Spicy Minced Meat Rolls

This dish is actually Middle Eastern in origin, but the Croatians along with all the other South Slavs now lay claim to this tasty grilled main dish.

Serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder

Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and knead well to bind the meats and spices together. Refrigerate for about 2 hours and then take out and knead well again.Shape into finger-length shapes (just like small sausages) and cook on a grill or in a broiler over a moderate temperature so that they stay juicy. Turn only once and do not pierce. Serve in warmed or grilled Greek-style pita bread on a bed of onions. Also good with kajmak or sour cream, fresh peppers, ajvar and tomatoes.

Dreamy Cream in Puff Pastry


This dessert can compete with the finest Viennese pastries! It is actually popular throughout the Balkans. It takes some effort but the results are well worth it!

Serves 12 to 16

2 cups evaporated 2% milk
2 cups milk
8 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla sugar (or substitute equal parts vanilla and sugar)
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons clear gelatin (Knox)
½ cup cold water
½ cup boiled water
2 cups whipping cream
1 package (16 ounces) puff pastry
powdered sugar for garnish
strawberries for garnish (optional)

Bring the evaporated milk and regular milk to a very gentle boil in a double boiler. While waiting for the milk to boil, in a separate bowl mix together the yolks, granulated sugar and vanilla sugar at medium speed with a mixer. Add flour to the yolk mixture until blended.

Remove 2 cups of milk from the double boiler. Add this milk to the flour mixture while continuously beating at low speed. When blended, return this mixture to the milk still in the double boiler and continue to cook until thick while stirring very frequently.

Mix together gelatin with the cold water, let stand for 1 minute and then add boiling water, mixing well with a fork or small whisk.

Add the gelatin to your custard mixture in the double boiler and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, continually stirring as it thickens. Cool custard in ice water when removed from heat.

In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled custard (make sure the custard has cooled to room temperature before adding the whipped cream). Refrigerate this mixture for about 20 minutes so that it stiffens a bit and is easier to spread.

Trim the edges of the puff pastry sheets to fit a deep tray or baking dish. Place one layer of puff pastry on bottom.

Spread evenly with custard and then place second layer of puff pastry on top, pressing down slightly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Sprinkle with powdered sugar on top prior to serving and cut into oblong pieces. Garnish with strawberry fans or chocolate dipped strawberries if so desired.

Believe it or not, this dessert can be made lower in fat! Replace 2 cups milk with the same amount of skim milk. Leave in the evaporated 2% milk as it stands though. You may also use the "light" version of any whipped topping such as Dream Whip, just prepare according to package directions prior to folding into cooled custard.