Romanian Food - Best recipes


Romanian Food - Best recipes
Table of Contents
Intro : The Romanian Food Culture
01. Zakuski / Ajvar
02.Chicken Tenders
03. Meat Patties
04. Eggplants salad/dip
05. Beef salad - Salade de Boeuf
06. Little meatballs
07. Jellied pork
08. Baked bell peppers
09. Polenta
10. Nettles with polenta
11. Stuffed cabbage rolls
13.Stuffed Green Bell Peppers
With Vegetarian Stuffing
13. Gulash
14. Tripe Soup
15. Bean Soup
16. Ground beef with potatoes and
18. Romanian doughnuts
20. Romanian Cozonac:
Intro : The Romanian Food
Romanian cuisine is one of the
less known cuisines in the world
partly due to the misconception
that it is a very heavy one with lots
of fats and not so appetizing recipes
in general.
The seasons generally influence
the food offered. During summer
and autumn markets overflow with
fresh vegetables and fruits coming
from the local farms.
Radishes, spring onions, potatoes,
nettles, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes
and cucumbers delight the shoppers
in April and May. From the end of
May to late September there is a
large variety of fruit: cherries,
apricots, strawberries, raspberries,
blackberries, blueberries, apples,
grapes, quinces and nuts.
Beekeeping has always been one of
the traditional occupations in
Romania, and the products (honey,
wax, honeycombs) are also sold on
the market.
The best-known dish is sarmale,
called also with the diminutive
sărmăluţe, (mincemeat wrapped in
cabbage or vine leaves) with
mămăligă (polenta).
different kinds of meat (usually
chicken and pork) and with
vegetables also figure on the
restaurant menus, as well as
different kinds of soups.
Ciorbă de burtă (tripe soup)
served with garlic or hot chilli
pepper and vinegar is one of the
favourites among Romanians.
Pork prepared in different ways is
ingredients, and all restaurants
serve pork chops (cotlet)
French fries and salad.
There are not very many dishes
for vegetarians, as Romanians
consider a meal without meat very
poor indeed. Some dishes are
ghiveci (mixed fried vegetables),
ardei umpluţi (stuffed peppers,
although these might have meat,
too) and ouă umplute (filled eggs),
besides different kinds of salads
and local cheese.
At home, the peasants meal almost
(mămăligă) that is also known as
the “bread of the peasant”. Some
centuries ago, when Romania was
strictly divided into two social
groups, the boyars and the
peasants, bread was only eaten by
the boyars. Nowadays the situation
is different and mămăligă is the
traditional dish for everyone,
although in towns it is not eaten
daily as in the countryside. A
traditional combination on farms is
mămăligă and smoked pork fat
called slănină with garlic, chased
with a small glass of ţuică. A dish
associated with the life of
shepherds on the hills is mămăligă
with sheep-milk cheese.
Romanian food is unique in
sense that it has been influenced
by many of it's neighbors because
it was and still is a highly transited
The Romanian cuisine has many
influences but also it's unique style
developed starting with the original
inhabitants the Dacs continuing
continuing with the waves of
migratory people that have either
attacked or crossed it .
The purpose of this book is simple :
to try and share with the world
how beautiful this country is and
what better way to do so then
through the aid of the universal
language of food.
01. Zakuski / Ajvar
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Zacusca)
A wonderful roasted vegetable
spread/dip Zakuski, as called in
Russian, or Zacusca, as the
Romanians call it, is a way of
mixing vegetables for the long and
heavy winters that cross East
Europe, when finding fresh legumes
was once a problem.
It really is a great and different
spread. It has such a beautiful
bright color. Great to have on hand
when you want a quick snack or
appetizer. I chose to use it with
bagel crostini.
Zacusca is a vegetable paste
that is generously spread on bread
and eaten as an appetizer or as
light dinner. If the bread is a toast,
is even better.
Just for reference, you can easily
double the recipe and freeze it. It
freezes beautifully!
-4 large red bell peppers (you
can also use the green or orange
ones but the red ones have more
-1 small to medium eggplant
-1 large onion
-1 jalapeno pepper (you can add
more if you want yours to be hot)
-1 tsp of crushed black pepper
-1 and 1/2 tsp of table salt
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 TBS-1/4 cup of white
vinegar(you can use less, because
for some people this quantity it’s a
bit too strong)
-4 cloves of garlic
-1/2 -1 TBS paprika (this will give it
more color)
Wash the peppers and the
eggplant. Dry them . Pierce the
eggplant with a knife,.this helps so
that the eggplant doesn't burst.
Peel the onion and cut it in half.
Place the eggplant ,peppers and
onion on a hot grill until they are
blackened. It is easier to peel the
eggplant and bell peppers when
their skin is blackened. You will
need to turn them over so that all
the sides get blackened.
Take them off the grill and place
them in a bowl and cover with
plastic wrap. The steam that forms
will help the skin come off the
vegetables. Remove the skin from
peppers and eggplant and cut them
into pieces.
Do the same with the onion.
Mince the garlic and the
jalapeno. Place them in a pot on
the stove on medium heat. Add oil
and vinegar and seasoning. Don’t
forget to mix them.
Cook on very low for at least
one hour, but i would go for 1 hour
and a half to get more flavour. Cook
and stir frequently with a wooden
spoon so that it doesn't burn.
When it is done, place the
mixture in a blender and blend till
If you want it more chunky don't
use the pulse button. You can also
use a food grinder.
You can reheat it in the pot for a
few more minutes.
Place in jars.
You can sterilize the jars and
pour a little oil on top before
sealing them, this makes the
zacusca last longer.
