Friday, August 3, 2012

Baclava (Baklava)


            Eu credeam ca baclavaua este extrem de complicat de facut si nici intr-un caz nu am indraznit pana acum sa experimentez. Cat de tare m-am putut insela nici acum nu-mi vine se cred :) desi mi se face foarte rar dor de gustul minunatului desert turcesc, trebuie sa recunosc ca baclavaua e una din prajiturile cele mai bune testate de mine! e dulce, aromata din cale afara si partea cea mai buna e ca nu poti manca foarte mult, deci nu te simti vinovat :)) postez reteta acum deoarece pentru mine baclavaua e un desert specific verii, nu ma intrebati de ce :) Pentru prima mea data cand o prepar a iesit grozav de bine zic eu, desi am invatat cate una alta si next time va fi sigur updated!
            I used to think that Baklava is a really sophisticated dessert to make and I didn't dare to explore this one. Oh boy, I can't believe how wrong I was :) though I rarely miss the taste of the wonderful Turkish dessert, I gotta admit that it's one of the best pastries I ever tasted! it's sweet, very flavorful and the best part is you can't eat too much of it, so you don't feel guilty :)) I'm posting the recipe now because Baklava is a summer dessert, don't ask me why though :) For my first time making I think it turned out great, though I learned some things now and it'll be updated by next time!


Pentru foi/For the layers:
1 pachet de foi de placinta/1 package phyllo pastry
350 g nuca macinata/350 g ground walnuts
2 linguri zahar/2 tablespoons with sugar
1/2 lingurita scortisoara/1/2 teaspoon with cinnamon 
150 g unt/150 g butter

Pentru sirop/For the syrup:
 250 ml apa/250 ml water
 250 g zahar/250 g sugar
 2 linguri miere de albine/2 tablespoons with honey
 sucul de la 1/2 lamaie/juice from 1/2 lemon

Tava cu dimensiuni: 33 cm/22,9 cm/5,08 cm/Pan dimensions: 33cm/22,9 cm/5,08 cm

Cum se face/How it's done:

Mai intai preparam siropul: punem la fiert apa cu zaharul pentru vreo 15 minute cand incepe sa se ingroase usor. Dupa ce luam de pe foc, adaugam sucul de lamaie si mierea, amestecam si lasam sa se raceasca.
We first make the syrup: we boil the water with the sugar for 15 minutes until it begins to thicken a bit.We   remove it from the heat and we add the lemon juice and the honey, we stir and we let it cool.

Apoi, ne ocupam de foi. Totul merge foarte rapid daca le aveti toate la indemana. 
Then we make the layers. Everything goes smoothly if you have all you need handy.

 Desfacem pachetul de foi (decongelate in prealabil) si le punem sub un prosop umed ca sa le putem manevra mai usor. Punem untul topit si nuca amestecata cu zahar si scortisoara la indemana. Aducem tava si o pensula de bucatarie pentru a ne fi mai usor.
We take the phyllo layers out (they have to be thawed) and we place them under a wet towel so we can easily use them. We bring the melted butter and the walnuts mixed with sugar and cinnamon close and also the pan and a pastry brush to make things easier.

Impartim foile in 4-5 straturi, depinde cate vrem sa facem. Eu am facut 4 straturi, 3 cu cate 5 foi iar ultimul cu 4 foi; citisem undeva ca nu e bine sa fie foarte multe foi la ultimul strat. Sa fiti atenti la cat sunt de mari foile fata de tava, eu le-am lasat asa cu marginile pe langa tava, dar am vazut apoi ca e mai bine sa le tai sa fie la dimensiunea tavii. Foile trebuiesc unse foarte bine cu unt, deci fiti siguri ca aveti destul unt topit.
       Ungem tava cu unt bine si luam prima foaie de placinta, o punem in tava si o ungem cu unt topit bine. De fiecare data acoperim restul de foi cu prosopul umed (vedeti la mine in in stanga in poza)
We divide the sheets in 4-5 batches, depending on how many we want to use. I used 4 batches, 3 of 5 phyllo sheets and the one on top of 4 sheets; I've read somewhere that it's not recommended to use too many phyllo sheets on the top. Be careful to cut the layers according to the pan you'll use, I've left mine too big for the pan and then I've noticed it would've been easier to cut them. All phyllo sheets have to be very well brushed with melted butter so make sure you have enough of it. 
        We grease the pan very well with butter and then we add the first sheet of phyllo, and we brush it very well with butter on top. Every time we take a sheet, we cover the rest with the wet towel (you can see it in the left in my pic)

Continuam sa ungem cu unt alte 4 foi, exact la fel. Peste a 5-a foaie adaugam o treime din cantitatea de nuca, presarand uniform.
We continue to brush with butter other 4 sheets exactly the same way. On top of the 5th one we add a third part of the walnuts, spreading it well.

