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.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sour meatball soup dressed with yogurt

This is a classic in Romanian cuisine. I'm sure you'll just love it, it's a very tasty soup, light and healthy. I have adjusted a little bit the original recipe, because you should make it sour with some borș, which is not easy to find outside Romania, so I think it goes just fine to replace it with some lemon juice.

So, you will need:
1. for the meatballs:
- 300 g of minced meat (pork, chicken or veal)
- pepper, dill
- one egg white
- 3 tablespoons of rice
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion

2. for the soup:
- 2 l water
- juice of 4 lemons
- one onion
- one tomato
- one carrot
- one parsley root and some parsley leaves
- one small celery
- one sweet pepper
- one egg yolk
- 200 ml of yogurt

- salt and pepper

To start, you need to chop all the vegetables and boil them in 2 litres of water with a teaspoon of salt for 10 minutes.

 In the meantime, you can start preparing the meatballs. In one bowl you mix together the all the previously mentioned ingredients (meat, pepper, dill, egg white, rice and finely chopped onion).

You start to take small amounts of this mixture and shape them into small balls. Tip: you need to wet you hands with cold water for a non-stick effect.

Put all the meatballs in the soup and let it all boil for 30 minutes. At the end you will add the lemon juice, the salt and pepper, the parsley leavest chopped and the yogurt mixed with the egg yolk. Tip: In order for the yogurt to remain creamy, gradually warm it with some hot soup and afterwards pour it into the pot.

In the end, you'll have this appealing soup that puts together the sourness of lemons and the delicacy of the yogurt with the sweetness of the vegetables, all completed with some veery tasty meatballs.

Homemade Bread

 I would say that this is the classic recipe for homemade bread, very easy to do, that I promise it won't take you more than 30 minutes of effective work time to make it happen :). The taste of this homemade bread is so fresh and absolutely fantastic and the extra bonus is the nice bakery smell that will invade all your kitchen.

So, first of all, you will need:
-500 g of white flour
-1 teaspoon of sugar
-1 teaspoon of salt
-25 g of fresh yeast (or you can always use 7g of dry yeast)
-250 ml of lukewarm water
- 3 tablespoons of oil (olive oil or sunflower oil)

And now, in a big bowl, put all the flour and right in its centre add all the other ingredients and start mixing.

 It will all convert in something that looks like this:

Continue mixing for about 10-15 minutes and cover it with a tea towel of some foil and let it rise in a warm place for about one hour. The dough will double its volume and will be all fluffy and airy.

Now, you can shape the bread. I choose to make 3 nice baguettes, which I settled on baking sheet, but you can always use some extra flour in stead of it. I've put some oil on my hands and caressed the baguettes in order to give them some shine.

The baguettes go in the oven, preheat at 180ºC (360ºF/gas mark 4) and stay there until they get nice and crusty, about 45 minutes. Enjoy!