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Romanian Cuisine: Delicacies With Cabbages And Cheese

Feb 20, 2008
Romanians as a people love to eat all kinds of appetizing food. Romanian cuisine is therefore full of mouth watering recipes. You can take your pick from preparations of the everyday sort as well as delicacies, which are cooked only on special occasions. Just take a look at two preparations: traditional cheese balls and cabbage rolls.

Well, Romanians do not like wasting time when they decide on a nice meal; so let us start off without delay. The first preparation we are going to choose is the cheese ball, which finds its place in every Romanian cookbook. It takes nearly an hour to cook.

The basic ingredients for this dish are corn flour sauce and the stuffing. For the sauce, you will need 350 grams of corn flour, half a teaspoon of salt, a litre and a half of water. For the stuffing, you will need 4 eggs, 50 grams of butter, and 300 grams of cheese. The cheese should ideally be of two types, and the most suitable types are bellows cheese ("branza de burduf") and "telemea", a salty cheese.

The first step involves boiling the eggs and cooking the soft corn flour sauce. You have to use an earthen pot, a symbol of authentic Romanian cuisine, to get the original flavor. But first, you need to immerse the pot in water for about 15 minutes and butter up the inside of the pot adequately. This will ensure that the cheese balls do not stick to the pot when you cook them.

When the corn flour sauce is ready, you can pour a third of it into the pot, and put on its top the bellows cheese after you have flaked it using a fork, a little butter (about 1 teaspoon) and two halves of eggs. Then cover it with another third of corn flour sauce, and then put the salty cheese on it, together with the other two eggs and finally the last layer of corn flour sauce.

The next recipe we are going to share with you is the cabbage roll, and it is as important member of traditional Romanian cuisine as the cheese ball. It could take you half an hour to prepare the ingredients, and thrice that time to cook in an oven.

To cook the cabbage roll, you will need a kilo of minced meat, raw cabbage, which you have to scald first, 2 average sized onions, some verdure, about 200 grams of rice, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, a teaspoon of salt, half teaspoon pepper, 2 laurel leaves, and 1 hot pepper. You will also need standard sized sauerkraut, and you should soak it in water for at least two hours beforehand so that it is free of salt.

As far as the cooking implements are concerned, you will, of course, need the earthen pot, without which traditional Romanian cooking remains incomplete. You will also require particular utensils and kitchen appliances like a cooker with oven, a kitchen robot or mincer. To get the ingredients ready, mince the meat with the mincer or kitchen robot, grate the onions and chop the verdure finely. Mix the minced meat together with the rice, the onions, the verdure, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Now wrap the mixture in few cabbage leaves and cook them.

The traditional recipes from Romania we have shared with you reflect the essentially pastoral lifestyles of the shepherds and the farmers of a bygone era. An important part of their lives was enjoying a hearty traditional meal, drinking wine and brandy brewed at home and sharing a lot of laughter and merriment together.
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