December 31, 2010

La multi ani 2011!/ Happy New Year 2011!



(Please scroll down for English version)

Dragii mei vizitatori, va multumesc ca va gasiti vreme sa treceti si pe aici, si nu pot sa va urez decat ceea ce imi doresc si mie in prag de An Nou: sa fiti voiosi, sanatosi si la punga grosi, sa fie departe de voi rautatea si barfele, sa vi se implineasca dorintele si sa aveti numai bucate alese pe masa.

Iar pentru noaptea de Revelion va propun un cocktail, pe numele lui Mimosa. Usor de facut: se umplu cu sampanie (vin spumant) paharele pana la jumatate, iar restul se umplu cu suc de portocale. Daca vreti sa fiti mai exotici, inlocuiti sucul de portocale cu suc de mango.

Distractie placuta!

Dear followers and visitors, thank you for finding time to visit my blog, and I can only wish you what I wish for myself for the New Year: health and happiness, wealth, keep the bad away from you, and have a lot of nice recipes in 2011.


And for the New Years Eve party have a Mimosa. It's easy to make: fill the glasses half way with champagne (sparkling wine) and top it off with orange juice. If you're in an exotic mood, substitute the orange juice with mango juice.

Have fun!

December 26, 2010

Creveti si sparanghel inveliti in costita afumata/ Bacon wrapped shrimp and asparagus


(Please scroll down for English version)

"I love bacon, I love you!" (iubesc costita, te iubesc pe tine) , cam asa zice un catel intr-o reclama la televizor. Si cum sa nu il crezi, cui nu ii place costita? Si orice e invelit in ea. Iar daca va ganditi ca nu va place sparanghelul, cel in costita nu se compara cu nimic, iar creventii crocanti, o nebunie!
Un aperitiv perfect pentru sarbatorile de iarna, si nu numai, dar nu asa potrivit daca va apucati sa tineti dieta dupa sarbatori.

Sparanghel invelit in costita afumata

Ingrediente:

1 legatura de sparanghel
1 pachet de costita afumata taiata felii subtiri
sare si piper dupa gust
1/2 lingurita praf de usturoi
3 linguri ulei de masline

Nota: cantitatile de sparanghel si costita depind de cat de mare este sparanghelul, si cat de groase sunt tulpinile. Acum au fost foarte subtiri si am pus 3 odata, dar cand am avut tulpini foarte mari si groase, am pus si numai o tulpina intr-o felie de costita, sau in jumatate de felie de costita.



Se incinge cuptorul la 230 grade Celsius (450 Fahrenheit).

Sparanghelului i se taie cotoarele (vezi aici detalii), se da cu sare, piper, praful de usturoi si uleiul (nu puneti multa sare, costita este si ea sarata). Se mesteca sa fie acoperit bine de ulei. Se iau tulpinile de sparanghel si se invelesc in costita incepand de la un capat si continuand de-a lungul tulpinii, lasand capetele sparanghelului afara. Se pun cu capatul de costita ramas in jos intr-o tava neunsa (eu invelesc tava in folie de aluminiu sa curat mai usor). Se baga la cuptor 20 minute, intorcandu-se tulpinile la jumatatea timpului (partea de jos se rumeneste mai mult, intorcandu-se se rumenesc pe ambele parti). Se scot si se servesc calde. Se pot si incalzi mai tarziu daca mai ramane ceva :)

Creveti inveliti in costita afumata

Ingrediente:

15-20 creveti cruzi mari, fara crusta si curatati de vine
aprox 10 felii de costita afumata, taiate jumatati
sare si piper



Se incinge cuptorul la 260 grade Celsius (500 Fahrenheit) sau mai mult daca tine cuptorul.

Crevetii se tamponeaza cu un servetel pentru a elimina excesul de apa, si se dau cu putina sare si piper (nu puneti multa sare, costita este si ea sarata). Se inveleste fiecare crevet in jumatate de felie de costita, incepand de la cap si lasand coada neinvelita, si se pun intr-o tava neunsa, cu capatul de costita ramas liber in jos (eu invelesc tava in folie de aluminiu pentru a curata mai usor). Se baga in cuptorul incins 10 minute, intorcandu-se crevetii la jumatatea timpului (nu lasati crevetii prea mult in cuptor).

Se scot si se servesc calzi, cu sos sau fara.

Pofta buna!



“I love bacon, I love you!” that’s how that doggie on TV goes. And how not to believe him, who doesn’t love bacon? And everything that’s wrapped in it! And if you think you don’t like asparagus, the one wrapped in bacon doesn’t compare with anything, and the crispy shrimp, it’s a taste feast in your mouth!



Bacon wrapped asparagus or shrimp it’s a perfect appetizer for holiday dinner, or any other party you host. It’s not so perfect though if you’re thinking to start a diet.

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus
1 pack of smoked bacon
Salt and pepper after taste
½ tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp olive oil

Note: asparagus and bacon quantities vary after how thick the asparagus is. This time I used 3 asparagus sticks in a bundle; other times I used only one in a half a slice of bacon.

Preheat the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the ends of asparagus (you can see more details here), sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oil (go easy on salt, the bacon is salted too). Toss to coat the asparagus. Wrap the asparagus (1, 2 or 3 sticks) in one slice of bacon starting with one end, and going all along the other end, leaving the tips out. Place with the bacon end on bottom onto on ungreased baking sheet (I placed a piece of tin foil on the bottom for easy cleaning). Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, turning the bundles at half time. Remove and serve warm. They can be reheated in the microwave if you have leftovers.

Bacon wrapped shrimp

Ingredients:

15-20 raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
About 10 slices of bacon, halved
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit or broil.

Damp the shrimp with a paper towel to remove excess water. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper (use little salt, the bacon is also salted). Wrap each shrimp in bacon, leaving the tail out, and place with the bacon end at the bottom onto on ungreased baking sheet (I used tin foil for easy cleaning). Place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, turning the shrimp at half time (do not overcook).


Remove and serve warm, with our without sauce.


Enjoy!

December 24, 2010

Craciun fericit!/ Merry Christmas!


Sper ca ati avut un Craciun frumos si o masa imbelsugata, pentru ca al nostru asa a fost. Cam asta a fost meniul:
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a nice dinner, because we had. Here's what we had:


Salata de beof/ Romanian potatoes and vegetables salad

Creveti si sparanghel inveliti in costita afumata/ Bacon wrapped shrimp and asparagus

Sarmale cu mamaliga si smantana/ Stuffed cabbage with polenta


Prajiturele cu glazura de cafea / Coffee glazed cookies


Prajiturele cu glazura de portocale si nuca de cocos / Orange and coconut glazed cookies



Binenteles ca am avut si Fursecuri cu untura, si alte doua feluri de prajiturele nereusite, dar care trebuie perfectionate :) Friptura si carnatii i-am lasat pentru a doua zi, si o sa revin si cu retete.

Of course we also had Romanian lard cookies, and another two kinds of cookies, which didn't turned out good enough and I need to perfect them. I left the roast and the sausages for the next day, and I'm going to post some recipes too.

Happy Holidays!

Budinca de paine/ Bread pudding




I’m dreaming of a bread pudding,
Just like the one I used to have…
With some nuts and raisins,
Makes you want some days in…
And some brandy syrup on the top…



(Please scroll down for English version)
 
Printre atatea cumparaturi, pregatiri si servici, am gasit putin timp sa mai scriu si pe aici ceva.
 
Daca nu ati inteles ce e cu poezioara de mai sus, este varianta mea la unul din cantecele de Craciun. S-ar traduce asa: "Visez la o budinca cu paine, La fel ca cea pe care am mai avut-o... Cu niste nuci si stafide, Sa te faca sa iti iei niste zile libere... Si cu sirop cu brandy deasupra..." :))
 
Cred ca toata lumea e aproape gata cu pregatirile pentru Craciun, prajiturile sunt coapte, sarmalele sunt pe foc, salata de beof frumos decorata si friptura isi asteapta randul. Asa ca azi, pe langa un cantecel va dau o idee ce sa faceti dupa Craciun, din painea ramasa sau din cozonacul pe care nu il mananca nimeni.
 
Ce e cu budinca asta? Este foarte buna, ceva ce isi aduce cu un tort si in acelasi timp cu o crema de zahar ars. Este foarte dulce, data viitoare cand o sa o fac o sa reduc din zahar, iar daca folositi cozonac, as zice sa folositi numai o cana de zahar. Redau reteta exact cum am facut-o dupa Paula Deen (am adaugat numai niste stafide), dar mie nu mi-a placut nici textura zaharului brun, si o sa omit zaharul brun deasupra data viitoare. Pentru ca sigur o sa fie o data viitoare!
 
*Nota: o cana are 235 ml. Se foloseste paine veche de cel putin o zi. Se taie cuburi si se lasa intr-un castron peste noapte la temperatura camerei sa se usuce.
 
Ingrediente:
 
2 cani zahar tos
5 oua batute
2 cani lapte
2 lingurite esenta vanilie
3 cani de paine uscata (vezi nota de mai sus)
1 cana zahar brun
1/2 cana stafide
50 gr unt
1 cana de nuci tocate nu foarte marunt
 
Pentru sirop:
 
1 cana zahar
100 gr unt topit
1 ou batut
2 lingurite esenta vanilie
50 ml brandy sau cognac
 
Se incinge cuptorul la 180 grade Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Se unge cu unt o tava de aprox 22x33 cm.
 
Se amesteca bine zaharul tos, ouale, laptele si vanilia. Se toarna peste paine, se adauga stafidele si se lasa sa se inmoaie cel putin 10 minute. 



Separat se amesteca untul cu nucile si zaharul brun.






Se toarna amestecul de paine in tava, iar deasupra se presara amestecul de nuci si unt. Se baga in cuptorul incins si se coace 35-40 minute. Se scoate si se da deoparte.
 
Pentru sirop:
 
Se amesteca zaharul, untul, oul si vanilia intr-o craticioara pe foc mic. Se mesteca continuu pana cand se topeste zaharul. Se adauga brandy-ul si se amesteca pana se incorporeaza. Se toarna siropul peste budinca. Se serveste cald sau rece, este delicios oricum.
 
Pofta buna!



In between all the shopping, cooking and work, I found little time to write something. If you wonder what’s up with the poetry, that is my version of “White Christmas” :)

I think everybody is done cooking, so today I’m going to give you an idea what to do with the leftover bread or even with some panettone.


This bread pudding is so deliciously good, something in between a cake and a crème caramel. Is very sweet, I’m thinking to reduce the sugar next time, and if you’re using panettone, I would say 1 cup of sugar is enough. I reproduce the recipe exactly how I made it after Paula Deen (I only added some raisins), but I didn’t like the brown sugar texture, so I think I’m going to skip that too next time. Because for sure it’s going to be a next time!


*Note: Use at least 1 day old bread. Cut in cubes and leave it at room temperature overnight to dry out.


Ingredients:


2 cups granulated sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups cubed Italian bread (see above note)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup raisins
½ stick of butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans


For the syrup:


1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick of butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup brandy


Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13x9 inch pan.


Mix together the granulated sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour over bread, add the raisins and let sit for at least 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter and pecans.


Pour the bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture on top and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove and set aside.


For the syrup:


Mix together granulated sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold, it’s delicious both ways.


Enjoy!

December 19, 2010

Cadoul meu de Craciun/ My Christmas present


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A venit Mos Craciun la toate fetele gospodine sau boscodine, cu multe dulciuri minunate. Le puteti vedea pe toate la
Furnicuta acasa.

Cadoul meu de la Pica Flori:
brownie-uri. Si nu orice fel de brownie, ci cu cafea in ele, preferatele mele. O nebunie, mai ca imi vine sa las balta toate prajiturelele si sa fac brownie :)

Cadoul pe care i l-am facut eu lui Mari, il puteti vedea aici.

Craciun Fericit tuturor!




Santa came already to all the nice girls, with a lot of wonderful sweets. You can see all of them at
Furnicuta Boscodina.

I got a present too, from Pica Flori:
Brownies. Not any kind of brownies, but coffee brownies, my favorites! Delicious, I almost want to give up all the Christmas cookies and make brownies!

The present that I made for Mari you can see it here.


Merry Christmas everybody!

December 16, 2010

Salata de morcov si mar/ Carrot and apple salad




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Bradul e facut si asteptam cu nerabdare Craciunul. Planuim meniuri, impachetam cadouri si ascultam colinde. Dar prinsi in febra cadourilor, sa nu uitam ce sarbatorim de Craciun, nasterea pruncului Iisus.

Azi pe blog i-a venit randul unei salate de morcov, adaptata de mine dupa o reteta a lui Ellie Krieger, buna pentru cei care tin post, iar pentru cei care deja au trecut la fripturile de Craciun, e numai buna ca aperitiv sau ca garnitura. Ca sa nu pice greu la stomac :)

Dulce, acrisoara si condimentata in acelasi timp, e o explozie de gusturi si arome. Pentru prezentare eu am ales feliute de castravete taiate foarte subtire.

Ingrediente:

4 morcovi medii
1 mar curatat de coaja si seminte
1 catel de usturoi dat pe razatoarea mica
1 lingura de patrunjel tocat
sare, piper proaspat macinat
1/2 lingurita ardei uscat iute
zeama de la 1/2 lamaie
1 lingurita de miere
1/2 lingurita chimen macinat
1/4 lingurita boia
2 fire ceapa verde taiate felii subtiri pe diagonala(optional)
1 lingura de ulei de susan
1 lingura de ulei de masline extra virgin (daca nu aveti ulei de susan, folositi 2 linguri ulei de masline)
2 linguri seminte de susan prajite pentru decor*
felii de castravete pentru servit (optional)


Morcovii si marul se dau pe razatoare si marul se stropeste imediat cu zeama de lamaie sa previna oxidarea.

Se amesteca cu restul ingredientelor (cu exceptia semintelor de susan si a castravetelui) pana sunt bine combinate. Se pot servi pe felii de castravete si se presara seminte de susan deasupra.

*Pentru a praji semintele de susan se pun intr-o tigaie in strat subtire la foc mediu si se scutura tigaia din cand in cand pana cand se rumenesc putin.

Pofta buna!



The Christmas tree is glistening and we are waiting for Christmas. We’re planning menus, wrapping gifts and listening carols. But caught in the gifts vertigo, let’s not forget the real meaning of Christmas: the birth of baby Jesus.