Serve with crostini, bread or
02.Chicken Tenders
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Snitel de pui)
This is a really simple recipe for
chicken tenders. You can use this
recipe to make Chicken Parmigiana
as well...just don't cut the chicken
breast into strips.
This is a perfect recipe to make
and freeze for a later day. You can
easily play around with seasoning...
add some Parmesan to the bread
crumbs and even some dried
Of course, you can use the same
method to make shrimp as well.
This is one of those recipes that
my mom would make for us while
wonderful memories.
-6 chicken breasts, cut into
-4 cups fresh bread crumbs
-1 cup flour
-3 eggs
-3 tsp lemon juice
-2 tsp onion powder
-salt to taste
-pepper to taste
Cut chicken breasts into strips.
Use a food mallet on the strips.
Season with salt/pepper, onion
powder and lemon juice. You can
also season it with other herbs of
your choice.
You will need to process some
fresh sliced bread in a food
processor. You will need about 4
cups fresh bread crumbs. It is at
this point that you can add
some Italian herbs to the bread
Place bread crumbs in a shallow
dish and set aside.
Beat eggs and place in a shallow
dish. You can sprinkle a pinch of
salt and pepper if you like also set
it aside.
Take a chicken strip and dredge in flour.
Dip the floured chicken into the beaten egg
and cover completely.
Let it drain and place in the fresh bread
Do the rest of the chicken strips in the same
In a heavy pot, add enough oil(about 1 inch).
Heat oil to about 350 °F . Place chicken
strips in hot oil and fry till they become golden.
Put 2 paper towels on a dish and let the
chicken strips drain. Serve with your favorite
You can freeze these chicken tenders and
then reheat in the oven.
03. Meat Patties
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Parjoale moldovenesti)
-500 g ground meat
-3 onions
-1 egg
-2 slices white bread
-1 tablespoon of lard
-chopped parsley
-salt, pepper
-lard for frying
-bread crumbs
Grind the meat with a raw
onion, soaked and squeezed bread
and two finely chopped and lightly
fried (in a tablespoon of lard or oil)
Place the mixture in a bowl, add
an egg, salt, pepper and chopped
parsley and dill.
Mix everything verry well.
Take tablespoons of the mixture
and with you hands wet shape into
round or oval patties.
Then bread them and fry in hot
lard or oil on both sides.
You can use any kind of meat:
beef, pork, mutton, chicken breast
or mixed beef and pork.
You may replace the chopped
parsley and dill with chopped garlic.
The meatballs are very good
both warm and cold, as they are
very soft and fluffy.
Serve hot, with potatoes purée,
vegetable sautes, lettuce or pickles.
04. Eggplants salad/dip
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Salata de vinete)
-2 large eggplants
- 4-5 tbs of oil (favorite kind and
-1 small onion, chopped (or to
-salt, pepper
-other spices as desired.
Top with:
tomatoes, sliced or chopped
Wash the eggplants and then
pierce the with a fork(this will
ensure that the eggplants will not
burst while cooking)
Cook the eggplants over an
open flame (on the stove-top, for
instance), or broil or grill them. Grill
for about 10 minutes and turn on
the other side and grill for another
10 minutes until skin is charred and
Place eggplants in a covered
container so as to steam and soften
the skin. It becomes easier to peel
that way. (Or let them cool down
and then peel them carefully the
peel should be crinkly and should
come right off)
Cut in half and scoop out
flesh... The eggplant at this point is
soft and can be easily pureed. I use
a wooden cleaver to chop and
macerate the eggplant to a fine
applesauce). You can also use a
food processor to puree the
eggplant ... just use the pulse
button being careful to not overprocess, though if you like a finer
puree, you surely can do so.
Place mashed eggplant into a
bowl and add 1 TBS of oil at a time
and mix to incorporate until all the
oil is used up. If you think the
eggplants need a bit more oil, add
a bit more, a little at a time. The oil
really brings it all together. Add salt
to taste and minced onion (to
minimize the " bite" of raw onion,
you can place the minced onion in a
fine sieve and pour hot water over
it, strain well and then add to
Serve with sliced bread, crostini,
pita chips, etc... and some
tomatoes( sliced or chopped)
If you want to keep some of the
eggplant puree for later, do not add
salt, oil and onion. Freeze in a
container or a plastic bag and
defrost at a later time.
05. Beef salad - Salade de Boeuf
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Salata de Boeuf)
This is a typical Romanian dish
that can be found in many
Romanian homes. It may sound
French, but the real history behind
this salad is that it was of Russian
origin, properly called Salad Olivier.
It was invented in the 1860's by a
well known chef, Lucien Olivier. He
the Hermitage.
The French prepare something
similar but with a different sauce
and only with vegetables, while the
Romanians add to it beef. The
French call their mixture Macedonia.
The Germans mix as well meat,
pickles and boiled vegetables and
they call it Berliner. The Slavs call it
A la Russe and they do not add
meat at all. So, here is the original
pure Romanian Salade de Boeuf.
It can be quite time consuming,
as you have to do a lot of dicing.
