What is restani krumpir?
Restani krumpir is a typical breakfast dish or light lunch in Croatia. It consists of fried potatoes with onions, paprika and sometimes diced bacon. It is often served with sausages. Restani krumpir is prepared in the winter in anticipation of cold days, it can also be served with sauerkraut, a green salad, beans or beets.
In Croatia the sausages that accompany restani krumpir are called cevapi (cevapcici). They are often prepared from a mixture of beef and lamb that confirms the Ottoman origin of this type of preparations. Traditionally these rolls of minced meat are not wrapped in casings, however the more current versions are shaped like conventional sausages.
There is a festival dedicated to cevapi. These are shaped like kebabs, placed on steel skewers and barbecued. Steel is a much better heat conductor than wood, and thus ensures even cooking of meat. Local boudin sausages can also be served with restani krumpir.
What is the origin of restani krumpir?
Potato was introduced to Croatia by German immigrants from the time of Maria Theresa of Austria (1740-1780). The Germans from Swabia (Baden-Württemberg) named it potato. The Balkans quickly adopted potato and it became a staple of the Balkan tables with bell peppers, sweet peppers and tomatoes, that were marvels from the New World.
Then, restani krumpir was a family dish to share for breakfast, but now it is associated with street food and fast food. It garnishes fried eggs, grilled fish or barbecued meat.
How to make restani krumpir?
To prepare restani krumpir, potatoes must be brushed and then cooked with their skins in a large amount of water. Always start boiling potatoes in cold water. You can check that they are cooked by piercing one potato with a knife. If it slides from the blade without effort then it is done. Once drained, potatoes are immediately immersed in a bowl of ice water.
Once cold, they can be cut into regular slices. Keeping the skin of potatoes provides firmer texture but also better taste. Sweat slices of onion and diced bacon separately in a little oil. In some versions, oil is replaced by fat like lard. Add paprika, which brings a nice red-orange hue to the dish and then finish with potatoes, salt and pepper. The preparation is gently mixed and then simmered for about fifteen minutes.
Potatoes should remain slightly firm. You can enjoy hot restani krumpir with sausages that are grilled or boiled in water. This dish can easily be kept warm for a few minutes or simply reheated.
What are the variants of restani krumpir?
If paprika plays a great part in restani krumpir, it is not uncommon for this dish to be perfumed with aromatic herbs. Sage, thyme or rosemary complement potatoes really well. These associations are known throughout the Mediterranean and are found from one potato salad to another.
This Croatian recipe can also be eaten cold, in this case it is better not to add diced bacon.
- 2 lb potatoes
- 1 large onion , thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons diced bacon (optional)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Cook the potatoes with their skin in about 10 cups of water for 25 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and place them in a bowl of very cold water, optionally with some ice cubes.
- Let them cool for 20 minutes.
- Peel the potatoes and slice them.
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil and cook the onion slices and bacon for about 7 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the paprika, stir, and add the potato slices.
- Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
- Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- The potatoes should be cooked but remain slightly firm.
- Serve hot with sausages.