Romanian, writing about and cooking food inspired by my country’s culinary traditions. Enjoying life in Wales, UK.
Piperchi - or Macedonian bell pepper and cheese stew. This dish is specific to the south east of Romania, Dobrogea, where there are still a few Macedonian communities, trying to preserve and live by their traditions.
They are famous among Romanians for three things: in business - their ability to recognise the craftsmanship and high quality of a potential purchase, in friendship - their unbreakable loyalty, in life - their love for having and cooking for guests.
When I was in college, one of my friends was Macedonian, and her dad absolutely loved cooking. You always entered their house through the kitchen :-) The cooker and the oven were opposite the door, but even though her dad usually had his back to it, he never had to turn around to know who entered the room. It didn’t really matter anyway, because you were promptly asked to sit down and eat. ‘I’ve just made this dish’ - he used to say, and you had to taste it, with side dishes, alongside more little dishes coming out of the oven or fridge.
There was no way you could have progressed to your business without the ‘entrées’. Stuffed was the word of the day, when I was visiting.
So I’ve made this pepper stew not only because I just happened to think about my college years, but also because the Macedonians in Romania are struggling to keep their traditions alive. In communities like this, food is hugely important, and it can bring people together, reminiscing about the old times, understanding where they come from, and staying truthful to who they are.
This is my way of celebrating their heritage.
#macedonianfood #romanianfood #piperchi #feedme #hereismyfood #foodstory #myfoodcommunity #saveurmag #thecookfeed @thecookfeed #thesupperclubmag #olivemagazinegr #easterneuropeanfood #carpathiabook #food52closeup #thekitchen #foodforthought #feedfeed
We are back from our holiday and I, for one, am already missing it. So our lunch today is a nod to the incredible seafood and fish we’ve had in the last 8 days: gently baked fish, with roast potatoes, garlic and fennel. A little squeeze of lemon, and it’s ready to be served. I’m going to miss the wonderful long evening walks along the beach, listening to the waves crushing on the sand, watching the stars twinkling in the sky, breathing in the sea breeze…Magical evenings.
#endofthesummerholidays #fishlunch #fennel #makeitdelicious #feedme #thecookfeed
Layered cake with late summer fruit coulis - one experiment that didn’t go to plan, but if you are on this journey with me, we’ll have a few of these along the way.
It has a meringue base, topped with a layer of fresh fruits in elderflower jelly, then whipped cream, and finally drizzled with a sweet and tangy summer fruit coulis.
It has been inspired by a Romanian layered cake, but I skipped one layer, then played with the order of the others.
As always with me, from being part of brainstorming meetings, to baking and photographing, my best ideas come at the end, when it’s too late. I know now how to fix this cake, and you will see it again next summer, because despite its cracked looks, it had some awesome flavours.
What about you? Do you often fall in love with your ‘not so lucky’ baking attempts? #meringueart
Cantaloupe seeds syrup - if you are like me and enjoying the sweet, perfumed flavour of the late summer cantaloupes, don’t throw the seeds away.
You can make this syrup, and use it as cordial, in a G&T, on your breakfast fruits, or drizzled over cakes. I’ve collected a small quantity of seeds, blitzed them in a food processor with a drop of water, and passed them through a sieve.
The juice was added to water and sugar (your choice of quantities, depending on how sweet you’d like it to be, and how runny). Boil it and reduce it, then transfer to bottles.
If you decide to keep it for a while, and open it on a winter's evening, you’ll be delicately reminded of the summer flavours that you loved so much.
Harvesting fennel and trying to collect some of the pollen. The seeds are delicious, too and maybe I can keep them in a jar for the winter.
I love fennel in savoury or sweet dishes, and I even make a fresh fennel tea. Just add boiling water to a few of these seeds and you will make a refreshing cup of tea. What about you? Keen or not so keen on it? 🤗
Blueberry pavlova with orange cantaloupe - I could still find blueberries at the market, so I thought: why not a pavlova. Why does pavlova have to be white? I know, it’s about a ballerina tutu, but they are not all white, are they?
My blueberry pavlova turned out this vibrant colour, so I just couldn’t cover it with cream and fruits. I just wanted you to see it.
However, the cantaloupe with orange was quite good too, considering the fact that it was a Cointreau, and not just any orange juice.
