• Friptura din Costita de Porc – a traditional Moldovan recipe, one of the most popular as well. The cooked onions here add a little sweetness to the meat, making it so delicious! I, personally, do not eat a lot of pork, but when I do, this is one recipe I would definitely use over and over again. Not hard to make, and well worth the effort!

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    Ingredients:

    3 – 4 large onions
    1/4 cup oil
    around 2.7 pounds pork ribs
    1 tablespoon salt, or as needed/desired
    1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    2 – 3 whole bay leaves
    1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    1 cup of beer (optional, but recommended)
    4 garlic cloves, or to taste

    Directions:

    Cut the ribs to separate each rib from each other, then in pieces between 3″ – 5″ long. Rub with salt and ground black pepper, and set aside.

    Slice the onions, as pictured.

    Place oil and onions in large pot and cook until translucent.

    Add the meat, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. Mix everything together.

    Cover the pot with lid (important!), and cook on medium-low for about 40 – 45 minutes, mixing every once in a while. The meat will be cooked and the onion will be pretty much dissolved.

    Uncover and continue cooking, to let some of the juices evaporate.

    Add the beer and cook uncovered for a few more minutes, until some of the liquid evaporates again. You can cook less if you would prefer more of the juice, or longer, if you would like less of it.

    Crush garlic using a garlic press, and add to the pot.

    Cover again (important!) and cook for an additional 5 minutes, to allow the garlic flavor to blend in. Remove from heat.

    Traditionally the ribs are served with feta cheese, sour cream and ‘Mamaliga’ – a traditional cornmeal bread, also known as Polenta. Will be posting the recipe for ‘Mamaliga’ soon as well.

    For a healthy addition, you can also add to the meal the traditional ‘Cucumber Tomato Salad’ found in the ‘Salads’ Category.

  • ChickenOnionSauce-FinalTop

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    Ingredients:

    about 6 chicken thighs
    3 large onions
    1 large carrot
    2 tablespoons oil
    1 garlic clove (optional)
    2 bay leaves
    2-3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

    Directions:

    Chop the onions, dice the carrot, and finely dice garlic, if using.

    Place all the ingredients in a medium-large pot and mix everything.

    Cover and cook on medium/low for about 40 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.

    Remove lid and let it simmer, to allow some of the liquid to evaporate, about 10-15 minutes. Cook longer if you prefer less liquid.

    Best served over rice. Also can be served with mashed potatoes, pasta, buckwheat, etc.

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    A traditional Moldovan soup, easy to make and very yummy. Great in the colder months, but also any time of the year. It’s one of those recipes that bring back childhood memories. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
    To make it I used chicken thighs, but you can use any part of the chicken you like. I also prefer red potatoes, which don’t tend to fall apart when cooked, like other types.

    Ingredients:

    5 pcs. chicken thighs
    about 12 cups (3 quarts) water
    6 small potatoes
    1 carrot
    1 medium/small onion
    1/3 cup finely diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
    2 garlic cloves, or more if you like garlic
    1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
    2 bay leaves
    salt, about 1 tablespoon or to taste
    black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon or to taste

    Since I am using chicken thighs, which have lots of skin and fat on them, I went ahead and removed all that, but kept the bone in, which also adds to the soup’s flavor. This step is my personal preference, and it is not required.

    Directions

    Place chicken in large pot, cover with water, bring to boil and continue cooking on medium heat. In the meantime, cut potatoes in chunks.

    Dice the carrot,

    Chop the onion.

    Thinly slice the garlic.

    If using bell pepper, go ahead and chop that as well.

    Back to the chicken. You will notice froth on the surface of the water. Use a skimmer to remove it all.

    And just to add a note: In Moldova, when my mom made the soup using our own home grown chicken, usually it took longer for it to cook. In the USA though, chicken cooks pretty quick, and so, immediately after removing the froth, you can add the rest of ingredients without the risk of having uncooked chicken and overcooked vegetables. So if your chicken is older, cook it longer before adding the rest of the ingredients.
    Anyways, at this point, go ahead and add to the pot the rest of the ingredients.

    Continue cooking on medium/low, until potatoes are cooked, but still somewhat firm. You don’t want them falling apart in your soup. You can test them with a fork. At that point, your soup is done!

    Cover with a lid and set aside for a few minutes to let the flavors blend.
    Serve with bread, hot peppers, if you want to spice it up, or simply eat it on its own!

  • GogosiFinal

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    The main ingredient here is the farmer’s cheese. In the US, I can only find it in Publix stores, but you could also try and look for it at your local grocery stores.

    Ingredients:

    2 eggs
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 packages (7.5 oz ea.) Friendship Farmer Cheese
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon vinegar
    1 and 1/3 cup flour
    oil for frying
    powdered sugar, for sprinkling

    Gogosi-Ingred

    Directions:

    Beat together eggs and sugar.

