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Some Like It Cold


Too much heat will kill you. It is true with this weather. I feel like I melt in the hot air. I can not breath, I sweat and I want to sleep. I don’t even want to eat too much. The problem is that I have too. What do I want to eat? Watermelon, everyday, all day long. Yogurt, plain and fat. Fruits in season. Sometimes a barbecue. And then again watermelon. And yogurt. Speaking about yogurt I remembered that some years ago, I discovered an easy and fresh recipe with yogurt, just perfect for a hot summer day. I found the recipe in the book “The Practical Encyclopedia of East European Cooking”, a book that provided and will give other recipes here.

I am talking now about a Bulgarian soup, also known by the name Tarator and I am sure that for days like these, when to be honest, I hate to stay in the kitchen and get hot by the oven, it is just one of the best ways to fill my stomach.

Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup/ Tarator

Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2,5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 75 g (3 oz, 3/4 cup) walnut pieces
  • 40 g (1 1/2 oz) day-old bread, torn into pieces
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) walnut or sunflower oil
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz, 1 2/3) cups cow’s or sheep’s yogurt (my favourite one is Total Greek yogurt, the classic one)
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz, 1/2) cup cold water or chilled still mineral water
  • 5-10 ml (1-2 tsp) lemon juice
  • 40 g (1 1/2 oz, 1/2 cup) walnuts, coarsely chopped, to garnish
  • 25 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) olive oil, to garnish
  • sprigs of fresh dill
Method:
  • Peel the cucumber. Dice the cucumber flesh and set aside.
  • Using a large mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and salt together well; add the walnuts and bread.
  • When the mixture is smooth, add the walnut or sunflower oil slowly and combine well.
  • Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and beat in the yogurt and diced cucumber.
  • Add the cold water or mineral water and lemon juice to taste.  If you prefer the soup smooth, purée it in a food processor or blender before serving.
  • Pour the soup into chilled soup bowls to serve. Garnish with the coarsely chopped walnuts, a little olive oil drizzled over the nuts and sprigs of fresh dill.
Bon appetite!
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Caldura mare


“Termometrul spune la umbră 33° Celsius… “. Asa incepe celebra schita a lui I. L. Caragiale, “Caldura mare”. E atat de potrivita pentru vremea asta. Nu stiu cum sa fac fata la atata caldura, ma doboara. Stau si transpir. Daca alerg, mai simt briza. Daca nu, consider ca fac sauna. Trebuie sa imi pacalesc mintea ca am parte de o sauna si sa ma bucur. Cu exceptia statului la soare, pentru ca sauna nu inseamna statul la soare. Nu inteleg de ce trebuie sa fie atata soare, e prea multa lumina. 😉 M-am obisnuit cu alt climat, cu un cer mai innorat, care imi tine fruntea senina. Asta e vara in Romania si trec printr-o perioada de aclimatizare, dupa cativa ani cand, nu stiu cum am facut, dar am reusit sa ma mai ascund de ea. A fost bine, dar a trecut. Recunosc, sunt carcotasa, dar totusi, e caldura mare…

Ce sa fac ca sa o suport mai usor? In primul rand, ma infofolesc in haine din fibre naturale, port palarie, beau apa, merg pe la umbra atat cat gasesc, mananc pepene, mult pepene si alte mancaruri usoare. Una din ele, perfecta pentru asa o caldura maaaaaaare este cea care urmeaza. Este supa rece de iaurt si castraveti cu nuca, o reteta bulgareasca, gatita prima data in Londra. Mi-a placut foarte mult. Era ceva nou pentru mine. Ma gandeam, suntem vecini cu bulgarii si uite ca nu stim prea multe din bucataria lor. Imi pare rau ca nu sunt mai curioasa dar probabil ca atunci a fost momentul sa descopar o bunatate de supa. Si eu nu prea sunt cu supele dar asta mi-a mers la inima. Iar acum, pe arsita, se potriveste perfect. Reteta a fost culeasa dintr-o carte imprumutata de la biblioteca, (locul acela plin de carti, sali de lectura, liniste si racoare, calculatoare si iar liniste si carti, etc), ma scuzi, de caldura ma mai repet… Cartea se numeste “The Practical Encyclopedia of East European Cooking”, o carte care a mai dat sau va mai da retete aici pe blog.

Daca stau si ma gandesc bine, de fapt supa aceasta e un fel de sos tzatziki, adaptat. Bulgarii numesc supa tarator. Pe caldura asta, e binevenita, supa adica. Te invit sa incerci, e foarte usor de facut si foarte racoroasa. Mancarea ideala vara.

Supa rece de iaurt si castraveti cu nuci/ Tarator

5-6 portii

Ingrediente:

  • 1 castravete
  • 4 capatani de usturoi
  • 2,5 ml ( 1/2 lingurita) sare
  • 75 g (3 oz, 1/4) cana nuci tocate
  • 40 g (1 1/2) paine, maruntita
  • 30 ml, 2 linguri ulei de nuci sau floarea soarelui
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz, 1  2/3) cana iaurt vaca sau oaie sau amestec (cat mai gras, sau daca e de casa, cu atat mai bine)
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz, 1/2) cana apa rece sau apa plata rece
  • 5-10 ml (1-2) lingurite suc proaspat de lamaie
  • 40 g (1/2) cana nuci maruntite pentru garnisire
  • 25 ml (1 1/2) lingurita ulei masline
  • frunze proaspete de marar

Preparare:

  • Curata castravetele de coaja si taie-l cubulete.
  • Intr-un mojar zdrobeste usturoiul si sarea bine apoi adauga nuca si painea. Daca preferi varianta puree, sau mai rapida, adauga-le pe toate ntr-un blender.
  • Cand le-ai maruntit, adauga putin cate putin si uleiul si amesteca bine.
  • Pune amestecul intr-un bol mare, adauga iaurtul si castravetele taiat cubulete.
  • Adauga incet apa rece si sucul de lamaie, amestecand continuu.
  • Pentru servire, imparte supa in boluri reci si decoreaza cu nuci maruntite, un pic de ulei de masline si cateva frunze proaspete de marar.

