Croatian Cooking: Zagorski Štrukli
Strukli or maybe better said Zagorski strukli is a popular traditional dish in Croatia. The easiest way to describe them is that these tasty treats are a phyllo dough filled with fresh cottage cheese.
Making the phyllo dough by yourself could seem like too big of a challenge, but believe you me that after few times of making this dough, you are going to stretch it so thin that you could read a newspaper under it.
Also, don’t worry much if the dough breaks a few times while stretching because you are going to roll it and cover all those little holes you might make. Nowadays there are lots of different types of filling so feel free to experiment and make it just the way you like it the most. Also, I’m not going to tell you the name but, in Zagreb, you can find a restaurant that serves only strukli and you won’t regret eating a lunch there if you are ever in Zagreb.
Vedran's Croatian cooking lesson for you today is Zagorski Štrukli, a cheesy dish from the Zagorje region of Croatia.
- 500 g all purpose flour (3 1/2 cups)
- 5 Tbls. oil
- 300 ml warm water (1 1/4 cup)
- 1 Tbls. white vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- Extra oil
- 500 g fresh cottage cheese (2 1/4 cups)
- 100 g butter (7 Tbls.)
- 100 ml sour cream (1/3 cup)
- Make the dough: mix together the flour and salt and then pour in warm water, vinegar, and oil. Knead the dough with hands until it's smooth-it should be smooth and elastic, not too soft and sticky. Brush the dough with oil and cover and place in a warm spot for 30 minutes
- Prepare the filling: Mix together the fresh cottage cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper
- Take a clean tablecloth and dust with some flour. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until thin and then begin stretching it with your palms and tip of your fingers. Stretch it from the middle until you make it very thin, almost that you can see through it. Cut out thick edges
- Sprinkle the dough with melted butter. Put the filling over the one side of the dough. Roll it, using the tablecloth
- Using your hands, separate the dough into equal parts and cut them with a plate. Cutting with a plate is a great way to firmly seal the edges and ensure the filling doesn't pour out
- Cook the strukli in heated and salted water for around 2-3 minutes until they float to the top. (Just like gnocchi)
- You can serve the strukli when cooked in the salted water - though there are also a few other ways of serving them. One way is to bake the strukli covered with sour cream for 15 minutes on 200C, alternately heat a little butter in a pan with some breadcrumbs and add the strukli to the pan for a minute just enough time to coat them with buttery crumbs
Want to freeze the Zagorski Štrukli? Then, just freeze them after boiling them. Then when you are ready to eat them, remove them from the deep freeze, thaw slightly, and prepare them as desired.