August 22, 2008

Thai garlic pepper chicken - Pui thailandez cu piper si usturoi

When my sister moved to her new place, we went to see it and help a little unpack her stuff, and then went out for dinner to a little restaurant on the corner of her block. My sister moved in Thai town, so there are 5 restaurants in 3 blocks, one more authentic than the other. And since we love their food so much, we were more than happy with their menu. I had a chicken coconut soup, Clara had the garlic pepper chicken, Silvia had larb (a thai dish with ground meat and spices, which i want to make soon) and my sister something with shrimp, i dont' remember what, but i know it was sooo spicy...

Clara loved her chicken and asked me at home if i could make it for her, this and teriyaki of course, because she loves the flavor of the sauce. About teriyaki - Clara thought it is called teriyaki the chicken itself, not the sauce, so when we ordered one Friday veggie teriyaki, she kept on saying where is the teriyaki....

I looked online for a recipe and i don't know if this is exactly how they made it, but the taste was pretty close to the one from the restaurant. The recipe comes (recipe #232143).

2 boneless chicken legs/2 shicken breasts, cut into strips
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sea
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup oil for frying
cucumber slices and lettuce leaves for garnish

Combine the chicken, garlic, pepper, soy sauce, salt, oyster sauce and sugar in a bowl and mix together. Let it marinate for at least half an hour in the refrigerator.
Preheat a frying pan over high heat and the oil. When the oil is smoking hot, start cooking the marinated chicken for about 5-10 minutes.
Drain the oil and serve the chicken with rice, lettuce leaves and cucumber slices.


Pui cu usturoi si piper - reteta thailandeza

2 pulpe pui/2 piepti dezosate (i)
6 catei usturoi tocati marunt
1 lingurita piper macinat
1 lingura sos de soia
1/2 ingurita sare
1 lingura sos de midii
1 lingurita zahar
50 ml ulei pt. prajit
felii de castravete si frunze de salata pentru garnitura

Se combina puiul, usturoiul, piperul, sosul de soia, sarea, sosul de midii si zaharul intr-un castron si se amesteca bine. Se lasa puiul la marinat cel putin o jumatate de ora in frigider.
Se incinge o tigaie la foc mare si cand uleiul e foarte fierbinte, se pune la prajit puiul pentru 5-10 minute.
Se scurge puiul din ulei si se serveste cu orez simplu, felii de castravete si frunze de salata.

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August 19, 2008

Lemon Poppy Polenta Cookies Sorbet Sandwiches - Sandwichuri cu sorbet de zmeura

It's ice cream time! Every day, at home or out, the summer demands the wonderful refreshing taste and chill of the frozen dessert. Between the supermarket (with gallons of icecream, the ice cream sandwiches, the popsicles or the drumsticks), the Pinkberry, the Baskin-Robbins, the gelateria or your neighborhood ice cream place, the variety is pretty impressive and the flavors are amazing.
Still, some of us, have tried making this at home, artisan ice cream, sometimes to see how much chemistry is involved and how yours (please read mine only, i don't know about your experiments) is not even close to the wonderful creaminess of the gelato you had last week, or, if you are more talented, gifted and experienced, to get something as good as, if not better, than the one you could buy. (mine sucks since i don't have an ice cream maker, and it came out as a granita always, not creamy at all).
Back in July, when we were in Oceanside, we had for dessert a wonderful and huge vanilla ice cream (where the flavor was amazing, you could see the black speckles from the vanilla bean), with caramel sauce and fried tortilla dusted with sugar and cinnamon. The Mexican flare, the fried tortilla and the cinnamon, was a nice combo with the creamy vanilla ice cream, and the textures worked fine together.
Now back at home, we've discovered a new place, which i don't think it is that new, but somehow we haven't noticed it until about 3-4 weeks ago. It is called Bellagio, and it is in the middle of the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Personally, we love this place 10 times more than the other one, half a block away, Angelato. Although this one doesn't have 100 flavors, but only about 20 (or less), we liked it sooo much, that now it is our first choice all the time. And because we are pretty conservative, how else could you call us when we order the same 5-6 flavors all the time, their selection of only 20 flavors it's more than sufficient. And those flavors are pistachio, hazelnut, cinnamon, pineapple and passion fruit. And every time it is hard to chose only 3 (that's called "the trouble"), and at teh same time to finish three pretty big scoops.
Last week, i wanted to make a dessert with ice cream, so i bought some Haagen-Dazs raspberry sorbet to use for this recipe and made only the cookies.

I didn't know if Clara is going to like the polenta used in these cookies, but the crunch and the lemon flavor was what we liked the most. And they were just wonderful eaten alone or in sandwiches with the sorbet.

This recipe comes from the Food & Wine website, and i substituted the huckleberry sorbet with raspberry and added 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract to the cookie dough.

Lemon Poppy Polenta Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 cup instant polenta
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
*1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

In a food processor, combine the polenta, the flour, confectioners' sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter, shortening, lemon extract and lemon zest and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the egg and poppy seeds and pulse just until the dough forms a ball. Pat the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic; refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 . Generously flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a floured 2 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter, stamp out 28 cookies as close together as possible. Gather the dough scraps together and gently reroll the dough, then stamp out 4 more cookies. Carefully transfer the cookies to 2 ungreased baking sheets.
Bake the cookies until golden (it took me only 8-10 minutes, not 18 as recommended in the recipe; the first batch it almost burnt because i kept it 12 minutes). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets.
To form the sandwiches, scoop about 1/4 cup of the softened sorbet onto each of 16 cookies. Top the sorbet with the remaining cookies, pressing lightly to help evenly spread the sorbet. Set the sandwiches on a baking sheet and freeze for about 1 hour, or until the sorbet is firm.
MAKE AHEAD The cookies can be made up to 3 days ahead. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Biscuiti de malai, mac si lamaie pt. "sandwichuri" cu inghetata

200 g malai
100 g faina, plus cateva linguri de presarat pe masa cand se intinde aluatul
2/3 cup zahar pudra
1/8 lingurita praf de copt
un varf de sare
5 linguri unt nesarat la temp. camerei
3 linguri margarina de prajituri la temp. camerei
coaja de la o lamaie
un ou la temp. camerei
o lingura seminte de mac

