About "Dine with me"

Come and step into my kitchen. I'll show you my little part of the planet Earth through many tastes and scents. The world, Croatia, Quarner, the past and the present in my plates. Come and dine with me. You'll soon see, it's much more than just a food. It's love...

Let's talk about...my country, Croatia

music: Mojoj lijepoj zemlji Hrvatskoj by Daleka obala

My country, small but beautiful. Shaped like a flying dove. With green and rich plains on its wings, with high mountains from top of head to the end of tail, with beautiful long coast descends towards the Adriatic sea.

It is beautiful to be a tourist in my country. Where ever you go,  you can find lots of great works of nature, still preserved of destroying human hand.

Northern Croatia
Zagorje, Međimurje and Podravina are three regions on western side, full of green hills with vineyards and vineroads. You can relax there in several amazing spa resorts with warm healing waters. Or you can raft on green waters of two rivers, Mura and Drava. It's also interesting way to go east, towards wide and rich plains of Slavonija and Baranja, ultimate eastern end, reaching river Dunav. Lots of water is making this dark soil so fertile that it could feed a half of Europe with grains. In the far past, there was a sea, Panonian sea. That's why soil is so rich there. The remains of Panonian sea you can find still in a few swamp areas, like Lonjsko polje with thousands of birds nesting there, or Kopački rit with lots of animal species living there. From the east to the west you can enjoy various culinary delights in picturesque villages. And you must see their national costume - it's full of lace and old golden coins! Amazing!

Middle Croatia
Going down from nothern Croatia, you are actually climbing up! Deep forrests of mountainous Gorski Kotar with fast rivers and lakes surrounded by meadows and snowy hills during winter, only less then an hour from the Adriatic coast. Can you imagine that feeling skiing down the hill with almost 1 meter of snow and watching at the same time the glow of the sun reflected on the sea surface? Well, you can do it on mountain Platak! And in the summer you can find refreshment on hiking trails through the woods and mountains. Or when everybody is going to a seaside beaches, you can go to the lakes with beautiful falls, like those on Plitvice lakes in Lika region. You can climb high hills of Velebit and Dinara, or if you have an interest for speleology, the whole region is full of caves.

Coastal Croatia 
Finally, you're going downhills and within a blink of an eye, you will find yourself looking at the amazing blue-and-green heaven. Mountains of Gorski kotar, Velebit and Dinara dissapear in turquoise color of the Adriatic sea, grading to deep blue, but still wanting to cath the last breath, leaving more than 12 hundred islands like a pearls alongside coast. Those island really were peaks of the hills long, long time ago untill melting of ice after the last ice age. The Adriatic sea was then finally shaped and became the most beautiful part of Mediteranean sea. The climate mixture of both mediteranean and mountain type makes this part of the world so pleasant to live - mild winters, but often with a little bit of snow, even on islands, warm and beautiful summers, with hot but never too hot days and warm nights, and sea temperature 23-26°C from june till september. A scent of wild herbs on poor soil is melting in a salty scent of blue water rich with fish - and that's the main scent of traditional dishes from Istria, Liburnia, Kvarner all down to the south part of Dalmatia.

And that, all that is my country. Deep in my heart.

"Šugo" in the old, quarnerian way

music: Kvarneriana by Vivien Galetta and Voljen Grbac on MIK festival 2009 

When the clouds close up the sky above the mountain Učka and the sea rises up all foamy and white, when lightnings and thunders, together with heavy raindrops melt together in one the sea and the sky - that's our true quarnerian storm "nevera s Kvarnera"!
What else can you do than take a bowl, and cook slowly, in oldfashion way, our fine "šugo" with polenta.
And when this strong but short summer storm vanishes, there's nothing more beautiful than the look on the Bay of Quarner right beside a full plate of tasteful homemade dish...

mountain Učka in Quarner, just after the quarnerian storm
In the past there were lots of herds of goats and sheep on the sloaps of mountain Učka. Therefore, the meat of those animals was the most usual ingredient for lots of dishes. For this particular dish it would be good to have a goatling meat, but if not, beef would do just fine.


50 dag nice lowfat beef or goatling meat
1 dl of olive oil
1 large onion
1-2 carrots
slice of celery root
15 dag of bacon
5 dl of red wine
1 teaspoon of ground sweet pepper (paprika)
3 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp quarnerian herbs - parsley, celery, rosemary, lavender, basil, bay leaf
 water to add during cooking
Salt and pepper


Cut the meat into cubes.
Cut onions and bacon in small pieces, wash and grate carrots and celery, chop finely garlic and herbs .
In a bowl (with lid) heat the olive oil. Fry onions on it briefly. Add meat and fry it short. Add some salt to help the meat to soften. Cover bowl and reduce heat so meat will release its juice.
Then add the carrots, celery, garlic, paprika and bacon, pour good wine, stir and cover again.
The heat must be completely reduceed to stew very slowly. Occasionally add some water and stir every time. The right home šugo "šufiga" quite a long time until all ingredients pervade at least 1.5 to 2 hours.
Toward the end, add herbs, pepper and if necessary some salt. Again add some water. Cover and cook for another ten minutes to thicken the meal.


Along with this "šugo" - version of goulash from croatian quarnerian coast (or maybe vice versa) - it is best to serve polenta, either common or baked, or polenta "kompirica" (polenta with potato) that in Quarner and Grobnik is usually cooked, and homemade pasta will also fit perfectly.

My original recipe in croatian is on Coolinarika - "Šugo po starinsku z Kvarnera"

Egg on chard in a sandwich

Ingredients for 1 person

2 eggs
a bunch of chard
1 tablespoon of olive oil
half of teaspoon of spice mixture of Kvarner 
or Vegeta Mediterranean spicemix
little bit of salt and pepper
1 slice of bread


Prepare the nonstick pan with a lid.
Wash the chard, drain slightly and cut into thin strips. Do not throw the white parts of the leaves! Cut them also.
In a pan - warm up the olive oil and throw the chard on it. Add spice mixture and stir. Reduce heat and cover the pan - water that is retained on the leaves from washing is quite enough to boil a chard a little.
As soon as all the liquid wither, throw two eggs on the chard, add salt and pepper according to your taste, cover and fry until all the eggwhite is "squeezed". The lid will keep the hot air in the pan, so eggs will be nice and quickly fried from the top .
Cut a slice of bread and warm it up briefly at the hot pan, and put on it fried eggs with chard.


A flavor of this simple and quick "sandwich", wich is tipical for coastal croatian region (especially Kvarner), will be completed with tasty scent of fresh tomatoes with a drop of good olive oil ... and a glass of local wine too...

My original recipe in croatian is on   Coolinarika - "Jaje na blitvi - primorski snack"