Cook Eat Slovenia is one of the most successful books on Slovenian cooking aimed at an English-speaking audience, a collection of seasonal recipes that’s a clear and beautifully produced guide to potica, štruklji, gibanica, žlikrofi, kremšnita, mlinci and many more classics of the local table.
As we noted in our review when it was launched in 2019, back when eating out was possible, “the book takes you on a tour of all four seasons and Slovenia’s 24 culinary regions, and with more than 100 dishes over 200+ pages you’re certain to find plenty of old favourites along with some you’ve never heard of. Each recipe is presented alongside a picture of the dish itself – providing inspiration as well as some serving suggestions – and thus the book also works a practical guide to Slovenian cuisine, one that outside the kitchen you can use to spot dishes in the wild and expand the range of items you order from the menu or the market, providing a checklist of things to seek out.”
It's a well-written, well-made book. Photo: Mateja Jordović Potočnik
It's a great book, still available in stores and online, and while in happier days the author – Špela Vodovc – also offers in-person cooking classes and culinary tours, that side of her work has obviously been on hold along with the rest of the travel and tourism industry in Slovenia. Until now, that is, as Špela is coming back with a one-off opportunity to learn how to all make your Easter brighter and more Slovenian.
Photo: Mateja Jordović Potočnik
This year Easter Sunday is on 4 April, and you can prepare for the big day by taking a live, online video class in English with Špela and learn how to make Potica and decorate eggs using natural dye. The class will be hosted on YouTube, thus avoiding the awkwardness of Zoom calls and letting you relax, watch and cook alone, no matter what your wearing or how much you swear as you cook.
The class will take place on Friday 2 April from 17:00 to 20:00, and all you need to do is make sure you have access to a kitchen, a screen with internet access and the ingredients listed at the end of this story. Registration is required, and costs €35 per person, and can be done by clicking on the event under the calendar here.
Look for this
If you can’t make it, then do check out the book and some of the recipes it contains, such as Tarragon Potica, Easter Breakfast - Velikonočni Zajtrk, Three Kinds of Slovenian Easter Eggs and Potato and Pasta, or Grenadirmarš. If you can make the class, then don’t forget to register and make sure you have the following ingredients ready for 17:00 Friday, 2 April 2021.
Prepare and measure ingredients in advance
Place the eggs and yeast at room temperature at least half an hour before baking.
- a) Walnut Potica:
600 g (4 ¼ cups or 21 oz) soft pastry flour
42 g (1.5 oz) fresh yeast or 14 g (0.5 oz) dry yeast
100 g (½ cup or 3.5 oz) sugar
5 g (0.2 oz) salt
1 tbsp rum
300 ml (1 ¼ cups or 10 fl oz) lukewarm milk
8 g (0.3 oz) vanilla sugar
50 g (1.8 oz) butter
4 egg yolks
½ lemon, zested
300 g (11 oz) shelled and grinded walnuts
200 ml (¾ cup or 7 fl oz) milk
100 g (3.5 oz) butter
10 g (0.4 oz) vanilla sugar
120 g (5/8 cup or 4 oz) sugar
2 tbsp rum
½ lemon, zested
1 egg white and 15 g (0.5 oz) sugar for whipped egg white
- You will also need
Potičnik 27 cm (10 inches) across, you can also use 2 oblong baking pan with tall sides, 25x12x7 cm (9.8x4.7x2.7 inches)
Plastic bowl with cover, instead of cover you can also use plastic wrap
Hand electric mixer
Pastry cloth for rolling the dough
Soft pastry flour to facilitate the dough rolling process
Butter for buttering the mould/potičnik or oblong baking pan with tall sides
Caster sugar and a thin wooden stick
- b) Easter eggs
Dry skin of red and brown onions
3 tbsp vinegar
5 rose hip teabags
A few pinches of salt
Different types of grass, leaves and flowers
Stockings, cut in 10x10 cm (4x4 inches) squares
You will also need
2 medium-size cooking pots