    Gogosi-Prep1

    Add salt and the 2 packages of farmer cheese, and mix.

    Gogosi-Prep2
    Gogosi-Prep3

    Spread baking soda in tablespoon, and pour the vinegar on top. Wait until it stops reacting, then mix in with the rest of the ingredients.

    Gogosi-Prep4

    Add flour and mix.

    Gogosi-Prep5

    Pour oil into a medium saucepan, to cover about 1/2″ of the bottom of the pan. Heat oil on medium-low heat. Add a small amount of the dough to the oil. When it starts to bubble, the oil is hot enough and ready for frying.

    Gogosi-Prep6

    Drop the dough by tablespoon into the hot oil. If needed, use another tablespoon to shape dough into a ball.

    Gogosi-Prep7

    Fry on both sides, until golden brown. Adjust the heat as needed, so the dough doesn’t brown too quickly on the outside and is raw on the inside.

    Gogosi-Prep8

    Place doughnuts on a plate, to cool after frying.

    Gogosi-Prep9

    Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm or cool.

    Gogosi-FinalBottom

    Another way to serve: Mix together a little sugar and sour cream to create a dip for the doughnuts.

    Gogosi-FinalAltServ

  • GarlicEggplantDipFinal

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    Ingredients:

    2 large eggplants
    3 garlic cloves
    2/3 cups mayonnaise
    1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

    GarlicEggplantSpread-Ingred1
    GarlicEggplantSpread-Ingred2
    GarlicEggplantSpread-Ingred3

    Directions:

    Wash eggplants and place on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.

    GarlicEggplantDipPrep1

    Broil in oven for 10-15 minutes on each side, or until the eggplants turn soft and change color.

    GarlicEggplantSpread-Prep2

    Take the eggplants out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
    Cut the eggplant in half, and peel off the skin. Use a spoon if needed.

    GarlicEggplantSpread-Prep3
    GarlicEggplantSpread-Prep4

    Cut the eggplant in strips lengthwise and chop finely with a knife.

    GarlicEggplantSpread-Prep5
    GarlicEggplantSpread-Prep6

    Place the eggplant in a colander and let the juices drain for about 10-15 minutes.
    Crush garlic using a garlic press and add to the eggplant.

    GarlicEggplantSpread-Prep7

    Add salt and mayonnaise, and mix it together.

    GarlicEggplantSpread-Prep8

    Chill in the refrigerator. Serve on bread or crackers, as an appetizer/ snack, or to complement any meal.

    GarlicEggplantSpread-Prep9

  • PlacinteFinal

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    Ingredients:

    6 cups flour
    2 cups lukewarm water
    1 teaspoon dry yeast
    1/2 tablespoon salt
    extra flour to work with
    oil for frying and to work with
    Filling of your choice, recipes found in the “Miscellaneous” category

    PlacinteIngredients

    Directions:

    Mix salt with flour in a bowl. Dissolve the yeast in about 1 cup of the water, then pour it on top of the flour, including the rest of the water as well.

    PlacinteWater

    With hands, knead the dough until well mixed and firm. If it sticks to your hands, sprinkle with a little additional flour. Also, as you work with the dough, detach it from the bowl and sprinkle the bowl with flour, so the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl.

    PlacinteDough1

    PlacinteDough2

    Shape into a ball, as pictured below. If needed, sprinkle with additional flour to get the surface smooth as in the photo.

    PlacinteDoughBall

    Sprinkle the bottom of the bowl with a little more four (to prevent sticking), and place the dough back into the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place for at least 30 minutes, for the dough to rise. Meanwhile you can prepare the filling you are planning on using for this recipe. I have 3 different recipes you can use for that, found in the Miscellaneous category.

    PlacinteCoveredDough

    Take the dough out of the bowl and cut/divide it into about 12 pieces of equal sizes.

    PlacinteCutDough

    PlacinteCutDoughSmall

    Shape each piece into a ball, using additional flour to prevent sticking to the working surface or hands.
    Set the dough balls aside, on a surface sprinkled with flour.

    PlacinteDoughBalls

    Spread some oil on each of the dough balls, to prevent it from drying, while you work with it.

    PlacinteOilDoughBall

    Spread some oil on the surface you’re working on. Take one dough ball at a time and place it on the oiled surface. Using a rolling pin, spread the dough into a very thin sheet. Make it as thin as you can, without breaking. Make sure the surface you work on is always oiled, otherwise your dough will stick to it and it will be impossible to get it unstuck without breaking.

    PlacinteRolledDough

    Place about 1/3 cup of the prepared filling in the middle of the sheet and spread as pictured.

    PlacinteCheeseonDough1

    With a knife, make about 8 cuts around the sheet, each about 2/3 long, from the outside toward the middle, as in photo.

