Lovers of good food, we share with you the recipe for the most authentic dish from our local environment.
Žlikrofi: Proven recipe in your home kitchen
Text: Helena Pregelj Tušar
Photo: Gabriele Cutini, Aleš Fevžer, Lucia Biondic
Do you like traditional dishes from simple ingredients which are also special and require some craft skills and time for preparation? Do you love to cook and eat good food? Maybe we have already convinced you with Idrija cuisine at Kendov Dvorec and now you have found some time to try some ancient proven recipe in your home kitchen?
We share with you this recipe for Idrija žlikrofi, the most authentic dish from our local environment. Idrija žlikrofi date from the time when preparation of food took place without household appliances and when knowledge was passed from one generation to another by observation. The inventiveness of Idrija housewives in humble conditions of Idrija mining basin brought about a delicious dish from dough and potato filling. Most ingredients: potato, onions, chives, marjoram, Idrija women found on their domestic garden or at their neighbour farmer. Since the preparation required quite a lot of time and patience, žlikrofi had always been considered a Sunday or holiday dish.
Klavdij Pirih, Kendov Dvorec restaurant chef
“Although we all follow the same recipe, every person prepares žlikrofi a little bit differently. Each maker adds to žlikrofi some personal touch,” says Kendov Dvorec chef Klavdij Pirih.
Idrija žlikrofi differ from other filled dumplings in the method of preparation, filling and characteristic design which vaguely resembles Napoleon’s hat. In Slovenian cuisine Idrija žlikrofi have so important role that since 2002 they are protected at the national level and since 2010 even at the European one.
RECIPE FOR IDRIJA ŽLIKROFI
For preparation of Idrija žlikrofi you need:
- up to 300 g flour
- 1-2 eggs
- oil, water or milk, as needed to make soft dough
- 500 g potato
- up to 50 g greaves lard or smoked chopped bacon
- up to 50 g onions
- black pepper
1. Preparation of dough
Mix together flour, eggs and water or milk and knead into a dough, softer than noodle dough. Knead until the dough becomes smooth, elastic, and does not stick to hands and the kneading board. If you cut the dough in two, its inside should be thick without any holes. Then form a round loaf and cover it to prevent it from drying. Let it rest for at least half an hour. Then thinly roll the rested dough.
2. Preparation of filling
Idrija žlikrofi filling is made of boiled potatoes mashed while still warm. Add salt and fat (greaves, lard, fried bacon) to the mashed potato. Then add fried onions, herbs and spices (marjoram, chives, pepper and salt). Well mix together all ingredients and quickly knead into a soft mixture. The filling must not be crumbly, therefore you should add fat, if necessary. Shape the filling into even balls the size of hazelnuts and place them on the dough.
Place the balls of filling on rolled dough with sufficient space between them (one finger apart). Cut the dough between the balls horizontally and vertically. Then fold the dough over and press down between the balls of filling, forming “ears”. In the top of each individual žlikrof make a little hollow, so that the dough does not tear. Thus Idrija žlikrofi get their characteristic hat shape. Typical Idrija žlikrof size: 3 cm in length and 2 cm in height – height is measured at the centre, while the ends are slightly higher.
Put žlikrofi in boiling salted water, stir and cover. When they float to the surface and the water starts boiling again, they are cooked. Take them from the hot water and serve immediately.
5. Way of serving
In Idrija, žlikrofi were usually served with bakalca, traditional mutton goulash. At Kendov Dvorec we also serve them with deer, veal shank, rabbit or young beef on a hot plate. In vegetarian option they are harmoniously combined on a plate with butter, sage and parmesan.
Regardless of what company you will give them in your home kitchen, we wish you to succeed in their preparation. Your loved ones will be impressed when you surprise them with Idrija žlikrofi. The Kendov Dvorec team will be happy to see photos of žlikrofi from your kitchen.
Do you know how to correctly eat žlikrofi? We at Idrija say, that you must have one in your mouth, the second one on the fork in front you and you look for the third one to be selected from your plate.