Finally a new post. Almost one month has gone by since the last one. Lots of things have happened in the meantime: Easter, the royal wedding (which means holiday in the UK), my sister came to visit me in Oxford, Michele went on a research cruise in the South Pacific and I went back to Italy for a week. But the most important thing is that I got a job! YAY! On one side this means less time available for cooking and publishing new recipes, but, come on, I finally have a job!
Today’s recipe is perfect for a BBQ. Here in England people are rightly crazy about BBQs. As soon as days get a bit longer and warmer, shops start to sell these incredible portable BBQs. They are made by an aluminium box filled with charcoal and a sheet of paper impregnated with some sort of flammable substance. You need only a lighter, a park, some company and obviously some meat. This is one of the little things that I like about England.
Feeling a bit homesick we decided to have a BBQ as you would have it in Trieste, but since we are too far away from the Adriatic sea, we opted for the Thames. We cooked cevapcici (also called civa or ciba), a Balkan sausage made of minced meat and lots of garlic. They are originally from the Balkan region and are considered a national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia, but they are also highly esteemed in Trieste where they are very popular for BBQs.
They are often eaten with Ajvar, a sauce made principally of red peppers and sliced raw onions.
CEVAPCICI WITH AJVAR
For about 20 cevapcici:
230 g beef, minced
270 g lamb, minced
50 g bacon, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
salt, about ½ tablespoon
black pepper powder, about 1 teaspoon
In a large bowl mix together the minced meat, bacon, garlic cloves and onion finely chopped, salt, black pepper and mix well to bind the meats and spices together. Shape into finger-length sausages and cook on a grill or on a BBQ. Turn only once and do not pierce. Serve with Ajvar.
For the Ajvar:
1 pepper (red, about 150 g)
1 small potato
1 dried chilly pepper
1 garlic clove
150 g tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Cut the peppers in quarters and place them on a baking tray. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 20 min. Rinse the peppers under cold water (this should make them easy to peal), chop them and put them in a tall container. In the meantime boil the potato, peel it and add it to the peppers. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute, peel them, cut them in half, eliminate the seeds and add them to the container. Add the chopped garlic, chopped onion, chilly, salt and black pepper. Blend to a smooth paste and add the olive oil. Use as a dipping sauce for the cevapcici.
Apparently cevapcici are also famous in the South Pacific. Michele has been served them on board the research ship that is taking him from New Zealand to Australia, via the Tonga oceanic trench.