The Balkan Grill in the heart of Salzburg (Getreidegasse 33a) is a tiny little window shop located in a narrow thoroughfare between Getreidegasse and the Pferdeschwemme (“Horse Pond”), which has become rather famous. This is where bosna originated, a modern classic of Austrian cooking consisting of a delicious grilled pork bratwurst (nadanitza) first imported from Bulgaria by Zanko Todoroff and originally served with white bread, onions and a curry spice mixture. He named his invention “bosa”, the Bulgarian word for a snack, when he opened his tiny shop in 1950. However, the sign painter asked to make the shop sign misheard the word as “bosna”, believing it to be connected to Bosnia and the Balkans, and Todoroff quite liked his mistake. Today, the Balkan Grill is owned by the Walters, a family of butchers, and Hildegard Ebener has sold this cult snack from the same shop window for over thirty years. Go visit for their range of bosna! But do try this DIY version of the sensational Salzburg hot dog to work up an appetite:
HERE’S HOW (makes 4 bosna)
Peel 4 small onions and cut into thin wedges.
Season with salt. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 10–12 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in another pan and fry 8 of your favourite slender bratwursts.
Dust the cooked onions with 1 tsp mild curry powder and chilli to taste. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tsp mustard. Chop 1 sprig curly parsley and stir into the onion mixture. Peel and finely dice ½ red onion. Season with 1 dash red wine vinegar and salt. Halve 4 mini baguettes or white crusty rolls and briefly toast under a hot oven grill, cut side up. Fill with the sausages and curried onions, top with the diced red onion and serve.
I ate this amazing sandwich in The Breakfast Club in Amsterdam rather than in Casablanca: creamy hummus with pickled capsicums and onions on bread, sprinkled with crunchy, savoury dukkah, a North African mixture of nuts and spices that is absolutely addictive and goes with just about anything. Especially with these sandwiches!
HERE'S HOW (makes 6–8 sandwiches)
For the hummus:
Drain 1 tin chickpeas (425 g net weight) and blend until creamy with 200 g tahini (sesame paste), 1–2 tbsp lemon juice, ½ garlic clove and 2–4 tbsp water. Season the hummus with salt and a touch of piment d’Espelette (alternatively cayenne pepper).
For the dukkah:
Finely grind 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tbsp coriander (cilantro) seeds, ½ tsp cumin, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds and 1 tsp black sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle. Add 80 g roasted, salted peanuts and continue to grind until you have a fine spice mixture.
Peel and halve 1 red onion, slice finely and season with 1 tsp red wine vinegar and salt. Drain the pickled capsicum (p. 74), wash and spin dry 1 handful of rocket. Spread 6–8 slices of bread
with the hummus, top with the capsicum, pickled onions and rocket, sprinkle with dukkah and serve.
The Cafetería Casa Aranda in the heart of Málaga has made a culinary trinity of scrumptious, hot churros, strong coffee and fragrant hot chocolate since 1932. There’s a hole in the cafeteria wall that allows guests to watch veritable mountains of the hot pastries being made. For the original you’ll have to go to Málaga, but my attempt is as close as I can get!
25 ml (1½ tbsp) Málaga wine
20 g (1½ tbsp) butter
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tsp organic lemon zest
125 g (¾ cup) flour (type 405), sieved
1 egg (medium-sized)
1 pinch baking powder
Oil for deep-frying
Icing sugar, for dusting
175 g semi-sweet cooking chocolate
30 g (¼ cup) sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1–2 pinches cinnamon
For the churros, bring the Málaga wine to a boil, then add 200 ml (¾ cup) water, the butter, cinnamon and lemon zest. Stir in the sieved flour and combine everything to a smooth dough, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir for another 1–2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and mix in the egg with an electric mixer. Leave the dough to cool, then knead in the baking powder.
For the chocolate sauce, break the cooking chocolate into pieces. Transfer to a saucepan together with 200 ml (¾ cup) water, the sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and a tiny pinch of salt. Gently heat to melt, stirring continuously, until you have a glossy sauce. Set aside.
Heat plenty of oil in a deep-fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions; alternatively use a deep saucepan and heat the oil to about 180°C (350°F).* Transfer the dough into a piping bag fitted with a fluted nozzle and pipe 10 cm (4 inch) lengths straight into the hot oil, using a sharp knife to cut it into lengths. Deep-fry the churros in batches until golden brown, about 6–8 minutes each. Serve hot with the chocolate dipping sauce, dusted with icing sugar to taste.
* If you do not have a cooking thermometer, test with a wooden spoon: Dip the spoon handle into the hot oil. The temperature is right if small bubbles start to rise quickly.