Phollow the Pho [ Pho bo tasting in 4 European cities]

Pho bo Amsterdam

As most of you might already know, pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup consisting of clear beef broth, rice noodles, slim cuts of beef, bean sprouts (fresh and crunchy), finely sliced raw red onions & spring onions. Needles to say, imperatively garnished with fresh coriander and served with hot chili sauce.

What I know for sure is that once you have a bowl of this heavenly broth, it can Continue reading

Sunday Note [Bucharest]

Bucuresti toamna

Having the Green Kitchen Stories’s New Yoga Pot recipe in mind for a while now, this morning I headed to the farmer’s market to get the missing ingredients. Or I just used this  as an excuse to get up earlier and walk all the way to the market, admiring the old houses in the October sunlight.

And I actually did manage to finally cook this new yoga pot, but only after purchasing a cast iron casserole as it’s stews and soups weather already (yey!) and high time to invest in a stylish, sturdy red pot. The dish turned out Continue reading

Puccia – a street food specialty from Southern Italy [ Lecce, I t a l y]

Puccia

The name puccia comes from the type of bread that this amazing Italian sandwich is made with. This street food is a typical dish of the local cuisine of Puglia and consists of a homemade pita-like bread filled in with an array of toppings : marinated or grilled Continue reading

Weekend in Bari [ I t a l y ]

Building in Bari

Five girls sharing a strong craving for Italian food pack their bags and go on a low cost flight to Bari for the weekend. “To Bali?” everyone kept asking. “No, to Bari, Italy.” 

The truth is I didn’t have much idea either about this part of Italy, but it proved to be a Continue reading

Polenta with Garlicky Mushrooms [ Recipe ]

Polenta withe garlicky mushrooms
This is not really a serious recipe as it contains only 2 main ingredients and it is so easy to make, but this combination is so amazingly delicious that I couldn’t help sharing it. And, of course, it’s gluten free, dairy free and very garlicky 🙂 Continue reading

Quick salad with Chickpeas & Parsley

Chickpea salad

Dealing with chickpeas is never too complicated, most of the times quick and always, but always a delicious experience. You can never fail with chickpeas as they pair well with almost everything and they make a light and healthy salad (or side dish).I always have some extra chickpeas can somewhere stored at home and I resort to it whenever I crave for some healthy hearty salad I can prepare in 5 minutes. It’s either the Pho Bo bowl or the chickpea one 😀

Since root vegetables are now in the spotlight at the farmer’s market, I used carrots and celeriac. And I had bought some fresh organic delicious parsley and I used a lot of it.

Celeriac, carrot

You can serve this salad as it is, with flat bread or rye crackers. Or with a sunny side up egg and a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Chickpea salad

Quick salad with Chickpeas & Parsley

400 g cooked chickpeas
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 celeriac, cut in sticks
1 red hot chili pepper (optional)
1-2 bunches of parsley (I use 2)
olive oil
hot chili powder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a bit of lemon juice

First add olive oil, pepper, chili powder, garlic and salt to the chickpeas, mix well. Then add carrot, celeriac parsley and some lemon juice.

Bon appetit,

Sara

A matter of Polenta

I grew up believing that polenta is a typical Romanian dish. I didn’t even know the Italian word “polenta” as the Romanian name is different, we call it “mamaliga”. Only later did I realize that this cornmeal porridge is a staple food all around the world, found in many variations.

As I a child, we would serve it on a round wooden cutting board, exactly in the middle of our small wooden table. My grandpa would cut it with a white string into smaller square pieces and only afterwards we could start eating. We basically used to serve it accompanying lots of dishes – polenta with cheese, sour cream and a sunny side up egg on top; polenta with grilled meat and garlic sauce; polenta with mushrooms in white sauce (ciulama); polenta with stuffed cabbage rolls and so on. Leftover polenta can be warmed in a pan with a bit of olive oil or grilled and it tastes delicious.

I still love it a lot and whenever I visit my grandma, she knows how to welcome me: she cooks polenta, scrambled eggs (from her happy hens) and spring onions/green garlic or leek in the winter. And goat cheese from the village.

Polenta with homemade fried potatoes and garlic sauce is also one of my favorites, but fried potatoes should not happen too often :).

Here is a recipe of basic polenta:

1 liter water

300 – 400 g coarse yellow cornmeal (depending on the consistency you want to obtain)

1 tbsp oil or a bit of butter

a pinch of salt

Bring water to a boil. Add salt and oil. Using a wooden spoon, add cornmeal gradually, stirring continuously in order to avoid lumps.

When the cornmeal porridge starts to bubble, let is simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens and breaks away easily from the sides of the pot.

When ready, put it on a wooden cutting board or on a normal large plate.

Bon appetit!

Sara