There is no recipe for this, I wouldn’t dare to teach you how to make a pavlova.
Enjoy your weekend lovely people!
Homemade cherry liqueur - it is never too late in the year to make this, so long as you can still find cherries. I don’t have my beloved sour cherries, that are traditionally used in this liqueur, but normal cherries can give you a delicious result, too.
The beauty of this drink lies not only in the luscious liqueur that you are making, but also in the ‘preserved’ cherries. You can wrap them in marzipan, dip them in chocolate and make cherry liqueur bonbons :-) What do think of that? 😇
I’m not going to bore you with the technicalities, but if you go to Romania or have a Romanian friend, ask for ‘visinata’ and for ‘visine’. You won’t be sorry.
PS: be warned! It's one of those drinks that sneakily reaches the legs first and then the head, so you will be perfectly fine while sitting down. Then…the ‘going home’ bit is more difficult…
Good luck 🤗
Parjoale - Moldovan meatballs that are usually served with an easy garden pea stew.
In Romanian, we use a similar word to ‘parjoale' when we talk about being restless because of a burning, tormenting worry, that makes us turn on all sides.
So you get the idea: you need to put the ‘parjoale’ in hot oil, and turn them quickly to seal all those flavours in.
They are made of two different types of meat, bread soaked in milk, loads of dill, then rolled in breadcrumbs. The inside should be soft and more like a paste, the outside crispy and golden, very much reminiscent of an arancini. We serve them with a garden pea stew for a ‘light’ lunch or dinner :-) Happy Monday! #parjoale #gardenpeas #easydinners #traditionalromanianrecipes
Corvin Castle - isn’t it stunning? It’s in south-west Transylvania, Romania. It is one of the largest castles in Europe and its construction started in 1446, on the site of a fortified keep that belonged to Charles I of Hungary.
Just as a curiosity, Charles I was heir to the Kingdom of Naples, I wonder what type of dishes were served at his court :-) Because Vlad the Impaler was held prisoner here, it is believed than Bram Stoker used it as inspiration for his Castle Dracula, although there is no proof for this.
However, it attracts its own ‘tribe’ of ghost hunters, including the TV program Most Haunted Live! The team ran a three-night live investigation into the spirits reported to be haunting the castle.
But don’t just put it on your Halloween list. It is a beautifully decorated castle and worth a visit for its Renaisance-Gothic style, and both rectangular and circular towers, quite unique for those times.
Now I’m thinking about making a cake inspired by its shape, what should I put in it? Help me decide please…
Photo credit: @jonas.vesterlund
Featured on: @ig_romania
Selected by: @radu.nita
Stuffed tomatoes - with pearl barley, parsley pesto and walnuts. This is a staple dish back home. We basically stuff almost any vegetable, leaves or fruits: from tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, onions, potatoes, to cabbage, rhubarb, horseradish, vine or linden leaves, or to apples, quince and pears. Most of the time, the stuffing is made of meat and rice, but this tomato dish is a delicious alternative.
It’s is also my entry to Bea’s challenge @bealubas #belightinspired
. I actually had another shot ready for this, but then I realised that it was totally wrong. So this is my plan B :-) Please check the hashtag, the entries are absolutely mind-blowing.
#stuffedtomatoes #feedfeed @thefeedfeed @foodblogfeed #belightinspired #iamsomartha #imsomartha #eateelllivewell #buzzfeast #deliciousmagazine #olivemagazine #realsimple #thecookfeed #romanianfood #storyofmytable #cookinglight @cookinglight #thebestofvegan #cuisinesworld #foodiesofinstagram #hautecuisines #culturetripfood #belightinspired @bealubas
Mango ice-cream cassata cake. This is my fruity version with mango and ricotta ice cream, confit orange peel, and spun sugar instead of marzipan.
I’ve been thinking of making this for a while now. A cassata ice cream used to be such an iconic cake in the most prestigious patisserie shops in Bucharest, so it is part of my Romanian story. Cassata is a traditional Sicilian cake, but for some reason, it landed in Bucharest at the beginning of the last century as an ice cream cake: one layer of chocolate, one of pistachios and one of vanilla, with cherry jam between each layer.
