Nebunia imparatiei apelor: chiftelutele de peste (Fish meatballs)

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(for English version scroll down the page)

Amintiri multe si amestecate.  Amintiri ale unei imparatii a apelor in care omul lor era nu imparat ci supusul cu drepturi depline. O imparatie in care vinul alb capata valente magice cu ostoiri trupesti de podisuri secetoase, batute de vinturi intrupate din adieri inspumate de apa sarata, cu miros de alge batrine impletite printre picioare.
Amintiri ale unei Delte care mi-a dat peste cap tot ce stiam despre viata solitarului in care aparenta e ceva ce nu te duce defel aproape de esenta sinelui. O aparenta atit de aparte incit esenta te cutremura cu vitalitatea si fulminantul vietii traite la limita. 
Amintiri ale unei lotci in care un batrin cinta cintece vechi ucrainiene, ginduri spuse ca si monolog la gura unei ulcele cu un demisec de Aligote, dumnezeu stie pe unde gasit si crescut, ca-i rar precum uscativul dar insoritul gust al Dobrogei strabunilor. 
Amintiri de primavara-n vara, cu udatura de Inviere tirzie si cu parfum de iarba proaspat smulsa din balta Baltilor. Caci stia Batrinul ce povesti sa-si zaca in gindurile lui pentru a le spune mai apoi, linga o tingire de cupru, plina ochi cu chifetele coapte in ulei ca o baie incinsa de razele soarelui, de nici stelele noptii nu reuseau sa puna stavila povestirilor despre vraji,  zine si feti-frumosi.
 
Multe amintiri imi dezleaga acum chiftelele astea de peste, cum multe nebuneli bucataresti imi bintuie ratiunea atunci cind imaginatia mi-e stimulata la modul cel mai creativo-frenetic cu putinta. Si pot sa multumesc Batrinului de la Balti si Batrinului din alta povestire spusa la gura altei sobe decit a oalei aci de fata. Mare nebunie fuse scrierea in sine cum, mare traire a fost ideea de la care a pornit totul.
Si-acum, sa trec frumusel si ostoit, precum lotca prin baltile Deltei, sa scriu cum se fac chiftelutele astea nebunie de bune. Si-s recunoscatoare frumosilor pescari ai apelor ca mi-au dat pe tava, la propriu si la figurat, o reteta care merge direct acolo unde ii este locul.
 
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1 kg carne peste cu oase fine (preferabil stiuca-doamna!), dezosata
2-3 cepe mici
1 ardei gras
1 ardei iute
1 cartof
Se toaca toate de doua ori. Se amesteca cu:
2-3 oua
1-2 legaturi de patrunjel tocat
2-3 legaturi de marar tocat
sare, piper dupa gust
 
Se formeaza chiftele, se rostogolesc prin faina, se aplatizeaza apoi se prajesc in baie de ulei incins. Se scot pe hirtie absorbanta. 
Pot fi servite calde, simple sau cu garnitura de orez sau…cu ce vreti domniile voastre. N-as zice ba nici unui sosulet simplu de rosii sau unui mujdei dobrogean absolut fabulos. Eu am mincat chiftelele astea cu o mincarica simplista de simpla facuta din ardei copti, rosii si ceapa scazute la foc mic pina capata consistenta unui sosulet. Sau depinde cum vi-l place.
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Vezi, de asta-mi place mie sa gatesc ‘dupa ureche’ si ma incinta la culme ideea unei bucatareli fara masuri sau alte artificii matematice! Mirosul, gustul si vazul sunt suverane. Nu cartile de bucate, nu fitele chefilor scoliti la nazurile vreunei bucatarii renumite, nu toanele vreunei cucoane care se trezeste peste noapte mare maestra intr-ale gatelilor gatite.
Acum, o sa va las pe voi sa judecati si sa va dati cu parerea. Insa, n-o sa va para rau daca faceti chiftelele, va asigur de asta.

Fish meat balls

I got lately lots of mixed memories!

Memories from a kingdom of waters when the humans were not kings but regular beings, living in harmony with all other creatures created by God. A kingdom of waters, surrounded by a dry and sandy land where the white grapes produce a magic white wine that gets its magical valances from the high winds carrying the smell of the salty sea water and the old algae knitted around fishermen’s ankles.

Memories of an old Danube Delta which messed up everything I knew about one’s lonely life, where the belonging is something that does not take you closer to your inner essence. The type of belonging so different that it shakes you with its life vitality and thundering lived to the limits.

Memories of a fisherman’s rowing boat where an old man was singing old Ukrainian songs. Memories of thoughts told as simple monologues in front of a semi-dry white wine of Aligote – God knows how it made its way to the sunny and dry yet so blessed land of the ancient Dobrogea.

Memories of Spring-Summer time, with the smell of the Eastern flowers and the scent of freshly harvested grass from the waters. The old man knew what stories to keep into his thoughts only to tell them later on, alongside a copper plate full of fish meat balls deep fried into oil like a bath lit up by the scourging Dobrogean sun. While the stories went on, it felt like not even the stars on the sky could stop the magical moments created by fairy tales with princes and princesses, with spells and curses and demons.

These fish meat balls are bringing lots of memories alive, as lots of unorthodox cooking ideas are haunting my rationality when my imagination is stimulated at the utmost creative way possible. And I can only say “thank you” to the old fisherman from the “Balti”, the old story teller, not to the pot here in front of me. It was great writing about it, it was a great feeling that generated the idea of writing!

And now, let’s slip slowly away (like the fisherman’s rowing boat through the Delta’s channels) from a story telling, to the recipe telling and show you how these “to die for” fish meat balls are made. And my gratitude goes again to those beautiful fishermen who literally gave me a recipe that goes exactly where it is supposed to go: to the top of the culinary choices.

….

Ingredients:

1 kg fish meat  (preferably pike), boneless
2-3 small onions
1 bell pepper
1 chilli
1 potato
Chop all twice. Mix with:
2-3 eggs
1-2 chopped parsley
2-3 chopped dill
salt and pepper to taste
Form meatballs, roll’em in flour, flatten and fry in hot oil bath. Remove on absorbent paper.
You can serve them hot just as they are or with rice as a side dish.

You can also make a saute out of red roasted peppers, tomatoes and onion. Make sure you stir and keep the heat low until the sauce gets a consistent thick composition. Nothing wrong with a thinner one, as you like.

A garlic sauce will go at least as well with these meat balls as the above tomatoes sauce.

 

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