Today on my blog it’s a salad turn, adapted by me after Ellie Krieger’s recipe. It’s a vegan dish, but it can also be served as a side dish or as an appetizer.

Sweet, sour and spicy, it’s an explosion of flavors. For presentation I choose thinly sliced cucumber.

Ingredients:

4 medium carrots
1 apple, skinned and cored
1 grated garlic clove
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
Salt and fresh ground pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes
The juice from ½ lemon
1 tsp honey
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp paprika
2 green onions thinly sliced diagonally (optional)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (if you don’t have sesame oil, use 2 tbsp olive oil)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds for décor*
Cucumber slices for serving

Grate the carrots and apple and sprinkle right away with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Add the rest of ingredients (except sesame seeds and cucumber) and mix until well combined. Serve on cucumber slices or from a bowl decorated with sesame seeds.

*To toast the sesame seeds, place them in a pan in a thin layer on medium heat for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan often until golden brown.

Enjoy!

December 12, 2010

Torta Regina




(Please scroll down for English version)

A venit Decembrie si toata lumea a intrat in febra cadourilor. Cadouri mici, cadouri mari, cadouri scumpe, cadouri ieftine, cadouri cu fonte, cadouri fara fonte, cadouri de impresionat sefii, de impresionat socrii, sau pe cine mai aveti de impresionat. Imi place sa fac cadouri, si mai ales sa primesc cadouri, si imi plac cel mai mult cele facute din inima si cele la care persoana care le daruieste s-a gandit din timp: "oare ii place? sunt aproape sigura ca da! :)"

La "
In dar de Craciun" Furnicuta Boscodina s-a gandit sa ne facem si cadouri virtuale de Craciunul asta, si bine s-a mai gandit! Sper sa ne mai facem cadouri si Craciunul viitor. Poate nici nu trebuie sa mai asteptam pana la Craciun, sa ne facem cadouri si fara ocazie! Asa ca eu a trebuit sa ii fac un cadou lui Mari, cu ingredientele secrete: nuci, migdale, ciocolata, portocale si lamai. M-am gandit putin ce as putea face sa le integrez pe toate si mi-am adus aminte ca voiam de ceva timp sa incerc Torta Regina, din cartea de prajituri a lui Emily Luchetti. Asa ca in loc de alune de padure din reteta originala am folosit amestec de nuci si migdale (sunt convinsa ca ar fi fost divina si cu alune), iar ca sa ii dau o aroma mai puternica de portocale i-am facut o glazura. Dar Torta Regina poate fi servita si simpla, sau cu niste inghetata de vanilie.

Abia astept sa vad ce mi s-a pregatit mie! :)

Ingrediente:

175 gr nuci si migdale coapte si macinate
175 gr ciocolata amaruie data pe razatoare
coaja rasa de la o portocala
coaja rasa de la o lamaie
6 oua separate albusurile de galbenusuri
1/2 cana (aprox 100 gr) de zahar tos

Se incinge cuptorul la 180 grade Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
Se tapeteaza cu hartie de copt fundul unei tavi rotunde de aprox 23 cm.

In robotul de bucatarie se pun nucile, migdalele, ciocolata si coaja rasa de lamaie si portocala. Se mixeaza pana cand totul este fin macinat.

Intr-un bol se bat galbenusurile cu jumatate de zahar cateva minute pana cand se dubleaza in volum si devin mai deschise la culoare. Se adauga amestecul de nuci si ciocolata si se amesteca sa se incorporeze.

Separat se bat albusurile pana cand incep sa faca spuma, se adauga restul de zahar si se bat pana cand nu mai cad de pe tel (sau mixer). Cu o spatula se incorporeaza usor albusurile spuma in crema cu galbenusuri si nuca. Se toarna compozitia in tava tapetata si se coace in cuptorul incins pentru 30-35 minute pana cand o scobitoare bagata in mijloc iasa afara curata.

Se scoate prajitura din cuptor, se lasa sa se raceasca la temperatura camerei. Se baga un cutit subtire printre prajitura si tava de jur imprejur, apoi se rastoarna prajitura pe platou. Se dezlipeste hartia si se poate servi.

Pentru glazura de portocala am folosit 2 portocale si 1/2 cana zahar pudra.
Portocalele le-am decojit cu cutitul, ca sa nu mai ramana coaja sau membrana alba. Tinand portocala deasupra unul castron, folosind un cutit mic am taiat felii de portocala intre membrane, iar restul de portocala l-am stors bine (pentru poze click
aici). Am separat zeama de bucatile de fructe, si am amestecat zeama cu zaharul pe foc mic. Am lasat-o sa fiarba cateva minute pana cand s-a ingrosat putin intr-un sirop, iar apoi am adaugat fructele si le-am lasat 1 minut. Am turnat glazura si bucatile de fructe peste toata prajitura si am servit (sau m-am servit).

Craciun fericit!



December is here and everybody started the gifts euphoria: little gifts, big gifts, expensive gifts, cheap gifts, with ribbon, without ribbon, gifts to impress the boss, to impress the in-laws, or anyone else you would want to impress. I like to make gifts, and I like even more to receive gifts, and I love the gifts that come from the heart and the person that gives the gift gave it a thought: “would she like it? I’m pretty sure she would! :)”

At “
In dar de Craciun (A gift for Christmas)” Furnicuta Boscodina had the virtual gifts idea, and it was a great idea! I hope we’re doing this next Christmas too. Or maybe even earlier, we don’t really need a special occasion! I had to make a gift for Mari with the secret ingredients: walnuts, almonds, chocolate, oranges and lemons. I thought for a little what I could make to integrate all the ingredients and I remembered that I wanted to try this Torta Regina from Emily Luchetty’s cookbook. So instead of hazelnuts I used mixed walnuts and almonds (I’m sure that hazelnuts are great too) and to give it more holiday flavor I made an orange glaze. But the Torta Regina can be served plain or with some vanilla ice cream too.

I can’t wait to see what I am going to get! :)

Ingredients:

5 ½ oz (1 1/3 cups) mixed ground walnuts and almonds
5 ½ bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
Grated zest from one orange
Grated zest from one lemon
6 eggs separated
½ cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line the bottom of 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper.

In a food processor combine the nuts, chocolate and lemon and orange zest and pulse to grind finely. Set aside.

In a bowl beat the egg yolks and half of sugar for few minutes until creamed and double in volume. Add the nut mixture and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the rest of the sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Using a spatula incorporate half of the egg whites in the nut mixture and then add the rest of the egg whites. Fold until no white streaks remain. Pour the batter in the pan.

Bake in the preheated oven about 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool at room temperature. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake, invert a platter on top of the pan, and invert the plate and the pan together. Lift the pan and remove the parchment paper.

For the orange glaze I used 2 oranges and ½ cup powdered sugar.
I peeled the oranges with a knife, taking all the skin and membrane off. Keeping the orange on top of a bowl, using a paring knife I cut pieces of orange in between the membranes (some images
here). I squeezed the rest of the orange very well. I separated the pieces of fruit and juice. Mix the juice and the sugar in a sauce pan and boil until thickened a little and add the pieces of fruit. Keep on heat for another minute and remove. Pour the glaze and fruits all over the cake and I served (myself).

Merry Christmas!

