Last Summer Lunch

Hello, chefs! 😋

We're already in October, summer has given way to autumn, sometimes earlier, sometimes later, but I would go back a month and a half or so when we were strolling carefree and uncommitted along the coast and enjoying the summer heat.
When my family and I were at the seaside for the last week of our holiday, I told myself that I would do my best to remember the family holidays we had spent together.

This post is initiated by @beeber's Weekly Ecency Discord posting topic, this week Favorite food.

I had already gone out for fish in the morning, to a maritime village a few kilometers away (Å imuni, island of Pag, Croatia), and two fishing boats had just arrived with their catch.
I was a bit late, there were quite a few people waiting for fresh fish.

Lucky it was a good catch, so they still have some left :)

I bought three orada fish (gilt-head bream or Sparus Aurata) and one kilo of prawns, that will be enough.
There are four of us, but my elder son had already left a few days earlier to go somewhere else.
One fish and a couple of prawns for each of us. Yes, it's not a feast, but there will be other dishes, so no panic or hunger :)

It's more important that everything is fresh, straight from the sea.

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As soon as I got back, I cleaned the fish and put it in the fridge.
I went for a little swim until the sun started to come out, then I retreated to the shade, to the caravan, with a cold beer, of course, somehow it's easier to make plans if you have a beer in hand :) 🍺 😎

And then I slowly started.

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Greek Tzatziki is a great side dish for almost any meal, but it's also good as a spread on bread (fresh or toasted) or as a salad.
The recipe is very simple, very few ingredients are needed:

  • 2 cucumbers (these are the ones that grew in my garden)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of yogurt (200-300 g) or sour cream
  • a tablespoon or two of dill (fresh is better, unfortunately, I didn't get any)
  • a teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • and of course (obligatory) olive oil, which is not shown in the picture

Wash, peel, and grate the cucumber into a metal or plastic container. Then squeeze out the water, put them in a sieve and wait a few minutes for most of the water to drain.

Take a few cloves of garlic, peel, and grate it.

Add the garlic, a spoonful of dill, and the cream or yogurt to the pickles. Squeeze and add lemon juice and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

And that's it.
Of course, you can add more or less yoghurt or olive oil and spices to suit your taste. But that's kind of how the recipe for Tadziki goes.
Put it in the fridge, for an hour or two, because the colder it is, the better.

Let's move on.

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Mashed potatoes with chard

This is a typical Dalmatian side dish served alongside fish, but can also be served with meat dishes. In our area, this is also often on the table, as potatoes and chard are available almost all year round. It is delicious hot or cold.

The potatoes are from my own field, we always take them with us to the seaside, and I bought the chard at the market.

Again, very simple to prepare and few ingredients are needed. It is interesting to me that only the locals eat it here.
In restaurants, they only offer you French fries next to the fish, and only if you ask for it especially do they prepare it for you.

We need, roughly, three people:

  • half a kilo of potatoes
  • half a kilo of chard
  • a couple of cloves of garlic
  • one teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • a tablespoon or two (more rather than less) of olive oil

Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into pieces. Wash the chard and cut in half.
Put everything in a pot, add water and bring to the boil for about 15 minutes to cook the potatoes and chard (until the potatoes are soft).
Drain the water.

Peel and chop a few garlic cloves.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pot, add the garlic first, then as soon as the garlic smells fragrant, add the potatoes and chard.
Here we must be careful not to burn the garlic as it will destroy the dish, reduce the heat and stir and mash everything together slowly.
Add salt and pepper to taste and olive oil, if desired.
The dish is ready, it must be cooled.

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Have I forgotten anything else?
Ah, the main course. Fish and prawns.

First I need to fry the fish. I take the cleaned and cooled fish out of the fridge.

I season them briefly with salt and roll them in flour.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over a high heat, preferably olive oil, and add the fish. 4 minutes on one side and four minutes on the other.

Well, it depends on how much fish we have, in the main it should be firm and not too fall apart.

In the end, I was left with prawns.

To prepare the stewed prawns in sauce, or "prawns on buzara" as the dish is called, you need:

  • kilo of prawns
  • a tablespoon or two of breadcrumbs
  • a bunch of parsley
  • a bunch of garlic
  • two tablespoons of olive oil
  • one or two deciliters of white wine

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and parsley to smell and immediately afterwards the prawns to stew for up to five minutes. Pour in the white wine and leave for another five minutes.

Add the breadcrumbs. The prawns will release some more sea water, there is no need to add salt. When the wine has boiled and the prawns have turned a little redder, the dish is ready.
If desired, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Finally, the end of cooking.
All the dishes are ready, baked fish, prawns on buzara, mashed potatoes with chard and Tadziki side dish.

Now just serve :) 😋

It took me a while to prepare the last summer lunch, but I am satisfied. This summer will be remembered for that.
In two days we went home to cooler places.

Once again, all these dishes are extremely simple, with few ingredients and spices, no great skill is needed, anyone can make it.
The key to all the dishes is fresh ingredients and then everything will work.

Thank you for your attention and happy cooking!

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