Se amesteca intr-un robotel malaiul, faina, zaharul pudra, praful de copt si sarea si se pulseaza de cateva ori cat sa se amestece. Se adauga untul, margarina si coaja de lamaie si se pulseaza pana amestecul seamana cu niste firimituri, sau nisip grunjos. Se adauga oul si semintele de mac si se pulseaza numai cat sa formeze alutul o minge. Aluatul se inveleste in folie de plastic si se tine la frigider cel putin o ora, sau pana este tare. (Se poate foarte bine face aluatul si fara robot, amestecandu-se ingredientele cu mana sau cu furculita intr-un castron.)
Se incalzeste cuptorul la 350F (170 C). Se presara faina pe suprfata de intins si pe sucitor si se intinde o foaie de cca 3mm grosime. Se taie aluatul cu o forma de biscuiti rotunda cu diametrul de 5-6 cm. Se aduna resturile de aluat si se intinde din nou o foaie pana se foloseste tot. Daca aluatul devine prea moale pentru a fi intins, puneti-l din nou la frigider acoperit cu folie de plastic.
Se pun biscuitii la copt pe tavi neunse si se coc pana devin aurii. Reteta originala recomanda18 minute, ale mele au fost gata in 8-10 minute, si am aflat asta numai dupa ce aproape am ars prima tura. Daca nu as fi fost curioasa rau sa vad cum arata dupa 12 minute, le carbonizam de tot. Se lasa biscuitii sa se raceasca pe tava.
Pentru a se forma sandwichurile, se pun cca 2 linguri de inghetata/serbet (lasat afara putin sa se moaie, dar numai cateva minute) pe jumatate din biscuiti si se acopera cu cealalta jumatate de biscuiti, apasand usor incat sa intinda inghetata uniform. Se pun sandwichurile pe o tava la congelator pana serbetul a inghetat din nou.
Biscuitii pot fi facuti cu 3 zile inainte si pastrati intr-un container inchis ermetic dupa ce s-au racit complet.

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August 18, 2008

Broccoflower tart - Tarta cu broccoli

Tarts, pies, quiches, and souffles made such a comeback in the last couple of years, and they went well beyond the classics. You could find so many all over the blogosphere and on the culinary websites. They are tasty, easy to make (ok, maybe not the souffles), savory or sweet, with or without crust, you could play with the ingredients so much, choosing your favorites or what is in season, or just go ahead with the old time favorites. My favorite are the ones made with leeks, spinach and chopped broccoli, and of course the fruit tarts.
I made last week a tart with broccoflower, and since Clara likes the broccoli and also bacon and cheese, so I put them together.
The tart shell was made from scratch, but a store bought pie shell would work just fine. This recipe asked for 2 cups flour, 8 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons icy water and a pinch of salt. I preheated the oven at 350F (170C) and baked the empty tart shell in a 11" (28 cm) pan for about 20-25 minutes, until light golden. Let the shell cool completely for about half an hour in the pan.
I cut the broccoflower bouquets and blanched them for about 2 minutes in boiling salted water, then washed them in cold water to stop the cooking process and drained until ready to use.
I sauteed one onion (you could use one leek) cut julienne with about 8 slices of bacon chopped in small pieces, until the onion was golden and soft. I mixed the onion and bacon in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients: 4 heaping tablespoons sour cream, 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, 3 eggs, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, and chopped fresh dill. Mix them together until just combined, then put the filling in the tart shell and arrange the broccoflower florets on top, along with some strips of red bell pepper.
Bake at 350 F (170C) for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is set. Let it cool and serve with salad.

If you have the time and patience, make smaller individual tarts as appetizers. They look impressive and everybody is going to admire you for all the hard work, but a full size tart to be sliced on the table looks very good, too.


Tartele, placintele, quiche, budincile ori sufleurile au ajuns iarasi in centrul atentiei in ultimi 2-3 ani, depasind cu mult retetele clasice. Sunt gustoase si usor de facut (sau aproape, cu exceptia sufleurilor), sarate/condimentate sau pentru desert, cu sau fara foaie, poti jongla cu ingredientele in functie de favoritele tale sau de ce e in sezon, sau poti face una din retetele mai vechi, consacrate.
Preferatele mele sunt cele cu praz, spanac sau broccoli tocat marunt, dar de data asta am facut cu un altoi de broccoli-conopida ("floare de broccoli"), pentru ca si Clarei ii place broccoli, dar si baconul si branza, asa ca le-am combinat.

Crusta de tarta am facut-o, dar daca gasiti una la supermarket care va place, e numai buna si asa. Pentru foaie am avut nevoie de 250 g faina, 115 g unt rece, taiata cubulete, 3 linguri de apa foarte rece si un varf de sare. am intins-o cam de 4-5 mm, am pus-o in forma si am intepat-o peste tot cu furculita. Am incalzit cuptorul la 350F (170C) si am copt foaia singura intr-o forma rotunda de tarta (28 cm) cu fundul detasabile, aproape 20-25 minutes, primele 15 minute - acoperita cu o hartie de copt, ultimele 10 minute am dat hartia la o parte, pana crusta a devenit aurie. Se lasa crusta la racit timp de o jumatate de ora in forma ei.

Am oparit broccoli-ul in apa sarata timp de 1-2 minute, apoi l-am scurs de apa, spalat in apa rece sa opreasca gatitul, si l-am lasat la scurs pana a fost gata de pus in tarta.

Am calit o ceapa medie taiata solzisori cu vreo 8 felii de bacon taiat marunt, pana ceapa a devenit aurie. Am amestecat apoi intr-un castron ceapa, baconul, si restul de ingrediente: 4 linguri pline cu varf de smantana, 3 linguri pline de parmesan ras, 3 oua, sare, piper si un varf de nucsoara rasa, si marar proaspat tocat. Se amesteca bine ca sa se omogenizeze, apoi se toarna umplutura in forma de tarta si se aranjeaza buchetelele de broccoli deasupra, impreuna cu niste feliute de ardei gras rosu. Se coace 30 minute la aceeasi temperatura 350 F (170C), sau pana umplutura nu mai e lichida. Se serveste la temperatura camerei cu o salata, sau poate fi servita ca aperitiv- parte dintr-un meniu mai bogat.

Daca aveti timp si rabdare, puteti face tarte individuale, micute, ca aperitive. Arata foarte bine si toata lumea o sa va laude pentru toata munca grea, dar o tarta intreaga taiata in felii poate sa fie la fel prezentabila si cu mai putina munca.