December 11, 2010

Maioneza de casa/ Homemade mayonnaise




(Please scroll down for English version)

Afara ploua si e urat, iar eu sunt in casa la caldura cu o cana de ciocolata calda si m-am gandit sa va povestesc cum se face maioneza. Ok, recunosc, ciocolata nu o am chiar acum, dar este in plan!

Probabil ca unii dintre voi stiti cum se face maioneza, dar poate unii nu stiu. Sau poate cred ca este complicat, se taie, ia mult timp... Nimic mai fals. Si maioneza rezultata este mult mai buna decat cea cumparata (nu pot sa garantez ca este "fara grasimi!") Am facut prima maioneza cand aveam vreo 15 ani, mi s-a si taiat si a trebuit sa o iau de la inceput. Dar tot a iesit si de atunci nu cred ca mi s-a mai taiat vreodata. Daca aveti un mixer de mana este si mai usor.

Componentele principale ale maionezei sunt oua si ulei. Sunt mai multe variante la aceste 2 ingrediente si la ce condimente se adauga. Prima varianta pe care am invatat-o de la mama si imi place sa o folosesc la
salata de vinete sau la salata de beof este cu un galbenus fiert si unul crud. Mi se pare mai simplu pentru ca se incheaga mai repede.

Puteti folosi ulei de masline la maioneza, dar eu prefer sa folosesc ulei de floarea soarelui pentru ca este lipsit de arome.

Daca va ingrijorati sa mancati oua crude, verificati ca ouale sa fie proaspete. Altfel eu nu am avut niciodata probleme.

Ingrediente:

1 galbenus de ou crud (in poze se vad 2 pentru ca am facut o cantitate mare)
1 galbenus de ou fiert tare (10 minute)
sare dupa gust
zeama de lamaie dupa gust (2-3 linguri)
1 cana (250 ml) de ulei de floarea soarelui



Se piseaza bine galbenusul fiert si se amesteca cu o lingura de lemn cu cel crud. Se adauga uleiul cate o lingura odata si se mesteca bine dupa fiecare adaugare. Se poate baga mixerul de mana si treaba va merge mai usor (daca va aluneca vasul pe masa cand adaugati ulei puteti pune un prosop de bucatarie impaturit sub castron). Se adauga sare si zeama de lamaie dupa preferinta. Se mesteca pana cand se termina uleiul, sau ajungeti la cantitatea de maioneza pe care o doriti. Ca sa o mai subtiati puteti adauga o lingura sau doua de apa rece si mestecati din nou.



Sunt si alte variante, de exemplu cumnata mea face maioneza numai dintr-un galbenus crud, mustar si ulei, si adauga si albusul dupa ce adauga jumatate din ulei.

O alta varianta pe care am gasit-o pe blogului lui
Ellie este mult mai usoara dar necesita un robot de bucatarie cu deschidere pe unde se pot adauga ingrediente in timp ce robotul merge. Varianta aceasta este mult mai apropiata la consistenta cu maioneza cumparata si mi s-a parut mai potrivita pentru sandvisuri.

Ingrediente:

1 ou crud
2 linguri zeama de lamaie
1/2 lingurita mustar (preferabil Dijon)
sare si piper dupa gust
1 cana (250 ml) ulei de floarea soarelui



Se pune oul, zeama de lamaie, mustarul, sarea si piperul in robot, se pune capacul si se da drumul cateva secunde sa se amestece ingredientele, apoi cu mixerul mergand se adauga uleiul in fir subtire pana cand este tot integrat. Rezultat garantat 100% :)



Spor la treaba!

(PS Pana sa termin de scris si de tradus am facut si ciocolata si am si baut-o :)))



Outside is raining and it’s cold, but I’m inside with a hot chocolate and I was thinking to tell you how to make homemade mayo. Ok, you got me, I don’t have the chocolate right now, but I’m planning to make one!

Maybe some of you know how to make mayonnaise, but maybe some of you don’t. Or maybe you think is complicated, it’s going to curdle, or it takes a long time… None of this is true. And the result is tastier than the store bought one (I can’t guarantee that is fat free though!) I made my first mayo when I was around 15 years old, it curdled and I had to start again. But it turned out good and it never curdled since. If you use a hand mixer things simplify even more.

The main components of mayo are eggs and oil. There are more variations of these two components and the seasonings. First variation I learned it from my mom and I like to use it at
eggplant spread and at beof salad (a Romanian potato salad) is using one raw egg yolk and one hard boiled. I think it’s easier because this way the mayo will thicken faster.

You can use olive oil for mayo, but I prefer sunflower oil because it doesn’t have as much flavor. You can also use vegetable oil or grape seed oil.

And it you’re worrying about eating raw eggs, just make sure they’re fresh. Other than that, I never had any problems.

Ingredients:

1 raw egg yolk
1 hardboiled egg yolk (boiled 10 minutes)
Salt after taste
Lemon juice after taste (1-2 tbsp)
1 cup sunflower oil

Smash very well the hardboiled egg yolk and mix it with a wooden spoon with the raw one. Start adding oil 1 tbsp at a time, mixing after each addition. You can also use the hand mixer to make it easier (if the bowl is sliding while you use the other hand to add the oil, just fold a kitchen towel and place it under the bowl). Add little salt and lemon juice as much you prefer. Add the oil and mix until you reach the desired consistency or all the oil is used. If it’s too thick, you can add 1 or 2 tbsp cold water and mix again.

There are other variations, my sister in law is using only raw egg yolk, mustard and oil, and she is adding the egg white during mixing.

Another foolproof variation I found it on
Ellie’s blog. It’s foolproof but requests using a food processor. I found this mayo with a similar texture with the store bought one, and it’s delicious to use it for sandwiches.

Ingredients:

1 raw egg
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp mustard (Dijon)
Salt and pepper after taste
1 cup sunflower oil

Add the egg, lemon juice, salt, pepper and mustard to the food processor, and whirl few seconds to mix. With the food processor running slowly start adding the oil until all incorporated. Just try it, it is foolproof!

(PS Until I finished typing and translating, I already had the hot chocolate and outside it start snowing :))

December 09, 2010

Salata calda cu calamari/ Warm calamari salad




(Please scroll down for English version)

Iata ca "Dulce Romanie" creste incet-incet. Luna a 3-a a ajuns la Iasi, de unde Alison ne provoaca sa gatim cu peste si fructe de mare. Imi plac toate, dar pentru aceasta provocare am ales sa postez aceasta salata cu calamari, adaptata dupa o reteta a Giadei de Laurentiis, adaugandu-i paste. Este mai satioasa, sanatoasa si usoara.

Imi place sa folosesc rosii cireasa pentru ca au mai mult gust, in special ca nu sunt in sezon. Ardeiul iute uscat ii da doar foarte putin gust iute, daca nu va place, puteti sa il omiteti.
Pentru cine nu stie ce sunt caperele, sunt fructele unei plante din zona mediteraneana, cel mai des intalnite conservate. Sunt foarte sarate, asa ca aveti grija cu sarea.

