Basmati and nut pilaff


Orez cu nuci-0165s

Maaan, this is a good to know recipe for vegetarians, for hungry and busy vegetarians that don’t have the time to cook. It’s a good one to have it the next day too! And some days are just like that, you don’t want to stress
yourself to much, all you wish for is a hot healthy meal and a bath. This is a good to know recipe for that kind of days.

 

 

You will need:

  • Basmati rice – 100g
  • Onion – medium size, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 clove smashed
  • Carrot – 1/2 coarsley grated
  • Oil
  • Cumin seeds – 1tsp.
  • Coriander seeds – 1/2 lingurita
  • Cardamom – a pinch
  • Vegetable stock – 1 cup (or water)
  • Dafin – 1-2 leafs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nuts – 75g
  • Fresh parsley or coriander

Method:

For a light basmati rice rinse the grains before cooking. You can do this either by swilling the rice in cold water and leaving it to soak for 30 minutes in the last rinsing water , or you can just clean it in a sieve under running water. 

In a pan fry the onion, with the garlic and carrots for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and all the spices, and cook for 1-2 minutes, so that the grains are well coated with oil. Add the stock or water togerther with the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Let it boil for 10 minutes (time may be different, check the time on the back of your box). After 10 minutes, remove it from the heat without lifting the lid and leave it like that for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leafs and add the nuts and chopped parsley.

 

Basmati and nut pilaff

Photo: Ionela Stoica




Jerusalem Artichoke Tart


Last week, my friend Catalina from Sunny side up, got me all warmed up with her tarts, and since then, I keep thinking doing one  lovely tart. And when i received from my friend Carmen a bag with these jerusalem artichokes,JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE TART that was the moment when i said: I know! And from 1 kg i did this quiche and some patties that didn’t turn out that good. So i’m gonna share with you this easy, delicious recipe that i kinda made it on the way.

 

 

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE TART

For the filling you will need:

  • Jerusalem artichokes – 400 – 500g
  • Cheese – 200g
  • Sour cream – 200g
  • Eggs – 3
  • Peas – 50g
  • Leek – 1 piece
  • Salt

For the crust:

  • All purpose flour – 250g
  • Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Warm water – 100ml
  • Oil – 100ml

Method:

For the pastry you’ll have to mix in a large bowl the flour with the salt and baking soda and stir together. Add the warm water mixing it with flour, and then add the oil. Once you have the dough set it aside in a fridge and let’s do the filling.

To cook the artichokes you’ll have to boil them for 10-15 minutes and then just remove the skin with your hand,  when boiled it’s very easy to remove the skin. Cut the leek into pieces and fry it for a few minutes in a few drops of oil until soft and tender. Set aside. In another pan boil for a few minutes the peas, about 10 minutes.

Put the eggs in a bowl and beat them lightly, add the sour cream and grated cheese. Mix everything. In the same bowl where you have the filling mix in the peas and artichoke pieces. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into a circle that will fit into your pan and cover it’s sides. Arrange the leek as a first layer and then pour in the filling.

Put it in the oven for about an hour, until you see that nice colour. 


Jerusalem artichokes Power!

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE TART

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE TART

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE TART

Foto: Ionela Stoica




Aubergines in chinese sauce


vinete in sos chinezesc

This Saturday we wanted to change the register a bit and go fusion. I made this recipe a while ago and it just stuck in my head. I’d say that it was a Chinese day theme given that in the morning I went in the Chinese Town and I’ve warmed up with lots of Chinese food: sweet pork ribs, bamboo with veggies, beef and onions and Chinese aubergines (not as good as mine, obviously – sorry chinese guys cooking there). I stopped by the Chinese Supermarket and stock on some uber-good soy sauce, some dehydrated peas with wasabi (love, love, love) and…durian flavored candy (whaaatttt!!!!-that’s what they said).

If I wasn’t obvious enough, I LOVE CHINESE FOOD!!!! So, yeah, I confessed my sins, hahahaha!!!