Feel free to adjust amounts of
vegetables/ really can't
go wrong with amounts. If you don't
like your salad to be too tangy,
decrease amount of pickles... if you
like more potatoes, add more
seasoning as you go along. But
once it comes together, it is well
worth it. It is often decorated
elaborately ...sort of like decorating
a cake.
diced- (or use other type of meat:
chicken, turkey or white fish (no
salmon) )
-2 large baking potatoes,
-1 cup carrots,boiled,diced
-1 1/2 cups diced pickles
-1 1/2 cups frozen peas
-4-5 ex large eggs, boiled,diced
-1 TBS mustard
-salt and pepper to taste
-1-2 cups mayonnaise( you can
get away with cutting down the fat
by using a some plain yoghurt or
sour cream)
extra ingredients for boiling
-(if you want to make a stock,
use the rib-in type of chicken
breast...the ones with the rib bone
attached. The bones impart a ton of
flavor to the stock.You can then just
remove the breast meat to use in
the salad. If you don't want to
regular chicken breast. )
Important: If you would like to
decorate your salad, remember to
reserve some vegetables and eggs.
You get the best salad by boiling
carrots, parsley root and parsnip
with the meat, then take the boiled
vegetables and the meat, cut them
in cube shape.
Boil eggs till hard and set them
Boil potatoes in their skins
in salted water till fork tender. You
can pierce the potatoes before
Dice chicken, potatoes, carrots,
parsnip and eggs.
Dice the pickles and squeeze
them a bit to remove some of their
juice(this helps so that your salad
doesn't become too watery).
Place the frozen peas under
running warm water to defrost
Drain completely and add to the
rest of the diced ingredients.
Add mustard and pepper and 1
cup mayo.
Mix till combined and taste for
seasoning. Add more mayo to the
mixture. You might need the full 2
preference...use less if you don't
want it too creamy or use more if
you like it creamier.
Arrange on a serving platter.
Smooth with a knife and then cover
with the rest of the mayo mixture.
Garnish with a few olives, hard
boiled egg white, or egg slices,
pickled red peppers, parsley, etc.
Try to shape flowers and other
This salad is normally served
with some french bread and can be
a meal in itself. You can also serve
it as an is fun to
make individual servings. Hope you
enjoy this.
06. Little meatballs
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Mititei sau Mici)
Most Romanians, if not all,
appreciate really goodmititei. This
is an old recepie from the 1920.
-1 kg(2.25lbs) beef chuck
-3 tsps summer savory(or
regular savory, if you can't find
summer savory)
-1 tsp allspice
-1/2 tsp ground coriander
-1/2 tsp Turkish cumin (or
-1/4 tsp star anise, ground
-1 tsp+a pinch kosher salt
-2 tsps freshly ground pepper
-2 tsp baking soda ( I used 2 1/4
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
-1 cup beef stock
-1 head of garlic, crushed
-1/2 cup warm water
Get your beef and spices all
ready, along with the lemon juice
and baking powder.
Grind the beef 3 times. Yes you
should do it, 3 times but if you
insist you can do it 2 times!
cut any fat out! The fat plays a very
the mititei tender and juicy.
Place the meat in a large bowl.
Combine spices including salt
and set aside.
Combine gelatin and beef broth
and set aside to dissolve. After it
has dissolved, warm the gelatin
broth to about 140 deg
activate the gelatin. Don't allow to
boil, as boiling will deactivate the
gelatin and it won't work properly.
You just want the broth to get hot.
Let it cook slightly...
Add the lemon juice to baking
soda. Let it sizzle.
Add it to the ground beef. Mix
the meat with your hands to
incorporate the baking soda.
Add spices and 1/2 cup of
previously warmed beef -gelatin
Continue mixing and adding
spices/broth for 10 minutes.
This step is very important. The
meat mixture will begin to stick to
your hand. You will eventually feel
the meat sort of become like a
"bread dough".
Cover the bowl well with plastic
wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Place the rest 1/2 cup gelatin broth
in the fridge as will solidify
in the fridge.
After about 6-8 hours.
Take the meat out and let it
come to room temp.
Warm( don't boil) the gelatin
broth until it is liquefied (it should
have become gelatinous from
sitting in the fridge overnight).
Crush a whole head of garlic.
Add warm water to the crushed
garlic and let it sit for a half hour.
Strain garlic and reserve the
Mix the meat with your hands
while adding the rest of the broth a
little at a time.
Cover the meat well and
refrigerate for another 2-3 hours.
Take meat out and bring to
the mititei into about 3 inch long by
1 1/2 inch thick.
Set the grill to high. Oil the grill
so that the mititei will not stick or
use a piese of fat.
Place mititei on the hot oiled
grill....still on high heat.
Turn the mititei on all sides. Just
be careful and don't burn them or
overcook them or undercook them.
If it’s your first time, put one
mititel on the grill and see if you
cooked it right.
07. Jellied pork
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Piftie de porc)
Served as either main dish or an
appetizer. This is one of Romania's
trade mark recipes. It is usually
made in the winter months specially
for Christmas and the New Year's
celebration.It is a delicious meal
,hardy with an unique taste and
simple ingredients that goes very
well with mamaliguta(polenta)
-1 Small Smoked Pork Leg
-1 Whole Onion
-1 Whole Carrot
-1 Whole Parsley Root
-1 Whole Parsnip
-1 Garlic Head
-1/2 Teaspoon Of Pepper
-1 Bay Leaf
Clean the pork leg thoroughly
under a stream of hot water.
Prepare a large put and fill it
with 3 liters of water and set in it
the pork leg to boil.
Cook for about 1 and 1/2 hours
then add the onion,carrot,parsley
root,parsnip the pepper and the bay
Cook for another 30-40 minutes
or until the meat is coming of the
bone nicely(make sure to remove
any foam that forms on the
Add the finely chopped garlic
and boil for another 10-20 minutes.
After that remove the pot from
the flame and strain the contents
keeping the carrot and meat aside.
Pull the meat of the bone and
place it inside small bowls together
with carrot slices.
