Romanian, writing about and cooking food inspired by my country’s culinary traditions. Enjoying life in Wales, UK.

The famous Hungarian goulash enjoyed the Romanian way in Transylvania. Photo by the talented @iuliana.popa #goulash #traditionalromanesc #eattheworld #eatingoutdoors #alfrescodining #beautifulcuisines #hungariancooking
Apple soup with pepper pesto oil and rosemary croutons - my lunch and my dinner today. I did a lot of cooking today, but despite all the food around me, there was nothing ready for me to eat. So I made this soup with some of the apples I have in the freezer. I was tempted to add chorizo, but it is #meatlessmonday today, so I kept things simple. Would you eat a soup like this? Have a wonderful week everyone! #applesoup #easylunch #15minmeals #mondayfood #vegetarianrecipes #vegetarian
Pumpkin strudel with walnuts and sultanas- a true taste of home. My mum used to make this during autumn, and it was gone straight from the tray. There was a time when we had loads of pumpkins - my grandma grew them in her garden at the countryside, and sent them to us. I can’t say she had green fingers, lol. Halloween didn’t exist back then, so instead of candy, we ate strudel. My version here is served with pumpkin spice whipped cream and a glass of rum :-) Talking about green fingers and idioms in English, have you ever realised how many funny sayings are used? ‘Bob’s your uncle’, ‘monkey business’, ‘tits up’ :-) oh and one that I actually took maybe too literally, and spent a whole evening wondering if it was true or not: ‘fur coat and no knickers'. In my defence, the person to whom the ‘saying’ was attributed, was actually wearing a fur coat. So confusing :-) What’s the funnies idiom that you’ve ever heard? #strudel #pumpkinstrudel #bakingfromscratch #tasteofhome #platedpictures #thebakefeed #traditionalromanianrecipes #rumbaking #walnuts #pumpkinspice #weekendslikethese
Zacusca’, a chargrilled vegetable ragu, and ‘fasole batuta’ - a butterbean and garlic hummus, they are both autumnal spreads that are very popular back home. I like them on toast for breakfast :-) This is only if I am not going to meet anybody on the day, because the garlicky aromas can make me very unpopular. They are vegan, very tasty and very healthy. Which one is your favourite: red or white? #platedpictures #eattheworld #fromscratch #autumnfood
Merdenele - for anybody knowing a bit of French, the name of this puff pastry stuffed with minced pork may sound hilarious. Rumour has it that French pastry chefs working in Bucharest at the beginning of the XIX century, when they got the technique or filling wrong, used to say: “affreux pâtes de merde!” Hence the name :-) The other version, more plausible, is that they are named after the Turkish rolling pin used to stretch the dough: merdan. Merdenele are a street food staple in Romania - usually stuffed with cheese or meat, but I’ve also heard of a version with cherries. These merdenele used to be my usual lunch at Uni, and I loved them with a glass of kefir on the side. #traditionalromanianrecipes #merdenele #romanianstreetfood #thecookfeed #filopastry #fromscratch #eattheworld #platedpictures #tastingtable
Prawn and chorizo paella, made in 20 minutes. I had no idea (until recently) that Beatriz from @sabordeamorbea Is my neighbour! I first saw her on BBC2 Top of the Shop program, and I loved the way she got to the final. Her Paella in a Bottle sauce saved me a lot of time today, I didn’t have to make a stock or a sofrito to get that authentic paella flavour. I’m not going to tell you how to make a paella, you all know how. For me, it was adding this sauce to the rice (250g), then filled the same bottle three times with water, cook the rice, then add the prawns, peppers and dill. Done. It’s not only going to be pretty, but the taste will be a revelation, too. Bea, I’ll see you soon to get some more bottles. #paella #chorizopaella #20minmeal #15minmeals #sundaylunch #makeitdelicious
Brioche doughnuts with rosehip marmalade - I know I said that I wasn’t a jam person, but when it comes to doughnuts - the jam needs to be the hero. This is how I am using the rosehip marmalade I showed you earlier this month. Its tanginess goes so well with the sweetness of the doughnuts. I wish I could say more about them, but I really need to be alone with my doughnuts now (Nigella moment). #doughnuts #novemberbaking #rosehip #rosehipmarmalade
Bran Castle, Transylvania - I couldn’t not show you Bran Castle on Halloween, could I? It is a bit of a cliché, but despite its reputation of being Dracula’s Castle, the reality is a bit different. However, who am I to dispel the myth? Swipe left to see the ruler who inspired this story, Vlad Dracul - the Impaler. Before I leave you with this, just a note to say that impaling people wasn’t really a Romanian tradition. It was popular in the Ottoman empire, where Vlad spent some of his time in jail, and some in training :-) The method proved to be highly effective in discouraging outlaws, when Vlad became Prince of Wallachia. Happy Halloween! Photo credit: @pearlcyprus Featured by: @ig_transylvania #brancastle #transylvania #visittransylvania #visitromania #halloweencastle #vladtheimpaler #vladdracula
Chicken liver, Sherry, caramelised onions and parsley. I’m posting this dish partially because it’s Halloween week :-) and partially because it brings up a subject that I seem to enjoy tackling. I’ve started to notice how people get a bit squeamish when it comes to seeing bones in meat, marrow in bones, heads on fish, eyes on heads, offal, trotters or intestines. Even if some of these are ingredients in patés, or terrines, charcuterie or broths, there is still a refusal to eat the finished product. I’m not suggesting that you have a slow cooked pig’s trotter for dinner, topped with finely sliced crispy ears. I’m only saying that the more we accept this view, the further we distance ourselves from the animal we eat, from the realities of mass consumption, and ultimately from the authentic flavour of food. My uncle used to rear pigs on a small farm in the north-west of Romania. Every year he had one for us, and come December, we would spend 3 days there preparing sausages, brawns, terrines, black puddings, leberwurst, cuts for roasting, or preserving in fat, rendering fat, and making pig scratchings for snacking :-) This pig was our main source of meat for the whole year. Wasting or discarding ‘unattractive’ cuts would have been an offence to my uncle, his work and his farm. In today’s world, embracing ‘provenance’ to support ethical animal farming is what we should do, and there are a few more worthy ways in which we can help these farms. So, I’ll be on a mission to bring you more dishes like this, whether they are Romanian, French or Spanish. Any recipe suggestions from you would be helpful, too. Thank you x #offal #thecookfeed #eatbettermeat #heritagemeat #meatlover #foodinspo #makeitdelicious #ethicalfarming #sustainablefood #eatreal #wholefood
It felt magical this morning walking through this slightly spooky forest. The trees were so entangled that you couldn’t see more than a couple of meters around. Their piney branches were dripping with melting snow. Yes, we had snow here in North Wales...just a bit, and it’s all gone now. It was wonderful to see how winter is slowly taking over, and to notice how a 3 hour walk quickly turned into a 2:20 hour one 😊 it was quite chilly. If you can this weekend, go and enjoy the last colours and smells of autumn xx
Hand-raised game pies with berry and gin sauce. I just wanted to celebrate the game season and post these game pies on here. I wish I had them in front of me right now, but unfortunately this was a recipe that I developed in September for Brockmans Gin. You can get the recipe on their website. In the meantime, I’ll just have to content myself with the photo, and go to bed. Early night for me :-) @brockmansgin #gamepie #cookingwithgin
Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes - Through Darkness and Light, by Caroline Eden @edentravels This book caught my eye while browsing IG, because in my mind, the Black Sea means Romania. I have so many memories of wonderful holidays spent enjoying the hot summers, swimming, eating corn on the cob from the vendors going up and down the beach, and literally spending hours hoping to get the perfect tan. Of course, there are other countries surrounding the Black Sea, and Caroline travels to all of them, including Romania. Here she discovers an untold story about the impressive casino building in Constanta (swipe left to see the casino). The book is a travel and recipe book, but I think that it will be more than this - it will be a story of different countries with a troubled past and a fascinating present. I’m really looking forward to reading it ❤️ and I hope that you will add it to your list. #blacksea #blacksea 🌊 #romania #traveltoromania Casino photo: @danastefanescu_
This was my breakfast today, slice of toast with gooseberry curd, a bit of yogurt with sweet pickled gooseberries, and a cup of linden tea. Not bad for a morning treat! I made the curd and the pickles in the summer, when I went and picked far too many gooseberries from a fruit farm nearby. Now, I’m enjoying the results, and thinking 'gooseberry meringue pie’…or what else should I make? Have a wonderful week you all! ❤️ #octoberbreakfast #autumnmornings #atmytable
Crafty hands making cheese stuffed flat breads in Marisel village, Cluj, Transylvania. Believed to be a Moldovan speciality, these breads have actually crossed the Carpathian mountains into Transylvania. So delicious, and so easy to make, no wonder they are popular in Romania. Photo credit @iuliana.popa who has a beautiful IG account dedicated to villages and village-life in Romania. #visitromania #romanianvillages #romaniapitoreasca #romaniamagica #rural_love #artisanbread #romanianflatbread #traditionalromanianrecipes
Romanian apple pie - I was going through my photos and this one popped-up. It couldn’t have been a better moment, really. The ubiquitous Romanian apple pie, a delicious cinnamon and apple filling sandwiched between two thin layers of cake. What is not to like: simple, and allowing the apples to be the real hero-ingredient (although the cake has to win best supporting role!). I baked this pie for @greatbritishchefs , as part of the feature about Romanian cuisine. Now, I’m off to the kitchen to bake it again. Enjoy your weekend everyone! #applepie #romaniantradition #placinta #thebakefeed #octoberapples #madefromscratch #carpathia #nationalappleday #traditionalromanianrecipes
Sweet potato and chorizo bread - I am still perfecting my bread making method, especially when I use extra ingredients such as potatoes, cheese or chorizo. Actually, I am not after the perfect bread, I am after consistent results. So far, every time I follow the method that I wrote down from a previous baking test, I get another result. Don’t get me wrong, all results are full of flavour and some look more ‘artisan’ than others :-) but I’d love to have one rock-solid recipe to rely on, and develop further. It’s still to come :-) Swipe left to see a few slices of today’s bread. PS: they are even better when toasted. #breadstagram #breadlove #madefromscratch #bakefeed #bakersofinstagram #bakingbread
Imagine that I actually had 3 times more apples than you can see here. All from one tree. I’m not exactly a jam person, so I always try to make something else that I can eat during the year. Some of these apples have gone into the Apple and Turmeric Ketchup, a recipe inspired by my mother-in-law, who remembered that there were fruit ketchups at markets and in shops back in the day. Swipe left to see its colour. I have to be honest with you, this ketchup is a lot of hard work. You need to pass everything through a fine sieve, and that takes ages. Of course, you can leave it to be chunky, but then it would be more like an apple sauce. I recommend that you prefer it chunky :-) it’s easier. #appleketchup #applechutney #octoberapples #madefromscratch #hereismyfood
This is the easiest pear tart ever, and it makes a wonderful dessert at the end of a long dinner. It’s puff pastry, custard and caramel poached pears. I added a bit of orange liqueur to the caramel. I also added a handful of honey roasted Muscatel grapes - they are so sweet and pretty. I added apple juice to the custard, to bring its flavour more in line with the pears, and make it less sweet. It was gone in seconds. What would you like for dessert this weekend? Happy weekend my dear friends 😘 #peartart #tastingtable #fromscratch #muscatgrapes #vonchef #greatbritishfood #greatbritishchefs #bakeoff #feedfeed #makeitdelicious
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