Monday, January 9, 2012

Slovenian Dinner Week 1

*Cucumber Salad
 Serbian Corn Bread
 Christmas Potica (aka Slovenian Nut Roll)

Here it is!  This was my inaugural menu for the Josephine and Jožefa project.  The first week of January, I set out to begin my year of cooking ethnically.  Or, to be more exact, Slovenian-ly.

What to say about this first menu?  I decided to make a main dish and a side dish from Woman's Glory. Those are the starred dishes.  For the stuffed cabbage, an old favorite, I tried to combine the best of the three or four versions offered.  Naturally, I made a few changes.  I couldn't bring myself to use 2/3 cup of fat to saute the onion!  As for the filling . . . well, we are not big meat eaters, but I  figured I could go along with the pork and beef. But we draw the line at veal in our house, so I substituted ground turkey for that part of the mix.

I figured I would "cheat" with dessert, since I still had leftover Christmas potica. The Serbian cornbread and coleslaw, also leftover, were extra.  I figured they fit pretty well, ethnically speaking.  Besides, the spirit of these vintage American ethnic cookbooks was practical and eclectic. You used what was at hand.

I will be posting the recipes soon.  My Slovenian-style stuffed cabbage is still a work in progress. (This version came out tasty but under spiced.) The cucumber salad was quick and easy: sliced cucumbers, sour cream mixed with yogurt and garlic, along with a little paprika, probably the one Slovenian touch.

As for the potica?  That's the one and only Slovenian food I grew up eating and preparing. You can find my potica recipe included in a long essay I wrote over on my  more "literary" blog.  It's called Potica, Bread of Memory.

This year's Christmas potica included one new touch: I added dried cranberries.  This might not seem like much of a stretch, since many versions do include raisins.  But my family doesn't do that.   So it was a bold move on my part.  Pretty well received, too.  


  1. There is also lenten version of cabbage rolls. Instead of meat you add mushrooms, because in some regions it is Christmas Eve dish it's with dried mushrooms, but fresh one should be delicious too.
    As for a cucumber salad I add cucumber, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and salt, so it's quite sweet, but I love it. My father prefers version with only sour cream, salt and pepper. I know some people eat it with onions, but I couldn't. I'm just too used to my mom's.

  2. Thanks, Magda! There is a lovely little Polish restaurant here in CA where we often eat. I love their cabbage rolls.

  3. Blair, WHERE is that Polish restaurant from a man in Marin? My beloved Hamilton Cafe closed where he made terrific cabbage rolls being a CroatianI believe.

  4. Hello, man from Marin :-) Thanks for reading! That restaurant is called Chopin Cafe, in a strip mall in Walnut Creek. My mother lives in a retirement community near there and it's become one of our favorite lunch haunts. A sweet little lunch room, serves breakfast and lunch. Great bigos (Polish hunter's stew), stuffed cabbage, pierogies, blintzes. Nice folks run it, all from Poland.

  5. Here is the website for the Chopin Cafe: