Daily Archives: July 24, 2012

I’m Not Famous But I’m Aromanian


Today I would like to introduce you to a special recipe, equally famous and tasty. It is a traditional Aromanian recipe, known for years and years. Aromanians are people who live in the Balkanic area and they talk a dialect or a language (here, the opinions are divided and it is not the subject of this blog, but you can get a lot of info from many sites). ‘I’m not famous but I’m Aromanian’, to paraphrase a film made recently by another Aromanian, ┬áToma Enache. I can not say the same thing for my mother, though. She is famous and she is Aromanian. ­čÖé

She is the cook for this famous recipe too and she does┬áa brilliant job. I don’t like to cook it, only to eat it. In the future I see myself doing it but until then, I enjoy my mum’s fried bell peppers. It is an easy and light recipe, it requires a bit of work and guarding the cook. But it is soooo worth it. Aromanians call this recipe┬ápiperchi ╚Ť├órg├ósiti or ╚Ť├óg├órsiti, in case you know how to read Aromanian, and I hope from the bottom of my heart that once you eat this, you will definitely ask for more. Cross my heart, hope to live.

Fried Bell Peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg bell peppers (or sweet pepper later in Autumn), diced into 2,5 (1 in) pieces
  • 1 kg tomatoes, chopped
  • 250 g cow or sheep feta cheese (you get delicious cheese from any market in Romania)
  • 150 g cottage cheese or green cheese
  • oil

Method:

  • ┬áPut about 500 ml of oil in a deep pan or wok and leave until hot. Put a batch of bell peppers in┬áand stir a bit, until coated. Leave to fry until golden then remove and put to dry in a colander. Repeat with another batch until all the peppers are fried. You can add more oil if needed.
  • In another large pan, put 5 tbsp of oil and add the tomatoes. Stir and leave to cook at a medium heat, until it becomes sauce-like. You can skin┬átomatoes before cooking and then diced them.
  • Stir in the peppers and mix well. Leave for 5 minutes until it thickens a bit.
  • Add the cheese and mix again.
  • You can have it with a baguette or bakestone bread.

The End, my friend!

Bon appetite!

Piperchi ╚Ť├órg├ósiti


Yummy! Asta este intr-adevar o mancare delicioasa. Pe cat de gustoasa este si pe cat de repede sa mananca, pe atat de greu se face. Nu te speria, nu e chiar asa dar parerea mea este ca prefer sa o mananc decat sa o prepar. Vorbesc de o reteta aromana, traditionala, numita piperchi ╚Ť├órg├ósiti (sau ╚Ť├óg├órsiti, e corect in ambele feluri, noi in casa asa le zicem, cum apare la titlu) sau ardei prajiti pe romaneste. O face mama, au facut-o si bunicile si nu ma voi satura niciodata de ea. Din partea mea, o va gati mama multa vreme de acum incolo. Eu o voi face candva, nu stiu exact cand dar stiu ca o voi gati. E o reteta simpla, de vara, racoroasa, pentru ca se poate consuma atat calda cat si rece si o mancare din care pur si simplu mai ceri o portie. Iata reteta facuta de mama noastra, careia ii iese fantastic de bine.

Piperchi ╚Ť├órg├ósiti / Ardei prajiti

4 portii

Ingrediente:

  • 2 kg de ardei verzi, grasi (se face si cu gogosari mai spre toamna)
  • 1 kg rosii taiate cubulete
  • 250 g branza de oaie sau vaca, dupa preferinte( mai sarata si mai veche, ii da un gust deosebit)
  • 150 g urda proaspata de vaci sau oaie
  • ulei

Preparare:

  • Se spala ardeii si se curata de seminte si cotor. Se taie bucatele.
  • Se pune intr-o tigaie mai adanca sau intr-un ceaun (mama a luat unul de la tigani, va recomand din tot sufletul asa ceva, mancarea la ceaun nu are egal) ulei la incins, cca 500 ml. Uleiul se va mai adauga din cand in cand atunci cand a inceput sa scada.
  • Se verifica cu o bucata de ardei daca este fierbinte uleiul si se toarna in portii ardeii, ca sa cuprinda uleiul. Se lasa sa se prajeasca la foc mediu, amestecand din cand in cand cu o lingura de lemn sau cu spumiera, pana se fac aurii. Se prajesc nu foarte tare. Se scot de pe foc si se pun la strecurat intr-o strecuratoare.
  • Intr-o alta tigaie mare, se pune putin ulei, cca 5 linguri. Se adauga rosiile cu un strop de sare si se lasa la foc mediu pana se face un sos foarte pastos, amestecand din cand in cand.
  • Peste sos se pun ardeii si se amesteca bine. Se lasa cca 5 minute la foc moderat astfel incat sa scada sosul.
  • Se pun apoi branza si urda si se amesteca.
  • Se serveste fierbinte sau rece, cu paine pe vatra. E atat de gustoasa incat e binevenita oricand.

Pofta buna!

Before Meat There Were Vegetables


With summer here, why not take advantage of the plentitude of vegetables in season and eat something light and healthy. One of my favourite recipes is a mixture of vegetable called like that: mixed vegetable casserole. It is a Bulgarian recipe from ‘The Practical Encyclopedia of East European Cooking’, 1999. It is very tasty and quite easy to make plus it won’t keep you in the kitchen for long, mostly for preparing. After that you just ‘forget’ it for about an hour and everything is done. Read hear how it’s made and enjoy.

