Thursday, March 03, 2011

Beans Soup

I have to admit that I am a meat lover. I am not so much into vegetarian food and most of the times I feel like the dish is not complete without a nice piece of meat in it. But! I make exceptions... like this delicious one - Beans Soup. It seems like the beans have all that necessary rich flavor, all by themselves, so they go great even without meat. This soup is light, dietetic and healthy, but also very tasty, which for me is the winning combination!:)

You will need the following ingredients:
- 300 g of beans
- one onion
- one carrot
- one pepper
- a hand full of cherry tomatoes or a big tomato
- a small celery
- some dill, chopped
- salt and pepper

I started by boiling the beans. When nice and soft, I put some oil in a frying pan, then added the chopped onion and stir it until golden.

Then I've added all the other vegetables, chopped, and stirred for about 10 minutes.

All this mixture went in the pot where the beans were boiling. I've adjusted the water quantity in order to have a rich soup. Then I've seasoned it with salt and pepper and I've let it boil for another 20 minutes, until all the vegetables were soft.

In the end I've sprinkled a some chopped dill.

So simple, so delicious and, unlike other vegan dishes, so full and satisfying!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Peasant Potato Soup

Potato Peasant Soup

This is a very rich potato soup, flavored with smoked meat and with a smooth texture given by the sour cream. OK, I have to admit that maybe it is not the best if you're on a diet, but it might be a great week-end guilty-pleasure.

You will need the following ingredients:
- 500 g of potatoes
- 350 g of smoked pork meat
- one big onion
- one carrot
- one pepper
- one tomato
- 400 ml of sour cream
- one tablespoon of flour
- parsley leaves
- salt and pepper

Start by frying the smoked meat in a non stick pan. Let's not add any more grease, the pork meat has its own :). When crispy, add the sliced onion and let it for 5 minutes, while stirring.

Then add all the other vegetables.

After a few minutes, transfer everything in a pot and add 2 liters of  boiling water and salt and pepper. Let it boil for some 20 minutes.

Now, prepare the dressing by adding one tablespoon of flour to the sour cream and pour it over the soup. Add some chopped parsley leaves and you're done.

The soup is simple to make, I'd recommend it even to a beginner, and the taste is so authentic and... rustic. Once tried, it will surely be added to your list of comfort soups, on mine it is on top!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oven Baked Chicken Wings

Though Romanian food is very tasty, I'm not always cooking Romanian, because sometimes I feel like trying new things. So I found many interesting recipes that I will insert here as "Special Guests" because I feel like sharing them with you.:)
Today's guest is this incredibly simple recipe for "Oven Baked Chicken Wings", which is great after a long day at work, when you feel like you want to get out of your kitchen asap. Looks fantastic, tastes great (the chicken wings get a smoked barbecue flavor, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside) and implies very few ingredients.

For just two portions, you will need:
- 5 entire chicken wings (that you will cut into 2)
- 1 tablespoon of ketchup
- 1 tablespoon of mustard
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce

First you will prepare a marinate for the meat by mixing the ketchup, the mustard and the soy sauce.

Add the chicken wings, cover them well with the marinate and leave them in the fridge for 30 minutes. During this time, you can peal and dice some potatoes to bake them with the wings.

Now, all you have to do is to bake the wings (and maybe some potatoes with rosemary) at 180 degrees C for about 45 minutes, until nice and brown.

It is a super easy to make recipe and I guarantee that you'll be thrilled by the result! Enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mashed Beans

This is a multifunctional course. You can eat it cold, as a spread on bread or warm - vegan style, meaning just the mashed beans, or with a nice fried sausage beside (they make a very good team together, I tell you!). Anyway, it's simple, you do it with just a few ingredients and it's very tasty.

You will need the following:
- for the mashed beans
- 300 g of beans
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- salt an pepper

- for the onion sauce (you can do without it if you have a very sensitive stomach, but you should try it, it's heaven!)
- one big onion
- one tablespoon of oil
- 100 ml of tomato juice (or two tomatoes, fresh and chopped)
- salt and pepper

You'll start by boiling the beans. When they are all soft and nice, you put them in the food processor with the mashed garlic, the oil and some salt and pepper.

