Tag Archives: pepper

Have You Got 15 Minutes?

Please, please, say yes. Do you like vegetables? Please, please, say yes. Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? Please, please, say yes. Otherwise I see no sense in writing this recipe. Who would like it, make it, taste it? 😦  Me? Yeah, I forgot about myself. I like vegetables, I am sometimes a vegetarian, I like to cook, to eat and to write recipes. And I like to do that for you, who take the time to read my blog. For this I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Today I invite you to try a French recipe, from Carolyn Humphries, ‘Simply Stylish Meals in 15 Minutes’, 1999. So, have you got 15 minutes? If so, here we go:

No-nonsense Ratatouille 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 4


  • 1 small aubergine (eggplant), sliced
  • 3 courgettes, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green (bell) peppers, sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) tomato purée (paste)
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) red wine or water


  • Put the prepared vegetables in a large pan with the olive oil. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Add the oregano, seasoning and the tomato purée blended with the wine or water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender.
  • Serve with buttered pasta and grated Parmesan cheese.

Bon appetite!


I know that you wonder what SSP is. You are paying attention now.;) SSP is sweet & sour pork for short. I remember eating this recipe for the first time in my life in Constanta in a Chinese restaurant and loved it to bits. When I discovered it in the “Original card from “Delicious Meals Made Easy” I was very happy. I had the chance to cook it anytime I wanted. It happened that I made it in London the first time.

Why are Chinese or Thai or Japanese or other Asian recipes so easy to cook? I have no idea but I like it. I would cook with a wok everyday, provided I have the ingredients and resources. I had this chance once, I took it and all I can do now is talk about it and sometime cook.

Sweet & Sour Pork

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine or sherry
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2,5 cm (1 in) piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 450 g (1 lb) pork fillet, cut into 2,5 cm (1 in) cubes
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (or flour)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar (or apple vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
  • 175 g (6 oz) mange tout, topped and tailed (I think you can replace them with broccoli or other pods, as I haven’t seen here them yet, but they are excellent. Too bad)
  • 227 g (8 oz) can of pineapple chunks in natural juice (optional, for a fruity addition)


  • Mix soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, garlic and ginger. Add pork, cover and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours. You can leave them longer, from the evening until the next day, if you like. Just remember that it smells quite strongly, so cover it well.
  • Drain pork in a sieve, reserving the marinade. Stir cornflour, rice vinegar, tomato sauce and honey into reserved marinade.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan or wok. Add pork and stir-fry over a high heat for 5 minutes. Remove pork from pan with a slotted spoon.
  • Heat remaining oil in pan or wok. Add peppers and mange tout and stir-fry over a high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add marinade mixture to pan or wok and stir until thickened. Add pork and cook for further 1 minute, stirring constantly. Breathe in the smell!
  • Serve with the savoury basmati rice or Chinese noodles. Any noodles will do. Delicious!

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


  • 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)


  • 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!

Roast Lamb With a Redcurrant Jelly Glaze

As you have been accustomed already, the recipes I have gathered here come into 2 languages: Romanian and English.  This one is an English recipe for Easter, you already know that and in my opinion it is very tasty, especially the gravy. I simply adore gravy. I would eat anytime with almost anything. To be sure I have it in Romania I even bought a pack of gravy powder from London, though I know I can make it at home, a much healthier and better solution. But sometimes I won’t bother.

Here is this traditional but marvelous recipe to make for a traditional Easter day, taken from Tesco Magazine.

Roast Lamb With a Redcurrant Jelly Glaze

Serves: 6  Takes: 2h 15 mins


For the roast

  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 2 tsp dry English mustard (if you don’t have it, you can replace it with any mustard you have )
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 approximately  2,3 kg (5 lb) leg of lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • 2 whole rosemary sprigs, torn
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the gravy:

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp dry English mustard
  • 450 ml (3/4 pt) lamb or beef stock (well, boiled water will do, or the water boiled with lamb or beef in it)
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly


  • Preheat oven to Gas 4, 180°C, 350°F. Combine jelly, mustard and olive oil, and rub all over the lamb. Make small 2,5 cm (1 in) deep incisions all over the lamb and stud with the garlic slivers and rosemary. Season well with salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer the lamb to a roasting tin and cook for 40 minutes per 900 g (2 lb). If the lamb begins to brown too much before the end of cooking, cover it with foil or baking paper (aluminium foil is toxic so try replacing it) and continue cooking. Once cooked, transfer to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil (baking paper and a kitchen towel to keep it in place). Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  • As the lamb rests, make the gravy. Tip excess fat out of the roasting tin, add flour and mustard to the tin, and stir over a low heat for 1 minute. Pour in stock  a little at a time, stirring as you go to remove lumps. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in redcurrant jelly and season to taste. Serve with the lamb.

Cook’s tip: Stud the lamb with chopped, dried apricots and bacon, or sun-dried tomatoes and black olives. In case you don’t have redcurrant jelly go with any wild fruit jelly.

Bon appetite!

Cashew Chicken With Noodles

For those who live in Romania and speak English as their native tongue or for those who love cooking and want the recipe in original, I will add here recipes that are all taken from the Internet or magazines and cookbooks in English, all tried and eaten very quickly. Why? Because I found them either easy or interesting to make and very tasty. You will excuse my grammar mistakes and other English error and I will be grateful if you take notice of them and tell me about it.

My first recipe that has introduced me in this miracle world of cooking is a Chinese recipe, cooked in January 2005 in London, to celebrate the Chinese New Year. All you need is love! I know, a little patience and hunger. You don’t want to cook all that food without eating it. Though I have to say that by the time I cook anything, my hunger is over, the smell of it feeds me already. 😉

Let’s get to work now. Enough talking. If you live in Romania you may find some ingredients missing but if you live abroad you are lucky. For those who still want to cook, I have made some changes, so you can have replacement and your recipe will taste with a twist: Romanian.

Cashew Chicken With Noodles

Serves 4

Takes 20 mins

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or sherry (or sunflower oil)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (or sunflower oil)
  • 1  1/2 tbsp light soy sauce (just plain soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp cornflower (flour)
  • 4 tbsp water

The rest:

  • 250 (9 oz) pack medium egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil (or sunflower oil)
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-5 cm (1 in) pieces
  • salt
  • 50 g (2 oz) cashew nuts
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into large pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch spring onion, halved


  • Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a jug ready to use.
  • Cook the noodles in a large pan of boiling water for the length of time recommended on the packet. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat, until smoking hot. Season chicken with salt and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Remove form pan and set aside.
  • Add the cashews and red peppers to pan and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then, add the garlic and spring onions and cook, stirring, for another minute. Return the chicken to the pan. Pour in the sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes until chicken is cooked and red pepper tender.

Plate up the noodles and serve topped with the cashew chicken.


Try experimenting with this recipe by adding bean sprouts, mange tout, asparagus tips, cubed tofu (fry with garlic and onions) or shiitake mushrooms.

Bon appetite!