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August 13, 2008

A kids tea party - "Ceai"

Clara has had a birthday party each year until now, or better said, two birthday parties - one here and one in Romania, since she was getting there the week of or after her birthday. She has been going back home each summer to see our families and my mom had a party for her birthday every time, inviting her friends from kindergarden. And which kid could say "no, thanks" to a second party, cake, gifts and play time with your friends that you haven't seen in a year?
My mom cannot help herself not to spoil Clara, the same way my grandma did with us. My mom is now so playful, understanding, relaxed, funny, and forgiving with Clara, hundreds of times more than she has ever been with me and my sister when we were kids. She was strict (not exagerated) and seemed "unreasonable and pushy", this is how we thought of her sometimes, and i couldn't have been more wrong. We had our grandparents to spoil us, dad was the good guy, so she needed to be always on our backs. Now it's time for Clara to have a strict mother, a wonderful grandma and an amazing great-grandma. You see, no matter how many times I vowed not to be like my mom when i'll have my own kids, when i thought she wasn't just, I turned into my mom and my mom turned into my grandma. And there is no better or greater compliment i could receive than that i am just like my mother. I truly wish to be at least half as good a mother as she is to us.
You see, mom told me how grateful she is for having the chance to do with Clara all that she wasn't able to do with us, since she was working full time, and how happy she is to have the time to do all these things with and for her. And nothing seems to be too much these days, not when it is about Clara, and the rest of us, I have to admit.
This year, Clara had only one birthday celebration (only - since when one is not enough?!?!?!), and she had to pick between having a party in the park or Disneyland. I know she would have liked both, but..., so she picked Disneyland. And since she could not go to Romania this summer, i think she wasn't very happy.
I know this summer vacation is nowhere as fun and exciting as the last ones have been, and she misses her grandparents and friends from back home, so i tried to help her feel better and asked if she would like to have a tea party with some of her friends from here. She was thrilled and started immediately planning and telling me what she wants and what we should do for this party.
Clara wanted to make her own invites (but the project was never finished), then she told me we need to have small sandwiches, tea, a real china tea set, an elegant table, and of course, party favors for the girls. She was so excited that i don't think i have ever seen her clean up her room so willingly, and the room never so sparkly (i mean it was before the party, afterwards you'd say a small cyclone just passed and it took us about 3 hours to clean the mess).
This being said, i planned to do so many things, then Friday morning i had to go out for an appointment and made it back home only at 1 o'clock, when i started cleaning and prepping. There was no cooking involved, except for baking the desserts. I served them raspberry green tea and the finger sandwiches were the classics - cream cheese & cucumber, peanut butter & grape jelly, and instead of egg salad, just a slice of egg with a dab of mustard and mayo on buttered bread rounds. The meringues were supposed to be a darker shade of pink and green, but since i don’t like too much food coloring, they are kind of washed out. I used apricot jam to glue the meringues together and Clara helped me with that.

The first picture was taken before I was done with the sandwiches and with the lemon almond butter cake, so the plates looked a little different when everything was done. That’s why the last two pictures look different, I tried to recreate the setting.

The watermelon basket filled with the fruit salad came up as a replacement for what was supposed to be inspired by Aran’s wonderful dessert. I had no time to make the gelee, it would have been made with sparkling grape juice instead of Gewurtzeminer, so i carved the watermelon and put the fruit salad in it, to save some space on the table as well.
The tea set... well, i've got that as a present about two-three years ago, and it was never used, so I was planning to take it to Goodwill, just didn’t have time to do it yet. And it was just perfect for the girls, Clara was sooo happy that they will have a real china tea set, "because your coffee mugs would not have been as pretty, mom".

