Fried fish with polenta & garlic sauce

The small sweet fish (carp, sardines,caras(is this a word in english?:))) eaten with creamy polenta and garlic sauce called “mujdei” is easy to make, “light” and delicious. As probably all traditional  Romanian dishes, is also very cheap.

For example 8 sardines cost 8 RON /1.8 euros/$2.5, polenta is made from corn tassel (1kg costs 3 RON/0.75 euro/$1) and garlic (1 garlic flower costs 1RON/ 0.25euro/ $0.33).

If we make a small total, a meal for 2 which is ready in less than 30 minutes will only cost you 12 rON/ 2.80 euros/ $3.83.

Enjoy:)

Green nuts – my personal favourite treat

What I love about Romania? Well, one of the things I love most and this dates of course from my childhood..green wallnuts, or let’s say the core but when the walnuts are still green in the trees.

How you obtain the great thing? You simply take a knife and carve the core out of the walnut peel it and eat it. It’s great!If you don’t have such young fruit, you just take a hammer, like I did, and just break the nut, take out the core thing..and eat!

yummy!

seasoned with red organic wine made from grapes straight from your own private garden..I would call it a night!

P.S. Most people like the green nuts jam as it is considered a delicacy in Romania. It looks like this and you will find recipes all over the blogosphere..

Baked in the oven -LAMB

This is the traditional meat that is cooked on Easter and I usually hated it! Until this year when it was really well done (the cook is in the picture, a big THANKS), so now it’s my favourite. I can’t wait to make it again and again and again…

So here’s the simplest recipe in the world: chop the meat in somewhat little pieces to get done really well, mix with salt, pepper, fresh mashed garlic, thyme and a glass of wine; put the mixture in a bag and keep in the fridge until the next day.

Take an oven tray, put the meat and a little oil and water just to cover the meat and then cook for about 2 hours in low heat. With around 15 minutes before it’s done, add another

glass of wine.

Then enjoy in Romanian style with mamaliga (polenta) and pickles (cucumbers and melons in the picture).

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect combinations – Eggplant salad with tomatoes

Since I was a little kid and eggplants were to be found in my village only during summertime, me and my brother had grown an obsession for this homemade delicious dish. So at 34 degrees (Celsius) usually my mom and probably all the other moms everywhere in Romania used to cook the eggplants on the stove and prepare the eggplant salad with onions. Best served with fresh garden tomatoes on top. I remember we would eat it all in a day: morning, evening, between play times, before going to bed, just anytime!

Now when I can find the frozen or readily prepared I just eat but still wait for the summer to have local produce and to cook it myself. The ingredients are just eggplants, sunflower oil and onion.

Check out the recipe …http://www.len.ro/cooking/eggplant-salad/

somewhat explained, it actually misses the part on how to chop the cooked eggplants with this wooden instrument:

from here ( http://bucataria-mea.blogspot.com/2010/06/vinete-cu-maioneza-si-ceapa-calita.html)

You will see in this blog that most of what Romanians use as ingredients for cooking is coming straight from the garden/local farms, and the recipes are extremely simple.

P.S. A lot of people add mayo to this recipe, but I just find it healthier like this.

1st pic from here (http://www.cevabun.ro/salata-de-vinete-cu-maioneza/)

A Romanian Pantry

No matter where they live, if it’s a small apartment of a big city or a house in a traditional village, most of our mothers & grandmothers have pantrys where they keep all the good stuff you would ever imagine… or not:) So I’m thinking, why not showing to the world a Romanian pantry? I’ve found a perfect blog with a lot of pictures and also I can explain most of the goodies preserved for the cold winters…

 

So let’s start with the pickles, you’ve certainly heard of these..we love our pickles and there is a big match between the vinegar lovers and the salty brine (I hope you understand what I’m saying, I mean the pickles made with water and salt and the ones made with vinegar). Anyway, we have a lot of options: peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, (green) tomatoes, carrots, watermelon or roasted peppers, or why not, a mix of all the above.

 http://www.len.ro/cooking/muraturi/

 http://bogdanbarliga.blogspot.com/2008/09/muraturielectorale.html

Let’s continue with “zacusca“, which is a vegetable tartinable stew made usually from tomatoes, eggplants, onions, peppers, and mushrooms.I have to add that this dish is usually made in the country side in the yard where 10-20 kg of vegetables are roasted and prepared in a huge boiler directly into a fire in open air.

 http://fantasia-gourmet.blogspot.com/2010/09/zacusca-mamei.html

 http://www.lalena.ro/253-reteta-zacusca-cu-ciuperci.html

Romanian housewives (which by the way have also a job, but I couldn’t find a word for the women that have a job but also cook take care of a home, preserve food for the winter etc) also make tomato sauce. Even if you can find a lot of products on the market, they make their own because usually the tomato harvest are really big and people have nothing to do with it so they start cooking this juice. So you can say that we eat healthy out of necesity:) it’s cheaper! Yeah, this is the Romania I love. Here the healthier food is actually cheaper!

 http://nainakitchen.blogspot.com/2011/10/suc-de-rosii.html

Jams, we like jams made with pulp not like jellies; in French it is called “confiture”, maybe you are familiar with this term. Basically, we let the fruit be, we don’t crush it, and we boil it with only sugar and some lemon juice depending on the recipe. This is it! no additional crap added! Some of the Romanian specialties are: green walnut jam, sour cherry and plum jam..

 http://andruska.wordpress.com/2009/06/07/dulceata-de-nuci-verzi/

 http://arta-culinara-romaneasca.blogspot.com/2011/06/dulceata-de-cirese-amare.html

 http://www.lalena.ro/587-reteta-gem-de-prune.html

And the last bot not the least delicious, the compotes: from cherries, apricots, sour cherries, grapes, pears, plums, even apples.

 http://www.bucatarmaniac.ro/2009/06/compot-de-visine.html

And the link I have promised.. a real Romanian village household… just like heaven, press here.