Carpathia: Food from the Heart of Romania by Irina Georgescu

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  • Cheesy polenta with sour cream and runny fried egg- a full Romanian breakfast (Mamaliga cu branza si smantana)
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Quick / easy; Breakfast / brunch; Italian; Romanian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: milk; coarse polenta; blue cheese; sour cream; fried eggs
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    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Appetizers / starters; Small plates - tapas, meze; Cooking ahead; Fall / autumn; Romanian; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: eggplants; bell peppers; onions; carrots; celeriac; tomato passata; tomato paste; bay leaves; hot paprika
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Appetizers / starters; Small plates - tapas, meze; Romanian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: canned lima beans; yogurt; white onions; sweet paprika; tomato passata
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Small plates - tapas, meze; Cooking ahead; Romanian
    • Ingredients: salt; black peppercorns; garlic; pork fatback
    • Categories: Small plates - tapas, meze; Appetizers / starters; Spring; Romanian; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: stinging nettles; garlic; coarse polenta; scallions; pumpkin seeds
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Small plates - tapas, meze; Spring; Italian; Romanian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: coarse polenta; cheddar cheese; yogurt; hard sheep cheese; cherry tomatoes
    • Categories: Salads; Sauces, general; Appetizers / starters; Small plates - tapas, meze; Cooking for 1 or 2; Spring; Romanian
    • Ingredients: sunflower oil; rapeseed oil; egg yolks; lemons; smoked mackerel; onions; pickled cucumbers; tarragon
    • Categories: Fried doughs; Sauces, general; Appetizers / starters; Small plates - tapas, meze; Romanian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: zucchini; eggs; green chiles; cherry tomatoes; garlic
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Small plates - tapas, meze; Cooking for 1 or 2; Romanian; Swiss; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: cheddar cheese; eggs; breadcrumbs
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Moldavian; Romanian
    • Ingredients: milk; coarse polenta; eggs; ricotta cheese; feta cheese; yogurt; dill
    • Categories: Pancakes, waffles & crêpes; Appetizers / starters; Small plates - tapas, meze; Cooking ahead; Romanian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: all-purpose flour; eggs; milk; onions; spinach; dill; goat cheese; yogurt; scallions; nutmeg; mozzarella cheese
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Salads; Appetizers / starters; Lunch; Small plates - tapas, meze; Romanian; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: cucumbers; red onions; tarragon; apple cider vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Salads; Appetizers / starters; Lunch; Romanian; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: white cabbage; dill; lemons
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    • Categories: Salads; Dressings & marinades; Appetizers / starters; Side dish; Small plates - tapas, meze; Summer; Picnics & outdoors; Romanian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: tomatoes; cucumbers; Boston lettuce; scallions; black olives; feta cheese; balsamic vinegar
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Salads; Appetizers / starters; Side dish; Small plates - tapas, meze; Summer; French; Romanian; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: apple cider vinegar; French green beans; yellow beans; white onions
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Romanian
    • Ingredients: all-purpose flour; yogurt; active dry yeast; eggs; cheddar cheese
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Romanian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: bread flour; mashed potatoes; active dry yeast; Savoy cabbage
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Romanian
    • Ingredients: bread flour; active dry yeast; eggs
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Romanian
    • Ingredients: coarse polenta
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Romanian
    • Ingredients: bread flour; active dry yeast; eggs; poppy seeds; sea salt
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Main course; Snacks; Romanian
    • Ingredients: sour cream; butter; all-purpose flour; onions; ground beef; mushrooms; tomato passata; sweet paprika; eggs; parsley; yogurt
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Romanian
    • Ingredients: butter; all-purpose flour; yogurt; cheddar cheese; eggs; caraway seeds; rock salt

Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Peppers-fricassee style (Piperchi)

    • Apollonia on March 24, 2021

      We enjoyed this; the cheddar was an interesting addition. Like Lepa, I served with a crusty bread, which I think it benefited from. I knew the eggs as directed wouldn't be done enough for my liking, so I did some hard scrambled on the side, which was nice.

    • Lepa on July 30, 2020

      This is delicious! We ate it with crusty bread and loved it. The sauce is similar to shakshuka but the chedder cheese mixed in gives it a lovely creaminess.

  • Breaded crepes with mushroom filling (Brasovence)

    • Apollonia on March 19, 2021

      My crepe making technique is a bit rusty, so mine were far from the perfect rolls pictured (and, indeed, some of them ended up so badly they had to be chopped into patties and mixed with leftover filling as a croquette), but these were nonetheless really delicious. My only suggestion is to use less oil when making the crepes (a tablespoon is too much), and more oil when frying them.

  • Stuffed peppers with millet and parsley pesto (Ardei umpluti)

    • Apollonia on March 21, 2021

      A simple stuffed pepper, but a tasty one. The recipe says that red peppers would be too sweet, and although I rarely cook with green peppers, I agree; green were perfect here. My peppers did take substantially longer to soften than the recipe called for, however (more like an hour than 30 mins) so keep that in mind as you meal plan. Served with the cucumber and red onion salad.

