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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.

Ingredients

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.

Ingredients

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!

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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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