It’s Monday, time for Squid (really??) with Zrinka

I ended up having to drive to Amarillo yesterday–dog business–and fell asleep before I could get this up last night.  Just as well, I’m not sure if squid would be a brunch item.  Then again, who knows?  The fritule looks like it would be super yummy any time.  Welcome, Zrinka

I am delighted to be here today. My debut novel “Bonded by Crimson” has been released on January 28th, and it is available in all formats at Black Opal Books, Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and All Romance eBooks 

Arroz negro (Squid with rice cooked in squid ink) ~ a Mediterranean delicacy

Serves 4
Cooking Time Prep time 10 mins, cook 1 hour 30 mins

Arroz negro

125 ml (½ cup)

olive oil

200 gm.

canned whole tomatoes

To taste:

white sugar

450 gm.

squid tubes, cleaned and sliced into   1cm rings


large onion, finely chopped


red capsicum, finely chopped

3 cloves

garlic, finely chopped

300 gm.

Calasparra rice

1 tbsp.

squid ink (see note)

60 ml (¼ cup)

white wine

1.5 litres (6 cups)

hot fish stock

½ cup (loosely packed)

flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely   chopped

To serve:

lemon wedges

2 cloves

garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp.

sherry vinegar


egg yolks

¼ tsp.

Dijon mustard

100 ml

extra-virgin olive oil

100 ml

vegetable oil


For alioli, combine garlic and   vinegar in a bowl, add egg yolks and mustard and whisk to combine. Combine   oils and gradually add oil mixture a drop at a time to egg yolk mixture,   whisking until a thick emulsion forms. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly   ground black pepper.


Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a small   saucepan over medium heat, add tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20   minutes or until thickened. Season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground   black pepper and white sugar.


Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a   40cm-paella pan or large frying pan over high heat, add squid and sauté for   30 seconds or until just starting to colour. Remove and set aside. Add   remaining olive oil and cook onion and capsicum for 5 minutes or until   starting to colour, reduce heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes or   until tender. Add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes or until garlic is   soft. Add rice and stir to coat, add tomato and stir to combine.


Combine squid ink, wine and stock in   a jug and stir to dissolve ink, then add to rice mixture, reduce heat and   simmer, without stirring, shaking pan occasionally to loosen rice from base,   for 40 minutes or until rice is tender and stock is almost absorbed. Scatter   squid over rice and cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover with foil and   stand for 5 minutes. Scatter with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and   alioli to the side.

And for dessert, I present you – fritule, a traditional Dalmatian sweet that can be found on every Dalmatian table usually at Christmas or any day! Fritule (pronounced ‘freetooleh‘) are aromatic bite-sized dough balls, flavoured with lemon zest, orange zest, grape brandy (loza in Croatian) and/or dark rum, and sprinkled with icing sugar. Everyone has a winning recipe of their own, and this one is my mum’s tried and tested version! We made these together this summer. These days, whenever I go home, I use this as an opportunity to learn a new Croatian dish or sweet from my mum, and rediscover the good old familiar dishes.

SOURCE: Every Dalmatian mum’s recipe

PREPARATION TIME: 5 – 10 min + the time the dough will take to rise

COOKING TIME: 20 – 30 min

CUISINE: Croatian – Dalmatian

SERVES: Loads!


50 g of raisins, rinsed and soaked in warm water (this softens them)

1 kg of all-purpose flour

3 eggs

3 tbsp. sugar

2 sachets of vanilla sugar (or two tsp. of vanilla essence)

1 1/2 cube of fresh yeast (40 g), or 3 sachets of dried yeast

1 dl vegetable oil for the dough + more for frying

zest of 1 – 2 lemons

zest of 1 – 2 oranges

2 tbsp. dark rum (or loza, grape brandy, or why not both!)

warm water as necessary


1. Put the eggs, sugar, vanilla and vegetable oil in a bowl, and beat together with a wooden spoon for a little. Add lemon and orange zest, and raisins.

2.  If you are using dried yeast, mix in the yeast in one part of the flour. Then, add this to the eggs.  OR If you are using fresh yeast, melt the yeast in 2 dl warm water. Then add the yeast to the egg mixture, and then the flour.

3. Mix with the wooden spoon. Continue mixing until the dough stops sticking to the wooden spoon.

4. Leave the dough to stand, until it almost doubles in size. The mixture is going to be warm, but it mustn’t be too warm otherwise it will ruin the yeast (says mum). If your pot/bowl is cold, put it in another bowl/pot filled with warm water. 