Pofta buna!

Si o zi racoroasa!

Something warm for the cold days of autumn


I am in the mood of writing today and have the spare time too, so I take advantage to put something here, something about food, as I haven’t done this for quite a while. I know that you don’t mind. 🙂 I just hope you haven’t lost faith of ever seeing a recipe here, after so much poetry and songs. Just you wait, mister! 😉

The recipe that follows is new to me, I have just found it in Marks & Spencer ‘Chicken. Simple and delicious easy-to-make recipes’ from 2005. In case you have the book, try the recipes, they seem nice and easy, if not, take a look in here. I have chosen this one because it has tarragon, which is a favourite spice of mine, so fragrant and in a way, cooling. If you try this out, let me know how you like it, I know I like it from the title. Also, I found this soup perfect for a cold day of autumn, when I would like to warm up, apart from that special one. 🙂

Chicken & Tarragon Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 55 g (2 oz) unsalted butter (again, at least 80-82 % fat, please)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 300 g (10 1/2 oz) cooked skinless chicken, shredded finely
  • 600 ml (1 pint) chicken stock
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (dried one goes well, if you don’t have fresh, but remember, dry spices are stronger in flavour so use 1 tsp of dried tarragon here)
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream (don’t worry about the fat, you need it for the cold that comes, it won’t stay on your hips or elsewhere but it will be used to keep you warm)
  • fresh tarragon leaves, to garnish (or a pinch of dried tarragon)
  • deep-fried croutons, to serve

Method:

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion for 3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken to the pan with 300 ml (1/2 pt) of the chicken stock.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the remainder of the stock and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the chopped tarragon, then transfer the soup to a warm tureen and stir in the cream.
  • Serve in bowls garnished with fresh tarragon and croutons.

Bon appetite!

Ceva cald pentru zilele racoroase de toamna


Demult nu am mai scris vreo reteta. Acum, ceea ce urmeaza nu a fost inca incercat, dar am gasit-o acum intr-o carte si mi-a placut cum suna. Cartea se numeste ‘Chicken. Simple and delicious easy-to-make recipes’ aparuta in colectia Marks & Spencer in 2005 iar reteta  se numeste ‘ Chicken & tarragon soup’ adica pe romaneste citeste mai jos traducerea. Un motiv pentru care am ales sa adaug aceasta reteta aici este ca tarhonul este o planta aromatica uimitoare si orice reteta care il contine imi place. Ma rog (la floarea de cires 😉 ),  pana la proba contrarie. Inca nu am gustat supa asta sau toate retetele cu tarhon ca sa fiu sigura 100%, asa ca ramane de vazut.

Citind reteta asta, am asociat-o cu o zi mai racoroasa de toamna, ca tot a venit si cu dorinta de a te incalzi cu ceva cald, in afara de acel cineva… 🙂 O supa sau o ciorba calda merg fantastic. Asa ca incearca reteta asta si spune-mi cum iti place.

Supa de pui cu tarhon

4 portii

Ingrediente:

  • 55 g unt (fara sare, daca gasesti si stii deja, de 80-82% grasime)
  • o ceapa mare, tocata marunt
  • 300 g piept pui, fiert si taiat bucati subtiri (am ales piept de pui ca e mai simplu dar poti fierbe puiul intreg sau ce parti vrei tu si apoi sa scoti carnea de pe oase, in cantitatea necesara, e la fel de buna)
  • sare
  • piper
  • 1 lingura tarhon proaspat, tocat marunt (e minunat daca il gasesti proaspat, are alta aroma dar uneori nu e  posibil si atunci stii ca poti folosi din acela uscat, doar ca tine minte, mirodeniile uscate sunt mai puternice asa ca foloseste cantitati mai mici, ca de exemplu, o lingurita de tarhon in cazul acesta)
  • 150 ml smantana (grasa, te rog)
  • frunze proaspete de tarhon, pentru decor (daca e posibil, daca nu, un varf de tarhon uscat)
  • crutoane

Preparare:

  • Topeste untul intr-o tava mare si prajeste ceapa timp de 3 minute.
  • Adauga puiul si jumatate din cantitatea de supa de pui.
  • Adu totul la punctul de fierbere, redu focul la minim si lasa sa fiarba pentru 20 de minute. Pune apoi  si restul de supa si  asezoneaza cu sare si piper, dupa gust.
  • Adauga tarhonul tocat si pune supa astfel facuta intr-un castron de ciorba peste care amesteca smantana.
  • Serveste in boluri sau farfurii de ciorba cu crutoane si decoreaza cu frunze de tarhon. (Miroase imbietor, sa stii)

Pofta buna!