Trying local dishes and cuisine is one of the highlights of a river cruise vacation, whether you’re dining onboard or ashore. When you’re sailing the eastern part of the Danube River through countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, and Austria, you’re bound to come across cevapcici (prounced che VOP chee chee), a middle eastern dish brought to Europe during the Ottoman expansion. I’ve also seen it spelled/called cevapi.
It’s a type of kebab served in pieces of 5 to 10. Although the recipe varies by region, here’s one developed by former Viking River Cruise Executive Chef Reiner Marks that is as tasty as it gets. This version is popular in Greece and is enjoyed with meat, or eaten on its own as an appetizer.
- 1 1/2 lbs of ground pork
- 1 1/2 lbs of ground lamb (increase the quantity of ground port to 2 lbs if ground lamb isn’t available)
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika (cayenne can be used as a substitute)
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and grated
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped white onions
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of non-fat greek yogurt
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon of fresh minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons of finely chopped dill.
Directions for Cevapcici:
- Mix the meats and egg in a bowl.
- Add the garlic, salt, black pepper and paprika and mix well with your hands.
- Form into finger-length sausages about three quarters of an inch thick.
- Lightly grease the grilling surface and grill the sausages, turning as needed, for about 20 minutes on medium to low heat. You can grill them in the broiler or on a barbecue grill.
Directions for Tzatgziki Dip:
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix well and keep refrigerated until needed.
- Serve with the cevapcici and freshly baked bread.
Makes 12 servings.
Share with us how your cevapcici turns out! Leave us a comment below or send us a tweet at @RiverCruiseExp.