Archives for posts with tag: Recipes

This eggplant and tomato sauce is one of our favorites in Moldova. It is another great sauce for dipping bread, using for pizza, and over pastas.

8-10 eggplants
7-8 bell peppers, red or light green
6-8 medium onions, chopped
8-10 medium carrots, grated
4-5 kilograms ripe tomatoes, grated

Bake the eggplants and peppers in a hot oven until soft through, usually about an hour. Meanwhile, clean the onions, carrots, and tomatoes. Chop the onions and grate the carrots. Either grate the tomatoes or put them through a food processor to separate the skins. Discard the skins.  When the eggplant and peppers are done, chop the peppers, and squeeze out the innards of the eggplants discarding the skin. Meanwhile, saute the onions in oil until translucent, about 10 minutes. Be sure not to burn them. Add the carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Mix well, and add salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Cook for an hour or two and then can it.

Pofta Bună!


A gogoșar is like a bell pepper except that it is short, stout, and thick. It is about half the height of a bell pepper, and 3 or 4 times the thickness. They are also a little sweeter. I prefer them to bell peppers, and this sauce L makes is absolutely delicious. They are harvested in September, so that’s when she makes and conserves this sauce for the winter. It goes great as a dip for breads or even over a pasta.

5 kg (25-30) gogoșari
1/2 kg (7-8 medium) onions
400 grams oil
200 grams honey or sugar
200 grams vinegar
5-6 bay leaves, ripped
10 grams peppercorn
*Salt to taste
15 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch of celery leaves, washed, and chopped

Chop the onions, garlic and celery leaves. Wash, clean and slice the gogoșari. Saute the onions in the oil until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the honey or sugar, bay leaves, and peppercorns. *If you are conserving for the winter, add salt without iodine. If it’s just for a meal, regular iodized salt is fine. Add the vinegar and turn the heat low. When it starts to boil, add the garlic and more salt if needed. Add the gogoșari and mix. Put the cap on the pot and turn the heat up to high. Let it boil for about an hour. Just before you put it in jars, add the celery leaves.

Pofta Bună!

If you were to ask a Moldovan what the most traditional Moldovan dish is, she would most likely say mămăligă. It is served with soups, cheese, eggs, meats, and many other things. Mămăligă is like our version of corn bread but much more dense. During the winter a bowl of zeamă (chicken noodle soup) and mămăligă with sheep’s cheese (post to come…) was the way to my heart. Delicious. Another great dish is mămăligă with sheep’s cheese, scrambled eggs, and meat.

Corn Flour

In a steel pot add about 1.5 liters of water. Add a pinch of salt and a little bit of corn flour. Do not dump it in. Instead, scrape it from a bowl into the pot using your hand. You should add enough corn flour so that you cannot see the water. Bring to a boil. When it is ready, the corn flour will puff up. Add a lot more corn flour this time. Mix it a bit with a wooden rounded mămăligă stick (melesteu) to give it space to boil. It will be clumpy. Turn it down lower so that it is still boiling for about 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, stab it with the wooden stick 3 or 4 times to determine if you need to add more flour. If it isn’t thick enough, add more. Using the stick, mix it, fold it, and stab it several times until you don’t see the flour grains any longer or until it gets really sticky. You want it to be consistent, so don’t mix it too much.

Wet a spoon and using the back side of the spoon, scrape the wooden stick and the sides of the pot, forming the mămăligă into a half circle. When it is shaped how you want, stamp a cross in the top using the spoon. Turn up the heat and let it cook in its formation for 2-3 minutes. Turn it onto the board, and cut it with either thread (traditional) or a knife (practical).

Put water in the pot and let it soak.

Pofta Bună!

The first time I had this jam was in Ruseștii Noi last summer when Maria put it over vanilla ice cream. I was very skeptical, so I ate the syrup but skipped the walnut (mainly because I didn’t know that’s what it was). When we got to our current village, L and E explained what it was, that it made from unripened walnuts. Finally understanding what it was, I decided to try some. It was so good. When June came around, Curt and I went to pick some green walnuts from the hundreds of walnut trees lining the streets in our village.When picking walnuts for jam, remember… smaller is better.