Cover with the strained liquid
and set in a cold place,the freezer
preferably till it has set.
Clean the fat that accumulates
on the top then turn the bowl
upside down on a plate.
Serve cold with hot mamaliguta
08. Baked bell peppers
name: Ardei
- 6 big and fat bell peppers
- oil (5 spoons)
- vinegar( 5 spoons)
- salt (1 teaspoon)
- mustard seeds (a few)
- laurel leaves (a few)
- pepper (few seeds, and a
touch of powder)
- sugar (2 spoons)
Stir fry the bell peppers, peel
them and let them cool down.
Place them in shape of a star, in
a large plate and pour on top this
Mix the vinegar, laurel, mustard,
salt, sugar, oil together and pour
over bell peppers. Serve as
appetizer or as side dish for steaks,
fried meats in general.
09. Polenta
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Mamaliga)
"Mamaliguta"(better known by
it's Italian name Polenta) is as old
as time in the Romanian culinary
history.It was the stable food of
peasants accompanied by sour
kraut,beans in various forms,soups
and much more.It is normally made
with a yellow maize flour,poured in
boiling salted water to which a
pinch of salt and a little oil is added
.An easy to make "Mamaliguta"
recipe is this :
-400g Maize Flour
-1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
-1 and 1/2 Liters of Water
-10ml of Sunflower Oil
Set the water with the salt to
boil in a non-stick pan(Romanians
use something resembling a Dutch
Oven which we call Tuci/Tuciulet).
When the water starts boiling
add the oil then sprinkle the maize
flour into the water stirring
continuously with a wooden spoon
or "facalet"(a wooden rod of about
30cm) in order to not adhere to the
cooking pot.
Important : Stop adding corn
when the
considerably thick, though still
liquid. Use caution since the
mixture at this stage bubbles up
and splatters hot polenta around.
"Mamaliguta" starts to peel of the
walls of the cooking pot.
Transfer the "Mamaliguta" from
the cooking pot to a wooden plank
and serve hot.
Usually a wooden spoon dipped
in cold water or a piece of string is
Tip: "Mamaliguta" is a bread
substitute and as such shouldn't be
eaten with bread itself.A nice
breakfast is a bowl of milk with a
pinch of salt in it and "Mamaliguta"
spooned inside it.
10. Nettles with polenta
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Mamaliga cu urzici)
-2 Bunches of very fresh and
very young Stinging Nettle( when
they are this young they don't
actually sting)
-1 Small Onion
-2 Garlic Cloves
-1 Tablespoon of Sunflower Oil
-1 Teaspoon of Flour
-50 ml of Milk
-300g of Cornflour ( For a
"Mamaliguta" )
-1 liter of Water
First of all divide the stinging
nettles and wash them thoroughly
to remove any other plants and
dust gathered on them.
In a pot put the water with a bit
of salt and let it to boil.
When it is starting to boil dump
the stinging nettles in and let them
soften up for 2-3 minutes or until
they change color.
After this remove them and
place them on a chopping board
and chop them up as fine as you
Take out a frying pan and place
the oil inside it,then add the
chopped onion and just sweat it a
When the onion is transparent
add the chopped stinging nettles
and fry them for a bit.
When they begin to really soften
up and go into a pasty mixture add
the chopped garlic,pepper and the
teaspoon of flour.
Let it cook for a few minutes
then add the milk and cook for 4-5
more minutes.
Separately from the cornflower
"mamaliguta" (polenta) .
Tip: The water in which you
blanched the stinging nettles will
change color due to the content of
iron in them.Also to make it
completely vegetarian remove the
milk and add a bit of soy milk or
11. Stuffed cabbage rolls
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Sarmale / Sarmalute in foi de
Romanian sarmale and probably
every Romanian household has
their own recipe and method for
making them.
Traditionally, sarmale are made
with pickled cabbage, ground pork
meat filling, and various herbs and
spices. Now, most Romanian
families have their own recipe and
often make it the way they were
brought up. The recipes vary from
region to region... and the
variations are endless. Sarmale are
usually a winter dish, served around
basically just a guide as it can
easily be adapted according to
personal preference.
best sarmale are made with
pickled(sour) cabbage. But since
pickled cabbage isn't easy to find(or
make), I like to use a quick brine to
sort of "mimic" the pickled version.
I also like to use some store-bought
sauerkraut to provide that extra
pickled flavor. For this post, I ended
up using tomato paste....but
sometimes, I will use tomato sauce
or even fresh tomatoes. It always
depends on what I have on hand.
You can definitely make a
vegetarian version by using mostly
rice and sauteeing some onions,
etc...and keeping the same method
for stuffing, layering and cooking.
Sarmale can be served with
sometimes hot peppers. While
the sarmale taste great the day
they are made, they taste even
better the following day. In any
case, I thought it would be nice if I
would show how sarmale are
made....the basics, of course:).
- 2 pickled cabbages
- 1 kg minced pork meat (you
can use lamb, veal, but traditionally
is made out of pork)
- 1 coffee cup of rice (150 gr)
- 2 onions
- 1 chill pepper (optional)
- 3 carrots (optional)
- 1 glass wine
- tomatoes paste
- 3 bunches of greens: parsley,
dill, thyme
- bay leaves, pepper, salt
Separate and wash the pickled
cabbage leaves. Cut the hard veins.
Wash the rice.
Finely chop the onion and half of
the greens.
Mix the minced meat, onion,
carrots (if any), greens, rice
(crude), salt, pepper.
Fill the cabbage leaves and roll
them gently. Try to close the edges
but not too tight, so the rice can
In a deep saucepan, pour a bit
of oil or lard.
