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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pui cu ardei si ceapa cu o garnitura de mamaliga...

Bine ati Venit la blogul "Traditzia intilneste Inspiratia"...

Oh, wait. You can't understand me? Ok. Allow me to translate. What I said was... Welcome to my new blog carnival "Tradition meets Inspiration!"

I'm so glad you are here, and I hope you will play along. Cooking has always been a tradition in both of our families, although D.T. is definitely the better cook! ;-) I remember how my Gram used to make all kinds of cookies every Christmas, how my mom used to enjoy making gourmet meals, and how D.T.'s mom could feed well... the army of family and friends who would flood her home every day!

At different times in my life, it has been very neat to observe and learn from each of these women, and I would love to pass these things on to my children. With the D.T. twist, of course! ;-) That's what this new blog carnival is all about..... Taking your traditions (culinary or otherwise) and spinning them to meet the needs, tastes, and interests of your family. Wanna join me? Let's ride!

Here are the rules:
  1. Post on your blog about a tradition you have from your parents, grandparents, or whoever, and how you have twisted it for you, your spouse and children
  2. Grab my Tradition meets Inspiration! button for your blog AND to include in your post
  3. Link up with Mr. Linky here (be sure to use the link for your post), and leave a comment if you like!
  4. Enjoy everyone's recipes (or other traditions)!

And now...

Tradition meets Inspiration!
Pui cu ardei si ceapa cu o garnitura de mamaliga
otherwise known as...
Chicken with peppers and onions and a side of mamaliga
(polenta, cornmeal, whatever you would like to call it :-))

  1. The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication.

  • Water
  • Yellow Cornmeal (I use Quaker Yellow Cornmeal or even the generic version sometimes, and it works for me)
  • Salt

Honestly, it's all about how you like the consistency. As a general rule of thumb, use approximately...
  • 7 cups of water for every 2 cups of cornmeal. If you like a softer mamaliga, use more water. If you like a firmer mamaliga, use less water.
  • For the salt, use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, although you can use more depending on what you are serving it with or none at all if you are trying to restrict your sodium intake.

The process (and herein lies the fun:-)):
  • Bring the water with salt to a boil and then reduce the heat until the water slows down to a simmer
  • Slowly add the cornmeal to the simmering water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or a whisk to keep the lumps out
  • You might want to use a pot with handles that you can pull off and on the heat, as needed. When this dish is cooking, it has a tendency to boil up just a little and sometimes it kind of "jumps out" at you.
  • The goal is to let it cook for a little while as it gets thicker, although using the Quick Cornmeal, it really doesn't take very long. A little trick that helps to keep it from boiling up is to leave the wooden spoon in the middle of it after you have whisked it all together and are leaving it to cook. This allows the steam to escape rather than to build up and explode.
  • After the mamaliga has reached the desired consistency, you can add cheese or butter or sour cream (or nothing). However you like it! Be creative! Then pour it out onto a plate or into a bowl to serve.
  • Later, after it cools off, it will get much firmer and can actually be cut in slices. In Romania, they have even been known to serve it covered with cold milk for breakfast or as a cold snack.
Now, don't be afraid of it. :-) It really is quite easy with just a teeny bit of practice. If you need some lessons, just pop over to our place. You are always welcome! :-)

in·spi·ra·tion (ĭn'spə-rā'shən)
  1. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.

Chicken with peppers and onions

**This dish was created by D.T. to go with the traditional mamaliga. I don't really remember when or how he came up with it, but the flavors go well with such a versatile side dish. We have this at least once or twice a month...

  • Chicken Breast
  • Sweet peppers - green and colored varieties
  • Sweet onions
  • Taco seasoning
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt/pepper
Can you tell, we don't measure much? Lol! We usually keep chicken breast or chicken breast tenders in our freezer, so we can just pull some out when needed. For this dish, we use 1-2 pounds (a quart-sized bag) of chicken, 4 or 5 large sweet onions, half as much sweet peppers (you can use all green, all colored, or a mixture ~ we like Wilson's® Mini Sweet Peppers which we can usually find at S@m's Club) and 2 packs of Taco Seasoning (you can use more or less, and you can even find reduced sodium varieties, if that is a concern for you).

The process:
Heat oil in a large or medium sized stock pot, depending on how much you are making. Add chicken cubed, sliced thin, or shaved (your preference) and saute until meat turns white. Add salt and pepper. Add sliced onions and peppers and cook until soft and translucent and the liquid has reduced. Add taco seasoning, mix well, and turn off the heat. DO NOT add any water. Transfer mixture into a baking dish and cover. Cook at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes to allow the flavors to intensify. Serve alongside or on top of mamaliga.

Pofta buna! (good appetite!)

Oh, and cross your fingers that Mr. Linky works. This is a first for me. :-)

Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...

***Don't forget to pray for someone today!


Jill (Sneaky Momma) said...

Oh, yum, CC! I'm off to think of something to share.... :)

CornFedMama said...

Yes, Yum indeed! it will take me waaaay longer to think of something, but i'll work on it! Thanks for the new carnival! :)

He And Me + 3 said...

Holy yummy. That chicken with peppers and onions looks fabulous. I am so going to make that!

dmelen said...

Thanks C.C. for a wonderful blog carnival. It will be so fun to see what everyone has to offer.
PS your recipe looks great. I can't wait to try it.

purejoy said...

looks like a fun carnival, but i'm gonna have to sit out this merry go round ride and watch from the sidelines. as it is i get nothing done when i'm supposed to be working!! yikes!
hope you have an awesome week!

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