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!