And for the party favors we found these little gift boxes, green and turquoise, with sequins on (you have to understand it is the perfect age for more sparkling stuff), and we had for each girls a chapstick, a lip gloss, and a couple of hair accessories. And off course tiaras, the party wouldn’t have been such a success without them.
The girls had a great time, and they put together a fashion show for us, so all of Clara’s clothes came out from her closet. They also played Twister, American Idol karaoke and painted their faces, and nobody wanted to leave four hours later.
I am happy that I loosened up a little bit and did this for her without a special reason. I realize since the grandparents are not with her, I have to spoil her a little on their behalf. And nothing is wrong with that, she is a wonderful kid, so nice and good, always listening and doing her best, she definitely deserves it at least from time to time, always in good measure.
It is funny how much I could write/talk about anything, even when no recipe is in sight, but you’ve probably got used to this .... this attribute of mine (definitely not a quality) ... fondness of talking.
A cup of tea anybody? A sandwich or a cookie? Please, help yourself.
Clara a avut parte de o petrecere de ziua ei in fiecare an, sau mai bine zis, de doua petreceri de fiecare data, una aici si una in Romania, pentru ca a ajuns acolo in preajma zilei ei de nastere. A fost acasa in fiecare vara sa fie cu ai nostri, iar maica-mea i-a sarbatorit ziua de ficare data, invitandu-i fostii colegi de gradinita. Si ce copil ar spune "nu, multumesc, nu trebuia" cand ar putea sa aiba inca o petrecere, inca un tort, cadouri si ocazia sa se joace cu prietenii pe care nu i-a vazut de un an?
Mama mea nu se poate abtine sa nu o rasfete pe Clara, la fel cum bunica mea ne-a rasfatat pe mine si pe sora-mea. Mama e atat de intelegatoare, gata de joaca si plimbari, relaxata, distractiva si iertatoare cu Clara, de nu stiu cate ori mai mult decat a fost cu noi cand eram copii. Era stricta (dar nu exagerata), ni se parea prea putin rezonabila si intotdeauna ne impingea de la spate, cel putin asa credeam atunci, si nu puteam avea mai putina dreptate. Ii aveam pe bunici sa ne rasfete, tata a fost intotdeauna cel de treaba, asa ca cineva trebuia sa-si asume rolul celui aspru. Acum a venit timpul pentru Clara sa aiba mama mai aspra, pentru ca bunica si strabunica sa fie cele mai minunate. Se pare ca in ciuda promisiunilor mele ca eu nu o sa ma port ca mama cand o sa am copiii mei, asta de fiecare data cand credeam ca mama e nedreapta, am devenit mama (daca mi-ati auzi replicile, pana si intonatia, e ceva de groaza, zici ca sunt clona ei), iar ea s-a transformat in bunica mea. Si nu stiu un compliment mai minunat sau mai bun pe care l-as putea primi, decat ca sunt exact ca mama. Imi doresc si sper din tot sufletul sa fiu pentru copiii mei macar pe jumatate din cum ne e ea noua.
Cand am intrebat-o daca nu crede ca exagereaza acum, mama mi-a spus cat de fericita si multumitoare e ca are acum sansa sa fie cu Clara cum nu a putut fi cu noi, cand lucra tot timpul, si ca are acum timp sa faca atatea cu si pentru Clara. Si nimic nu i se pare prea mult, nu cand e vorba de nepoata ei, si de fapt de noi toti, fetele si baietii ei, pentru toti la fel, trebuie sa recunosc.
Anul acesta Clara a avut o singura ocazie de a-si serba ziua (de cand o sarbatorire e prea putin?!?!?!), si a avut de ales intre o petrecere in parc, asa cum a avut in ultimii 3 ani, sau Disneyland. Stiu ca i-ar fi placut amandoua, nu una sau alta, dar.... asa ca a ales Disneyland. Si pentru ca nu a mai ajuns sa plece in Romania vara asta, cred ca nu a fost prea incantata.
Stiu ca vacanta asta nu a fost prea minunata, si nu se compara cu cele petrecute in Romania, iar Clara le duce dorul bunicilor, verisorilor si prietenilor de acasa, asa ca am incercat sa o fac sa se simta mai bine si am intrebat-o daca i-ar placea sa aiba un "ceai" cu prietenele ei de aici. A fost atat de incantata de idee si a inceput sa faca planuri imediat, spunandu-mi ce si cum vrea.
Clara a vrut sa-si faca singura invitatiile, dar nu a apucat sa le termine, apoi mi s-a comunicat ca trebuie sa avem sandwich-uri micute, ceai bineinteles, un set de ceai adevarat, o masa eleganta, si bineinteles ceva caouri micute pentru fete. A fost atat de bucuroasa si nerabdatoare, incat nu-mi amintesc sa o fi vazut inainte curatandu-si camera cu atata bunavoita, iar camera sa fie atat de stralucitoare ( asta inainte de petrecere, ca dupa arata de parca un mic ciclon a trecut prin ea si ne-a luat vreo 3 ore sa facem ordine la loc).
Toate astea fiind spuse, mi-am facut atatea planuri, apoi Vineri dimineata a trebuit sa merg la o consultatie, si am ajuns acasa numai la ora unu, cand m-am apucat de pregatit si curatenie. Noroc ca nu am avut ceva de gatit, numai putin copt pentru deserturi. Le-am facut un ceai verde cu aroma de zmeura, iar sandwichurile au fost clasice - crema de branza & castraveti, unt de arahide cu jeleu de struguri (tipic american, sa nu va uitati stramb la mine), iar in loc de salata de ou (altceva tipic), am pus o felie de ou cu putin mustar si maioneza pe niste feliute rotunde de paine cu unt. Nimic deosebit, fara carne pentru ca unele fete mancau Kosher si am realizat rea tarziu ca mezelurile mele nu sunt Kosher, fara ierburi prea multe pentru ca nu le plac si tot asa... Bezelele ar fi tebuit sa fie mai roz si mai verzi, dar nu-mi vine sa pun atat de mult colorant, asa ca arata foarte decolorate. Clara m-a ajutat, lipindu-le cu gem de caise.
Prima poza am facut-o inainte sa termin toate sandwichurile si prajitura cu lamaie si migdale (un chec simplu, la care am inlocuit o parte din faina cu niste migdale macinate si am adaugat coaja de lamaie si esenta), asa ca farfuriile au aratat altfel cand totul a fost gata. Si de aceea am facut niste poze mai tarziu, incercand sa reconstitui totul, dar care arata diferit.
Cosul facut din pepene umplut cu salata de fructe l-am facut in locul acestui desert minunat al lui Aran. Nu am avut timp sa mai fac jeleul, (in locul vinului Gewurtzeminer as fi folosit suc acidulat de struguri), asa ca am taiat si scobit pepenele si am pus salata de fructe inauntru.
Serviciu de ceai (ahem-ahem).... l-am primit cadou in urma cu vreo 2-3 ani, si nu l-am folosit niciodata, asa ca era planificat sa-l duc la Goodwill (un magazin al unei fundatii care primeste lucruri de care nu mai ai nevoie, haine, mobila, orice), numai ca nu am avut timp de asta inca. Asa ca a fost salvarea mea, iar Clara fost bucuroasa ca nu le dau canile mele mari si mai putin elegante de cafea.
Pentru cadouri am gasit niste cutiute mici verzi si turquaz, ca paiete pe ele (stiti si voi ca la varsta asta cat mai mult sclipici e perfect), si pentru fiecare fetita nist strugurel, gloss si cateva agrafe. Aah, si bineinteles coronite, petrecere nu ar fi fost la fel de reusita fara ele.
Fetele s-au distrat de minune, ne-au delectat cu o parada a modei, asa ca toate hainele Clarei au fost scoase din dulap. S-au jucat Twister, Karaoke si s-au pictat pe fata, ca sa fie apoi atat de triste cand a venit vremea plecarii.
Ma bucur ca am facut asta, fara sa avem ziua Clarei motiv de petrecut, pentru ca daca bunicii ei nu sunt in preajma sa o rasfete, trebuie sa fac eu asta in numele lor. Si nu mi se pare gresit, Clara e atat de cuminte, ascultatoare si buna, intotdeauna incercand sa faca totul cat se poate de bine, si merita asa ceva macara din cand in cand, bineinteles intotdeauna in limite rezonabile.
Ciudat cat de mult pot vorbi/ scrie, si nici macar nu am postat vreo reteta, dar probabil v-ati familiarizat cu ... atributul ( nu poate fi numit asa ceva calitate) asta al meu... placerea de a vorbi.
O ceasca de ceai? Un sandwich sau o prajiturica? Va rog, serviti!

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August 11, 2008

Dumplings - Coltunasi chinezesti

My Asian food journey continues. Saturday night I made dumplings/ pot stickers, a quick and tasty dish, for me and Clara only. So, I made about 30 (just me and Clara, right), because I had about 2/3 of a pound and I didn't realize it's too much until i was frying the second batch and I used less than half of the meat.
Dumplings are so easy to make, especially when you buy the won ton/ gyoza skins, so you don't have to make the dough. I like these wrappers and used them once for mushroom tortellini, they came out great. But back to my chinese food.
Clara did not want to eat them immediately, but when i told her later that's all i've made, and she should try one before she makes me cook something else, she liked them. So much that yesterday she asked if we have any leftover. Bingo!!!!
They could be served as appetizers, and then you calculate about 2-3 per person, or as an entree, so you should say at least 7-8 for each.
You could fill them either with pork, beef or chicken ground meet, just vegetables, or even fruits. They could be fried, boiled or steamed, depends how you like them more and how you cholesterol allows you to.