    PlacinteSideCuts

    Fold one of the cut sections over the cheese.

    PlacinteCovered2

    Next, fold the opposite side as well, then the rest, as in pictures.

    PlacinteCoveredCheese3

    PlacinteCoveredCheese4

    When you’re done folding all the sections, it should look something like this. This is one uncooked Placinta.

    PlacinteFnishedRaw2

    Pour some oil in a frying pan, enough to cover the bottom. Heat until hot, then add the Placinta. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until golden brown. You want to make sure the heat is not high, otherwise it will quickly cook on the surface and be raw on the inside.

    PlacinteFnishedRaw3

    When done on one side, flip and cook on the other side as well.

    PlacinteFrying

    And here’s your cooked Placinta.

    PlacinteFried

    PlacinteStacked

    Pictured below is a stack of Placinte with cheese, cabbage and potato fillings.

    PlacinteFinishedCut

    Serving Suggestions: Serve hot or cold, as a side to any meal, a snack, or even breakfast. Pofta Buna!

  • PlacinteCabbageFillingFinal

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    Typically, Moldovans make this recipe using homemade pickled cabbage, but since not everybody always has that laying around the house, here’s an alternative, using a combination of fresh cabbage and sauerkraut, to create the same taste.

    Ingredients:

    3/4 cup diced onions
    3/4 cup oil
    1 small cabbage, or about 5 cups shredded fresh cabbage
    2 cups sauerkraut
    1 egg

    PlacinteCabbageFillingIngredients

    Directions:

    Heat oil in a frying pan. Add onions and saute until lightly brown.

    PlacinteCabbageFillingOnions

    Add the fresh cabbage and fry until it starts to soften, then add the sauerkraut and continue cooking until lightly brown.

    PlacinteCabbageFillingFryingCabbage

    Add the egg to the pan and mix well. Continue cooking until the egg is fully cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.

    PlacinteCabbageFillingCooked

    This recipe is to be used for the Placinte recipe found in the Breads category.

    PlacinteCabbageFillingFinalBottom

  • PlacintePotatoFillingFinal

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    Ingredients:

    4 potatoes
    1/4 cup oil
    3/4 cup chopped onions
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt

    PlacintePotatoFillingIngredients

    Directions:

    Cut potatoes in cubes and boil in water until soft.

    PlacintePotatoFillingBoiling

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in frying pan, add onions and saute until lightly brown, set aside.

    PlacintePotatoFillingOnions

    When potatoes are fully cooked, mash and mix in the onions.

    This recipe is to be used for the Placinte recipe found in the Breads category.

    PlacintePotatoFillingFinalBottom

  • PlacinteCheeseFillingFinal

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    Ingredients:

    4 cups feta cheese
    1 cup farmer’s cheese or small curd cottage cheese
    3 eggs
    1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped. If you don’t have fresh dill, don’t use any at all

    PlacinteCheeseFillingIngredinets1
    PlacinteCheeseFillingIngredinents2

    Directions:

    Grate or finely crush the feta cheese.

    PlacinteCheeseFillingGratedCheese

    Add the eggs, chopped dill, cottage cheese and mix well. If you prefer a milder taste of the cheese, you can decrease the feta cheese amount and increase the farmer’s cheese or cottage cheese amount.

    PlacinteCheeseFillingMixed

    This recipe is to be used for the Placinte recipe found in the Breads category.

    PlacinteCheeseFillingFinalBottom

  • Plov-Final

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    This is a very popular rice dish in my home country and the surrounding area, and has also a lot of variations. Here I am going to share mine, or basically the one I grew up with.

    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup oil
    1 and 1/2 large onion
    2 carrots
    1 lb beef for stew, cut up in bite-size pieces.
    3 teaspoons salt
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
    1 lb. (16 oz.) medium grain white rice
    8 cups of water
    2 dry bay leaves

    PlovIngredients

    Directions:

    In a bowl, add water to the rice, just enough to cover, set aside and let it soak.
    Meanwhile, chop the onions and the carrots.

    PlovOnionsCarrots

    Heat oil in a deep pan, add the onions and cook on medium heat until tender.

    PlovCookingOnions

    Add the carrots and continue cooking until carrots are tender as well. Add salt, black pepper and beef, and cook until meat is browned.

    PlovBrownedMeat

    Add tomatoes, cook an additional 2 minutes or so.
    Drain the water from rice and add rice to the pan along with the 8 cups of water and bay leaves. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low.

    PlovCooking

    Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Do not stir the rice, just don’t forget to cook on low temperature, otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
    When done cooking, place in serving bowl and serve.

    Note: I used shredded carrots, black peppercorns and Brussels sprouts to garnish.

    Plov-FinalBottom

    Serving Suggestions: serve with a fresh salad or pickles, feta cheese and fresh tomatoes.

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