Last spring I spent a couple of weeks in Croatia, driving down the coast, checking natural wonders off my bucket list, and sampling delectable regional dishes and wines.
I discovered that Croatian cuisine is rustic yet elegant, packed with local ingredients, and so very comforting.
One dish my friend and I could not get enough of is called Strukli. It is similar to white lasagna, filled with cheese. Yet the pasta dough is a bit more toothy, almost like a dumpling.
Believe it or not, you can make a truly fabulous copycat Croatian Cheese Strukli at home, using classic grocery store ingredients.
In fact, I found everything I needed to make today’s Croatian Cheese Strukli recipe at ALDI!
ALDI has such fantastic prices on all my grocery list items, it’s easy to get everything I need and have room left in the budget for wine to accompany our meals.
I found a marvelous new rosé at ALDI that paired perfectly with this Croatian Cheese Strukli.
For a limited time, ALDI was offering their Exquisite Collection of Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016 in US stores. This wine was made specially for ALDI UK by Julian Faulkner and has been named the best value rosé at the prestigious International Wine Challenge two years running.
You can find more award-winning wines like this at your local ALDI, most under $12 and even $9.
The bright airy quality of the rosé offered balance to our robust hearty Croatian Cheese Strukli.
However, it would also taste amazing paired with Crystal Creek Riesling, a 2017 Chefs in America Gold Medal Winner, as well as Giretto Pinot Grigio, a 2017 BTI World Wine Championship Silver Medalist.
How to Make Croatian Cheese Strukli
Start by making a quick pasta dough. Use a stand mixer with a bread hook to knead the dough for you.
Then mix cottage cheese, white cheddar cheese, sour cream and eggs, to make the cheese filling.
PS – ALDI’s Specially Selected Aged Reserved white cheddar recently won the Chefs in America Gold Medal Endorsement award!
Cut the dough into four pieces and roll each pieces out into a large thin rectangle. Spread the cheese filling over each rectangle.
Roll the rectangles into logs and place them in a baking dish. Once in the pan, cut the logs into squares.
Pour half & half over the top, sprinkle with more cheese, and bake!
Although Croatian Cheese Strukli is best when made with fresh dough, in a pinch, you can add dried lasagna noodles for a quickie-version.
Croatian Cheese Strukli is just one of the many show-stopping dishes you can make with ingredients from ALDI.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ALDI. All opinions are my own.
Croatian Cheese Strukli
- 3 1/4 cups Baker’s Corner all-purpose flour
- 5 Goldhen large eggs, divided
- 3 1/2 tablespoons Countryside Creamery melted butter, divided
- 2/3 cup water
- 24 ounces Friendly Farms cottage cheese
- 1 1/4 cup Friendly Farms sour cream
- 10 ounces Specially Selected Aged Reserve white cheddar, shredded and divided
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/4 cups Countryside Creamery half-and-half
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
Pour flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, and 2/3 cup water in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the bread hook and mix on low for 5 minutes, until the ingredients come together into a smooth tacky ball. Let the mixer run another 2-3 minute to knead the dough. If it seems too dry (not sticky) add 1-2 additional tablespoons of water. Brush the remaining butter around the dough ball and on the sides of the bowl. Then cover with plastic and let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix the cottage cheese, sour cream, 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar, 4 eggs, thyme, garlic powder, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper together.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Lay one piece at a time on a clean work surface. Roll and stretch the dough into a 9 X 13 inch rectangle. (No need to flour the surface.) The dough should be thin enough to see light through it. Spread one-quarter of the cheese mixture over the dough. Then starting on a short end, gently fold the dough over 1 1/2 - 2 inches at a time, until it's rolled into a loose log. Carefully lift the log by the ends and lay it in the prepared baking dish.
Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese mixture. Once four logs are arranged in the baking dish, gently cut each log into 4 equal pieces. Pour half-and-half over the top and sprinkle on the remaining shredded cheddar.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the tops are puffy and golden, even in the center of the pan. Cut and serve!
NOTE: Don't have time to make your dough from scratch? Guess what, you can use lasagna noodles in this recipe. The texture isn't quite the same, but the flavor and cozy appeal is all there! Simple lay dried lasagna noodles in between 4 layers of the cheese mixture. Pour in the half-and-half, top with shredded cheese, and bake as directed.