5.  Pour some oil in a pan – you need to have enough so that the fritule don’t touch the bottom of the pan when you add them to the oil. Heat the oil until fairly hot.

6. Dip a spoon in the oil. This will stop the dough from sticking to it. Then, take a bit of dough in your hand, squeeze it in your fist, and scoop off what comes out between the thumb and the index by using the spoon.

7. Put the dough ball into very hot oil. And repeat the process: dip the spoon into hot oil, then scoop the dough, then put the dough ball into hot oil. Fry until golden brown.

8. Turn the dough balls over. Start taking them out when they get this nice golden colour.

9.Take them out in batches and put on some tissue paper which will soak up some of the oil.

10. Put the fritule in a pan and cover with a lid to keep them a little warm.

11. Repeat the process until you use up all the dough. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving. Fritule don’t need to live in the fridge, and can last for a few days.

For pictured step-by-step instructions please go to:

In case black rice is not to your liking, I’d like to leave you now with a short excerpt from my novel, the dining scene. We love pizza, too.

Excerpt, Bonded by Crimson 

Though she longed to slip her arm around his waist, she sauntered forward in step with him. They crossed the bridge to Old Town and got their dinner from a little nook. Then they climbed the zigzagging stairs to the wide fortification that once kept invaders from entering the city. The thumping music from a nearby outdoor nightclub, The Garden, bounced off the stone walls.

Matthias scaled the seven foot tall outer wall to place their food on top then jumped back down. “I’ll give you the boost.”

With his back against the wall, he laced his fingers. “The technique is the same as it was in the medieval times. Grab onto my shoulders and climb. Trust me it’s easier if you do it barefoot. Pretend you are a corsair.”

Was he serious? He expected her to climb on his shoulders? “They were driven by desperation.”

He shrugged. “I’m starving. The smell of pizza makes me desperate enough.”

With her sandals in her hand, she scanned the fortification wall. “I haven’t climbed like this since I was a kid.”

When she hesitated, he said, “I can lift you.”

“No, I can do it.” She shoved her foot in his hands and took hold of his shoulders. “This is so very romantic.”

“It will be once you get up there. Ready?” His muscles flexed when she nodded. “One, two, up you go.”

He propelled her upwards so when she neared the top she narrowly avoided shoving her hands in the pizza sauce. This dining experience made her feel like a teenager again. Propped on her elbows, she burst into laughter, her feet dangling above his head. Good thing she decided against wearing the skirt. Though the way the stones scraped her thighs, she’d be lucky if her pants didn’t rip.

“Are you stuck?” he called. “Hang on, I’m coming.”

Like a cat, he scaled the wall again and grabbed her wrists, pulling her up. The lights of the bridge railing flickered to life and reflected on the surface of the calm sea.

“Look at the view.” He raised his arms as if to embrace the entire harbor. “And you doubted our vantage point would be romantic.” His fingers wrapped around her hand. “Come, sit next to me.”

She lowered to the cold stone wall. Twenty years of living in this city and she’d never seen the harbor lit as beautifully as tonight. “I don’t think I can ever get enough of this wonderful view.”

“Neither can I.” He smiled, yet he was looking at her instead of the harbor.

Her stomach knotted. No one had complimented her in years, and he’d said nice things to her for two nights in a row. She took a bite of pizza, but couldn’t pay attention to the taste. “Even after this acrobatic display?”

“Especially after that.” The dimples in his cheeks deepened. “How’s the pizza?”

“It’s good, but I’m not very hungry, I’m afraid.” She placed the slice on its carton and wrapped her fingers around the can of soda.

He tossed his crust at the garbage bin on the street. “Besides today’s incident, are you having a great vacation?”

“The best.” It was the truth. If he had taken his family to anywhere else in the world, she would have had a great time just because of his presence, but being home gave her vacation a nostalgic feeling. When the time to leave came, it would be that much harder. “How about you?”

“Wonderful.” He reached for her hand and enclosed it in between his palms. “I was called to hospital only once since we arrived.”

Curiosity sparked in her mind. “Why?”

“I work pro bono here, and they needed a plastic surgeon for an emergency facial reconstruction.”

She lowered her head. All of a sudden, she felt inadequate. He had worked while she slept in and enjoyed her lazy days of summer. “I planned to write, but I keep getting side-tracked.”

“Too many distractions in the city? I have a proposition for you.”

No, just one distraction. You. She raised an eyebrow. “I’m listening.”

“Would you like to be my guest before the boys’ visitation with Petar is over? The house on the island is air-conditioned. I promise I won’t bother you, and you’ll have the place pretty much to yourself.”

