The book revolves around the events of a barbecue, and while they were traumatic occurrences for the characters involved, as a foodie I couldn’t help but drool over the descriptions of their meal!
Vid, the character responsible for the dishes, jokes about roasting a pig on a spit – not necessary the Slovenian way, but his way nonetheless. During the barbecue, there is not a clear description of what type of pork dish he actually prepares, so this was left up to a bit of interpretation.
We went with The Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork with Cilantro-Jalapeno Slaw. My mom and I pretty much followed the recipe, with a little less chipotle in adobo in the pork (and we are usually the type to double spice, not cut it!) and the addition of lime to the slaw.
Another of Vid’s dishes that the character’s fall in love with is a savory cheese strudel. Going off of the minimal detail in the book and our own research on Slovenian foods and ingredients – and a bit of our own preferences – we devised an original recipe.
Vid’s Savory Cheese Strudel
10-14 sheets thin phyllo dough
32 oz. small curd cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 stick of butter (melted)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground sage
Fresh lemon thyme
Dried or fresh sage leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make two strudels by layering 5 to 7 sheets of phyllo dough each. Divide filling among two sets of phyllo. Fold in ends and roll up both strudels. Place them side-by-side into a greased baking dish, then cover with 1/2 stick of melted butter. Place in oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until nice and golden. Serve with dried or fresh sage leaves on top as garnish.
With a stockpile of phyllo dough (not knowing how many attempts it would take to perfect our cheese strudel), we thought we’d perhaps also make our own dessert pastry as well, but decided to take a different approach: we picked up a Napoleon from Moscow Deli, a local spot serving up Soviet favorites, and garnished it with some strawberries.
In another nod to the book for those familiar, one of our appetizers was a tiny wheel of brie cheese!
Hope you enjoyed this foodie journey through Truly Madly Deeply – even though I’m posting it six months later! Our next book is Crazy Rich Asians, which from just a few pages in, I know will give excellent inspiration that I’ll share – eventually!