Iar daca stiti ca regula ca orice carne cu cat este gatita mai mult devine mai frageda, nu este valabil in cazul crevetilor si calamari-ului. Trebuie gatiti numai cateva minute, altfel devin tari si cauciucati :)

Ingrediente:

3 linguri ulei de masline extra virgin
3 catei de usturoi tocati
1 1/2 cani de rosii cireasa taiate pe jumatate
1/4 lingurita ardei iute rosu uscat
sare si piper dupa gust
aproximativ 400 grame calamari
aproximativ 2 cani de paste uscate, orice forma doriti (eu am folosit paste integrale)

Pentru dressing:

2 linguri zeama de lamaie
2 linguri ulei de masline extra virgin
coaja rasa de la 1 lamaie
2 linguri de capere, clatite in apa si scurse
sare si piper
2 linguri patrunjel tocat

Tuburile de calamari se taie in rondele de 1 cm, si se curata de eventualul os transparent ramas inauntrul tubului. Tentaculele se lasa intregi.



Se pune o oala cu apa la fiert. Cand fierbe, se pune o lingura de sare si se adauga pastele. Se fierb dupa timpul specificat pe pachet (daca puneti pastele in acelasi timp cand incepeti sa incingeti uleiul, vor fi gata in acelasi timp).

Se incing cele 3 linguri de ulei intr-o tigaie mare, si se adauga usturoiul si ardeiul uscat. Se calesc un minut, apoi se adauga rosiile. Se mesteca si se lasa 3-4 minute, apoi se adauga calamarii. Se dau cu putina sare si piper, si se calesc mestecandu-se 2-3 minute. Opreste focul, se scurg pastele si se adauga fierbinti in tigaie sa absoarba sosul lasat de rosii.

Separat se amesteca zeama de lamaie, coaja de lamaie, 2 lnguri de ulei de masline, putina sare si piper si caperele.



Se toarna peste paste si se mesteca. Se presara patrunjel tocat si se serveste calda.

Pofta buna!



Sweet Romania” challenge is growing little by little. The third edition arrived in Iasi, Romania, where Alison is challenging us to cook with fish and seafood. I like it all, but I choose to post this warm calamari salad, adapted after Giada de Laurentiis, to which I added some pasta. It’s filling, healthy and easy to make.

I like to use cherry tomatoes because I find it tastier, especially because the tomatoes are not in season right now. The red pepper flakes bring a little heat, but if you don’t like it spicy, just skip it.

For whoever doesn’t know what capers are, they are the fruit of a plant that grows in the Mediterranean region, and they are found preserved in juice. They’re very salty, so be careful adding salt to the dish.

Ingredients:

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes halved
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper after taste
About 1 pound calamari
About 2 cups dry pasta any shape you like (I used whole wheat)

For the dressing:

2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
The zest from 1 lemon
2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Slice the calamari tubes ½ inch rounds, and check for the transparent bone on the inside of the tube. Leave the tentacles whole.

Bring a pot with water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp of salt, add the pasta and cook after the time specified on the package (if you add the pasta at the same time you start sautéing the garlic, they’ll be ready in the same time).

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan, and add the garlic and pepper flakes. Sautee for 1 minute, and add the tomatoes. Sauté for 3-4 minutes and add the calamari. Sprinkle little salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Turn off the heat, drain the pasta and add the hot pasta to the pan and toss to absorb the juices from the pan.

In a bowl mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, capers and little salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.

Enjoy!


December 08, 2010

Pulpe de rata brezate cu pastarnac/ Braised duck legs with parsnip




(Please scroll down for English version)

Limba romana, foarte bogata in cuvinte, in domeniul culinar este ceva mai saraca. Probabil din cauza ca bucataritul profesional nu a fost privit cu ochi buni mult timp, iar cuvintele imprumutate in general din limba franceza nu au fost integrate in limbajul comun. Asa ca atunci cand am vrut sa traduc cuvantul "braised" din limba engleza nu am stiut care ar fi echivalentul in romana. M-a ajutat maestrul
Radu Popovici, fiind ceva mai profesionist decat mine.
In schimb, cand vine vorba de prajituri, in romaneste sunt atatea variante (prajituri, prajiturele, fursecuri, torturi, chec, pandispan etc), si cu denumiri care mai de care: Alba ca Zapada, Desteapta, Tavalita, Zebra, Dinti de negru :) Dar sa nu ne abatem si sa ne intoarcem la ratele noastre.

Diferenta intre "la cuptor" si "brezat" ar fi in mare ca la cuptor se foloseste caldura uscata, iar la brezare carnea este gatita in lichid.

Am adaptat aceasta reteta dupa o reteta de pe
epicurious.com, pentru ca am gatit numai pentru 2 persoane. Carnea de rata are un gust foarte bun, iar gatita timp mai mult in vin si supa de pui devine foarte frageda. Stiam ca imi place ceapa coapta, dar surpriza placuta a venit din partea pastarnacului. Cu un gust undeva intre cartof si morcov, s-a caramelizat foarte placut in tigaia mea de tuci si a avut o dulceata aparte. O mancare delicioasa, pentru zile mari!

Ingrediente:

2 pulpe de rata
sare si piper dupa gust
2 linguri ulei de masline
1/4 lingurita ienibahar pudra (sau cuisoare englezesti)
4-5 salote taiate in jumatate pe lung (sau o ceapa rosie mare taiata bucati pe lung cu partea de la radacina atasata)
3-4 pastarnaci mari taiati felii rotunde de aprox 1,5 cm
1 lingurita cimbrisor tocat
1 lingura usturoi tocat
1 foaie de dafin
1/2 cana vin alb
1-2 cani supa de pui

Se incinge cuptorul la 190 grade Celsius (375 Fahrenheit).

Picioarele de rata se sterg si se freaca cu sare, piper si ienibahar. Se incing 2 linguri de ulei in tigaie (una care poate fi bagata la cuptor) si se prajesc pulpele de rata pe ambele parti, pana cand se rumenesc si se topeste din grasimea de pe pulpe. Nu aveti nevoie de mult ulei in tigaie initial, decat atat cat sa fie tigaia unsa.

Se scot pulpele si se dau deoparte.

Se amesteca pastarnacul cu salotele, cimbrisorul, usturoiul si foaia de dafin. Se dau cu sare si piper si se toarna deasupra uleiul si grasimea din tigaie. Se amesteca bine si se pune totul in tigaie, aranjandu-se printre legume si pulpele. Se toarna vinul si se pune supa de pui cat sa acopere pulpele mai mult de jumatate, numai pielea sa ramana afara. Se baga in cuptorul incins pentru 1 ora - 1 1/2 ore, pana cand lichidul scade (la mine a scazut de tot). In cazul in care mai ramane lichid, se poate folosi ca sos.

Pofta buna!



I like duck meat, we used to eat it a lot growing up. It has a rich taste, and cooked for a long time in wine and chicken stock becomes very tender. I knew I like roasted onion, but the nice surprise came from the parsnip. With a taste somewhere between a carrot and a potato, it caramelized very nice in my cast iron pan and it had a really nice sweetness.

I also found out with this occasion what is the difference between “braised” and “roasted”. In braised the meat is cooked slowly in liquid and roasted is made in dry heat, in the oven or in the grill.

The recipe is adapted from
epicurious.com, because I cooked only 2 duck legs for the two of us.

Ingredients:

2 duck legs
Salt and pepper after taste
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp ground allspice
4-5 shallots cut in halves (or a large red onion cut in large pieces still attached at the root)
3-4 large parsnips cut in ½ inch slices
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 bay leaf
½ cup white wine
1-2 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pat dry the duck legs and rub them with salt, pepper and allspice. Heat the oil in a cast iron pan (or other pan that can go in the oven) and brown the legs on both sides for 3-4 minutes until some fat melts. Remove and set aside.