Now let’s get back to our aubrigines bathed in rosé (yeah, we didn’t have rice wine, thank God we have a fancy girlfriend that drinks rosé…always saving the situation!), soy sauce, garlic and chili peppers. Curious much?

 vinete in sos chinezesc

You’ll need:

  • Sunflower oil
  • Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
  • Aubergines – 1 kg
  • Garlic – 2 bulbs (small if organic or 1 big from the store)
  • Chilies – 1
  • Vegie stock – 1 cup
  • Soy sauce – 1 cup
  • Rosé – 1/2 glass
  • Starch – 1 tsp

Method:

When I first tried this recipe I got inspired by Maya and we loved it.

I pealed the aubergines zebra style and cut them into cm slices, fried them in about 1 tbsp of oil each batch using two frying pans to speed up things.

When I was done frying the little monkies I threw them in a wok in about 2 tbsp. of sunflower oil and 1 tbsp sesame oil, threw garlic and chilies and fried for about 3 minute the whole shebang, then I poured the stock and wine turning up the heat so that the alcohol can evaporate.    

After another 3 minute I salted with soy sauce, about 100 to 150 ml and I let everything simmer away for about 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally. When everything was done and perfect I sprinkled 1 tsp of starch to thicken the sauce and turned off the heat.  

I hardly could make the jackals invading the wok step away so that I could serve this wonder rightly: with steamed rice (or rice noodles) and more soy sauce … Happy Days! as Jamie Oliver says.

Chinese Power!

vinete in sos chinezesc-9573

Text & Cook: Stinga Simona
Foto: Stoica Ionela
Inspired by: Maya’s World




Aubergines stuffed with couscous


Stuffed aubergines with cous cous

Aubergines stuffed with couscous and vegetables – delicious for a Meatless Monday day, easy to cook with whatever you have in your fridge!

Enjoy!

 

 


Serves: 2 pers.
You’ll need:

  • Eggplants – 2 medium-large
  • Olive oil – 30ml
  • Tomatoes – 2 (deseeded and chopped)
  • Onion – 2 (chopped)
  • Sultanas – 2 tbsp.
  • Couscous – 100g (cooked accordingly to packet instructions)
  • Parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper

First of all preheat the oven – 180 C. Cut the eggplants in half and remove the flesh (out it aside). Saute the onion with eggplants flesh for a few minutes. In a bowl mix the tomatoes, onion, sultanas, couscous, salt and pepper and fill the cavities of the aubergines. Cover the dish and bake it in the over for 30 minutes. Add some parsley leaves and serve!

Vinete umplute cuscus

Vinete umplute cu cuscus

Photo: Ionela Stoica




Broccoli and Brie Soup


Broccoli and Brie Soup

I know i said this month will be all about pumpkin but when i saw in supermarket this broccoli offer, i thought that i should do something with it. So i decided to do this creamy – cheesy soup with some almonds in it. So if you don’t hate broccoli from the bottom of your heart, give it a try!

 

Easy-cheesy!

You’ll need:

  • Onion – 1/2 chopped
  • Broccoli – 300g chopped
  • Courgette – 1/2 chopped
  • Potato – 1 chopped
  • Butter – 25 g
  • Sunflower Oil – 25ml
  • Vegetable stock – 1l
  • Blue Brie – 50 g cubed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Almonds – to garnish

So, i placed all the vegetables in a large pot: onion + broccoli + courgette + potato. I mixed all the vegetables with the oil and butter and about 50ml stock or water. Let them cook for 15 minutes, stirring ocasionally, until you have soft vegetables. After that add the rest of the stock and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Strain the vegetables and put the liquid aside. Blend them until all smooth and nice and then mix’em with the remaining liquid. Boil for a few minutes more, and add the cheese stirring it until in melts. As a garnish add the almonds.