This filling was made with:

2/3 lb ground beef,
5 scallions chopped finely,
one carrot grated,
about one inch ginger grated,
one egg,
salt, pepper
Mix all ingredients together, then put one teaspoon of filling in the middle of each wrap. When making the dumplings, work with about 4 at the time and keep the rest of the wrappers covered with a wet paper towel, so they don't dry out.
I wet the edges to seal them and put about 6-7 in a frying pan. I made a combo between frying and steaming- i used only about 2 tablespoons oil for each batch and fried them about 1-2 minutes per each side, then added half a laddle of water and cook them until the water evaporated. They need to be turned once, so both sides are moist and cooked through.
If you fry them, use more oil in the pan, or you could boil them in salted water, or prepare them in the steamer.
Serve immediately with soy sauce, mixed with lime juice, grated ginger and chopped scallions.


Calatoria mea culinara asiatica continua. Sambata seara am facut dumplings - un fel de coltunasi chinezesti care erau numai pentru mine si Clara, Gabi tine post inca, numai ca din greseala, am avut prea multa carne, mi-au iesit peste 30 (numai pentur mine si Clara).
Coltunasii sunt tare usor de facut, mai ales cand cumperi foile de impachetat si nu ai de facut aluatul. Imi plac foitele de wonton si le-am folosit si pentru tortellini umpluti cu ciuperci, si pentru "palariutele chinezesti cu tuna tartar" postate mai demult.
Mandra mea la inceput nici nu a vrut sa-i guste, si dupa ce am rugat-o sa-i incerce inainte sa ma apuc sa-i gatesc altceva, mi-a spus ca ii plac. Atat de mult incat ieri m-a intrebat daca mai avem ramasi, asta da succes.
Pot fi serviti ca aperitive, 2-3 de persoana, sau ca fel principal, cel putin 7-8 pt. fiecare.
Umplutura poate fi facuta cu carne de porc, vita sau pui, doar legume/ vegetale, sau chiar fructe.
Pot fi prajiti, fierti sau facuti la aburi, depinde cum va plac sau va permite colesterolul.
Umplutura mea a fost facuta din:
300 g carne tocata de vita
5 fire de ceapa verde tocata
un morcov ras marunt
cca 5 cm ghimbir proaspat ras pe razatoarea mica
un ou
sare si piper
30-35 foi de wonton, sau de pachetele de primavara
Se amesteca ingredientele toate si se pune cate o linguritza de umplutura in mijlocul fiecare foi. Se lucreaza cu numai 3-4 foi o data, restul s epastreaza acoperite cu un prosop ud sa nu se usuce. Se uda foile pe margine cu apa sa se lipeasca bine. Eu am pus 6-7 pachetele o data in tigaie, cu 2 linguri ulei, la prajit cate 1-2 minute pe fiecare parte, apoi am adaugat o jumatate de polonic de apa, o combinatie intre prajit si oparit. Se intorc pe ambele parti pana se evapora apa, cat sa fie patrunse si foile moi.
Se servesc imediat cu sos de soia amestecat cu suc de limeta, ghimbir ras si cateva felii de ceapa taiate.
Daca le prajiti, puneti mai mult ulei decat am folosit eu, sa fie acoperite pachetelele. Sau se pot fierbe in apa sarata pana plutesc la suprafata cca 1 minut ori pune la aburi cca 8-10 minute.

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August 5, 2008

Raspberry custard tart - Tarta cu zmeura si crema de vanilie

This recipe belongs to Nancy Silverton, and I found it here, on the Food & Wine website. I told you before: i am a visual eater, the photos impress me a lot when deciding to make something or not. I really wanted to make this, and although my photo or tart don't look so beautiful as the ones in the original post, it was still a hit and i will make it again.

My sister, who doesn't like dessert, really liked this one and said it is a keeper. (That is i have to keep making it, she is not crazy about having to cook, although her moving out from our place made her cook more than ever).

I liked the tangy taste of the raspberries, and thought it worked really nice with the buttery crust and the vanilla filling, it was not too sweet. I think i should have kept it 2-3 minutes less in the oven, as the one from Food & wine looks whiter. Either that, or mine has been tanning on the hot beaches of Santa Monica, or the most probable explanation, the photo is too dark because i took it very late at night, the light was not very good - 2 light bulbs and no sun/day light.

Maybe for this reason alone i should make it again to take another photo. Or maybe I should have somebody else take the photo.
Now, again i made little changes to the recipe, but this time are very insignificant. I added almonds on top (i think half of my posts have almonds, so no surprise there), and i didn't make the sauce anymore.

Why I wasn't so in love with this? it's because the filling, instead of looking like a nice cream, came out like a small curd. The cream was fresh, so the eggs, so i don't know how to explain it or if it is something that i did wrong. But it still tasted good. Very good actually. And since it can be made ahead, it is a nice dessert for a party when you just slice it, nothing else needs to be done. If you want the sauce as well, check out the link above.

