Tag Archives: lemon

بقلاوه


There you go, the recipe in English. Can you guess what it is about? :)) Of course, you are a smart human being. Now, that you know, I must tell you that this recipe is not mine, it is as old “as time” and very popular around the world. I knew about it before I cooked it. But, when I decided to try it, I said I would find the one I am comfortable doing it. In the Practical Encyclopedia of Easteuropean Cooking, 1999, there it was. My mum had a recipe, I had neighbours who did it, friends and so on. But it happened that I wanted to do it later, when I was abroad and I am content with what I found. This is mine, in a way. And now I want to share it with you. You probably say, why? Aren’t there enough already? And I say: why not? :))

Baklava

24 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 175 g/ 6 oz/, 3/4 cup butter, melted (remember, go with 80-82% fat)
  • 400 g/ 14 oz packet filo pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60 ml/ 4 tbsp lemon
  • 50 g/ 2 oz,  1/4 cup caster sugar (or any sugar you have in the kitchen)
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 200 g/ 7 oz, 1 3/4 cups blanched almonds, chopped (replace almonds with nuts if you don’t have them)
  • 200 g/ 7 oz, 1 3/4 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 75 g/ 3 oz/ 3/4 pistachios or hazelnuts, chopped (again, replace with more nuts :))
  • chopped pistachios, to decorate (or go nuts :)) )

Syrup

  • 350 g / 12 oz/ 1 3/4 cups caster sugar
  • 115 g/ 4 oz/ 1/2 cup clear honey
  • 600 ml/ 1 pint/ 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 strips of thinly pared lemon rind

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 160 °C, 325 °F, Gas Mark 3. Brush the base of a shallow 30×20 cm/ 12×8 in loose-bottomed or Swiss roll tin with a little of the melted butter.
  • Using the tin as a guide cut the sheets of filo pastry with a sharp  knife to fit the tin exactly. In case you don’t have a similar tin, or you want to use all the pastry, remember that you have to add more ingredients. Do your maths.
  • Place one sheet of pastry in the base of the tin, brush with a little melted butter, then repeat until you have used half of the pastry sheets. Set the remaining pastry aside and cover with a clean dish towel
  • To make the filling, place the lemon juice, honey and sugar in a pan and heat gently until dissolved. Stir in the lemon rind (half of it), cinnamon and chopped nuts. Mix thoroughly.
  • Spread half the filling over pastry, cover with 3 layers of the filo pastry and butter then spread the remaining filling over the pastry.
  • Finish by using up the remaining sheets of the pastry and butter on top and brush the top of the pastry liberally with butter.
  • Using a sharp knife, carefully mark the pastry into squares, almost cutting through the filling. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until crisp and golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the caster sugar, honey, water and lemon rind in a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar and honey have dissolved. Bring to the boil, then boil for a further 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened slightly.
  • Take the syrup off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Remove the baklava from the oven. Remove and discard the lemon rind from the syrup then pour over the pastry. Leave to soak for 6 hours or overnight. Cut into squares and serve, decorated with chopped pistachios.

Iyi iştah!

Tip (for the lazy ones, myself included): use baking paper in the tin and brush it with melted butter. This way, you will have a cleaner and easier to wash tin.

Lemon Meringue Pie


Am I not lucky? Of course I am. I thought about a recipe and I couldn’t find it at home. But somebody up there really loves me. And it is not chance that brought me the recipe I wanted. I guess what I wish for comes true. Sooner or later. I really love cooking so this wish came true, as I wanted it with all my heart and for a long time. At least I haven’t bumped into it at Christmas! 😉

This is another English pie, made with digestive biscuits for a new twist. Originally it is made with shortcrust pastry but… if you are tired or not in the mood for too much cooking, cut straight to the biscuits. Lemon is another fruit that deserves a recipe too. In Romania it is seen as a flavoury thing in other sweets but I am glad to discover new ways of cooking it entirely. Plus, it makes your mouth water. I know I love it, the sour taste of lemon with the sweetness of the meringue. One more thing before I write down the recipe: it was taken and tested soo many times from ”Original Card from Delicious Meals Made Easy”, Group 11, Sweet Pies & Tarts

Lemon Meringue Pie

Preparation time: 20 min plus chilling      Cooking time: 40 min

Makes 8 slices

Ingredients:

  • 225 g (8 oz) digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 50 g (2 oz)  butter, melted (please do not use margarine, you deserve the real thing)
  • juice and finely grated rind of 3 large lemons
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour (you can use plain flour as replacement)
  • 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar (or icing sugar or granulated one if you don’t have or can’t find caster sugar)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 100 (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 170 °C/ 325 °F/ gas 3. Put the crushed biscuits in a mixing bowl. Add melted butter and mix well with a wooden spoon. Firmly press the biscuit mixture into base and up the side of a 23 cm (9 in) flan dish.
  • For the filling, mix together the lemon juice, rind and cornflour in a large bowl. Bring 450 ml (3/4 pint) water to the boil in a pan. Stir enough of the water into the cornflour mixture to make a smooth paste.
  • Return mixture to pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring, until thickened. Stir in caster sugar. Cool slightly, then beat in egg yolks. Pour onto base.
  • For the meringue, put the egg whites in a clean bowl. Whisk with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Whisk in two-thirds of the sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form. Fold in the remaining sugar and vanilla essence.
  • Spread meringue over filling. Swirl surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool, then chill until required.

Bon appetite!

Chicken Curry


I know. You know. Curry is one of the tastier dishes I have ever eaten. I hadn’t heard about Indian food until I went to London. There I discovered the international cuisine. And the tastes behind it. I can’t believe how lucky I am.

I have many favorite recipes and one among them is curry. Any curry. I have cooked and eaten fish, chicken, lamb curry and other Indian recipes that are absolutely delicious. I am only sorry that in Romania I can’t cook them all. For some dishes there are absolutely no spices here and there is no way I can replace them. If I do that it will be no longer an Indian recipe. Too bad. My wish is to make accessible the recipes for those who love cooking in Romania. I know that sometimes is impossible or let’s say it is impossible for the moment. I hope for the best. 🙂

For today I have mixed two curry recipes I have, to try to make an easy one. The taste of India remains. 🙂 So

Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

  • 350 g skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-5 cm (1 in) pieces (or you can try with 2 chicken breasts)
  • 30 g butter (or more for more chicken)
  • 2 packets of curry powder (this is how you find it here and I have to say I am not at all satisfied about its quality, or about 2 tbsp of really good curry powder)
  • 1 large (about 200 g) onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh lemon grass
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (for a spicier recipe, yummy ;)) )
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk (you can make it by putting 75-100 g coconut in a bowl, pour over the 300 boiling water and leave to stand for 30 minutes. I have done this and I don’t like it. There is nothing as good as the coconut in the can or if you are reaaaaaaly lucky, the milk from a fresh coconut)

Method:

  • Heat butter in a pan, add chicken, cook, stirring, until browned and tender; drain on absorbent paper. You can buy the chicken meat ready cooked but you will never beat the taste and smell of a freshly buttered cooked meat.
  • Reheat the pan, add onion, garlic, lemon grass, chili, coriander, juice, seeds, turmeric and sauce, curry powder, pepper, cook , stirring, until the onion is soft. Stir in chicken, sugar and flour, then the stock and milk, stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens.
  • Serve with the best Indian rice: basmati rice.

Bon appetite!

Tortellini With Mushroom Cream Sauce


I am not in the mood for writing anything today. That is why I will be short. The recipe I have chosen is a very tasty and fragrant one. It is that good that you will empty your plate at once. I bet on that. So let’s eat some

Tortellini With Mushroom Cream Sauce

Time: 18 min

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 185 g (6 oz) small mushrooms
  • 1 small lemon
  • 60 g (2 oz) butter ( you know already, 80-82 % fat)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 300 ml (9 1/2 fl oz) cream
  • black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 500 g (1 lb ) cooked tortellini, drained and kept warm

Method:

  • Slice the whole mushrooms finely. Grate the lemon rind finely. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan and cook the mushrooms over medium heat for 30 seconds.
  • Add the garlic, cream, lemon rind, freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg. Stir over low heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir through the grated Parmesan cheese and cook gently for 3 minutes further.
  • Place the cooked tortellini in a warm serving dish. Add the sauce and stir gently to combine well. Serve immediately.

Bon Appetite!

This dish is perfect, easy and sooo delicious. I picked it up from the cookbook “Confident Cooking – Classic Essential Pasta”, 1996. In case you have it, don’t look here! 😉