Broccoli and Blue Brie Soup

Supa crema broccoli-8846

 

Foto: Ionela Stoica




Quiche with Pumpkin and Gorgonzola


Quiche with pumpkin and gorgonzola

As you know this month it’s all about pumpkin! Sice i got a huuuuge pumpkin last year from my grandmother, and it’s still holding up – now in the freezer, i decided to cook something new everytime. It all started with a Pumpkin soup with garlic (recipe here), and it continued with this amazing Quiche with Gorgonzola in it. So you tell me, how can you not like it? It has smelly cheese!

But since this pumpkin journey  I discovered that the world is divided into two: the pumpkin lovers and there are those who hate pumpkin from the bottom of their souls. As it is Lex Luthor for Superman, The Mandarin for the Iron Man, Green Lanthern to Sinestro, Jonah Hex to Quentin Turnball… their nemesis! 

But these words are for those who love pumpkin in any form, pies, cakes, shakes, seeds, salads, soups … and this mix, pumpkin and smelly cheese it’s awesome! 

Let’s get down to business!

For the crust you’ll need:

  • Vegetable Oil – 100 ml
  • All purpose flour – 250 g
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp
  • Warm water – 100 ml

For the filling:

  • Baked pumpkin – 500g (diced)
  • Heavy cream – 200 ml
  • Gorgonzola – 100g (or any blue cheese)
  • Red onion – 2 large – julienne
  • Oil – 30 ml
  • Eggs – 4
  • Rosemary – a pinch

First of all i diced the pumpkin and mixed it with a few drops of olive oil, a pinch of rosemay and a pinch of salt, and then put it in the oven on low heat for 30-40 minutes, until it’s all soft. 
Meanwhile i made the crust. It’s easy peasy –  just put all the flour (250g) in a large bowl and mix it with the dry ingredients – salt and backing soda. Make a hole in the middle and pour while mixing 100 ml olive oil and then 100 ml warm water. Mix until you get a nice dough and set aside.
Let’s take care of that filling – mix the eggs with 200 ml heavy cream, and then add 100g crumbled gorgonzola. If the pumpkin is ready put in the same bowl with the filling and mix it. Now let’s saute that onion with a pinch of oil, until soft and tender. 
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and rolling from center outward, form a round shape so that it will fit into you pan. Put it into bottom and sides of you plate, gently. Now pour the pumpkin filling in it and bake it for 45 – 60 minutes – until golden brown! 

Quiche with pumpkin and gorgonzola

Cook & Photo & Main eater: Ionela
Inspired by: www.closetcooking.com

Enjoy! 




Pumpkin soup with garlic


pumpkin soup

This story begins with one year old pumpkin, that my grandma gave it to me – last year. It was a very big and heavy pumpkin, and until these days i didn’t know what to do with it. All i could think was a pumpkin pie, but i’m kinda sick and tired of the same pumpkin pie… so this year i have a plan! I think i’ll give it a try and bake a Banana Bread but with pumpkin, some Pumpkin cookies… and who knows what else. We’ll see!

pumpkin soup

Serves: 4 pers.
You’ll need:

  • Pumpkin – 1 kg – cut into small cubes, de-seeded
  • Garlic – 5 cloves, but the more the merrier 
  • Dried Rosemary – 1 tsp.
  • Vegetable stock – 500 – 700 ml – depends on how thick you want it to be
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

First of all, i had to fight pumpkin king, it was a terrible fight – needless to say i won! From that huge pumpkin i reserved 1 kg for my soup, since i’m the only one that likes pumpkin – more for me! The rest went into the refrigerator… will be continued!

I lined perchament paper on a tray and pre-heated the oven at 180C. I mixed the pumpkin with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and dried rosemary. Bake it for 45 minutes, or until cooked (it’s done when it’s all soft). Set aside and let it cool a bit. 

In a blender put the soup and the pumpkin and blend it until all smooth and creamy. Season with more salt if needed. 