Raspberry Custard Tart - Nancy Silverton's recipe from food & wine website

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 pint raspberries, plus more for serving
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Make the pastry: In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and add to the flour; pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolk, lemon juice and zest. Add to the flour mixture and process just until large clumps of dough form. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 1/8 inch thick and fit in a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze 15 minutes, or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 . Line the dough with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the tart shell for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for 5 minutes longer, or until the pastry is lightly browned on the bottom. Cover the shell loosely with foil if the sides begin to brown too quickly. Let cool completely on a rack.
Prepare the filling: Arrange the raspberries in concentric circles over the bottom of the tart shell. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolks, sugar and scraped vanilla seeds. Pour the custard into the tart shell. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the custard is set. Let the tart cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Reteta pentru acest desert ii apartine lui Nancy Silverton si am gasit-o aici pe website-ul Food & Wine. Dupa cum v-am spus, decid ce sa gatesc sau sa mananc daca imi place cum arata si imi face pofta. Asa ca am vrut sa fac tarta asta de cand am vazut-o, si desi poza si tarat mea nu arata ca cea din postul original, tot a fost o reusita si o voi mai face din nou.
Sora mea, careia nu ii plac deserturile deloc, mi-a spus ca e tare buna si ca trebuie sa mai fac.(Astept ziua in care zice ca o sa o faca ea si o sa mananc eu facuta de ea, dar cred ca mai trece ceva vreme pana atunci, ca gatitul pentru ea e absolut o corvoada.)
Ce mi-a placut la tarta asta a fost combinatia de gust acrisor - zmeura, cu o crusta crocanta si o crema de vanilie, asa ca nu a fost prea dulce. Cred ca ar fi trebuit sa o tin 2-3 minute mai putin in cuptor, pentru ca cea de pe Food & Wine e mai alba. A mea e mult mai bronzata, fie o fi ajuns la plaja, fie, explicatia cea mai probabila, pentru ca am facut poza seara foarte tarziu si lumina a fost foarte proasta - 2 becuri chioare si nici un strop de lumina naturala.
Poate pentru motivul asta si tot sa o mai fac o data pentru o alta poza. Sau ar trebui sa rog pe altcineva sa pozeze :))).
De data asta am facut reteta aproape ca la carte, cu doua mici schimbari - am adaugat migdale deasupra (nu mai surprind pe nimeni cu asta, cred ca am pus migdale pe jumatate din mancarea postat aici) si nu am mai facut sosul de zmeura.
Si totusi nu am fost absolut innebunita de rezultat. Crema de vanilie din mijloc, nu mi-a iesit asa cremoasa si neteda ca in poza lor, ci arata putin "branzita". Nu a fost branzita, dar asa arata, si nu stiu cu ce am gresit. Si in ciuda aspectului a fost gustoasa. Foarte gustoasa. Iar pentru ca o poti face dinainte si se serveste la temperatura camerei, e un desert pe care il poti face pentru o cina/ petrecere, si doar se feliaza la momentl servirii, nu mai e nimic de facut. Pentru cine vrea sa incerce sosul de zmeura, intrati pe linkul de mai sus pentru reteta si instructiuni.

Tarta cu zmeura si crema de vanilie - reteta lui Nancy Silverton

Crusta pt. tarta
170 g faina
50 g zahar
1/4 lingurita sare
113 g unt rece
2 linguri smantana dulce lichida
1 galbenus mare
1 1/2 linguri suc de lamaie
1 lingurita coaja de lamaie
250 g zmeura ( plus alta zmeura pentru servit si decorat)
350 ml smantana dulce lichida
4 galbenusuri
50 g zahar
o teaca de vanilie taiata pe lung
Intr-un robot de bucatarie se pulseaza faina, zaharul si sarea. Se taie untul in 8 bucati si se adauga la amestecul de faina, si se pulseaza pana seamana cu niste firimituri. Intr-un castron se amesteca smantana, galbenusul, zeama si coaja de lamaie, se toarna peste faina si se pulseaza cat sa se formeze o bila. Se aduna aluatul si se formeaza un disc, se infasoara in plastic si se pune la frigider 30 minute. Pe o suprafata presarata cu faina se intinde aluatul cu o grosime de 5 mm, cat pentru o forma de tarta cu diametrul 20-22 cm. Se pune la frigider/ congelator cat sa se intareasca, timp de 15 minute.
Se incalzeste cuptorul la 175C (350C). Se acopera aluatul de tarta cu folie de aluminiu si se umple cu niste boabe de fasole uscate (sau greutati pt. tarte, niste bilute de ceramica). Se coace crusta pt. 20-25 minute, se da folia la o parte si se mai coace 5 minute, cat sa fie galben-aurie. Se lasa forma sa se raceasca pe un gratar (nu se scoate crusta din forma !!).
Cand s-a racit putin crusta, se aranjeaza zmeura in cercuri concentrice. Intr-un castron se amesteca smantana cu galbenusurile, zaharul si vanilia scoasa din teaca. Se toarna crema peste zmeura. Se coace in mijlocul cuptorului 50-55 minute, sau pana cand budinca/crema s-a stabilizat.
Se lasa tarta la racit pe un gratar circa jumatate de ora. Se serveste cu zmeura proaspata si cu sosul de zmeura si caramel din reteta originala.

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August 4, 2008

Stuffed tomatoes with orzo salad and shrimp - Rosii umplute cu salata de orzo si creveti

The tomatoes that we picked from the farm last week were wonderful, bursting with flavor, and they made a simple tomato salad with feta cheese, while the ones that were not very ripe, I thought of stuffing them. Last week was nice and warm here, so no roasted tomatoes for me, and that's how I decided to stuff them with a cold pasta salad. This is the same orzo salad I made here and put it in lettuce leaves.
Ina Garten's recipe has also feta cheese and sliced cucumbers, but I didn't add them this time (nor the last time as a matter of fact), although I made it her way so many times, I don't add shrimp when I add feta. For some reason, I don't like them together, but I love them separately, I think feta is salty and tangy, and doesn't go well with my shrimp. And this time I added some peas.

The orzo salad is my favorite cold pasta salad. I like the vinaigrette, the fresh herbs, the fresh lemon taste and it pairs wonderful with sauteed shrimp. It's a light lunch or dinner, and I think would work perfectly with lamb or grilled chicken as well. Or in the vegetarian version with feta cheese and slices of cucumber, maybe even with red bell pepper and zucchini, roasted, grilled or fresh.
This is what I used and how I made it:
one pound shrimp (31-40), marinated for at least 30 minutes with spices, salt & pepper
one cup and a half orzo pasta
one bunch green onions, chopped
the zest and juice from one lemon
fresh dill, basil and cilantro, chopped finely
a handfull fresh or frozen peas, blanched in boiling water for 1-2 minutes
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
I removed the shells from the shrimp and rinsed it (I keep the shells in the freezer for seafood stock), then put it in a bowl and seasoned it with salt and pepper, chilli flakes and a mix of spices - paprika, granulated onion and garlic, thyme, oregano. Let them marinate for at least 30 minutes. Saute the shrimp, arranged in a single layer, about 2 minutes on each side, until pink. Don’t overcook them or they will be chewy.
In the meantime, cook the pasta in salted water according to the instructions. When it’s cooked al dente, drain, rinse and put in a bowl with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the pasta is cold, mix in with the lemon juice and zest, the fresh herbs, the green onion and the peas, then add the shrimp and its sauce. Season with salt & pepper.
Serve at room temperature.
Rosiile culese saptamana trecuta la ferma au fost minunate, atat de gustoase, incat am facut o salata de rosii cu branza telemea, iar cele mai putin copate, m-am gandit sa le fac umplute. Si pentru ca saptamana trecuta a fost destul de cald, am decis sa nu le coc, ci sa le umplu cu o salata rece de pasta. E aceeasi salata de pasta orzo de care am vorbit aici, pe care atunci am pus-o in frunze de salata.
Reteta originala ii apartine lui Ina Garten - Food Network, si ea a folosit si branza telemea si felii de castraveti, pe care eu nu i-am folosit nici acum, nici data trecuta, desi alte dati am facut-o respectand reteta intocmai. Problema e ca mie nu-mi place sa amestec crevetii cu telemeaua, care mi se pare sarata si putin acrisoara. In plus, eu am pus mazare de data asta.
Salata de orzo e favorita mea dintre salatele reci de paste. Imi place vinegreta, verdeata, gustul proaspat de lamaie, si cred ca merge de minune cu crevetii prajiti in tigaie. Poate fi un pranz sau o cina usoara, si merge bine si cu friptura de miel sau cu pui la gratar. Si cred ca si versiunea vegetariana e foarte gustoasa, cu telemea, felii de castraveti, poate chiar si niste ardei gras si dovlecei, copti, la gratar sau proaspeti.