Mix the parsnip, shallots, thyme, garlic and bay leaf. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour over the oil from the pan. Toss and return everything in the pan, fitting the duck legs in between the vegetables. Pour over the wine and enough stock so most of each leg is submerged but skins are not.

Place in the preheated oven for 1 – 1 ½ hours until the liquid evaporates (mine evaporated completely). If there is some liquid left, it can be used as a sauce.

Enjoy!

December 05, 2010

Supa de cartofi si spanac/ Spinach and potatoes soup




(Please scroll down for English version)

Cand eram mici si venea primavara, parintii si bunicii ne ziceau sa mancam spanac si urzici (adica multe frunze verzi) ca sa se schimbe sangele. Sangele nu se schimba, in schimb luam vitamine din frunzele proaspete de care ne lipsisem toata iarna. In zilele de azi putem gasi spanac proaspat la magazin si in mijlocul iernii, iar daca nu, spanacul congelat este foarte bun inlocuitor, pastrand toate calitatile spanacului proaspat.

Supa crema de cartofi si spanac este buna pentru zilele friguroase de iarna, alaturi de niste paine crocanta. Imi place sa termin supa cu frisca lichida neindulcita in loc de smantana pentru ca are o textura mai fina. Iar daca alegeti sa folositi seminte de coriandru si fenicul, vor da supei o aroma exotica indiana.

Ingrediente:

1 ceapa medie tocata
2 catei de usturoi tocati
1 lingura unt
2 linguri ulei de masline
5 cartofi mari curatati de coaja si taiati bucati
2 maini bune de spanac
1 - 1 1/2 supa de pui sau apa
1/2 lingurita chimen pudra
1 lingurita de seminte de coriandru si fenicul pisate (optional)
sare si piper dupa gust
1 cana frisca lichida neindulcita
1/2 lingurita de nucsoara proaspat macinata

Se incinge untul si uleiul intr-o oala si se adauga ceapa. Se caleste pana devine translucenta, apoi se adauga usturoiul si se caleste si el un minut-doua. Se adauga chimenul, semintele zdrobite de coriandru si fenicul si se calesc 1 minut. Se stinge cu putina supa, se adauga cartofii si restul de supa, putina sare si piper. Cand incepe sa fiarba, se adauga spanacul si se lasa sa fiarba cam 20-30 minute pana cand cartofii sunt fierti.



Se opreste focul si se face piure (fie in blender, aveti grija cu supa fierbinte, fie cu blenderul care se baga in oala). Se pune iara pe foc mic, se potriveste cu sare si piper, se adauga nucsoara si frisca lichida, fara a se da in clocot.

Se opreste focul si se serveste fierbinte.

Pofta buna!



When we were kids, our parents and grandparents use to tell us every spring to eat spinach and green leaves so our blood could change. The blood didn’t change, but from the green leaves that we missed all winter long we would take the vitamins. Nowadays we can find fresh spinach in the groceries stores all year round, and if we can’t find it, frozen spinach is very good too, having as many qualities as fresh spinach.

The spinach and potatoes soup is good for the cold winter days, served with fresh crusty bread. If you choose to use coriander and fennel seeds, you will have some Indian flavors in your soup.

Ingredients:

1 medium chopped onion
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 handfuls fresh spinach
4-6 cups chicken stock (or water)
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp crushed mixed coriander and fennel seeds (optional)
Salt and pepper after taste
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp fresh ground nutmeg

Heat the oil and butter in a pot, and add the onion. Sauté until translucent, then add the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and fennel (if using) and bloom for 1 minute. Add the potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and turn down the heat. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Turn off the heat and puree the soup either with immersion blender or regular blender (be careful with hot liquids!) Return on low heat, check for salt and pepper, add the nutmeg and heavy cream, without boiling. Turn off the heat and serve hot.

Enjoy!

December 03, 2010

Prajiturele romanesti pe site-ul Cooking Channel tv


Intru zilnic pe Facebook. Chiar de mai multe ori pe zi. Am multi prieteni bloggeri romani. Acolo e locul de intalnire al blogosferei culinare romanesti :)

Dar nu despre asta vreau sa va spun. Acum vreo 2-3 luni, in septembrie, am vazut un mic anunt pe Facebook de la canalul tv Cooking Channel: postati reteta favorita cu prajiturele de Craciun si reteta castigatoare va figura pe site-ul Cooking Channel la cele 12 zile de prajiturele. M-a prins ideea si am trecut la treaba: Fursecurile romanesti cu untura. Am copt, am facut poze (poate cele mai reusite poze de pana acum) si apoi am mancat! :) Am postat poza si adresa retetei pe site-ul si dupa vreo saptamana am primit un mesaj care imi spunea ca sunt printre cei 3 finalisti! Am fost foarte fericita! Mai trebuiau sa faca si ei toate prajiturelele si apoi sa decida. Cateva saptamani nu am mai auzit nimic de la ei, asa ca m-am gandit sa ii intreb eu. I-am trimit un mesaj Debrei (editorul cu care am tinut legatura) si cand am vazut mesajul "You are!"(adica "tu esti!") am sarit in sus de bucurie! La propriu, cu pisicelul care se uita la mine si nu intelegea de ce :)

Asa ca, la cele 12 zile de prajiturele de Craciun la cookingchanneltv.com, alaturi de prajiturelele lui Jamie Oliver, Roger Mooking, Laura Calder, David Rocco si Rachael Ray, apar si "Prajiturele romanesti de sarbatori", gratie retetei bloggerului Mihaela Pesa Dascalu. Sunt asa de fericita si mandra!

November 28, 2010

Couscous cu vinete si ardei copti/ Roasted eggplant and peppers couscous




(Please scroll down for English version)

Imi plac foarte mult vinetele, in special in salata de vinete, si apoi in Ratatouille, bucatelele de vinete coapte. Sunt asa dragute cum stau cuminti feliate si date cu sare multa (ceea ce le impiedica sa se innegreasca si in acelasi timp le ia gustul amar) si isi asteapta soarta intr-o mancare delicioasa.

Ideea de couscous cu vinete mi-a venit in timp ce faceam cumparaturile de mancare. Am trecut pe langa vinete, si cum ador vinetele coapte, ma gandeam in ce sa le integrez. Cand am ajuns la raftul cu ingrediente arabesti, s-a apris beculetul! Couscous cu vinete coapte si ardei copti. Pentru putina balansare a gusturilor, am adaugat anghinare gata marinata la borcan.

Rezultatul a fost foarte gustos, satios si proaspat. Foarte bun cald, dar si rece a doua zi. Sigur pus pe lista mancarurilor de facut din nou.

Ingrediente:

1 cana couscous
1 cana apa fiarta
1 vanata mare
1 ardei rosu gras mare
1/2 cana anghinare marinata din borcan
3-4 linguri patrunjel tocat
1 lamaie, coaja rasa si zeama
1 lingurita chimen pudra
sare si piper dupa gust
3-4 linguri ulei de masline extra virgin

Se incinge cuptorul la 230 grade Celsius (450 Fahrenheit).

