June 12, 2010

6/13: Serbia v Ghana, Slovenia v Algeria

The Cevap is the official snack of Serbia, typically served on lepinja flatbreads, a recipe we've included below. They are bit like meatballs, a bit like gyro meat, but have a distinct Balkan flavor that comes from the lamb and paprika. Today we serve them on a bed of traditional Ghanian rice.
Potica is a traditional Slovenian holiday dish served as a meal or a snack. These thin filled rolls of dough can be served with everything from bacon and eggs to ice cream and cheese, warm or cold. Prefer to order yours online? The Prebonich Family of the Italian Bakery in Virginia, Minnesota will ship Potica to anywhere in the world. Order at 
Travel to the Middle East or Northern Africa and you will be offered ample tea. It's scandalous not to offer tea or coffee to guests! Mint tea is particularly popular in Northern Africa where it is sweetened with honey and often taken with goat's milk.
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground beef
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 T sweet Hungarian paprika

Sauté the onion and garlic in oil until soft. Meanwhile, mix lamb, beef, egg and spices in a bowl. When ready, add the onion and mix well. Shape into small cylinders and refrigerate for at least 1 hr before grilling.

Lepinja (Serbian Flat Bread)
2 1/4 C Bread flour
4 tsp active dry yeast
1 T sugar
1/2 T salt
4 T warm water
2 T warm milk

Let yeast stand in warm water with sugar and salt until dissolved and foamy. Once nice and frothy, add the warm milk and knead until no longer sticky. Cover and proof until it about doubles in size. Divide dough into 8 balls, shape into disks and bake on a baking stone (or cookie sheet if you don't have one) at 400F for ~30 min until golden brown.

Jollof rice
2 T coconut/vegetable oil/butter (scoop the top solids from a can of coconut milk)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatoes
~½ of fresh chili (yellow peppers such as the adjuma are commonly used in Africa, but an habanero will do)
1 T tomato paste
2 T curry powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 C long grain rice or basmati rice
~2 C stock (vegetable, chicken or meat)

Sauté the chopped onion in oil/butter until soft, then add the garlic, tomatoes and chili. Simmer the tomatoes, breaking down into a sauce, until most liquid is gone. Pour in the rice and brown. Add paste and seasonings. Slowly add the stock as needed, simmering, until the rice is fluffy and has absorbed all the liquid ~15 min.

Slovenian potica with Algerian Etzai (honeyed mint tea)
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 C milk, lukewarm
4T + 1 tsp sugar
5C + 3 T AP flour
1 C butter
6 egg yolks
1 1/3 C milk
1 cup butter, melted
12 ounces honey
2 cups raisins
1 1/2 pounds chopped walnuts
1 pinch ground cinnamon

Oven: 350F

Lightly grease one large baking sheet. Dissolve yeast in 4 T warm milk and stir in 1 tsp sugar and 3 T flour. Cream 1 C butter with 4 T sugar, add yolks and then yeast. Add 5 C sifted flour, 1 1/3 cup milk and a pinch of salt. Beat dough for 10 minutes or until bubbles form. Cover with flour and let rise 2 hours.
Cut dough in half and roll out each half as thin as possible on floured surface. Spread with melted butter, honey, raisins, walnuts and cinnamon. Roll up like jelly roll, place on baking sheet, allow to rise and then bake for one hour.        
Photo: GuidetoSlovenia.com

Etzai (Mint Tea)
1 1/1 T green tea
Handful of fresh mint leaves
You can use a tea pot, tea spoon or french press to steep the mint and tea. Sweeten to taste with honey.

Prefer to eat out instead? Our Houston Dining Guide tells you where and why.


  1. Cevap is amazing! I've had it at Cafe Pita and never thought it'd be so easy to make at home. Thanks for posting this great recipe!

  2. Another somewhat overlooked Ethiopian restaurant is Addisaba, 7668 De Moss. Similar to but different from better known Blue Nile. I really appreciate the amount of research it must be taking to provide all of this info - no mean feat!! :-)

  3. Thanks Analog Girl! We love researching food so it's been fun. A great opportunity to get to know some new restaurants in town and global cuisines.