Romania may not be on the top of your travel list but it is a beautiful country. In addition to being the home to the fabled, Dracula, it is a country steeped in medieval towns. These towns consist of some incredible architecture and mountain views. They also have some impressive cuisine!
Romanian Vegan Stewed Cabbage
- 1 head cabbage
- 1 large bell pepper
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch peppercorn
- 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp paprika (optional)
- Heat up a little olive oil in a deep, non-stick pan. Add the onion and fry it until translucent. Add the bell pepper and garlic and fry for another minute or so. Now add the chopped tomato, mix with a wooden spoon and leave it to fry for another 2-3 minutes. Now add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika and liquid smoke if using. Mix well and fry for 2-3 minutes. If you feel there is too little oil, add half a cup of water to the mixture.
- Chop the cabbage (not very fine) and add it to the deep pan. If there is too much cabbage for the pan, add a few handfuls of cabbage at the time and let it reduce in size for a few minutes, then add the rest of the cabbage to the pan. Repeat until the whole sliced cabbage fits in the pan.
- This is the most important step to a successful stewed cabbage: once all the cabbage is in the pan, mix all ingredients, cover, and simmer at low fire for 30-45 minutes. Make sure to mix it with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes or so. Put the cover back as soon as you finish mixing as this is what makes the cabbage stew nicely.
- Do not add more water!
- Serve hot with bread and red onion if you like it the traditional way, or serve it as a side dish. The cabbage lasts for up to 5 days in the fridge. Keep it covered in an airtight container as the cabbage tends to smell up your fridge.
Romanian peasant omelet
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
- 3 medium eggs
- ½ onion
- ½ bell pepper
- 2 mushrooms
- ½ smoked, thin sausage
- 50 g (1/2 cup) cașcaval or mozzarella cheese
- A bit of milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dice the onion, the mushrooms, and the bell pepper, and cut the sausage into small pieces.
- Heat the oil in a medium frying pan, then add the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms.
- Cook the vegetables for 1-2 minutes, then add the sausage pieces and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Beat the eggs with the milk and add the mixture to the pan on medium heat.
- Cover the pan with a lid, and wait until the upper part looks fluffy and slightly cooked.
- Using a spatula, carefully turn it upside down and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Transfer the omelette to a plate and top it with shredded cheese.
- Serve with bread and veggies of your choice (I love to serve it with tomatoes).
Romanian Mămăliga Baked (Polenta)
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups ground coarse cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ½ cup shredded feta cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- Bring the water and salt to a rapid boil in a large pot.
- Turn heat down to simmer and slowly pour in the cornmeal.
- Stir constantly for about 20 minutes until you notice the Mamaliga breaks away easily from the side of the pot.
- The cooked Mamaliga should be thick enough to stay on a plate by itself.
- It could be served just like this, cut into slices with a string. It would be served with sour cream, and feta cheese sometime even a fried egg on top.
For the Baked Mamaliga:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Put half of the porridge into a 7 x 9 greased glass pan.
- Pour ½ of the melted butter on top.
- Whisk together the 4 eggs and the shredded feta cheese.
- Pour over the bottom half, making a layer of egg and cheese in the Mamaliga.
- Spread the rest of the Mamaliga on top.
- Pour the remaining melted butter over that.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the top becomes lightly browned.
- Cut in pieces and serve with sour cream on top.