Tag Archives: feta cheese

Have You Got 50 Minutes?


Half of this recipe is almost done because it is similar to the one I wrote a few days ago, Fruit and Almond Couscous. And the sauce you have to make for this is very easy and quick. Relax! It is also a vegan recipe, because it has feta cheese. The source of it is Tesco Magazine from 2005 in London. Let’s start as you need 50 minutes and I talk too much. 😉

Aubergine Stuffed With Fruity Couscous

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 small aubergine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste (or any similar hot sauce you have in your pantry)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 375 ml (13 fl oz) vegetable stock
  • 175 g (6 oz) couscous
  • 30 g (1 oz) raisins
  • 30 g (1 oz) chopped dried apricots
  • 30 g (1 oz) toasted sliced almonds (optional)
  • small bunch spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp green olives, chopped
  • 50 g (2 oz) crumbled feta cheese

For the spiced yogurt sauce:

  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • salt
  • ground black pepper

Method:

  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil; add the aubergines (in batches if necessary) and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from water, halve lengthways and scoop out flesh leaving a 2 cm (1 in) shell. Chop the removed flesh and set aside.
  • Place ten aubergine shells on a baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven at Gas 6, 200°C, 400°F and bake for 5 minutes or until just golden.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a saucepan, add onion and gently sauté until soft. Add harissa and cinnamon and fry, stirring, for 5 more minutes. Add stock and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and add couscous. Let stand for 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  • Fluff with a fork; add the remaining ingredients (except the feta) together with the reserved chopped aubergine.
  • Pile the couscous mixture into the aubergine shells, top with the feta and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese starts to brown. Meanwhile combine sauce ingredients ready to serve with the stuffed aubergine.

Bon appetite!

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,  Toma Enache. I can not say the same thing for my mother, though. She is famous and she is Aromanian. 🙂

She is the cook for this famous recipe too and she does a 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 piperchi țârgâsiti or țâgârsiti, 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:

  •  Put about 500 ml of oil in a deep pan or wok and leave until hot. Put a batch of bell peppers in and 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 tomatoes 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!

Courgette Rice With Feta & Olives


This is the last day of July and I would love to end it with a recipe. Especially because I was a bit idle these days, I wasn’t in the mood of writing almost anything. But I will do my best now and put into English my last recipe that was in Romanian. Let me tell you a little about this recipe. As you are already accustomed now, there is a story behind the recipe. I was at my sister’s house and I wanted to impress her with my cooking skills. My sister is very conservative in cooking and she has her tastes, as we all do. I asked her if she had tried a risotto before. She said no. So then, I would make  one for her and her husband to taste and see for themselves how they liked it. I searched the Internet on one of my favorite sites, www.bcgoodfood.com and there I found the recipe. It contained one of my favorite vegetables, courgettes or zucchini. Perfect, I said to myself. It didn’t have meat as well, so it was a very healthy and light dish for a hot summer day. I worked hard but in the end I failed to impress. My sister is just not into rice or anything not-meaty. In my humble opinion, it is a very delicious dish and I would make it anytime. But it is not for everybody. There are people who would hate it and there are people who would love it. So, there you go! 😉 De gustibus non est disputandum.

But in spite of that, for those who would like to try it, here is the recipe, adapted so that it can be made anywhere. I tell you why. In Romania, for example, courgettes are quite expensive and rare in the supermarkets so they can be replaced with another squash that you can find in large amounts everywhere in the summer time. And so on.

Courgette Rice With Feta & Olives

Serves 4

Ready in 25-35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 100 g feta cheese, crumbled (or fat cow cheese that you can find fresh at the market)
  • handful of pitted black olives , roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (this is the best but if it is winter and you can’t find fresh, try dry or may be you put some fresh ones in the freezer)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 courgettes, roughly sliced (or other squash)
  • 250 g risotto rice , such as arborio
  • 1 l hot vegetable stock (if you don’t have this stock, try boiled water but it will ruin a lot of the taste)
  • 140 g petits pois (or go with peas, fresh or frozen)

Method:

  • Mix together the feta, olives, parsley and 2 tbsp of the olive oil.
  • Heat remaining oil in a large, deep pan. Tip in onion, sizzle gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add courgettes, soften for a couple of minutes, then stir in rice.
  • Pour in a ladleful of stock and stir until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add another ladle of stock and repeat until all the stock has been used, adding petit pois a couple of minutes before the last ladle. If you use peas, put them a little more ahead as they take longer to soften. Simmer until rice is tender and juices creamy. Ladle into bowls, then scatter over feta and olive crumble.

Bon appetite!