Continuam la fel cu alte 5 foi, iarasi nuca, etc pana terminam cantitatile. Nu uitati sa pensulati cu unt fiecare foaie in parte. Ultimul strat va fi de 4 foi unse. Dupa ce ungem foarte bine ultima foaie, cu un cutit foarte bine ascutit, taiem bucati baclavaua dupa modelul dorit.
We continue with another 5 sheets, again walnuts, etc, until we finish our layers. Don't forget to brush very well with butter each phyllo sheet. The last batch will be of 4 phyllo sheets. After we brush it with butter, using a very sharp knife we cut the baclava by the pattern we like.

Dam tava la cuptorul preincalzit la 185 grade pentru aproximativ 30 de minute, pana capata o culoare aurie frumoasa.
We place the pan in the preheated oven at 370 degrees for about 30 minutes, until it gets a beautiful golden color.

Dupa ce o scoatem din cuptor, punem siropul racit peste baclava. Nu va speriati ca ramane in tava sirop, acesta se va absorbi dupa ce sta baclavaua.
After we take it out from the oven, we pour the cooled syrup on top. Don't be afraid it's too much syrup, the pastry will absorb everything in a couple of hours. 

O lasam neacoperita vreo 3-4 ore bune, iar apoi o transferam in frigider, daca mai apuca :) Scoatem cateva bucatele si ne minunam cat poate fi de buna :)
We let it uncovered for 3-4 hours, and then we transfer it in the fridge, if you still have anything to be transferred :) We take out a couple of slices and we enjoy the marvelous taste it has :)

Dupa cum vedeti in poze, prima mea baclava e destul de micuta, data viitoare am sa o fac mai inalta din mai multe straturi. Altfel, mi s-a parut delicioasa, potrivit de dulce si zemoasa exact cat trebuie, ca mie nu-mi place deloc cea uscata rau :) va invit cu drag sa savurati o bucatica lipicioasa si aromata langa o cana de cafea, sau un ceai cum am facut eu! Bon appetit!
As you can see, my first time baklava is a bit short, next time I'm gonna make it taller using more phyllo sheets. Otherwise I found it to be delicious, not too sweet and just as juicy as I like it, I personally don't enjoy the dried out baklava :) I do invite all of you to have a sticky and flavorful piece next to a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, as I had! Bon appetit!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chiftele de zucchini (Zucchini Fritters)


    Am vrut neaparat sa particip din nou la provocarea Dulce Romanie, Provocarea Lunii Iunie fiind organizata de Andie de la Andie's Veggies si care are ca tema un preparat vegetarian. Mi s-a parut foarte buna ideea asa ca musai sa particip si eu cu o reteta, ca daca eram mai inspirata putin participam si cu Prajitura cu capsuni. Blogul lui Andie este unul foarte dragut cu multe retete sanatoase pe care va invit cu drag sa-l vizitati, mai ales ca provocarea aceasta va fi de senzatie, sunt sigura!
    Am cumparat cam mult zucchini si dupa ce am facut pentru a zecea mia oara un minunat tian de legume cu el, ce mi-a ramas am folosit la chiftele de zucchini, o reteta care ne place destul de mult, tinand cont de faptul ca eu nu sunt mare fan dovlecei in general. Am pus totul pe masa si m-am apucat de treaba, ca doar e tare simplu si poti jongla cu ingredientele! Va sfatuiesc sa le incercati ca sunt foarte gustoase, le puteti servi la micul dejun, cina sau pachetel la munca. Banuiesc ca sunt mai light daca le faceti la cuptor, eu una am preferat sa le prajesc, gustul e mult mai intens asa, dupa parerea mea :)
    I really wanted to participate in June's Sweet Romania Challenge hosted by Andie from Andie's Veggies, which has a vegetarian dish as a theme. I thought it's a great theme so I decided to send a recipe, though if I were more inspired I would've send my Strawberry Cake recipe as well. Andie's blog is very cozy with lots of healthy recipes and I invite all of you to check it out, now that this challenge will really be a great one!
    I bought too much zucchini and after I've made for the thousand time the wonderful Vegetable Tian, I used  the rest of zucchini to make some Zucchini Fritters, a recipe that we truly enjoy, considering that I'm not a huge fan of this vegetable. I've put everything on the table and started cooking, since it's easy to make and you can play with ingredients. I advise you to try them out because they're very tasty and you can serve them at breakfast, dinner or at lunch. I guess baking them would make them lighter, I preferred to fry them, I find the taste more intense when fried :)