Vanata se taie felii groase de aprox 1 - 1 1/2 cm si se presara cu multa sare. Se lasa cam 20 minute. Intre timp se coace ardeiul, intorcandu-se pe toate partile pana se rumeneste. Se scoate si se lasa sa se raceasca putin, se curata de coaja si seminte si se taie bucati. Se da cu putina sare si se da deoparte.

Feliile de vinete se spala sub jet de apa, se taie bucati mai mari, se pun intr-o tava si se presara cu piper si putin ulei de masline. Se coc in cuptorul incins 15 minute.



Anghinarea se scurge si se taie bucati mai mici, depinde cat este de mare.



Se pune apa fiarta peste couscous, se acopera cu o folie de plastic si se lasa 5 minute sa se abureasca, apoi se infoaie cu o furculita. Se amesteca cu ardeiul, vinetele, anghinarea si patrunjelul.

Separat se amesteca zeama si coaja de lamaie, chimenul, sare, piper si ulei de masline si se toarna peste couscous. Se amesteca bine si se serveste.

Pofta buna!



I love eggplants, especially in Eggplant spread, and in Ratatouille, roasted pieces of eggplant. And they are so cute sprinkled with a lot of salt (which prevent browning and extract the bitter juices) and waiting their destiny in a delicious meal (I should’ve named this post: How not to be afraid of eggplant!)

The idea of couscous with eggplant I got it while I was groceries shopping. I passed the eggplants and I was thinking in what I could integrate it. When I got to the ethnic isle, the light bulb lit: Couscous with roasted eggplant and peppers. To balance the sweetness I added some marinated artichokes.

The result was very tasty, filling and refreshing. It was good warm and cold the next day. It is for sure put on the make again list.

Ingredients:

1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 large eggplant
1 large red bell pepper
½ cup jarred marinated artichokes
3-4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper after taste
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slice the eggplant ½ inch thick and sprinkle a lot of salt. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile roast the pepper in the preheated oven, turning on all sides until golden brown. Let cool a little and clean the seeds and skin. Cut in pieces and sprinkle with little salt.

Rinse the eggplant slices, cut in pieces. Place on a roasting sheet, sprinkle with pepper and little olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.

Cut the artichokes in smaller pieces.

Pour 1 cup boiling water over the couscous and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Mix in the peppers, eggplant, artichokes and parsley.

In a separate bowl mix the lemon zest, juice, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil. Pour over couscous and toss. Serve warm or cold.

Enjoy!

November 26, 2010

Legume la cuptor/ Roasted vegetables




(Please scroll down for English version)

Legumele coapte raspandesc in casa o aroma si caldura placuta si te imbie sa te apuci sa impodobesti casa de Craciun. Le pui in cuptor, si tocmai bine, pana se termina de copt ai terminat si tu de decorat. Mai lipseste o ciocolata calda sa incheie cina, sau niste castane coapte...

Mi-a placut aceasta reteta luata de la Giada de Laurentiis, pe care eu am modificat-o putin dupa gusturile mele. I-am adaugat ceapa, care imi place foarte mult coapta, si putin otet balsamic, pentru ca imi place putin mai acrisor. Varzutele de Bruxelles sunt rumenite si delicioase, cartofii dulci si pastarnacul dulcegi, o nebunie de gusturi. O mancare foarte colorata, cred ca impaca toate gusturile, pentru copii, pentru cei care tin post, sau ca garnitura la friptura de duminica in familie.

Ingrediente:

1 ceapa rosie medie taiata bucati mari
2 morcovi medii taiati in bucati de vreo 4 cm
aproximativ 15 varzute de Bruxelles, curatate de foile de afara si taiate jumatati
4 cartofi rosii cu coaja, taiati felii rotunde de 2-3 cm
1 pastarnac taiat felii rotunde de 2-3 cm
1 cartof dulce curatat de coaja si taiat felii rotunde de 2-3 cm
1 lingurita de sare
piper proaspat macinat
100 ml ulei de masline
1 lingurita de ierburi uscate amestecate (oregano, cimbru, rozmarin, cimbrisor, busuioc, salvie)
otet balsamic pentru stropit deasupra (optional)

Se incinge cuptorul la 200 grade Celsius (400 Fahrenheit).

Intr-o tava mai mare se pun toate legumele, se dau cu sare, piper, ierburi si ulei si se amesteca totul bine. Ar trebui sa aveti un singur strat cu legume.
Se baga in cuptorul incins pentru 35-40 minute pana cand legumele sunt rumenite.

Se scot si se servesc cu putin otet balsamic stropit deasupra.

Pofta buna!



The roasted vegetables spread a nice aroma in the house and they lure you in to put up the Christmas tree. Place them in the oven, and when you finish decorating, the dinner is ready too. A nice hot chocolate or some roasted chestnuts can finish up a nice evening…

I loved this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis, which I adapted after my likings. I added some onion, because I like roasted onions and little balsamic vinegar for a little acidity. The Brussels sprouts are golden brown delicious, sweet potatoes and parsnip adds a little sweetness; it’s a taste feast in one pan. Very colorful, can be appealing to everybody, from kids, vegetarians and vegans, or as a side dish for the Thanksgiving turkey or a Sunday roast.

Ingredients:

1 medium red onion cut in large pieces
2 medium carrots cut in 1 ½ inch pieces
About 1 pound Brussels sprouts (15 pieces) trimmed and cut in halves
4 red potatoes skin on sliced 1 inch thick
1 parsnip slice 1 inch thick
1 sweet potato cleaned and sliced 1 inch thick
1 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp mixed dried herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, sage)
Balsamic vinegar for drizzle on top (optional)

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a roasting pan place the vegetables, add the salt, pepper, dried herbs and oil, and toss to even coating. You should have one layer of vegetables.
Place in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

Remove and serve with little balsamic vinegar drizzle on top.

Enjoy!


November 25, 2010

Sos de visine/ Sour cherry sauce


(Please scroll down for English version)

Traditional pentru curcanul de Ziua Recunostintei este sosul de merisoare. Nu am facut niciodata, dar am mancat gata preparat, este foarte bun, putin acrisor.

Insa eu ador acest sos de visine, a carui reteta o am de la mama soacra (Dumnezeu sa o odihneasca in pace!)
Imi place gustul dulce acrisor, este foarte usor de facut si poate fi mancat cu curcan, pui la cuptor, foarte bun peste cartofi piure, chiar si cu porc la cuptor.

Aici nu sunt foarte populare visinele, si nu am mai mancat visine proaspete de mult. Dar se gaseste usor compot de visine adus din Europa. Pentru sos se foloseste numai zeama, si eventual cateva fructe (aveti grija sa nu aiba samburi si sa-si rupa cineva dintii). Intotdeauna imi raman fructe fara zeama pentru care trebuie sa gasesc o folosinta. Anul trecut le-am amestecat cu tuica de la tata si zahar si a iesit o visinata pe cinste.
Cred ca acum o sa le stropesc cu putin rom si o sa fac o prajitura.