This cake is also a reminder of a prestigious patisserie shop, called Casata. Together with another two similar shops - Scala and the famous Capsa, it modernised the Romanian baking and patisserie scene, by introducing French techniques and European inspired cakes. They brought a new life to a market dominated by baklavas, kataifs and ‘sarailii’ with their strong Turkish influence. The latter were not forgotten though, so imagine walking into a shop and being mesmerised by desserts of two different worlds.
I decided to make my own version of a cassata and submit it to Rachel’s @twolovesstudio #getminimal #monochromephotography
challenge. It has all the right elements for it. I just hope that I did them justice. If you don’t know about the challenge, there is still time for you to enter, or check the hashtag to see some mind-blowing photographs.
#getminimal @twolovesstudio #monochromaticphotography #foodstyling #romaniancuisine #cassata #stilllife #stilllife_perfection #eatpretty #foodstylingandphotography #postitfortheaesthetic #saveurmag #imsomartha @thefeedfeed.baking
Blueberry flat breads or ‘turte’. These make a delicious dessert, served dusted with just a little icing sugar, but you can add ice cream, or a dollop of creme fraiche, if you’d prefer. Their beauty lies in their versatility, since you can use any fruits (try them with cherries!), fresh or stewed, jam or marmalade, anything you like. Place the fruit in the middle of individually rolled flat breads, then carefully bring the edges of the dough to the middle, and pop them in a little frying pan for 2 minutes. I like them cold, but some people serve them warm.
They are specific to Moldova, the eastern part of Romania that is now split between Romania, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. The whole region is beautiful! You may have heard of the painted monasteries of Bucovina, built in the XV century, in the pine tree valleys of the river Bistrita. It is said that their exterior Byzantine paintings have survived better than any exterior paintings in Venice. Swipe left to see one. © Photo by: @viorel.irimia
Location: Gura Humorului, Suceava, Romania
Featured by @romaniaascunsa
#romaniancuisine #flatbread #blueberry #thebakefeed #culturetripfood #foodblogfeed #foodgawker #feedfeed #moldovanflatbread #turte #fromscratch #eattheworld #meandmymanfrotto #culturetripfood #makeitdelicious #realsimple #tastingtable #traditionalromanianrecipes #recettestraditionellesroumaines
Brasovence - these are pancakes filled with mushrooms, rolled in breadcrumbs, and quickly fried in a little oil. They are served with a tomato sauce (I love mine with a lot of garlic) but you can also serve them with sour cream, or even both. When you cook the Romanian style, there are no strict rules, so you can add more of the things that you like, or leave out the things that you don’t.
The only thing you can’t do with these pancakes is to make them small! Enjoy them with a glass of red wine, and the flavours will come to life.
They are named after the city of Brasov, in Transylvania, where, if you ever decide to visit, you will be charmed by its Saxon buildings, city walls and the Black Church. Swipe left to see a picture of Brasov.
The central piazza is lined with cafes and restaurants, but also street food vendors selling the famous chimney cake, Kurtos Colaci. These cakes are roasted on a spit, and together with the pancakes, are the Hollywood stars of Brasov. Please let me know if you’ve ever had a chimney cake, or something similar.
Copyright Brasov photo @floarea_soarelui
featured on @hai_la_brasov
#pancakes #savourypancakes #feedfeed #thecookfeed #eatwelllivewell #crepes #eattheworld #huffposttaste #romanianfood #brasov #food52gram
Lady’s whim - this is what they are called. They are a kind of millefeuilles, but with only two layers of pastry. What I did here was to put them one on top of another. The filling is extremely easy to make, just egg whites and summer fruit syrup. It looks complicated, but believe me, it’s just a matter of assembling puff pastry (from the shop!) with smooth, fruity Italian meringue.
Although I have brought my own contribution to this dessert, the filling is an old favourite that my mum used to make. Her trick was to skim off the syrupy foam from the surface of jams or confiture that she was making. Mixing this with beaten egg whites, the filling was then put in a glass, or between two sheets of pastry, and served dusted with icing sugar.
I’m not sure why they are called Lady’s Whim, but maybe you can help me with that?
What makes this dessert a whim for you?
#summerfruit #thebakefeed #millefeuille #millefeuilles #food52grams #foodstyling #sundaycake #easydessert #feedfeed @foodismuk