  • Cucumber and red onion salad (Salata de castraveti)

    • Apollonia on March 21, 2021

      The tarragon made this easy salad something special.

    • Lepa on August 07, 2023

      As the other poster noted, the tarragon makes this simple salad snap. It's very quick and easy and we loved it!

  • Shredded white cabbage salad (Salata de varza)

    • Apollonia on March 19, 2021

      A simple salad that was better than the sum of its parts. We served with the breaded crepes with mushroom filling, and it was a nice combo!

  • Green and yellow French beans with onion vinaigrette (Salata de fasole verde)

    • Apollonia on March 21, 2021

      A minor variation on green beans and shallots, but tasty.

  • Yogurt and cheese flatbreads or "Romanian popcorn" (Scovergi)

    • Apollonia on March 21, 2021

      Fantastic! My toddler went nuts for these (I mean, who wouldn't, cheese and bread?), and the rest of us loved them, too. I let mine rise on the countertop rather than fridge as the recipe directed, because our fridge is very cold, and I wanted at least a little rise (unfortunately, the recipe doesn't say what level of rise you are after). I think that was the right call. I also used a mix of yogurt and sour cream, because I had some of the latter that needed using, and it worked perfectly.

  • Caraway sauerkraut ciorba with potatoes (Ciorba de varza acra)

    • Apollonia on March 21, 2021

      This soup was delicious, and more substantial than it might seem at first glance. I added the additional vinegar, which was good. Next time, I'll try with smoked paprika. Served with the scovergi and green beans with onion vinaigrette.

    • Lepa on February 09, 2023

      This was pretty good. I sauteed some pancetta and took it out to use as a garnish. I used the fat to fry the potatoes and onions. I wanted the potatoes to break down and make the soup a bit creamier. If I made this again I might use larger potatoes. I used chicken broth instead of vegetable. Overall this was a tasty soup, excellent with some fresh bread.

    • jenburkholder on April 16, 2021

      Tasty and simple. I added some cauliflower and that was a nice addition.

    • snackbaby on July 09, 2023

      this was an absolute revelation for me, and I've since become obsessed with tangy soups using fermented products (the gherkin stew in this book is similarly great). this soup is really easy and quick to make, with very simple ingredients. I use a mix of regular paprika, smoked paprika, and spicy paprika.

  • Apricot yogurt cake (Prajitura cu caise)

    • Apollonia on June 17, 2021

      Loved this! Sweet, simple, delicious. My apricots were only so so, and they baked up beautifully in this cake. I'll add a few more apricots next time.

    • Vanessa on July 09, 2020

      I had to make this after seeing the photo! Delicious cake, slightly unusual method, but definitely use at least 6 or 8 apricots. The cake puffs beautifully around them.

    • Astrid5555 on June 07, 2021

      Very similar to the standard Austrian apricot cake, just a different method and made with yogurt and oil instead of butter. Perfect for when you have just missed the very short window for eating the fresh fruit fresh on their own. Quick and very easy to make!

    • lkgrover on June 23, 2022

      Lovely, easy cake with fresh apricots. I made in a 9x9 inch pan; used 8 apricots and baked for 40 minutes.

    • Lepa on July 17, 2020

      This cake is simple and good. When I sent a picture to my Romanian friend he told me to use twice as many apricots next time and I think that was probably sound advice.

    • jenburkholder on June 19, 2023


    • snackbaby on July 09, 2023

      very tasty, simple cake when you have fruit to use up. I use only 100 g sugar and it is still plenty sweet for me.

  • Mini crescent rolls with jam (Cornulete cu gem)

    • Apollonia on July 30, 2021

      Tasty cookies, but the instructions were off for me. I rolled my dough to a 1/4 inch thick, 12 in circle, and the resulting cookies were far larger and thicker than pictured. I rolled the scraps into a thinner, 8 inch circle, and those came out more like I would expect. Otherwise, a nice, not too-sweet tea treat.

  • Pumpkin creme caramel with walnuts and raisins (Crema caramel de dovleac cu nuca si stafide)

    • Apollonia on March 27, 2021

      Absolutely loved these. I used 200g of canned pumpkin puree, and they came out lovely, with a nice clear pumpkin note without the cover of the traditional pie spices. The infused raisins were a wonderful touch. I also used orange liqueur instead of rum in the custard because that's what I had. Mine took probably 15 minutes longer than called for, but texture was perfect.

  • Caramelized apple cake (Tort de mere)

    • TrishaCP on November 09, 2020

      I wanted to try this cake because the method was intriguing to me (bake whole apples cored and filled with jam, in a cake?). The flavor is excellent, but it turns out having whole baked apples in a cake isn’t my thing. It made it hard to cut and portion. (And you really need to make sure your apples are the same size. I had one that was slightly too big and it was under baked.) Also, it is really hard to get your cake out of the pan cleanly using the recipe instructions. I used a 9 inch springform because none of my bakeware is good to go on the stove. I greased it very well (there were no instructions to grease the tin), but it still stuck. (Both the caramel bottom layer and the sides.) At a minimum you need parchment paper on the bottom, but probably along the sides too.