Ingrediente:

2 linguri unt
2 linguri faina
zeama de la un borcan de 900 gr compot de visine
sare si piper dupa gust
1/2 lingurita coaja de portocala rasa

Intr-o tigaie se incinge untul pe foc mediu si apoi se adauga faina. Se mesteca cu o lingura de lemn pana cand este totul amestecat bine si se prajeste faina, cam 1 minut. Se adauga zeama de compot putin cate putin, mestecandu-se mereu, pana cand ajungeti la consistenta dorita. Se da intr-un clocot mic, si se potriveste cu sare si piper. Se stinge focul si se adauga coaja rasa de portocala.

Un deliciu!



Traditional for the Thanksgiving turkey is the cranberry sauce. I never prepared it, but I had some, and it’s really good and little tart.
But I love this sour cherry sauce, which recipe I have from my mother-in-law (God rest her soul!)

I like the sweet and sour taste, it’s easy to make and it can be served with turkey, roast chicken, very good over mashed potatoes, even with roast pork.

In America, the sour cherries are not very popular, and I haven’t had fresh sour cherries in a long time. But the sour cherry in syrup and sour cherry preserve can be easy found in European specialty stores. For this sauce I used the syrup and few fruits (be careful that sour cherry to be pitted so nobody break their teeth). Every year I have left fruits that I can find a use. They can be mixed with vodka and sugar for some flavor liqueur. This year I think I’m going to soak them in little rum and use it in a cake.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
The syrup from 1 (32 oz) jar of sour cherry in syrup
Salt and pepper after taste
½ tsp orange zest

Heat the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, and add the butter. Mix with a wooden spoon until forms rue, and cook for a minute. Start adding the syrup, little by little, until you have the desired thickness. Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and add the orange zest.

Delicious!

November 23, 2010

Ziua Recunostintei/ Thanksgiving




(Please scroll down for English version)

Cand am plecat din Romania cred ca am realizat (mai mult sau mai putin) ceea ce las in urma si de ce o sa imi fie dor: de familie, de prieteni, sarbatorile romanesti, gradina mamei si puii crescuti in curte. Nici un pui organic nu se compara cu puii crescuti de mama...

Ceea ce nu am realizat, si nici nu cred ca m-am gandit prea mult atunci cand am venit aici a fost cum o sa ma adaptez la sarbatorile si traditiile americane. A fost grea adaptarea, dar am ales sa respect tara si oamenii printre care traiesc, si traditiile lor. Incepand cu Super Bowl (de care sincer nu prea imi pasa, prefer sa ma uit la show-ul Iron Chef si sotul se duce cu baietii), continuand cu Ziua Mamei, cand o sun pe mama sa ii spun "La multi ani!" (la fel cum fac si de 8 Martie) si ziua tatalui, cand ii spun lui tata "La multi ani!". Am purtat si tricou cu echipa de hockey Hawks atunci cand au fost in finala, si am strigat si m-am bucurat cand au castigat (in mare parte ca puteam in sfarsit sa merg acasa :) dar si pentru ca toata lumea in jurul meu era fericita). La nunta noastra am pastrat traditii romanesti si americane in acelasi timp. Dar cea mai mare sarbatoare pe care am adoptat-o, desi pentru mine poate nu inseamna asa de mult ca pentru americani, este Ziua Recunostintei.

Prima zi a Recunostintei (sau prima masa) s-a tinut acum vreo 400 de ani si la ea au luat parte indienii bastinasi si pilgrimsii veniti cu corabiile, sau primii imigranti. A fost o sarbatoare a recoltei, la care nici nu s-a mancat curcan, ci caprioara, porumb si legume. Mai tarziu a fost stabilita a 3-a joi din noiembrie si declarata zi nationala, cand familiile se aduna si mananca impreuna curcan, umplutura, piure de cartofi, cartofi dulci, sos de merisoare si placinta de dovleac sau mere, si multumesc lui Dumnezeu pentru ceea ce au.

Pentru mine Ziua Recunostintei inseamna acea masa a celor care sunt aici de mai mult timp si a imigrantilor, zi in care stam cu toti la masa si suntem recunoscatori pentru ceea ce avem.

Si sunt recunoscatoare, pentru ca am o noua mica familie, suntem sanatosi, avem acoperis deasupra capului si mancare de pus pe masa, si chiar daca sunt departe, putem tine legatura usor cu familia din Romania. Sunt recunoscatoare pentru prietenii pe care ii am si care sunt alaturi de mine atunci cand am nevoie de ei. Prieteni pe care ii vad mai des, sau care nu i-am vazut de ani, dar stiu ca pot conta pe ei, si altii "virtuali" pe care nu i-am vazut niciodata, dar m-au votat atunci cand am avut nevoie :)

Chiar daca sarbatoriti sau nu aceasta zi a recunostintei, voi pentru ce sunteti recunoscatori?

Va urez sa aveti o zi linistita, imbelsugata si alaturi de familie.



Si ca sa trecem la mancare, va pot spune ce este in plan, sa speram ca totul o sa iasa bine si revin cu poze:
salata cu spanac, rucola, feta, merisoare si nuci, pui la cuptor (in loc de curcan, pentru ca era prea mare pentru 4-5 persoane), piure de cartofi, sos de visine (in loc de sos de merisoare), umplutura cu praz si ciuperci (prima data cand fac, tineti-mi pumnii :)), iar pentru desert Adriana face un tort cu mere.


When I left Romania to move in America, I knew (more or less) what I’m going to miss: my family, my friends, Romanian holydays, my mom’s garden and chickens. The organic chickens don’t even get close in taste with mom’s chickens…

What I didn’t know, and I don’t think I even gave a lot a thought, was how I’m going to adapt at American holydays and traditions. The transition was tough, but I chose to respect the people and the country that I live in, and their traditions. Starting with the Super Bowl (I don’t really watch, I prefer to watch Iron Chef, and let my husband go with the guys), and continuing with Mothers Day when I call my mom (the same I do on March 8th when Romania celebrates Woman’s Day), and Father’s Day when I call my dad. I wore a Blackhawks t-shirt when the team was in the playoffs of Stanley’s Cup, and I cheered up when they won (mostly because I got to get home, but the happiness on the people’s faces made me happy too). At our wedding I kept Romanian and American traditions. But, maybe the biggest holyday that I adopted is Thanksgiving (even if it doesn’t mean as much for me as it means for an American).

The first Thanksgiving Day (or first meal) it was about 400 years ago, and at it participated the native Indians and the pilgrims (the first immigrants). It was more a harvest celebration, and they didn’t have turkey, but venison, corn and vegetables. Much later it was declared national holyday for the third Thursday of November, and families get together and eat a feast with roast turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries sauce and apple or pumpkin pie, and they are thankful to God for what they have.

For me, Thanksgiving means that meal that brings together the ones that were already here and the newcomers.

And I’m thankful for my little new family, because we’re healthy, we have shelter and food, and even if my family in Romania is far, we can keep in touch easily. I’m thankful for my friends, and I can count on them. Friends that I see more often, friends that I haven’t seen in years, but I know they are there for me, and “virtual friends” that I never seen, but they voted for me when I asked them too.

Either if you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, what are you thankful for?



And let me tell you about our Thanksgiving menu (let’s hope everything turns out ok):
arugula and spinach salad with dried cranberries, pecans and feta, roasted chicken (a turkey is too much for 4-5 people), mashed potatoes, sour cherry sauce (instead of cranberries), leeks and mushrooms stuffing (first time I make it), and for dessert Adriana will make an apple cake.

Happy Turkey Day!


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