Mixed Vegetable Casserole

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 115 g (4 oz, 1/2 cup) okra, halved lengthways
  • 225 g (8 oz, 2 cups) frozen or fresh peas
  • 225 g (8 oz, 1 1/2 cups) green beans, cut into 2,5 cm (1 in) pieces
  • 4 courgettes, cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 450 g (1 lb) old potatoes, diced into 2,5 cm (1 in) pieces
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 397 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint, 2/3 cup) vegetable stock
  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
  • 75 ml (5 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) paprika
  • salt
  • 3 tomatoes and 1 courgette for topping

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190┬░C/ 375┬░F/ Gas 5. Dice th aubergine into 2,5 cm (1 in) pieces. Add the vegetables to a large ovenproof casserole.
  • Stir in the canned tomatoes, stock, olive oil, parsley, paprika and salt to taste. Stir well.
  • Level de surface of the vegetables and arrange alternate slices of tomatoes and courgette attractively on top.
  • Put the lid on or cover the casserole dish tightly. Cook for 60-70 minutes. Serve either hot or cold with wedges of crusty bread.

Bon appetite!

Vegetalele la mare pret


Datorita caldurii foarte mari, care este o tema constanta nu numai in realitate dar si ┬áin retetele mele recente, ma gandesc ce mananc. Rar, carne, dar zilnic vegetale. Profit ca sunt in sezon, se gatesc usor, te saturi fara sa simti ca te-a umplut de numai poti respira si te umplu de energie. O alta reteta pe care am incercat-o si care mi-a placut foarte mult este caserola de legume, sau legume la cuptor, o reteta culeasa si ea din aceeasi carte pe care o tot mentionez aici de ceva vreme, ‘The Practical Encyclopedia of East European Cooking’, 1999.

O vreme vei citi aici multe retete vegetariene sau vegane pentru ca pe o asa vreme de vara, nu ma vad mancand si scriind prea mult despre carne. Nu ma atrage. Urmeaza acum o bunatate de mancare, cu multe legume, foarte diferite si colorate, sa le mananci cu ochii, nu alta, din bucataria bulgareasca. Sper din tot sufletul sa iti placa ceea ce urmeaza si sa te indemne sa petreci putin timp in bucatarie si langa aragaz, doar de dragul unei retete sanatoase si gustoase.

Legume la cuptor

4 portii

Ingrediente:

  • 1 vanata
  • 115 g (1/2 cana) okra (bama), taiata pe jumatate, in lungime
  • 225 g (2 cani) mazare proaspata sau inghetata
  • 225 g (1 1/2 cana) fasole verde taiata bucati (cca 2,5 cm)
  • 4 zucchini, taiati felii de cca 1 cm grosime
  • 2 cepe taiate marunt
  • 450 g cartofi taiati cubulete
  • 1 ardei rosu, feliat
  • 397 g conserva rosii taiate
  • 150 ml (2/3) cana bulion vegetal sau apa
  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) ulei masline
  • 75 ml (5 tbsp) patrunjel proaspat, tocat
  • 5 ml (1 lingurita) paprika
  • sare
  • 3 rosii feliate si 1 zucchini pentru decor

Preparare:

  • Incalzeste cuptorul la 190┬░C, gaz 5. Taie vanata in bucati de cca 2,5 cm. Pune toate legumele intr-o tava mare de cuptor sau caserola cu capac.
  • Toarna peste ele rosiile din conserva, bulionul vegetal, uleiul de masline, patrunjelul, paprika si sarea si amesteca bine.
  • Niveleaza legumele si orneaza alternativ cu felii de zucchini si rosii.
  • Pune capacul caserola sau acopera bine tava cu hartie de copt. Lasa la cuptor pentru cca 60-70 minute. Serveste fie fierbinte, fie rece cu paine.

Pofta buna!

Here I Come!


I will definitely eat this, at its own home. Soon. Even if it’s going to be in my kitchen. I did this years ago, and I was a bit disappointed. The form collapsed but the taste was good, so it was ok in the end. I used the recipe from ‘The Practical Encyclopedia of East European Cooking’, 1999. Location: London.

What memories I’ve got from London! I can talk for days and not get tired. One of this memories is this cool dessert just perfect for these hot days. This dessert is very romantic for me, so I see it eaten with someone I love, or you love and love and love…

Bavarian Cream

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint, 1 1/4) cups single cream
  • 15 ml ( 1 tbsp) powdered gelatine
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 50 g (2 oz, 1/4) cup caster sugar
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint, 1 1/4) cups double cream
  • chocolate leaves and a sprinkling of cocoa powder, to decorate

Method:

  • Put the vanilla pod and single cream into a small pan. Slowly bring to the boil, then turn off the heat, cover and infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the pod – rinsed well and dried, it can be stored and used again.
  • Sprinkle the gelatine over the milk and leave to soften.
  • Lightly whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a heatproof bowl. ┬áBring the single cream almost to the boil again, then whisk into the egg mixture.
  • Set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and cook the custard, stirring, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat, add the soaked gelatine and stir until dissolved.
  • Strain the custard into a clean bowl. Cover with a piece of wet greaseproof paper, to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool.
  • Whip the double cream in a bowl until it just holds soft peaks, then fold it into the cooled custard.
  • Rinse individual moulds or a 1.2 litre (2 pint, 5) cup ring or fancy mould with water. Pour in the cream mixture and chill for at least 4 hours, or until set.
  • To unmould the Bavarian cream, dip the mould right up to the rim in very hot water for about 5 seconds. Place a serving plate on top, then quickly invert the mould and remove. Decorate with chocolate leaves and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.

Bon appetite!