilli, salt and pepper and watch the sauce turn a lovely, rich, red colour
  • Cook for about 20 minutes and then add the sour cream and cook for another few minutes, stirring constantly
  • I served mine with mushroom rice and some greens

German Apfelstrudel

Strudels are one of my favourite bakery treats and very popular in Germany and Austria.

I think they are a very versatile pudding as if you aren’t too keen on apple you can jazz it up by adding another fruit or some nuts, or substitute them completely for another fruit.


1 sheet of puff pastry

2 apples, chopped (I recommend a slightly tart variety, such as Granny Smiths)

A squeeze of lemon juice (to stop the apples browning and give a refreshing twist)

3 tablespoons of sugar

A handful of sultanas (optional)

A teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)

A pinch of plain flour

Milk and brown sugar

How to make it

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 180°C/ Gas Mark 4
  • In a bowl, mix together the apples, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon
  • Pop the bowl in the microwave for 1 minute to slightly soften the apples
  • Stir in the sultanas and add the flour
  • Roll out your puff pastry sheet and with the shortest side facing you spoon the apple mixture on the bottom half of the pastry, keeping about 1 inch away from the edge
  • Roll up the strudel like a swiss roll and place on a baking tray with the joining seam on the bottom
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the strudel with milk and sprinkle some brown sugar over the top (this will add a lovely crunch!)
  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown
  • Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream

This was absolutely delicious and made all the more sweet by England’s win!


About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

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