Place a layer of cabbage leaves
unrolled, one of finely chopped
cabbage and one of stuffed rolls.
Add tomatoes paste on top of each
roll layer. Last layer should be of
chopped cabbage, covered with bay
leaves, dill, thyme and tomatoes
paste. Add wine, a bit of water if
necessary. Place them on a small
fire and let them cook until they dry
up a bit (for few hours).
Hint: For a better taste, you can
place small pieces of smoked bacon
in between the rolls layers.
To be served hot with polenta,
cream and red wine.
1 2 . Polenta
Meat,Sausage and Cheese
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Tochitura moldoveneasca)
When you see the tochitura,you
are a bit scared to try it but when
you have the first bite the taste is
so wonderful it’s simply amazing.
-400g of Pork Meat ( Lean
meat,with no fat what so ever is
the best for this recipe)
-50g of Smoked Bacon ( Just for the
smoky flavor )
-200g of Sausages (These are your
choice it depends largely on what
you like although i recommend
smoked sausages as well )
-150g of Salted Cheese
-4 Garlic Cloves
-100ml of Red Wine ( Dry Red Wine
works best with this recipe )
-300g of Maize Flour ( Cornflour i
believe is another name for it )
-1 Tablespoon of Sunflower Oil
-1 Egg
Cut the meat in about 1 inch
cubes and the sausages in 2 inch
long segments.
Put a little oil in a deep,thick
walled pot and begin cooking the
meat .
When it starts lightly browning
sausages.Continue cooking till the
meat gets a nice brown color and
garlic,thyme,pepper and oregano.
Cook for 2-3 minutes then add
the cup of wine and continue
cooking till the wine is completely
evaporated and there is not much
liquid in the pot.
In another pot make a polenta(
"Mamaliguta") from the maize
flour,salt and a little oil.
While everything is still hot it is
time to assemble the dish.
On a plate put some polenta
and make an indentation in the
middle and in that indentation and
on the edges put the meat and
Shred the cheese liberally on
top,also as a finishing touch make a
fried egg and place it on top.
13.Stuffed Green Bell Peppers
With Vegetarian Stuffing
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Ardei Umpluti de Post)
-12 Green Bell Peppers ( Medium
sized with a nice round shape,u will
need 10 for stuffing and 2 for the
composition itself)
-2 Cups of Basmati Rice
-2 Carrots
-2 Red Onions
-2 Tomatoes
-1 Bunch of Dill
-1 Bunch of Parsley
-3-4 Mint Leaves
-2 Tablespoons of Tomato Puree
-2 Table Spoon Of Sunflower Oil
Thoroughly wash the peppers
and using a knife cut off the tops
making sure to save them for later
Clean the inside of the green
peppers of all seeds and the white
fleshy bit which is bitter.
Chop up the onion and carrot
and mix them with the thinly slice
peppers ( the 2 we saved for the
composition) and begin cooking
them in a frying pan with the
oil,just sweat them off .
Once the onion is translucent
add a little water, the 2 tomatoes
chopped in small pieces and the
Cook this mixture until the water
is mostly absored by the rice,at this
point season with salt and pepper
and also add the chopped dill.
Set the composition aside to
cool down.
When it's cool enough to handle
begin stuffing the peppers and use
the tops to cover them up after you
have stuffed them.
Prepare a pot and set the
stuffed peppers in circular fashion
inside,then cover them with water.
Set the pot over a medium
flame and begin to cook.
When the rice is almost cooked
add the tomato paste to the pot
and let the sauce reduce a bit.
Serve hot with a sprinkling of
chopped parsley.
Tip: You can add meat and the
dish it’s not for vegetarians
13. Gulash
(The Romanian/Hungarian name
of the dish: Gulas)
- 250 gr pork skin or pork ears
- 500 gr veal
- 250 gr lamb
- 500 gr pork
- 1.5 kg onions
- 1.5 kg potatoes
- 1 spoon lard
- 1 spoon chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons paprika (sweet or
Chop the onions and fry it in
lard. Cut the meat in one-bite
Cut the pork skin, ears in fine
pieces. Add the meat, skin, ears,
and paprika over the onion and fry
for 10 minutes.
Pour 1.5-liter water and salt;
boil on small fire. When the meat is
almost cooked, peel and cut the
potatoes in cubes.
Boil them separately for 30
minutes in hot salty water.
After 30 minutes, pour the water
from the potatoes boiled, plus the
potatoes themselves over the meat.
It should have enough liquid.
The result should look neither
like a soup nor like a stew. Add the
chopped parsley, serve hot.
The Hungarian minority of
Romania usually cooks this dish.
However, there are also many
people that cook and appreciate it
as well.
14. Tripe Soup
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Ciorba De Burta)
One of the more unique recipes
of Romania is tripe soup.It is made
with cow tripe,garlic and various
ingredients but has a stable base.
It is a more festive dish done
maybe a few times per year but
unmistakable in aspect and taste it
is wonderful.
Hope you will enjoy it as much
as i do and put your prejudices
aside and try it i am sure you will
love it.
-1,5kg of Tripe ( You can get it
in a supermarket and it is
-1 Carrot
-1 Parsnip
-1 Onion ( i usually use brown
onions )
-6-7 Cloves of Garlic (adjust this
quantity according to taste)
-450 ml of Heavy Sour Cream
-1-2 Bay Leaves
-1 Pickled Red Bell Pepper
-1 Tablespoon of sunflower Oil
-About 3l of Water
-1 Teaspoon of Vinegar ( Balsamic
Vinegar works nicely)
Thoroughly clean the tripe under
a stream of cold water.
