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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Crispy chili beef with broccoli (stir-fry)

This was a quick stir-fry using beef, chili, broccoli, garlic, ginger, lime juice, spring onions and baby corn cobs, in a wonderful combination of Asian flavors. Make it when you feel like adding variation to your stir-fries and putting a wok to good use. :)
Recipe adapted from here

Last year: Green tree (cocktail).
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mushroom and baby corn soba noodles (vegan)

This was a quick dinner made with soba noodles (Japanese pasta) and some other Asian-inspired ingredients in an easy-peasy vegan stir-fry. 
Try them and love them. :)
P.S: This is my 500th blog post. Time flies :D

Last year: Truffle potato mash and Salată asortată (Romanian assorted salad) (raw vegan).
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Caviar on mashed potatoes (Russian)

A lovely combination you should really try whenever you want a change from serving caviar on the regular bread and butter. It's a traditional Russian recipe, and they should know a thing or two about the best ways to enjoy caviar. :)
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: File Marajoara (Steak with melted cheese) (Brazilian).
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Alivenci (Moldavian and Romanian polenta cream cake bars)

The alivenci (singular "alivancă", plural "alivenci") are traditional cake bars made in the Romanian peasant homes for hundreds of years, especially in the north-eastern part of the country, Moldova. Polenta was a staple in their homes, and from here to inventing a sweet dish using the ever present polenta flour it was only a step :). My mother's grandmother, Bunica Sanda, used to make them as well, and although I never got a chance to meet her, I am fond of this family legacy :).
These cake bars are even mentioned in one of the most well-known children's fairy tales, "Capra cu trei iezi" (The goat and her three kids), by Ion Creangă, the most well-beloved peasant story-teller of the country. :)
I'm also very happy to post this particular recipe considering that it will be my 200th entry in the "world kitchen" category. Filling the 200th space with such a traditional Moldavian recipe couldn't be more fit :).
Moving on from the cultural legacy of this dessert to the actual recipe, you'll find that it's easy to make and it tastes delicious :). Here I made it topped with some caramelized apples, for an extra je-ne-sais-quoi, but the traditional version was usually without a topping. I recommend making the topping as well, though :). Enjoy!
Recipe source: Cătălina and my mother's memories combined :).

Last year: Mascarpone marbled brownies.
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Friday, September 20, 2013

Recipe index by country of origin

So, in this list you may explore all the recipes pertaining to the cuisine of a certain country of region in a more organized manner than just by using the search box.
Note: Some inclusions may yet be questionable and debatable (for example, I've included Russia rather in Europe although it technically stretches into Asia as well, or Turkey into the Middle East although it does stretch a bit into Europe; and so on), but you shouldn't have any trouble finding things.

The recipes are clustered into continents and larger regions and then into smaller country groups. The recipes that don't belong to a certain country but rather to a whole region are listed just below the region's title, before the list of countries begins. 

That being said, thank you for taking the time to search for inspiration on my blog and may you find what you're looking for. Happy browsing!

Recipe index by ingredient

So, this is a recipe index in which you should be able to search my archives by key ingredient. So that when you crave a certain vegetable or fruit or whatever, or you have a lot of it on hand, you can see a list of ideas on what to do with it.
Notice that I said "key ingredient". That means that if you look at "tomato recipes" you won't find every recipe containing the slightest amount of tomato sauce among its spices, but only the recipes in which the tomatoes are among the main ingredients or the ones in which you can really feel the tomatoes.
Another thing to take into consideration is that there are some general ingredients you won't find in this list (like pasta, or types of meat) because there's already a separate list for that here.
Some recipes you will find in more than one category, obviously, since they may contain more than one key ingredient.
That being said, thank you for taking the time to search for inspiration on my blog and may you find what you're looking for. Happy browsing!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chicken and pomegranate molasses stew (Middle Eastern-style)

Middle Eastern dishes, especially stews that contain meat and vegetables slowly simmered with spices, hold a very special place in my range of culinary preferences. This one contained sweet potato cubes, beans, turmeric-roasted chicken, wine and pomegranate molasses. Truly delicious and spicy-sour-sweet-sticky tasting.
I didn't label this as "world kitchen" because it's not actually an authentic recipe (with a name of its own and a strict ingredient list and instructions) from that region, but more of a combination made in the style of what usually those recipes are like. For the famous Iranian stew with chicken, walnuts and pomegranate molasses, follow the link to an older post on it here: Khoresht-e-Fesenjan.

