Friday, May 17, 2013
A lovely way to prepare and serve cous cous, with flavorful eggplant and a balsamic herbal tomato sauce; and with some mozzarella slices to serve it (the cheese's taste seems to fit the rest of the dish perfectly).
I came up with this on the bus. On my way to my faculty. Becaue that's what I do. Imagine lots and lots of combinations for anything. So when I hit a really good one, you can be sure it was very well and carefully thought of, planned, calibrated and tested :). Yes, even on the bus. I can't help it sometimes. :)
If you want to keep it vegan you can skip the mozzarella part altogether without affecting the rest of the dish. It will still be among the best cous-cous dishes you ever had.
Last year: Basic pancakes (crepes) (Romanian).
Two years ago: Focaccia with garlic oil, rosemary and yellow tomatoes (Italian) (vegan), Avgolemono (Greek chicken, lemon and egg soup) and Rice and hazelnut spicy colorful salad (vegan).
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Boulangère potatoes means literally baker's potatoes (in French). Historically, the local French folk would take their pots of potatoes to the bakeries at the end of the day, to cook them in those large hot ovens as they cooled down in the evening. As the night fell, the potato pots would turn into a lovely meal in the residual heat of those huge almost industrial ovens :).
The dish itself is a layered one - a layer of potatoes, one of garlic and onion and parsley, another one of potatoes and so on. All this slowly baked in chicken stock :).
It can be served with a fresh salad on the side (as shown above), but it's not mandatory. Enjoy.
Recipe source: here.
Last year: Grasshopper hot chocolate.
Two years ago: Veronique chicken salad (French), Semolina milk pudding with pear-cardamom puree and honey and Polenta with sour cream and cheese (Romanian).
Saturday, May 11, 2013
A lovely strawberry and white chocolate mousse in cake form. Made in the freezer, with no baking. With a spicy cookie crust similar to cheesecakes. Decorated with strawberries and some extra melted white chocolate. Perfect for when you want to have a pretty cake available but have no time for cooking. Ideal in summer afternoons, since it's something like ice-cream and cheesecake combined :)
Recipe source: BBC's Good Food.
P.S: I'm submitting this to this month's Sweet Romania challenge (for its strawberry-themed section) :).
Last year: Carrot and feta rosti (fritters) with raita (Indian-style).
Two years ago: Lemon panacota with orange caramel and vanilla panacota with strawberries (Italian), Pasta Primavera (Italian-American) and Lemon balm cream trout with baked asparagus.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
A faster version of quiche using ready-made puff-pastry instead of the traditional shortcrust pastry dough, saving up a lot of time. I filled this one with red onion, delicate green peas and dill cream for a flavorful green quiche, very fresh and springy. :)
It was delicious and apart from the slightly crunchier texture of the crust I could feel no difference from a classic quiche.
P.S: This recipe is submitted to this month's Sweet Romania challenge, which called for creating something around peas :).
Last year: Carrot and feta rosti (fritters) with raita (Indian-style).
Two years ago: Karaage (Tatsutaage) (Japanese fried chicken), Horiatiki salata (Greek salad with tomatoes, feta, red onion and kalamata olives) and Beefsteak with spicy butter and wedges.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Springy-tangy-fresh tasting and easy to throw together pasta. The avocado, rosemary and cherry tomatoes are just the thing to go with the lovely fresh and soft-textured goat cheese.
I confess this idea was born out of my smear-guacamole-on-everything fantasies, combined with my passion for pasta and my couple-of-years obsession with fresh goat cheese. And it was better than anyone might expect simply by looking at the final picture :). I shared them with my mom on a lovely spring morning a year ago, when Mira was only three months old and we had just put her in her room to nap. As we were having a break also, I wanted to throw together something fast and delicious, but healthy enough also, and what better solution could I find than pasta? Hence this dish was born. :)
The next time you feel like a quick, satisfying but healthy lunch, trying this recipe might be just the thing you're looking for. Enjoy :)
Last year: Turkey bites in Brie and walnut sauce with grapes.
Two years ago: Frigănele (Romanian savory French toast), Rosemary marinated and fried potatoes with lemon (vegan) and Thyme, pepper and lemon spicy olive oil cookies.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
I love this kind of pocket pies, especially when the filling is a lovely white mold cheese. I was inspired by an older recipe of Brie and apple pocket pies and decided to make the fennel and Camembert version, using a heartier spelt pastry this time. The flavor combination was, once again, wonderful. :) Enjoy!
Last year: Turkey sauce with Brie and walnut sauce with grapes.
Two years ago: Spaghetti with sesame oil, shiitake and chicken, Gnocchi with thyme-butter sauce and browned cauliflower (Italian) and Red wine baby shrimps with olive and tomato quinoa.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
A lovely and healthy soup to make using fresh organic baby spinach, when it's in season (as in right now). I kept it vegan and honestly, being so wonderfully flavored and spiced (especially thanks to the truffle oil), you can't miss any animal ingredients in this one. I thought it was a nice thing to post since this week is the Holy Week in Romania, hence me and my family are fasting till Saturday :).
I also found this soup ideal for this time since the full freshness of spring and spring produce is upon us, so make the most of it.
Happy and green! :)
Last year: Wholewheat pasta with raw roots.
Two years ago: French fries with red onion (vegan), Spicy stuffed eggs (with herbs and mushrooms) and White chocolate and basil cream cups with balsamic strawberries (Italian).
Sunday, April 28, 2013
The frangipane cream is one of my favorite dessert fillings. Dating back to early medieval times (some even say it was served to saint Francis of Assisi in 1226), it's a classic creamy way of enjoying your almonds :).
In this crunchy tart, I paired the frangipane with a piece of starfruit we had on our hands (we picked it up in a weekend when we thought we'd hop on the train and go for a ride in Strassbourg and it was on sale in a pretty French market we visited there) and a kiwi, cut to resemble the pretty stars as well :).
It tasted crunchy-creamy, with a strong almond and floral white rum flavor balanced by tanginess from the citrusy fruits. Definitely make it when you get the chance.
Last year: Creme brulee (French).
Two years ago: Simple chocolate brownies with walnuts, Corn tortillas without masa harina (experiment) and Huevos rancheros (Mexican).
Friday, April 26, 2013
The Obazda (sometimes spelled Obatzda) is a traditional cheese spread from the German region of Bavaria. It is highly popular as a starter around here, available in casual biergartens and supermarkets all year round.
It's delicious spread on crusty bread (especially pretzels, to stick with tradition) and keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.
Last year: Endives filled with cheese sauce and cherry tomatoes.
Two years ago: Zaansemosterdsoep (Dutch mustard soup), Mushroom, cheese and thyme crostini and Pizza con pollo e mascarpone.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I was so glad when I found really really tiny new potatoes in the farmer's market, because that meant I could finally make this dish which I've had in mind for a long time.
The new potatoes are slowly fried in olive oil and have a wonderful companionship: chopped bacon for the unmistakable flavor, chopped ramps for their springy and garlicky feel, and pine seeds for flavor depth and crunchiness.
I served them as a side dish next to roasted lamb back-straps in red wine sauce, like this:
If you're not interested in reconstructing all that, rest assured: they can go just as well on their own. :)
Last year: Turpork (Romanian porcurcan).
Two years ago: Romanian Pasca (Easter cheese and egg cake) with raisins and Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and potato) with rice and raita (Indian).