Saturday, December 7, 2013
The one and only. I would bet this is the most well-known meal of Swedish cuisine, thanks to a certain furniture store who popularized it ;).
But the superstar status of these meatballs is fully deserved, as you might already know if you tasted them. A bit spicy from the touch of allspice, served with gravy and pillowy mashed potatoes and just a tablespoon or two of lingonberry preserves or jam. Absolutely delicious :).
Recipe source(s): English or Romanian.
Last year: Onion-Gouda-bacon fritters.
Two years ago: Turkey fillet with chestnuts.
Three years ago: French onion soup with oregano, toast and emmentaler.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The Arabbiata sauce is one of the Italian cuisine classics. It is basically a slow-simmered tomato sauce flavored with extra virgin olive oil and a generous dose of garlic and chili. It's hot (hence the "angry" name) and delicious. :)
The traditional pasta to be served with this sauce is penne, but other small-medium shaped pasta can be used as well. Enjoy :)
Previously around this time:
Last year: Grilled turkey breast with avocado-feta salsa.
Two years ago: Quesadillas with cheddar, bacon and cherry tomatoes (Mexican).
Three years ago: Cheese-stuffed mushrooms and cheese fussili with herbs and aioli; and Swedish-style salmon with vegetables and white sauce.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Today is our three-year blog anniversary :). (And also Romania's national day). This year, we're celebrating it by sharing something a bit simpler and homier than previous years, and what sweet thing could be homier than brownies or peanut butter? :)
To make this delicious crispy and creamy treat of brownies, all you need is almond flour, brown sugar, rum and dark chocolate. To make them over the top, also include a creamy treat in the middle (as if all the other ingredients weren't enough to get us hooked already): a nice dollop of peanut butter.
Considering how easy they are to make, I don't know what you're waiting for. :)
Share them with people you love. Enjoy.
Last year: Cocoa macarons with chocolate cream cheese filling + 2 year blog anniversary.
Two years ago: Classic chocolate cream pie (American) + 1 year blog anniversary.
Three years ago: Complete meal salad with basil and Simple fried bananas with cinnamon and honey (Central and South American). (A.k.a. our humble beginnings).
Friday, November 29, 2013
A warm and sweet and spicy soup perfect for slightly cold days. And a delicious way to catch up on your vitamin and veggie intake.
The combination between carrot and ginger is such a well-matched and balanced spicy-sweet favorite of mine. I've tried it previously in a lovely and addictive salad dressing/dip and in a thick caramel marmalade. It was only a matter of time I guess until it made its way into a soup. And it couldn't be more perfumed and flavorful than this. Enjoy :)
Recipe adapted from here.
Last year: Banana-hazelnut-honey smoothie (vegan).
Two years ago: Sticky sweet and sour chicken wings.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
A nice winter salad very usual at everyday meals in Latvia. Kind of similar to the German Apple and Leek winter salad we also like :). If you're looking to keep the menu theme intact and as authentic as possible, try it as company to Karbonāde (Pork Cutlets With Chanterelle Cream Sauce) and Kartupeli ar Dillēm (Boiled Potatoes With Dill Cream).
Of course, it's also good on its own or with a bit of country-style bread or as company to other dishes, but I like to go full ethnic every now and then. Cheers to the full Riga bistro experience! :)
Recipe source: Saveur.
Last year: Broccoli and coconut stir-fry (vegan).
Two years ago: Hummus (Middle Eastern).
Monday, November 25, 2013
This is a simple dish from Latvia, very common in everyday life, both in home cooking and in cafeteria menus. Thin pork steaks are dredged through a bit of flour and beaten egg, then shallow fried in a pan. In the same pan, the left-over juices from after the meat frying will receive some butter and chopped onion, then some chopped chanterelle mushrooms, and then some cream and herbs. The sauce thus formed will be served on top of the steaks in a lovely, lovely, casual and homey dish.
If you happen to visit Riga, don't miss out on a chance to try this thing directly from its source. But in the meantime, it's also ridiculously easy to make at home. Enjoy :).
P.S: The whole thing is meant to be served with a side of Kartupeli ar Dillēm (meaning those jewel-like potatoes you can notice above, tossed with a bit of sour cream and dill).
Recipe source: Saveur.
Last year: Butternut squash soup with chili and cream.
Two years ago: Middle Eastern pita bread (tutorial) (vegan).
Saturday, November 23, 2013
This way of preparing small new potatoes, by boiling and then tossing them with butter, cream, fresh dill, salt and pepper, couldn't be simpler or more delicious. A dish that really illustrates that the best flavors and combinations come in simple forms. When in doubt, always go back to the basics. Especially Eastern European basics :)
The recipe is traditional in Latvia and it's meant as a side-dish to a meat course called Karbonāde (Pork Cutlets With Chanterelle Cream Sauce), like this:
That doesn't mean, obviously, that the potatoes are not also delicious on their own, you know :).
The combination of the two is universally known and prepared throughout Latvia, from funerals and memorials to traditional weddings or everyday buffets in street cafeterias. If you happen to visit Riga don't miss out on a chance to try it. :)
For me (us), the meal was even better because the overall tastes struck a chord close to home. Although I couldn't claim that we have something similar per se in the Romanian cuisine, the taste of almost anything from Eastern Europe in general still tastes pretty much like home :).
Recipe source: Saveur.
Last year: Khoresht-e-Fesenjan (Iranian chicken, walnut and pomegranate molasses stew).
Two years ago: Amaretto chocolate milk pudding (German).
Thursday, November 21, 2013
This was truly a special and elegant treat. The Nashi pears are slowly baked in a wine, vanilla and walnut syrup that creates a delicate glaze and an explosion of flavor. The whole walnuts get the same treatment. And the walnut and mascarpone cream that accompanies them is heavenly. Make it when you have special guests over :) (we had my folks over for the winter holidays).
Recipe adapted from Jamie via Catalina.
Last year: Artichoke and cous cous stuffed mushrooms (vegan).
Two years ago: Red lentil ragu with basil and ajvar.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
A traditional Spanish soup that we love (we generally enjoy chickpeas in everything and I seem to have made a habit of making soups out of them), not to mention the rest of the flavors this soup has to offer.
We served this soul-warming goodness with the awesome rosemary flat-breads, freshly out of the oven, like this:
We strongly recommend the same combination (the bread is ready very fast, don't worry).
P.S: We made another similar soup, Spanish-inspired but not-quite traditional here.
Recipe source: recreated from various sources on the internet, and resembling this the most.
Last year: Chocolate chip cookies with salted butter (American).
Two years ago: Irish soda bread (buns) with mixed seeds.
Monday, November 18, 2013
To be honest I was in love with this idea before I actually started learning how to cook. It was one of the first things I planned to make as soon as I built up the courage... but somehow postponed it and / or forgot about all the way until now :).
When we finally made these little flat-breads (way easier and faster than you might think) we enjoyed it all the way up to the expectations I had about them.
They go wonderfully with any combination of cheese and white wine and are also great with soups. We had them with a Spanish tomato, chickpea and chorizo soup and also on their own, plain. Both manners of serving them were delicious. :)
The recipe yields three flat-breads, studded with rosemary and sea salt, that are then broken into pieces and devoured:
Recipe source(s): Gourmet and Smitten Kitchen. (I saw it first at Deb's but then stumbled upon it in the Gourmet archives, and also noticed that Deb adapted it from them so I thought it would be proper to point out both sources). :)
Last year: Pork steaks with sage sauce and caramelized apples.
Two years ago: Winter tabbouleh with roasted eggplant and feta.