3 zucchini medii/3 medium zucchini
2 oua/2 eggs
50 g parmezan/50 g parmesan
50 g pesmet/50 g bread crumbs
100 g faina alba/100 g white flour
4-5 catei usturoi/4-5 garlic cloves
patrunjel verde/fresh parsley
sare, piper/salt, pepper
ulei pt prajit/oil for frying

Cum se face/How it's done:

Spalam zucchini-ul bine si il dam pe razatoare cu tot cu coaja, adaugam sare si lasam sa stea vreo 15 minute pentru a elibera zeama.
We wash the zucchini and we grate it with the peel on, we add salt and we let it sit for 15 minutes so we can drain the water.

Cu mainile stoarcem zucchini de zeama lasata si adaugam ouale, faina, pesmetul, parmezanul, usturoiul zdrobit, patrunjelul tocat, sare si piper dupa gust si amestecam bine.
With our hands we drain the zucchini and we add eggs, flour, bread crumbs, parmesan, crushed garlic, chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste and we mix them all together.

Intr-o tigaie incingem ulei si luam cu lingura din compozitie, formand chiftele pe care le prajim cate 2-3 minute pe fiecare parte pana au o culoare maronie.(mie imi plac prajite bine)
We heat the oil in a skillet and we use a spoon to form the fritters which we fry 2-3 minutes on each side until they get a nice golden brown color.(I like them well fried)

Le scoatem pe servete de hartie sa absoarba uleiul.
We take them out on paper towels to absorb the oil.

Servim chiftelele cu sos de iaurt si patrunjel verde sau legume proaspete langa si cu multa pofta :) la cat de bine miroase, ai manca cu cate 2 maini, pe cuvant!
We serve the fritters with a yogurt and parsley dip or with fresh vegetables; they smell so delicious that you wanna eat with 2 hands, trust me!

Mai de aproape...Bon appetit!/Closer...Bon appetit!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Prajitura cu capsuni (Strawberry Cake)


       Weekendul trecut am fost sa culegem capsuni la o ferma inafara orasului, pentru ca a inceput sezonul la cules capsuni in Ontario. Noi iubim mult capsunile si de mult tot planuiam sa vizitam o ferma de asta pick-your-own, dar din diferite motive am tot amanat. Nu pot sa va spun ce grozav a fost!!! lume peste tot, copii fericiti in sorturi si rochite, un miros imbietor de capsune in aer, ce mai, a fost perfect! nu cred ca am vazut vreodata atat de multe capsuni la un loc :)))
       Pentru ca am adunat multe fructe rosii frumoase si sanatoase am ales sa fac dulceata de capsuni anul asta, desi nu fac niciodata asa ceva, si din ce mi-a ramas dupa ce am balotat hihi, am preparat rapid si o prajitura simpla cu capsuni, sa valorificam putin gustul lor minunat!
       Last weekend we went to pick some strawberries outside Toronto since the picking season has started in Ontario. We love strawberries and we thought about visiting a pick-your-own farm for a long time now, but for some reason we always ended up not going. I can't even tell you how great it was!!! people everywhere, happy children in their shorts, a beautiful strawberry smell in the air, it was just perfect! I've never seen so many strawberries in one place in my life :))) 
       Since we picked a lot of healthy and beautiful strawberries I chose to make some strawberry jam this year, though I never make it myself, and with what was left after I ate a lot :), I prepared a simple strawberry cake, to enjoy the beautiful flavor!