Returning to the stew here, it was very nice. Try it when you have the time - it's not complicated to make, it just sits a lot on the stove, but it allows you to tend to other things in the meantime. 
Recipe adapted from here

Last year: Penne alla vodka (Italian-American).
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pizza Margherita (Italian)

The simplest and most well-known combination in the Italian pizza-making tradition: mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil. (Just like in a Caprese salad, only this time baked on a crispy pizza base until you obtain warm gooey and melted goodness). 
According to Wiki, a popular urban legend holds that this pizza, Pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen strongly preferred a pie swathed in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). Supposedly, this kind of pizza was then named after the Queen as Pizza Margherita, though recent research casts some doubt on this legend.
Legend aside, the trick for obtaining the best results with this pizza is adding the mozzarella cheese just a little before the end of the baking time, so it doesn't have time to get charred and crusty, but just melted and delicious. Also, creating your base from scratch is not as complicated as it seems and completely worth it. Enjoy :).
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: Pickled carrots in salt brine with honey and mustard (vegan).
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Coconut corn salad

When I first saw this salad, it sounded both interesting and exotic, like something we never thought of eating ever before. So, the next logical step was to make it and sample it. Let's get straight to the  point: it was a very good decision. If you think the ingredient list sounds like a delicious combination, wait until you actually taste it. :) It was blow-your-mind-away good. 
Recipe source: 101 cookbooks

Last year: Goat cheese rounds in prosciutto.
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Friday, September 13, 2013

Goat cheese, lemon scallions and walnut tart

The crunchy tart above can't be easier to make at home when you have guests coming over, since it uses a sheet of store-bought puff pastry conveniently stored in the freezer for such occasions. On it are spread lemony scallions, soft crumbled goat cheese, thyme, parsley and crushed walnuts. Everything is baked together until the flavors enhance and the base becomes crunchy. Serve it warm or cold, cut into large squares, and it will be lovely either way. Enjoy.

Note: the goat cheese used for this recipe shouldn't be the Gouda type, or moldy chevre, but more like the cream cheese or spreadable variety. It makes for a softer and creamier finish. :)
Recipe inspired from here.

Last year: Banana American pancakes with agave syrup and almonds.
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Muffins using only wholemeal flour (with raisins and chocolate)

Yes, I truly believe this could be declared the healthiest and lightest still good-tasting dessert out there. Also it somehow magically transcends the problem that other desserts or breads seem to encounter when being made only with wholemeal flour (without combining it with regular white flour in equal parts), which is not being fluffy or delicious enough to qualify as a successful bake. 
Nope, no worries there: these muffins are actually fluffy and delicious although there's no trace of white flour in them. Truly amazing, I'm telling you. :)
The sweet(er) note comes from raisins and some dark chocolate (just a cube per muffin). They truly are the lightest, most nutritious and healthiest muffins in the world without losing the delicious attribute. Bon apetit!
Recipe source here.

Last year: Mimosa (cocktail).
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Spicy bean and avocado tostadas (Mexican)

A tostada is an open tortilla topped with various delicious toppings used in the Mexican cuisine, ranging from refried beans and avocado (like here) to chicken, shrimps and so on (even fried grasshoppers sometimes!). But if that sounded a tad too weird, don't worry, this is a completely vegetarian version. :) Enjoy.
Recipe source: here

Last year: Breakfast croissants with Gouda cheese crust.
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pesto and caper focaccia (Italian) (vegan)

A focaccia is a type of Italian bread similar to a pizza but with more oil in the dough and fewer toppings and meant to be eaten as a side to something else. I previously made a rosemary and garlic oil focaccia and this time I decided to make it in a saltier spin by spreading fresh pesto (without the cheese to keep it vegan) and some capers on top. The result was delicious enough to be eaten on its own, but it would make a lovely and flavorful side to soups, salads, roasts and so on as well :).
Inspired by this.

Last year: Tomato gratin provencal with garlic butter baguette.
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pindi chana (spicy chickpea curry) (Indian) (vegan)

A lovely and spicy curry with plenty of chickpeas (what usually frustrates me about curries with chickpeas and something else, as lovely as they might as well be, is that the chickpeas - my favorite ingredient - are somewhat overpowered by the other stuff, so this dish, that seems made especially to allow them to shine, is ideal for me).
Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients: at a first glance they might scare you into thinking the dish is complicated, but if you look better you'll see that most of them are spices :).
Recipe source: here.

Last year: Sancocho (Chicken and root soup) (Puerto Rican).
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Orrecchiete with onion and sage sauce

This is one of my favorite pasta recipes. It doesn't have a lot of ingredients, the point is to allow the flavors of sage and onion to really shine through. Serve with a little freshly grated Parmesan sprinkled on top and you have a lovely lunch / dinner, simple enough to throw together casually and sophisticated enough to make it feel like a special treat. :)

Last year: Flammkuchen (Tarte flambée) (Alsacian).
Two years ago: Baby making and no cooking. :)

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