Start blending them and when you get a fine paste, you're done! Yes, that's it! :)

Now, to make things more interesting, we will make the onion sauce, which will really enrich your beans. So, the chopped onion goes into the heated pan with one tablespoon of oil and stays there until it's soft.

Then we'll add the tomatoes or the tomato juice (whatever you'll have, it's fine), some salt and pepper an leave it there for another 10 minutes. Don't forget to stir, once in a while!

At the and the sauce goes over the mashed beans and you can spread some on a slice of bread just right away as you deserve it after all this work :).


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Potato Bread

OK now, once I made (and ate) this kind of out-of-this-world bread, I can never go back to the supermarket one. It tastes so authentic and rich, it's such a happy meeting between the thick crust and the soft and moist crumb... all I can do is to advice you to use these huge quantities of ingredients because you'll surely devour it in no time. :)

So, you will need:
- 2 kg of flour;
- 1kg of potatoes;
- 100 g of fresh yeast;
- 1 litter of lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- one tablespoon of salt.

I started by washing and boiling the potatoes. When ready, I pealed them off and smashed them (I have used a food processor, but you can also do it by hand). The yeast is better to be dissolved in a small quantity of water first. Now, combine all the ingredients and mix them well, for 15-20 minutes.

If the dough is too sticky, add some more flour, if it's too dry, add some more water.

Let it rest in a warm place for about one hour, until it doubles its volume. Now, you can shape the bread. I choose to make two big breads, in a traditional shape, to match the recipe. :) Let it rest for another 10 minutes and in the meantime preheat the oven at 180 degrees C. The final step is baking the bread for about an hour, until nice and brown.

I am absolutely speechless in front of this sexy look. :) I recommend it hot, with some butter and sea salt ...yum.

Enjoy it! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Giant Beans with Smoked Meat

This is a very rich dish, with few ingredients, where nothing can go wrong and, just by following some easy steps, you'll be having a great and tasty dish to serve.

Basically, you will need:
- 500 g of giant beans (or any other kind goes just the same)
- 400 g of smoked meat (pork is recommended)
- one big onion
- 200 ml of tomato juice
-salt and pepper

The beans is recommended to soak in cold water over night, this will shorten the boiling time. However, if you can't do this, you may start by boiling them directly, after carefully washing them several times.

When the giant beans are boiled (this can take about 1-2 hours and you know they're ready when you can easily smash them) you start roasting the smoked meat cut into pieces in a hot pan, without adding any oil. The meat has its own grease, it's not necessary to add some more.

When the meat gets crispy, you add the diced onion and let them for another few minutes, while stirring.

Now you can add the meat and the onion over the boiling giant beans and complete it all with tomato juice and salt and pepper.

You'll leave it to boil for another 30 minutes and it's good to go on your plate. The taste is fantastic, it's such a blessed encounter between the smoked flavour of the meat and the rich texture of the beans... so, enjoy it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mushroom salad

This delicious salad can be made with any kind of fresh mushrooms, it's all up to you! It's fast, easy to do, very nutritive and healthy.

So, you'll need:
- 500 g of mushrooms
- one teaspoon of vinegar
- 100 ml of wine
- salt and pepper

and for the dressing:
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- one tablespoon of oil
- one teaspoon of vinegar (you can try to add even more, if you like it)

Start by washing the mushrooms and add one litre of water, one teaspoon of vinegar, the wine and some salt and pepper.

Let it boil for 15 minutes and, afterwards, take out the mushrooms and chop them.

Now, prepare the dressing by mixing together the mashed garlic, the vinegar and the oil and pour it on the chopped mushrooms.

Mix it all together, add some more salt and pepper if necessary and enjoy! Tip: You can also add to the dressing 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and get a much more creamy and rich salad.