4 oua/4 eggs
150 g zahar praf/150 g powdered sugar
300 g faina/300 g white flour
100 g unt/100 g butter
150 ml lapte/150 ml milk
400 g capsuni/400 g strawberries
1 lingurita praf de copt/1 teaspoon with baking powder

Cum se face/How it's made:

Am spalat capsunile si le-am taiat in sferturi (mi-era mila sa le tai, atat erau de frumoase) /I washed and cut the strawberries into quarters.(They were so pretty that I almost didn't wanna cut them)

Intr-un bol  mixam untul la temperatura camerei cu zaharul, si adaugam pe rand cate un ou mixand dupa fiecare ou. Apoi punem vanilia, laptele si faina amestecata cu praful de copt. Turnam compozitia intr-o tava tapetata cu unt si faina si punem bucatile de capsuni din loc in loc.
We mix in a bowl the butter with the sugar (butter has to be at room temperature) and we add the eggs one by one, mixing after each one. We then add vanilla, milk and flour with baking powder. We place the mixture in a greased and floured pan and we place the strawberries on top.

Dam tava la cuptorul preincalzit la 185 grade pentru aproximativ 25 minute. Cand e rumenita usor, o scoatem si dupa ce s-a racit putin o pudram cu zahar/We place the pan in the preheated oven at 370 degrees for about 25 minutes. When it's golden brown we take it out and after it cooled a bit, we sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar.

Taiem prajitura felii si servim. Buna si rapida, merge cu orice fel de fructe nu doar capsuni. Pofta buna!!
We slice the cake and serve. Yummy and goes well with any type of fruit really, not only strawberries.
 Bon appetit!

Mai de aproape/Closer:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Curry indian de pui cu unt (Indian Butter Chicken)


        Deci cu ce sa incep :))) probabil multi dintre voi asteapta niste motive serioase pentru pauza de pe blog, cert e ca nu am nici un motiv serios inafara de faptul ca am fost ocupata cu viata in general; mi-a fost teribil de dor sa bloggaresc, mi-a fost dor sa raspund frecvent la mesajele voastre, sa editez poze, sa fotografiez ce gatesc, vazut cum numarul de vizitatori devine impresionant in fiecare luna si nu am putut sa abandonez blogul, voi mi-ati dat energia necesara sa reiau activitatea, so I'm back! :)
        Pentru ca am vrut sa incep in forta am ales sa explorez putin si am ajuns la Butter Chicken sau Murgh Makhani, faimoasa reteta de curry indian cu pui si smantana care face ravagii peste tot in lume, inclusiv in Romania din cate am vazut. Noi am mancat prin Toronto acest preparat la diverse localuri cu specific indian, dar nu pot spune ca am ramas foarte impresionata de el, poate pentru ca e mereu super picant, iar eu nu obisnuiesc sa gatesc picant, chiar deloc :) insa pentru ca e un preparat extraordinar de aromat am zis ca merita sa-l incerc acasa intr-o varianta mai putin spicy si bine am facut, pentru ca e delicios, combinatia de arome e superba iar reteta e foarte simpla.
        Pentru ce a iesit mai jos m-am inspirat de la, la care am facut cateva modificari. Stiti ca eu mentionez mereu sursa de inspiratie, am vazut ca lumea se plange mult de faptul ca se copiaza fotografiile, si asta chiar e trist, stim cu totii cata munca e necesara sa intretii un blog. Am schimbat camera cu care fac pozele, deci imi va lua ceva timp pana voi face poze mai bune :) Asadar, sa ne apucam de treaba!
   Particip cu reteta aceasta si la Spicie Foodie YBR pentru luna iunie :)
        So, how should I start :))) many of you are probably waiting for some good reasons for my time off here, all I can say is that I really don't have a good reason for this besides life in general; I terribly missed blogging, I missed answering  your comments and editing photos, not to mention taking photos when I'm cooking, etc...I kept seeing how the number of visitors gets bigger every month and I couldn't just stop blogging, you gave me the energy to come back, so here I am :)
        Since I wanted to start with something good, I chose to explore a bit and I got to Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani, the famous Indian curry recipe with chicken and cream that's getting very popular around the world, even in Romania as I could see. We had Butter Chicken in Toronto at some Indian places, but I can't say I was too impressed with it, probably because it's pretty spicy and I never cook too spicy at home. But since it's a very flavorful dish, I wanted to try it out at home using less spices, for a milder version and I wanna say that it's delicious, the flavor combination is brilliant and the recipe is very easy to follow.
         For my first try I used's recipe to which I've made some changes. You know I always mention what's the source for my recipes, I've seen people complaining about the fact that their photos are being stolen, and it's really sad, we all know how much work it's necessary to have a blog. I'm using a different camera for my photos now, and it's gonna take me some time until I get to take really good ones :) So, let's start cooking!
I'm participating with this recipe at June's YBR organised by Spicie Foodie :)

