Bread and Bacon Stuffing

Have some old bread that you don’t know what to do with but don’t want to throw away?

We’ll teach you how to spice it up with some bacon and other stuff to make a delicious stuffing for a bird roast.

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This is one of the best ways to use up old bread and to make your Sunday family dinner a little more special than it already is. If you still have some left, consider cinnamon french toast for desert 😉

Traditionally, this stuffing is served with turkey on Christmas as a part of Croatian culinary heritage. Great thing is that you can use this stuffing with any bird of your choice: chicken, turkey, duck… Just add sauce or gravy of your choice with a vegetable salad on the side and your family will be very grateful.

This recipe is part of Foodies+ Christmas Recipes from Around the World cookbook, amazing cookbook with over 400 pages that shares many recipes you can use all year round.

Tools you need

  • Chef’s knife to cut onion, bacon and parsley
  • Cutting board to, yes, cut things on it 🙂
  • Mixing bowls. You’ll need to mix all the ingredients somewhere.
    Make sure bowls you use are adequately sized. There are few things worse than overflowing bowls.
  • Measuring spoons to, you know, measure things with them
  • Spatula makes mixing things into other things easier
  • Frying pan to fry onions, garlic and pancetta.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 slices pancetta/bacon
  • 3 slices of soft white bread
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 2 eggs
  • finely chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

Preparation

  1. Tear the bread into rough cubes and place in a shallow bowl.
  2. Drizzle the cold milk on and let them soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Finely chop the onion, garlic, pancetta and parsley.
  4. Whisk the eggs with a fork  in a separate bowl.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium high heat and fry the onion, garlic and pancetta until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes and set aside.
  6. Squeeze the bread to get rid of the milk and place in a bowl.
  7. Tip the fried ingredients into the bowl with the bread.
  8. Add whisked eggs, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well until combined.
  9. Stuff your chosen bird with it and cook according to the relevant recipe.

What do you do with old bread?

Croatian Chicken Paprikash

Hungarians once ruled Slavonia, eastern continental part of Croatia. They must have had a great taste in food because you can still see their influence in Slavonia’s cuisine. Using liberal amounts of paprika and garlic, the cuisine is spicier than anywhere in Croatia. Also, if you want to make this dish really authentic, shop for a good, heavy cauldron and use open fire. It can make a great camping dish. Be responsible with fire.

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Chicken Paprikash is one of the most prepared stews in Croatia, along with two other spicy stews, Fish Paprikash and Čobanac. You should try them all when you get the chance. But first thing first…

Tools you need

  • Chef’s knife to cut all the vegetables
  • Large pot, about three liters or more to fit all the ingredients
  • Cutting board to, yes, cut things on it 🙂
  • Ladle to scoop the paprikash out of the pot and onto the plate once it’s ready
  • Peeler to peel the carrots
  • Measuring spoons if you’re a perfectionist and don’t want to guesstimate the spices 😉

Ingredients

Servings: 4-6 people

  • 1 kg chicken piece (breasts, back… with bones and skin)
  • 2 large onions, finely minced
  • 3 large red peppers
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 3 teaspoons sweet ground paprika (red, dry)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon chilli or hot paprika
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 300 ml water or chicken broth
  • Vegeta seasoning to taste (usually from half a teaspoon to a tablespoon or more)
    You’ll find Vegeta seasoning often in Croatian recipes, especially stews and soups. It gives them a distinctive aroma that’s hard to replicate without it. It contains a mix of finely cut dried vegetables and spices. It’s also salty so you may want to put it in and give it a taste before adding salt.

Croatian Chicken Paprikash

There are many variation of this stew in Croatia. In Zagreb area instead of serving it with pasta, people add potatoes or home-made dumplings. But in Slavonia, they make it spicy and serve with noodles.

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  2. Add 2 large onions finely minced and sauté them until they are soft and transparent.
  3. Add chopped red peppers and carrots cut into slices.
  4. Chop the chicken into small pieces. Add chicken pieces and sauté it until the meat is white.
  5. Add wine and sauté it for 5 more minutes.
  6. Spice the stew with sweet and hot paprika, salt and pepper. The spicier, the better!
  7. Add water or chicken broth to cover the chicken.
  8. Cook for 50 minutes or until chicken is soft on low heat.

Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes!
As a salad, we recommend pickled red beet 🙂

Enjoy!

Hot Cheesy Crab Dip

Great party food or a perfect snack for a movie night!

I tried it at work when my colleague was nice enough to share her lunch with me (it’s a nice lunch too). I immediately fell in love with it and made some for Zvonimir and me the next weekend for our movie night. The dip is full of flavour and blends perfectly with crispy crackers.

Experiment and report back on your findings 😉

Crab Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix: Provolone, Mozzarella, Parmesan and Emmental
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 120 g crab meat, drained

Serve with crackers and/or fresh cut-up vegetables (carrots, celery sticks…). Don’t forget a glass of fine wine 😉

Preparation

Heat oven to 350°F.
Mix cream cheese product and dressing until blended.
Reserve 1 tbsp each shredded cheese and onions for garnish.
Add remaining shredded cheese, onions and crab meat to cream cheese mixture and mix well.
Spread onto bottom of baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake for 15 min, stirring after 10 min.
Garnish with reserved shredded cheese and onions.

Let’s get dipping! 🙂