Blood rushed to her head. She wanted nothing more than to spend a few days alone with him on his island and forget about the civilization. No matter where in the world she went, thoughts of him would cloud her mind.

“We wouldn’t be cut off the world. There’s wireless internet connection, and I even have a television.”

“It sounds tempting, but I think we should give this dating thing at least one more try.”

“All right, how about tomorrow? Would you like to meet my friend?”

His friend? “I’d love to. Is he…like you?”

“Yes, he is immortal.” He chuckled. “You’ll see.”

She picked up a slice of pizza to hide her trembling hands, but she didn’t eat it. Tapping her foot to the beat from the club to distract herself proved futile. This city had its secrets, but she never expected them to involve immortals.




Love isn’t in the cards for her…

After her short failed marriage, Kate tries to rebuild her life and takes a position as a nanny to three small boys. She quickly grows to love them, but their father, terrifies her, while igniting a passion she didn’t know she possessed. Disturbed by his distant manner with his sons, Kate struggles to make him more involved in the boys’ daily lives. Her efforts are mysteriously supported by an entity that cannot really exist. Or can she? And if she does exist, is she really trying to help Kate, or just take over her body?

But when he deals the hand, all bets are off…

Six years after his beloved wife passed away, Matthias is still trying to become the father she wanted him to be. Not an easy task for a three-centuries-old immortal. His search for the ultimate nanny ends when Kate Rokov stumbles to his home and into his arms. The immediate attraction he feels for her seems like a betrayal of his dead wife, a love he’s harboured for over three hundred years. But when Kate is stalked by a deadly stranger, life he clung to in the past begins to crumble and break down. Can Matthias learn to trust and to love again in time to save his family from disaster, or will his stubborn pride destroy everything worth living for?


 Zrinka Jelic lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and two children. A member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter Fantasy Futuristic &Paranormal, as well as Savvy Authors, she writes contemporary fiction—which leans toward the paranormal—and adds a pinch of history. Her characters come from all walks of life, and although she prefers red, romance comes in many colors. Given Jelic’s love for her native Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, her characters usually find themselves dealing with a fair amount of sunshine, but that’s about the only break they get. “Alas,” Jelic says, with a grin. “Some rain must fall in everyone’s life.”

Contact me @:

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Watch the book trailer: Bonded by Crimson


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8 responses to “It’s Monday, time for Squid (really??) with Zrinka

  1. Hi Zrinka and Mona. I would love the recipe minus the squid, maybe I could substitute something. My grandmother put squid in her sauce sometimes. It’s a bit chewy for me 🙂 Count me in on the Fritule, though 🙂

    Very nice excerpt, Zrinka.


  2. I’m not a big squid eater, but like Debbie I would probably do a substitite. Now the desert I like. Nice recipes and excerpt. Your book sounds like a great read. ONe I have to add to my kindle. :}


  3. Hi Mona and thanks for hosting me. And hi Debbie and thanks for dropping by. I love squid but I guess it is an acquired taste. When you eat ‘black rice’ as we call it, it tints your entire mouth and everyone around the table looks like someone pulled a prank on them and put ink in their food. So funny we used to have a game whose mouth will get darkest. It washes off with a good brushing, but for a kid it’s so much fun.


  4. lrwight09

    The recipe sounds good, but I’m like Debbie, no squid. I will have to show it to my MIL though. The Fritule sounds yummy!


    • Hi Leslie,
      I don’t know what can be substituted for squid in this recipe. You need that ink to blacken it, and surprisingly it has a slightly sweet taste and squid is usually chopped in small bite size pieces so you can pick it out if you don’t like it. It has a spongy texture but I love it.
      Yes, fritule are the best and I love them the next day or the next. They get hard, but I don’t care. .


  5. Hey Zrinka, the finished product looks great. Umm..but squid? I’m so not a squid person. All I can think about are those great big eyes and that beak..oh wait..maybe that’s the giant squid. Don’t you think he might be a bit upset with his little friends…yeah…but GREAT POST!


    • Hi Jami,
      It’s funny. I’m already looking forward to this when I get home. My husband, not so much. He ate it for the first time he was there, although he claims he liked it. But I should get him a t-shirt that says “I ate black rice and live to tell about it” It’s not a Klingon food I swear.


  6. Zrinka, thanks for the FUN recipe. I think the rubbery texture would bother me. Then again I never thought I’d like eel until I had it at a good Japanese restaurant. If it were Klingon food, wouldn’t it be moving, like the food in Galaxy Quest??


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