When served you can garnish the soup with a swirl of cream and a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds.

pumpkin soup

Photo: Ionela Stoica




Baked French Potatoes with Parmesan


Cartofi frantuzesti2

When we moved in together, two years ago, this was one of the first recipes I cooked for dinner. I do not know why they call it “French”, maybe just to sound more pretentious, because they have nothing french. I can imagine a scene… Him: “Honey, what we have today for dinner?” She “Baked French Potatoes!” Him: “Ooooo, french you say!” So if you want to impress someone with a recipe, juat add the word french somewhere in your recipe, and there you have it, you’ll look like you know what you are doing.

Serves: 2
You’ll need:

  • Potatoes 4-5 medium  (peeled and sliced​​)
  • Eggs – 2
  • Cheese – 300g (not too salty)
  • Parmesan cheese – 50g
  • Sour Cream – 200ml

Step 1: Boil or steam the potatoes ~ 15-20 minutes.

Step 2: In a large bowl mix the grated cheese with eggs, sour cream and parmesan cheese.

Stept 3: Place on your baking tray one layer of boiled potatoes. After that pour half of the mixture we made at step2. Add another potatoes layer and pour the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake it on medium-low for 45 minutes, until all golden and gorgeous.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Cartofi frantuzesti

Foto: Ionela Stoica




Crunchy salad with green beans, walnuts and feta cheese


Green beans salad with walnuts, cauliflower and feta cheese

Since it’s Meatless Monday, i thought that a simple, colorfull and healthy salad, would be a good idea. With walnuts, which makes it awesome salad day!

Give it a try and thank me later!

Server: 1

You’ll need:

  • Green beans – 200g
  • Feta Cheese – 100g
  • Walnuts – a handful (the more the better)
  • Cauliflower – 50g
  • Water – 1L

Bring 1l of water to boil and add a pinch of salt. When the water is boiling soak the green beans and cauliflower until tender but still crisp, about 3 – 5 minutes. Drain the hot water and let the beans and cauliflower cool. Add the beans and cauliflower in a bowl and then sprinkle a few drops of olive oil, crumbled feta cheese and a dash of salt. In another pan roast for a few minutes the walnuts (the more the merrier). Add roasted walnuts to your salad and enjoy it.

Green beans salad with walnuts, cauliflower and feta cheese

Green beans salad with walnuts, cauliflower and feta cheese

Green beans salad with walnuts, cauliflower and feta cheese

Green beans salad with walnuts, cauliflower and feta cheese

Foto: Ionela Stoica




Ricotta and Spinach Tortellini with truffle sauce


Ricotta and Spinach Tortellini with truffle sauce

Fresh pasta, truffle sauce and cream. It sounds good and it is delicious. Did I mention it takes about 10 minutes to make it?

Every time I make this recipe I start missing Italy, and Tuscany with its food (and prosecco hihihi), the views and the amazing places that I’ve been to.

Don’t mind me and my daydream, let me tell you more about this recipe:

You’ll need:

  •  Fresh pasta – 1 pack
  • Truffle sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Heavy Cream or whipping cream – 100ml 

Method: 

In a large potboil enough water for your pasta. Make sure the water is salty enough because it will be the only way your pasta will season. Cover with a lid so that it can boil faster.

When the water begins to boil throw pasta and cook for about 2 minutes. When working with fresh pasta is good to know that they don’t need more than 2 minutes to be al dente. This time I used tortellini with ricotta and spinach, but you can as well use tagliatele or any other fresh pasta you prefer.

While your pasta is boiling heat a sauce pan and place two tablespoons of truffle sauce and allow it to heat well, no more than 30 seconds. Add the cream, season with pepper to taste and let it simmer a little.

When your pasta is al dente strain and throw in the sauce pan over the truffle sauce. Add a tablespoon of that starchy pasta water, mix and have yourself some pasta tartufatta.

Not only is this the quickest pasta recipe, but it is so tasty that you will not want to buy ready-made pasta sauces ever again. I promise!

 

Enjoy!

Ricotta and Spinach Tortellini with truffle sauce

Cook: Simona & Petru
Foto: Ionela