500 g piept de pui/500 g chicken breast
2 cepe/2 onions
4 catei usturoi/4 garlic cloves
1 ardei iute/1 jalapeno pepper
1 lingurita ghimbir ras/1 teaspoon with grated ginger
300 ml rosii pasate/300 ml mashed tomatoes
100 ml smantana pt gatit/100 ml half & half cream
100 g iaurt simplu/100 g plain yogurt
100 g unt/100 g butter
1/2 lingurita zahar brun/1/2 teaspoon w brown sugar
1 lingurita coriandru macinat/1 teaspoon with ground coriander
1/2 lingurita chilli pudra/1/2 teaspoon with chili powder
1/2 lingurita chimion macinat/1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1,5 lingurite garam masala/1,5 teaspoons with garam masala
 piper cayenne/cayenne pepper

Cum se face/How it's made:

Taiem puiul cubulete si-l amestecam bine cu 2 catei de usturoi zdrobiti, jumatate de lingurita ghimbir razuit, un sfert de lingurita chili pudra (daca va place mai picant, puneti 1 /2 de lingurita), jumatate lingurita de coriandru, jumatate de lingurita garam masala, sare si piper dupa gust. Il prajim in 2 linguri de ulei, timp de cateva minute pana se rumeneste si il scoatem pe o farfurie.
We cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and we toss to coat with 2 garlic cloves crushed, half teaspoon with grated ginger, a quarter of a teaspoon with chili powder (if you like it spicy, you can put half teaspoon), half teaspoon ground coriander, half teaspoon  garam masala, salt and pepper to taste. We cook the chicken in a large skillet until lightly browned and we take it out on a plate.

In aceeasi tigaie prajim ceapa tocata, adaugam chimionul, 2 catei de usturoi zdrobiti si cealalta jumatate de lingurita de ghimbir si amestecam pana ceapa se inmoaie putin. Adaugam apoi jumatate de lingurita coriandru, un sfert de lingurita de chili pudra, ardeiul iute tocat si rosiile pasate. Lasam sa fiarba 2-3 minute.
In the same skillet we fry the chopped onion, we add the cumin, 2 garlic cloves crushed and the other half of teaspoon with ginger. We stir until the onion has softened a bit. We add half teaspoon with coriander, the rest of chili powder, the chopped jalapeno pepper and the mashed tomatoes. We let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

Cu un blender transformam totul intr-un sos fin. Intr-o tigaie incingem untul, adaugam sosul obtinut, zaharul brun, smantana pt gatit si iaurtul. Amestecam bine, punem puiul si lasam sa mai fiarba pt 2 minute, adaugam 1 lingurita de garam masala si sare dupa gust.
Using a blender we turn everything into a smooth sauce. In a skillet we heat the butter, we add the sauce, the brown sugar, half & half cream and the yogurt. We stir very well, we add the chicken and we let it cook for another 2 minutes, we add one teaspoon with garam masala and salt to taste.

Nu e foarte rosiatic sosul pentru ca am pus iaurt si mai putin chili dar e grozav de bun. Noi am servit cu orez basmati fiert in apa sarata. Bon appetit si sper sa-l incercati curand!
It's not very reddish since I used yogurt and less chili powder but it's terrific. We served the Butter Chicken with basmati rice cooked in salted water. Bon appetit and I hope you'll try it soon!

Mai de aproape/Closer...Yummylicious :)

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