Prepare a large pressure pot and
and a few strips of pickled red bell
pepper and let it simmer on a low
heat for about 1 hr- 1 and 1/2 hrs.
In the meanwhile chop up the
garlic cloves,mix them with salt and
a little bit of balsamic vinegar and
using a mortar and pestle grind
them up in a smooth paste.
vegetables from the pot and strain
the liquid that remains and place it
again in the pot to boil.
Cut the tripe into thin slices and
the boiled pickled red bell pepper.
Take the heavy sour cream and
mix it with the garlic paste in a
In that bowl place a few spoons
of hot tripe soup to heat up the
mixture and pour it all in the pot
stirring continuously.
Let it boil for a few more
minutes till the garlic is cooked and
has spread its aroma.
Serve hot with added sour
cream and vinegar,also garlic paste
can be served aside for the people
which like it with a more zing
Tip: Serve with hot peppers it is
delicious,you can even place a few
slices in the serving bowl.
15. Bean Soup
(The Romanian/Hungarian name
of the dish: Ciorba de Fasole)
It is a nice vegetarian,very light
but yet filling recipe made with
beans and root vegetables.Very
taste ,rich in earthy flavors and just
what the doctor recommended in
those cold winter days ,or served
cold in a hot summer day,this dish
has it all.
-400-500g Of Dried Beans(You
can add more depending on how
much you make,but this is even
better in larger quantities)
-1 Carrot
-1 Parsnip
-1 Celery Root
-1 Onion
-1 Bell Pepper(any color will do )
-2-3 Bay leaves
-1 Cube of Soup base
-1 Bunch of Dill
-1-2 Sprigs of Thyme
-A few leaves of mint(i usually use
1or 2 no more)
-Tomato Paste
-Red Bell Pepper Paste
A night before making this
soup,thoroughly wash the dried
beans then set them to soak in cold
water over night.
The next day throw away the
water the beans sat in rinse them
again in cold water.
Prepare a large pot and put the
beans in it and add a few liters of
water,set it on the flame and boil
for a few minutes.
After this step throw away the
water the beans boiled in and cover
them again with a few liters of hot
water and continue cooking.
Add the salt,pepper,sprigs of
thyme and the bay leaves and let it
carrot,parsnip,celery root,onion and
the bell pepper and add them to
the pot along with the cube of soup
Continue boiling for another 30
minutes then add the tomato paste
and the red bell pepper paste to the
pot .
Cook for another 20-30 minutes
and it is done.
Chop the dill and the mint
leaves and add them to the pot and
let it sit for 10 minutes before
Serve in a ceramic or wooden
bowl(decorate with dill or parsley)
accompanied by a good bread.
Tips: This is a light version
version of the soup,in the winter
months Romanians usually add
smoked meat to it to enrich its
nutrient value for the harsh
winters.Also before adding the
chopped vegetables to the soup
they can be stir fried to enhance
the earthy flavor.If you have guests
and want to impress them this soup
can be served in bread bowls,simply
buy whole wheat round bread cut
the top off with a sharp knife and
spoon the interior out leaving only 2
inches of bread inside.
16. Ground beef with potatoes
and eggs
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Musaca de cartofi)
A very common dish in
Romanian kitchens,very simple and
easy to do and also very budget
aware.What it lakes in cost makes
up in taste it is delicious served
either hot or even cold with a little
heavy sour cream and a tomato and
lettuce salad,although in the winter
months it is usually served with
sour kraut salad or pickle salad.
-500g Ground Beef( Ground pork or
lamb or any mixture will be
-100g Salted Cheese
-1 Carrot
-1 Onion
-2 Garlic Cloves
-2 Tomatoes ( Tomato puree will
also be fine)
-1 Handfull of Parsley
-2 Eggs
Boil the potatoes skin on in
salted water till they are half
cooked,then take them out and let
them cool.
Slice the potatoes in 1 cm thick
slices and set the slices aside in a
In a bowl mix together the
ground beef with salt ,pepper
,thyme,basil and part of the dill and
Chop the onion and set it to
cook in a frying pan with a little oil
and a pinch of salt.Add the carrot
cut in thin slices and after a couple
of minutes add the thinly sliced
garlic also.
Let it cook for a few minutes
then add the beef.
Cook till the meat starts
browning,in this phase add the
tomatoes and the rest of the herbs
and keep on the flame till the meat
is fully cooked.
Let the meat sit till it is at the
room temperature then add the
mixed eggs into the meat mixture
and stir to make it homogenous.
In a casserole dish put a little oil
and use a brush to spread it on the
edges.Take the potatoes and put
one lair on the bottom of the dish
then one lair of meat alternating till
you finish the ingredients.
On top of the "Musaca" shred
the cheese and set in the oven at
320 F for 30-40 minutes.
Serve hot with a little heavy
sour cream on top accompanied by
a salad of your choice and a nice
glass of wine.
1 7 . Romanian
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Varza cu Carnati)
This is one of those meals that
you can prepare without too much
fuss. The cabbage is normally
cooked on the stove-top and
finished off in the oven, but using
the pressure cooker cuts down the
time significantly and actually
makes for a really tasty one-pot
dish. The dish is traditionally served
with polenta or mamaliga or maybe
some crusty bread. When making
this dish, you don't necessarily have
use the same all
depends on what I have in the
fridge. Sometimes, you can go for a
meatless version. If you don't have
bell peppers, skip them. But if you
don’t have a cabbage, an onion,
tomato paste, and a few spices you
can’t usually pull it off.