5-6 kg green walnuts
2 kilograms sugar
1.5 liters water

Peel the walnuts with a knife. A peeler will not peel deep enough. Be sure to wear gloves because the walnut skins turn your hands black. Put the center in a bowl of water, and discard the skins. Cut in half the bigger walnuts. Soak the walnuts for 4 hours. Change the water and repeat 2 more times, each time soaking for 4 hours. After they have soaked, pour the sugar into the pot of water. When it starts to boil, add the walnuts. When it boils, turn it to low for 4 hours. It should be slightly boiling. Transfer the jam to jars and seal them up.

I wore gloves, but my fingers stayed this color for two weeks.

I have already posted about compot, but I thought I would post again as this time around we’re making it with different ingredients.

Strawberry Compot is so delicious, definitely one of my favorites. The strawberries can be substituted with sour cherries or a combination of sour cherries, bing cherries and raspberries.

10 kg strawberries
1 cup of sugar for each 5 L jar

Wash and clean your fruit. Fill up the jars a quarter of the way with your fruit. Place your jars in a big metal pot. Add the sugar (you can make it as sweet as you want) and then fill the jars up with water leaving a 1/2 inch space from the top. Place the tops on the jars. Add water into the pot until it hits 3/4 of the way up the jars. Light a fire under the pot and wait for the water to boil. At some point (sooner than later) you will need to put rocks on top of you lids. When the water boils, take the jars from the water (carefully), secure the lids, and let them cool.


Carne Bătută is a typical dish you will see at most Moldovan tables on celebrations and holidays. It is usually served cold and sliced (like steak fries), but I think it is much better served warm.

6-8 Chicken Breasts
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Flour
Salt and Pepper

Beat 6-8 chicken breasts with a meat pounder. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side and set on a dish. Heat some oil in a pan. Beat a couple of eggs in a bowl, and put the flour in another bowl. When the oil is ready, place the chicken breast in the flour, making sure the whole breast is covered generously with flour. Then dip it into the eggs, and place it in the pan. Repeat with the rest of the chicken breasts. After 3 or 4 minutes, flip it over to cook on the other side.

Pofta Bună.

Răcituri is a very traditional Moldovan dish, but one that I am not willing to eat. I have never been a fan of cold meant unless it’s deli meat, and as răcituri is served cold, I just can’t get into it. The natural gelatin found in the rooster’s bones makes this dish what it is. It is basically boiled for several hours and cooled for several hours, allowing the gelatin to set. No thank you. Just in case there is someone who wants to try it, here you go!

1 rooster
1 large carrot
2 onions
2 bay leaves

Kill, clean, and cut up your rooster, keeping all the bones connected to the meat. Put all the pieces into a big pot of water, place it on a burner on high, and wait for it to boil (takes a long time). Just in case you have recently killed a pig, you could also add a couple of pieces of pig fat to the pot.

Peel the carrot and chop the onions.

When it starts to boil and even before, you will notice foam coming to the top. Scoop it off with a spoon and feed it to the pigs. After boiling for 3-4 minutes, turn it down to low.

Add the carrot, onions, salt, pepper, and two bay leaves. The amount of time it needs to cook depends on the rooster. Generally you want to leave it on the burner for 4 hours. An older rooster might take more time, and a younger one might take less. Turn the burner off and let it cool for 4-5 hours.

After it has cooled, scoop all the fat off the top with a spoon, and place the meat and carrot in a separate bowl. Drain the liquid with a ladle, counting how many spoonfuls you drain. Using a cheese cloth instead of a colander is best because even the smallest colander will let in too much.

Set out several bowls and place at least two pieces of meat in each bowl (The number of spoonfuls divided by 2 is roughly how many plates you need.). Using the ladle, scoop the liquid into the bowls covering at least half of the meat.

