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Serbian Cevapcici, Djuvec "Rice"

Djuvec is the national dish of Serbia. If you've ever been to a Balkan restaurant, you probably know it as the popular side dish "Djuvec rice". After our success using cauliflower as a rice substitute, it made sense to try preparing Djuvec "rice" in a similar way. To go with it we made cevapcici, a traditional grilled meat dish from the Balkans, and green beans with bacon.

Cevapcici with Djuvec Cauliflower and Green Beans to serve 4:

Cevapcici
500 g_(1 pound)ground beef
75 g_(3 oz)almond flour
2eggs
100 g_(4 oz)sheep's milk cheese
1/2onion
1/2green bell pepper
2cloves of garlic
1 dspsalt
1 bunchthyme
Pepper, olive oil for the pan

Djuvec Cauliflower
1head of cauliflower
1 1/2onions
1 1/2green bell peppers
3Roma tomatoes
1bouillon cube
2 tbsptomato paste
1 dspsalt
Olive oil for the pan

Green Beans in Bacon Toothpick, olive oil for the pan
500 g_(1 pound)green string beans
12 slicesbacon
1 bunchsavory
1/2 dspsalt

When making this dish, it's a good idea to start by cutting up all your ingredients. Chop 2 green peppers and 2 onions very finely. Grate the cauliflower with a kitchen grater or a machine. (TIP: For more information about grating cauliflower, check out the page for Rice Pudding.) Cut the 3 tomatoes and sheep cheese into cubes, press the garlic, and finely chop the thyme. Withhold about a fourth of the onion and paprika for the cevapcici. Mix with the garlic, almond flour, eggs, sheep cheese, thyme, and of course the ground beef. Knead these ingredients together and form them into sausage-link-shaped rolls. Wash and snap the beans. Now we can start cooking. Try to follow this order so that all parts of the meal get finished quickly. That way you won't have to worry about keeping anything warm or reheating it.

First, fry onion and pepper in a large saucepan (large enough to hold the entire head of cauliflower) with plenty of olive oil. Then add the Roma tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon cube, and salt. Don't add any water! Cook everything over medium heat, stirring regularly. While our tomatoes are simmering, we'll put on the beans. These should be completely covered with water. Add salt and the savory, which you'll remove after cooking. The beans should be boiled for 10-15 minutes. While both are simmering, roast the cevapcici. We had to fill the pan 3 times to fry all of the cevapcici. This still doesn't take very long, since the meat only needs to fry 2-3 minutes on each side. While the last pan of cevapcici is sizzling, add the grated cauliflower to the tomato sauce. At the beginning, turn up the heat and stir vigorously! Then give the cauliflower a little water and simmer 10 minutes over low heat. Don't put the cover on the pot! The water should evaporate.

Falsche SchwabenRemove the beans from the water. Wrap 6-8 beans in a strip of bacon, fastening the ends with a toothpick. If your timing is right, the cevapcici is now finished and we can fry the bacon-wrapped beans in the same pan over high heat (1-2 minutes on each side). One less pan to wash!

After 30 minutes of cooking time, all three components are ready to serve at the exact same time!

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