Note: You can easily make this
dish in a regular the
cabbage completely on the stovetop OR starting it on the stove-top
and finishing it off in the oven. The
time will be closer to 30 minutes or
so....or until the cabbage is cooked
according to preference.
Tip: Feel free to add some
tomatoes...and substituting the
caraway with some fresh
well as adding a bay leaf.
-1 onion, thinly sliced
-4 TBS olive oil
-1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
-1 medium cabbage, shredded
-4-6 sausage links, sliced thickly
-3-4 TBS tomato paste
-1 cup water
-2 tsps paprika
-1 tsp smoked paprika-1-2 tsps caraway seed, or to
-2-3 TBS lemon juice, or to taste
-salt and pepper, to taste
-cayenne pepper or chile flakes,
to taste, optional
- you can opt to omit if you don't
Prep all ingredients: shred the
cabbage, slice the onion, pepper,
and sausage.
Heat the oil on medium heat
and add onion. Cook until
softened...about 2-3 minutes or so.
Add the bell pepper saute for an
additional minute or so.
Add sliced sausage(if using a
fresh sausage, you might want to
brown it a bit before adding the rest
of the ingredients), tomato paste,
paprika stir to combine.
caraway, salt, and pepper( chile
pepper/cayenne if using) and
thoroughly combine.
Add the water and lemon juice
and stir the cabbage once more.
Now Turn up heat to high.
Place lid on and bring to
Lower heat to low and cook for
8-10 minutes depending how soft
you like your cabbage.
For the first time, cook for 8
minutes you can always cook the
cabbage some more if need be
rather than having the cabbage
Release pressure naturally...not
the cold water method.
seasoning and add a drizzle or two
of fresh olive oil. If you feel the
cabbage is too "watery" or it has
too much of a "bite” cook it down a
bit more with the lid off.
Serve with warm polenta or
crusty bread.
17.Pork sausages with beetroot
and apple
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Cârnati de porc cu sfecla rosie
si mere)
The beetroot salad is prepared
with horseradish.
-1 bunch Beetroot, with the tops
-2 tbsp Olive oil
-1 tsp Salt
-1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 anchovy fillets, tinned,
-1 tsp capers
-4 cornichons, chopped
-1 tbsp mustard
-1 handful Parsley, chopped
-1 handful tarragon or mint
-100ml Olive oil
-1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
-1/2 tsp sea-salt and freshly
ground black pepper
-8 pork sausages.
For the greens:
-1 tbsp Butter
-2 garlic cloves, shredded
-1 large dessert apple
-1/2 lemon, juice only.
First of all make the beetroot
Preheat the oven to 392 F / gas
Wash the beetroot and separate
the greens from the roots. Set the
greens aside.
Toss the beetroot in the oil and
salt and wrap each one in kitchen
Roast, for about 40-50 minutes,
until tender. Leave to cool in the
Peel the beetroot by rubbing off
the skin with your thumb and
Chop into rough dice.
Combine the remaining ingredients
with the diced beetroots. Season to
taste and set aside.
Grill the sausages until cooked
Meanwhile, prepare the greens.
Heat the butter in a frying pan over
a gentle heat and cook the garlic,
over a gentle heat, for just a
minute or so.
Peel and core the apples and cut
into thin slices. Toss in lemon juice.
Turn the heat up and add the
apples to the pan. Cook for 2-3
minutes, until just starting to
Add the beetroot tops, and fry
briefly until wilted and tender.
Season with salt and pepper to
taste and serve with the sausages
and chopped beetroot salad.
18. Romanian doughnuts
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Gogoase Romanesti)
4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 Tablespoon of vanilla
2 Tablespoons of orange peel,
In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar,
milk and butter.
Place the flour, yeast, and salt in
a mixer bowl.
Add the egg/milk mixture.
Using a mixer and bread dough
hook, knead the dough for 5-6
Cover and let rise in a warm
place for 1 hr, or until at least
double in size.
Take dough out and plop it on
an oiled countertop.
Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick
(or thereabouts).
Cut round/square shapes using a
round/square glass).
I like to place them on a cookie
sheet and let them rise again in a
warm and cozy place(such as the
Let rise for 30 minutes or so
until almost doubled in size.
If your kitchen is not warm
enough, the dough won't rise as, place them in a warm
oven(that you have preheated for a
minute or so... remember to turn
oven off).
It should feel nice and cozy, not
hot.Bring oil to 375 deg. Fry a few
doughnuts at a time for a minute on
each side or until golden brown.
They should puff up nicely.
Make sure the heat is not too
high, as they will get dark and not
cook inside.
Drain on paper towls and toss
with powdered sugar while warm.
You can also skip the powdered
sugar and fill them with your
favorite jam.
19. Brownies, Romanian style
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Negrese)
- 2 1/4 cups white sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup of butter or margarine
- 4 slightly beaten eggs
- 2 spoons milk (optional)
Pour sugar into a clean and dry
jar. Press down firmly.
Add cocoa powder and press
down firmly.
Pour in chopped nuts, making
sure nuts are evenly layered in the
Combine flour, baking powder
and salt. Pour into jar and seal.
Attach the following directions
to the jar: Empty mix into large
Use your hands to mix
thoroughly. Add 3/4 cup of butter or
margarine and 4 slightly beaten
eggs. Mix until completely blended.
Spread batter into a lightly
greased pan.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 30
minutes or until done.
Cool the pan.
Cut into 4 cm squares.