Thinly slice the carrots or make whatever design you want with them and add them to the liquid. Make sure it is “frumos”, because if it isn’t it cannot be called a Moldovan dish. Transfer the plates to the refrigerator for several hours if not overnight. The liquid will set and become gelatin.

Pofta Bună!

We went to Ruseștii Noi for the third day of Easter to spend it with Maria and Tudor, my host family during our training. They had fresh homemade horseradish sauce (not the white stuff in the states) that was absolutely delicious with meat, so they gave us the recipe, and we tried it when we got back to our village. For the past month I had been wanting to pull some weeds that were growing in the garden behind the house, and I couldn’t figure out why nobody had done it yet. So when I told E we were planning on making hrean with the horseradishes I had bought in the market, she asked me why I didn’t just use the horseradishes growing like weeds in the garden behind the house. So I decided to finally go pick some of the “weeds” to make hrean with fresh horseradishes. The instructions below are how we will make this dish for now on. Unfortunately we started with the horseradishes instead of the beets. If you think onions are hard on the eyes, just wait until you start grating the horseradishes. We had to open the windows and the doors for a few hours just to be able to open our eyes.

1/2 pound horseradish roots
1/2 pound beets
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

This horseradish sauce can be as spicy or as mild as you like. We added slightly more than a 1/2 pound of beets to make it a little less spicy. Clean, peal, and grate the beets. The smaller you grate them the better. Then do the same with the horseradishes. Mix them together and add about a half cup of vinegar or slightly less. We used apple vinegar, but white vinegar is fine too. Add slightly less than 1/4 cup of sugar and mix together. Scoop it into a jar and let it set for a day. You will notice the sugar setting on the bottom, so turn the jar over every few hours. Serve with pork, beef, chicken, rabbit, duck or lamb.

Pofta Bună!

This is not necessarily a Moldovan recipe, although E does make a variation of this cake from time to time. Curt loves cheesecake, and I’m just so-so about it, which is weird because I absolutely LOVE cheeses. So I’ve been looking a long time for a recipe that would convert me. I came across a recipe and decided I would try it out making some adjustments. First, I love mascrapone cheese. My sister, K, introduced it to me several years ago, and I’ve been grateful ever since. It’s basically an Italian triple cheese cream cheese. Secondly, the brînza de vacă (basically whole ricotta) in Moldova is so fresh and delicious. I decided to make the cake with these two cheeses, and it turned out to be a very good decision. I am now converted to cheesecake.

Brînza de Vacă Mascrapone Cheesecake

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup (150 g) graham crackers or biscuiți cu lapte
2 Tbs (30 g) sugar
1/4 cup (55 g) melted butter

Smash the crackers into little crumbs. Add sugar and butter and mix together. Press to the bottom of your baking dish (they suggested a spring form pan, but I just used a tart dish). Cover and put in refrigerator.

Filling Ingredients:

2 cups (about 500 g) fresh bînza de vacă or ricotta drained.
8 ounces (about 200 g) mascrapone
3/4 cups sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
4 eggs
zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla/ 1 packet of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Place mascrapone in a bowl and beat until free of lumps. (I don’t have a mixer, so you’ll notice lumps in my batter.) Add drained ricotta and sugar and mix together until creamy and smooth. Add cornstarch and mix. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add zest and vanilla and mix. Pour batter onto the crust and place in a roasting pan. Add hot water to the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of your cake pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake browns on the top and slightly jiggles in the middle. Cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or cooled.

I’m 99.9% sure I will never make carnați again, but I might as well post about the process just in case.

Clean the small intestines really well of the pig you have just killed. Note: I don’t think the intestines were cleaned as well as they should have been because my hands smelled like treaba mare (#2) the rest of the day. Grind about 4 pounds of beef. Add about 2 Tbs of salt, a couple tsp of pepper, and about 10-12 cloves of pressed garlic. Add 9-10 eggs, and mix well with hand or spoon. Add 1 cup of bread crumbs, and mix well again. Put the intestines on the meet machine with the correct attachment, and start turning.