Acestea sunt ingredientele si pasii:
o jumatate de kilogram creveti proaspeti, nedecorticati (31-40), marinati timp de cca 30 minute cu sare, piper si condimente
o cana/ 200 g pasta orzo (sau orice paste foarte mici)
o legatura de ceapa verde tocata marunt
coaja rasa si zeama de la o lamaie
marar, busuioc si coriandru proaspat, tocate marunt
o mana de mazare (proaspata sau de la congelator) fiarta numai 1-2 minute
ulei de masline
sare si piper, dupa gust

Am curatat crevetii de coaja si i-am spalat (eu pastrez cojile pentru zeama de supa de fructe de mare), si i-am pus intr-un castron la marinat cu sare, piper, putin ardei iute si un amestec de condimente - boia dulce, praf de ceapa, usturoi, cimbru si oregano. Se marineaza cca 30 minute. Se prajesc crevetii in ulei, asezati intr-un singur strat (nu-i aglomerati sau o sa iasa mai mult fierti decat prajiti), timp de 1-2 minute pe fiecare parte, pana devin rozalii. Daca ii gatiti mai mult, devin tari. Intre timp, fierbeti pastele conform instructiunilor de pe pachet. Cand pastele sunt al dente (nu fierte pana sunt moi de tot, cum aveam eu obiceiul cu cativa ani in urma), scurgeti-le de apa, si puneti-le intr-un bol cu doua linguri de ulei. Cand s-au racit pastele, amestecati-le cu zeama si coaja de lamaie, mararul, coriandrul, busuiocul, ceapa verde si mazarea, apoi adaugati si crevetii si sosul lasat de ei. Sarati si piperati dupa gust. Se serveste la temperatura camerei.

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Small bites with Pancetta - Aperitive cu pancetta

This is going to be a very very short post. I am trying to catch up with my pictures. This week and the following one is lent for us, so I will try to cook some vegetable dishes, but I have many photos and recipes from a while back that could be posted as well.

Last week, I made these appetizers to nibble on with a glass of red wine when my sister came over, and although there is nothing extraordinary about them, and no actual recipe (just wrap the peaches and the enoki mushrooms with very thin slices of pancetta, sprinkle with pepper and bake), we like them very much and there are none left over every time when I make them, so why not take a picture?

I love small bites, appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, tapas, meze or however you want to call them, and this is just one of the many others that will show up here in time. They could show your creativity, they are entartaining, never boring, and full of flavor. The perfect opening for a party or a meal in itself.


Acesta e un post foarte foarte scurt. Lucrez la poze si retete, si cu timpul o sa le postez pe toate. Saptamana asta si urmatoarea e post, inainte de sarbatoarea Sfintei Marii, asa ca o sa incerc sa gatesc si tin postul. Intre timp, o sa postez din pozele din urma si poate si din cele de post pe care le voi face zilele astea.
Aperitivele de mai sus le-am facut saptamana trecuta, sa avem ceva de rontait la un pahar de vin cand a venit sora mea pe la noi, si desi nu e nimic deosebit, nici macar o reteta de urmat (se invelesc feliile de piersica si ciupercile in felii subtiri de pancetta - kaiser sau bacon merg la fel de bine, se presara cu piper si se coc), noua ne plac tare mult si niciodata nu au ramas nemancate, asa ca de ce sa nu le fac o poza si lor?
Mie imi plac foarte mult aperitivele, gustarile, "imbucaturi mici", tapas, meze, sau oricum le numim, si astea sunt parte din pozele si ideile pe care le voi posta treptat. Mi se par ingenioase, pline de gust, si deloc monotone. Sunt minunate de servit la inceputul unei petreceri sau chiar sa faci un meniu intreg cu ele.

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August 2, 2008

Veal tongue stew with Kalamata olives- Mancare de limba cu masline

I have been pretty busy this week, and did not have too much time for posting. A lot of work at the office, yesterday Clara had a Tea Party with her friends, but I still made time to cook and take some pictures, now I just need the time to post them.
This post is about tongue indeed, and I know there are not too many fans of tongue and/or other organs, but I belong to the group that really likes this and even crave for it.
This is one of my favorite foods that my mom makes and I cannot get enough of it. When I got married, we were still students and my mom would sometime send us packages with homecooked food when my dad was coming over; she would cook and freeze this stew and send it over to us. This happened too often, and it was all Gabriel's fault- he told my mom how good it is. It was one of those compliments that even though they were true, they were more polite than anything else. Gabriel payed the compliment as any good future-son-in-law would, not because he wanted to eat this once a month for the rest of his life. And although he could have confessed this to my mom, it's not like they don't communicate really well, he did not want to hurt her feelings. In the meantime, I was enjoying it because I really like this dish very much and even once a week would not be too often.

Since we live here, because I am the only one craving for it, I make it probably once a year or even less. I cooked it once for a dinner with our neighbours at the last place we lived, Carina and Keenan, and Carina, who is Swedish, really really loved it.
The recipe could be made with beef, pork, veal or lamb tongues, they are all very good. But this time I was lucky to find veal tongues, which are so very tender and taste amazing, so I could not rezist the temptation and buy them, even though it meant I will be eating this for about 3 days by myself, if my sister doesn't come over for dinner to help.