20. Romanian Cozonac:
(The Romanian name of the
dish: Cozonac)
I grew up on this sweet bread
that was often filled with nuts,
rahat/lokum or raisins. I think my
favorite was the nut filled ones...the
more filling the better! My mom
would make them on special
occasions, usually Christmas and
It always smelled so comforting
in the kitchen with the aroma of
orange/lemon peel, rum , butter ,
etc. It was especially warm in the
kitchen... the windows were foggy
and we kids had to be careful when
we opened the door so as not to
get any drafts of cold air. Watching
mom "beat" the dough was
especially entertaining!
Before you start: Cozonac, in
general, isn't such an easy recipe.
Many things can happen there
might be the chance of having the
cozonac "fall" or have a hole in the
Here are a few tips to help you
out, especially if you are making it
for the first time:
-Make the filling a day before.
This allows it to cool completely
and you aren't rushed when making
the dough, just bring the filling back
to room temp.
-Try not to double the dough
recipe and cook 4 loaves of cozonac
on the same day...unless you have
a professional oven that can take
all four loaves at the same time and
you have extra help( basically while
the first couple of loaves bake, the
subsequent loaves can over-rise)or
stagger the baking through out the
-The dough sometimes takes a
bit longer to rise than what I listed,
time is written only as a reference,
you want the dough to be doubled
in size.
-Braid the dough...this helps
quite a bit with minimizing
-Don't let the dough over-rise
after being placed in the forms. This
is quite will continue
to rise in the oven
-Try not to underbake...cover
the cozonac(lightly) with tin foil so
that it doesn't burn...leave it in the
oven a bit more rather than less...if
in doubt, lower the heat towards
the end, if need be.
-Changes in temperature can
cause the cozonac to fall.
-Bake the cozonac in the bottom
third of oven(especially when you
have an electric oven) baking
it close to the top heating element
will make the top of the cozonac
dough rise too fast and can cause
the cozonac to fall later.
-Leave the cozonac to cool down
in the least most of the
cooling down. I most often use a
butter knife to release the the sides
of the cozonac as well.
-Lay the cozonac on its side for
a few minutes when cooling the
cozonac....and then switch it on its
other side for a few more minutes.
Even after abiding by these
tips...things can happen... even to
experienced bakers. So, don't
expect perfection. But hopefully,
you will enjoy it. Regardless if
there's a hole in the middle or you
have tunnels. The cozonac will still
taste delicious.
Nut Filling: for 2 loaves
~You may play around with the flavorings to
your liking. Amounts are approximate.~
-10 oz (or about 2 1/2
cups) ground walnuts(or a mixture
of nuts you have on hand)
-1 cup whole milk( you could
probably get away with 2%)
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/4 cup rum/ vanilla( I use .5
oz extract) *
-1 tsp orange extract
-2 tsp orange peel
espresso(optional...just intensifies
the chocolate flavor)
-1/4 cup cocoa (optional)
* I used extract and cut down
on the amount...I will use .5 oz rum
extract for the bread dough and .5
oz rum extract for the filling...that is
a total of one bottle(1 oz) of rum
extract. I sometimes add a splash
or two of vanilla as well:).
In a saucepan, melt the sugar in
Add walnuts and keep stirring
every so often... until thickened
(10-15 minutes).
Add cocoa and flavorings. Cook
some more to the point that the
filling is paste-like.
Set aside to should
thicken even further as it sits.
You should have 2 equal parts.
Recipe: for 2 loaves
-4-5 cups bread flour( more like
5 cups)
-1 cup milk
-3 eggs
-2 1/2 tsps instant yeast(you
could use rapid rise)
-3/4 cup(170 grams/6oz) of
-3/4 cup sugar
-pinch of salt
-lemon/orange peel( I use about
1 TBS orange and 1-2 tsp lemon
-rum/vanilla extract( I use .5 oz
rum and a splash of vanilla extract)
* I like to use salted butter, and
skip the pinch of salt
-1 beaten egg (for brushing the
top of the loaves)
Prepare your loaf pans by
buttering and placing a piece of
buttered parchment paper at the
bottom to ensure that the loaf will
not stick in the final baking stage.
In a saucepan, heat milk, butter
and sugar.
Let cool till just warm.
Add beaten eggs and blend to
lemon/orange peel, rum/vanilla.
In mixer bowl, add 2 cups flour
incorporate the yeast into the flour.
Add the wet ingredients andknead
for 3 minutes on medium speed.
Add rest of flour and knead for
an additional 7 minutes using a
dough hook. Cover with plastic
a warm environment. I usually let
mine rise in a warm oven. this can
usually take from 1 1/2- 2 hours or
so....keep in mind to let it rise to
almost double in size. ( Please
.hold the mixer )
Oil your counter space and plop
the dough onto it.
Cut the dough in half to yield
two equal parts.
Roll one part into a large
rectangle( 11x14 approximate) and
spread nut filling to within 1/2 inch
of the edge.
Roll dough in pinwheel fashion.
Place rolled loaf in prepared pan
and repeat with the remaining
loaf. Brush the top of the loaves
with a beaten egg.
Let rise in a warm oven till the
dough reaches the top of the
pan...approx 40 minutes or so...this
definitely depends on how warm or
cold your house is. You don't want
it to over rise as it will deflate in
the final baking stage from all the
heavy filling.
Bake in a preheated 375 deg.
oven for 10-12 minutes , then place
foil lightly covering the tops.
They will over brown and burn if
you don't do this.
Bake for an additional 30-35
minutes or until nicely golden
brown all over.
Let cozonac cool down a bit in
the pan and then remove from
pans... you can lay the cozonac on
its side to cool completely.... and
switch from side to side.