  • Potato moussaka (Musaca de cartofi)

    • Astrid5555 on October 17, 2021

      I had high hopes for this recipe, but some of my potatoes were definitely undercooked by just blanching them for only 5 minutes. Next time I would cook them through before layering them in the pan. However, based on the other reviews, I seasoned the cheese sauce, and the potato cooking water as well, definitely enough salt that way.

    • meggan on January 26, 2021

      I took jenburkholder suggestion to salt the water and it is true that the recipe could use even more salt but it is very kid friendly - my 6 year old layered it with me and pretty simple and good.

    • meginyeg on May 26, 2021

      I should have checked others notes. It was good but definitely needed more salt. I enjoyed it better the next day as leftovers.

    • jenburkholder on January 25, 2021

      Very good. She doesn't explicitly say so, but make sure the potato-boiling water is well-salted - key to having this dish taste seasoned throughout, especially with the rather unsalty topping. Needs something sharp alongside. I did a quick salad of Romaine, with a dressing of sour cream, white vinegar, dill, and garlic. Hit the spot on a cold night, and I anticipate the leftovers eagerly.

  • Cheesy polenta with sour cream and runny fried egg- a full Romanian breakfast (Mamaliga cu branza si smantana)

    • lkgrover on October 22, 2020

      Good breakfast, with ingredients I usually have in the refrigerator. The polenta is creamy, and the sour cream adds a little tang.

  • Romanian garlic sauce (Mujdei cu rosii)

    • Lepa on July 10, 2020

      This sauce is spicy, unusual and delicious. I served it with the fried anchovies in this book but we ended up eating the rest with hunks of nice bread.

  • Moldovan polenta cakes with cheese and dill (Alivenci)

    • Lepa on July 30, 2020

      This is pretty good but not great. We ate it, as suggested, with sour cream and it was a good combination. It needed a bit of salt to finish it. The recipe made twice as much as my family of four could eat so I'd suggest making a smaller portion unless you are cooking for a crowd.

  • Polenta-coated anchovies with Romanian garlic sauce (Hamsii pané cu mujdei)

    • Lepa on July 10, 2020

      I saw fresh anchovies at the market and decided to make these. They were easy to make and delicious sprinkled with salt and dipped in the spicy garlic sauce!

  • Oven-baked pearl barley pilaf with chicken and mushrooms (Pilaf cu pui si ciuperci)

    • mjes on August 24, 2021

      The use of celeraic in the barley pilaf adds another uncommon touch to this very well-balanced dish. This is a case where you want to include the neck, back, wing tips, etc. as they add to the flavor of the dish even if you don't want to count them as a serving. This is a winner for family dinners.

  • Goat cheese and spinach crepe cake (Tort de clatite cu spanac)

    • jungliemonkey on October 28, 2020

      This recipe was such a hit the first time I made it that my partner requested it for her birthday 'cake' this year! I used a springform tin to stack the cake in, which worked well. Benefits from liberal extra amounts of mozzarella sprinkled in (but then, what doesn't?).

  • Oven-baked cheese polenta balls served with yogurt and roasted tomatoes (Bulz)

    • jenburkholder on August 17, 2020

      Very good. The polenta cooled more quickly than she said, and with cooling came drying out, so I’d say not much more than five minutes until rolling. Needs the cherry tomatoes and yogurt alongside, otherwise it’s too rich. Will make again.

  • Beet and horseradish salad (Salata de sfecla cu hrean)

    • jenburkholder on December 30, 2022

      Tasty, simple salad. Made for Christmas. Subbed dill for the fennel.

  • Romanian lima bean dip with sweet caramelized onions (Fasole batuta)

    • snackbaby on July 09, 2023

      lovely, topping is great. it is quite a heavy dip, though, and makes quite a lot.

  • Little breads with poppy seeds and salt (Covrigi)

    • snackbaby on July 09, 2023

      tasty, easy and fun to make. they are a little on the dry side, I think, next time I might try adding just a bit more water.

  • Pickled cucumber ragout (Mancare de castraveti acri)

    • snackbaby on July 09, 2023

      seems perhaps strange at first sight, but I demolished this. served it with creamy polenta, which I would recommend, as it serves as a beautiful contrast with the stew.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    There are cookbooks that weave their magic so beautifully around our hearts that we are forever changed. Carpathia is such a book.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1623719542
  • ISBN 13 9781623719548
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Apr 01 2020
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 224
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Interlink Books

Publishers Text

Romania is a true cultural melting pot, rooted in Greek and Turkish traditions in the south, Hungarian and Saxon in the north and Slavic in the east and west.

Carapathia, the first book from food stylist and cooking enthusiast Irina Georgescu, aims to introduce readers to Romania's bold, inventive and delicious cuisine. Bringing the country to life with stunning photography and recipes, it will take the reader on a culinary journey to the very heart of the Balkans, exploring it's history and landscape through it's traditions and food.

From fragrant pilafs, sour borsch and hearty stews, to intricate and moreish desserts, this book celebrates the dishes from a culture living at the crossroads of eastern and western traditions.

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