Now, my post is nowhere as fun as Carol's Tongue in Cheek, nor as complex, not even the same dish actually, but since I have the French Laundry Cookbook as well, and because I keep saying someday I will start making the recipes at home, not just drool over them, I thought this is a good time to use at least part of Mr. Keller's recipe, the one about the veal tongue, of course. I read it, and there is no big difference between the Tongue in Cheek recipe and the way my mom tought me to make this (aren't we modest... this is like the Ratatouille movie, everyone can cook, I find that we are cooking like Thomas Keller.....) But see how easily I digress ....we use bay leaf instead of thyme, no garlic, and if there are no leeks (like today), use white onion. And the cooking process is different. I keep cooking the tongue on the stove, simmering for about an hour and a half over low heat (cook it longer if it is beef tongue, and only about an hour if it is pork or lamb, since they are smaller), I've never braised it in the oven.

Veal tongue stew with Kalamata olives

2 veal tongues ( a little bit over 2 pounds)
2 medium white onions ( or use one white onion and one leek) - one onion is to be used when boiling the tongue, the other onion/leek, julienned, to be sauteed with the tomato sauce
2-3 carrots, cut in big chunks
1 parnsnip root, cut in big chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in about 3-4 pieces each
2 bay leaves
one teaspoon peppercorns
one 14 oz can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
two handfulls Kalamata olives

side dish - mashed potatoes

Horseradish cream sauce
5-6 tablespoons fresh grated horseradish
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons sour cream
Mix all ingredients together, put in a small jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place the veal tongue in a pot with about 3 quarts of water, with one tablespoon of salt, the carrots, one whole onion, the parnsnip, the celery, the bay leaves, and the peppercorns, bring to a simmer and cook, covered, over reduced heat until the tongue is tender, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
Let the tongue cool in the liquid. When cool enough to handle, remove it from the stock, peel off the skin, cut away the fat from underneath and cut it into half an inch slices.
Strain the stock and refrigerate or freeze to use it later for whatever dishes you want.
Saute the second onion or leeks in 2 tablespoons of oil until soft and golden. Add the olives and after another two minutes the tomato sauce. Let it come to a simmering point over low heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and the tongue slices. Simmer it for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Serve over mashed potatoes and with horseradish sauce.


Mancare de limba cu masline
Mancarea de limba este una din preferatele mele de cand eram copil. Cand ne-am casatorit, eu si Gabi eram inca studenti, iar mama, vrand sa ne ajute, ne trimitea cateodata pachete prin tata cand venea la Bucuresti, cu mancare gatita. Si de mult prea multe ori a facut mancare de limba, o congela seara si ne-o trimitea a doua zi prin tata, si asta numai pentru ca Gabi i-a spus cat de mult ii place. Adevarul e ca lui Gabi nu i-a placut niciodata atat de mult. De fapt, a fost unul din complimentele alea politicoase, de complezenta, prea putin adevarate, cum orice viitor ginere se simte obligat sa faca viitoarei mame soacre. Si desi Gabi ar fi putut recunoaste ca mancarea de limba nu ii place deloc, pentru ca el si mama mea sunt f.f.f. apropiati, nu i-a spus decat dupa ani de zile, ca sa nu o supere. Intre timp, eu m-am bucurat de toata afacerea asta, pentru ca si daca imi dai mancare de limba o data pe saptamana nu e prea des.
De cand am venit aici, pentru ca sunt singura care pofteste dupa asa ceva, nu am gatit felul acesta decat o data pe an sau si mai rar. Am gatit-o fostilor nostri vecini, iar Carina, suedeza de fel, mi-a spus de nu stiu cate ori cat de mult i-a placut (si a fost un compliment sincer, nu ca cel al lui Gabi).
Postul meu nu e deloc haios precum cel scris de Carol - "Limba in obraz"( ce aiurea suna in romaneste), nu e nici complex ca al ei, nu e nici macar acelasi fel de mancare, dar pentru ca de cand am primit cartea "French Laundry Cookbook" am zis ca o sa ma apuc sa gatesc cateva din minunatele retete de acolo, am decis ca macar de data asta pot urma cel putin partial reteta lui Thomas Keller, in ce priveste limba de vitel. Am citit reteta lui, si nu sunt mari diferente in prepararea limbii (nu ma refer la restul retetei) fata de cum am invatat eu sa fac mancarea asta de la mama. Noi nu folosim cimbru si usturoi, ci punem foi de dafin, daca nu avem praz ( cum s-a intamplat de data asta) folosim ceapa, si fierbem limba pe aragaz, la foc mic, nu in cuptor. (vedeti ce usor apare infatuarea, noi gatim precum Thomas Keller, parca suntem in filmul Ratatouile, oricine poate gati....)
Mancarea se poate face cu limba de vitel, vita, porc, sau chiar miel, depinde ce aveti sau gasiti. Eu de data asta am fost norocoasa si am gasit limba de vitel, si desi stiu ca o sa mananc singura trei zile din ea, daca nu vine sora mea sa ma ajute, nu am putut rezista poftei.
2 limbi de vitel, cca un kg impreuna
2 cepe potrivite sau o ceapa si un fir de praz ( o ceapa se fierbe intreaga cu limba, a doua ceapa sau prazul se toaca solzisori/fideluta si se caleste pentru mancare)
2-3 morcovi taiati in bucati mari
un pastarnac, taiat in bucati mari
3 lujere de telina
2 foi de dafin
o linguritza boabe de piper negru
o conserva de 400 ml suc de rosii sau de rosii zdrobite
masline negre Kalamata ( o cana)
garnitura - cartofi
Sos de hrean cu smantana
5-6 linguri hrean ras proaspat
2 lingurite de otet
o lingurita zahar
o lingurita sare
2-3 linguri smantana
Se amesteca toate ingredientele, se pun intr-un borcanel la frigider pana e gata de servit.
Se pune limba in 2-3 litri de apa, cu o lingura de sare, morcovii, ceapa intreaga, telina, pastarnacul, foile de dafin si boabele de piper si se fierb la foc mic timp de o ora si jumatate. Se lasa sa se raceasca limba in zeama in care a fiert, si cand s-a racit suficient, se scoate din supa, se curata de piele si se feliaza in felii de 1.5 cm grosime. Supa se strecoara si sa pastreaza la frigider sau congelator pentru alte mancaruri.
Se pune ceapa taiata solzisori sau prazul la calit in doua linguri de ulei, si cand a devenit aurie se adauga maslinele. Dupa alte 2 minute se pune sosul de rosii si se aduce la punctul de fierbere, apoi se adauga feliile de limba, si se mai tine pe foc 5 minute.
Se serveste cu garnitura de cartofi (sau orice altceva vreti voi) si cu sosul de hrean.

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