Hands-on Fun

As promised…our last Romanian recipe. Then we have a few special celebrations before we’re off to our new international pick. This next selection will be courtesy of Miss A which is always exciting. We just never know where she’ll take us! Mike and I usually talk about our options, so those picks aren’t really a surprise. We can bet on Mr. N going for Asia, but Miss A…she’s taken us to Brazil, Uzbekistan, Portugal and Greenland. It’s literally all over the map.

But before we get there, we have to wrap up Romania. This next recipe was inspired by Maria who keeps a food journal here, and whose parents are both Romanian. Thanks for pointing us in some great directions on our Romanian adventure Maria! Our final recipe is simple. It can be whipped up with a variety of spices, and served as either an appetizer or main dish. It’s called Mititei, or Romanian Sausage.

This recipe really couldn’t be any easier. It’s comparable to making hamburgers really. You start with some ground beef and mix it together with a variety of spices.

We used garlic, Hungarian paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme and all spice. Many recipes suggest using savory or summer savory. We went with what we had on-hand.

After the spices were mixed into the beef, we covered it and set it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day the kids were on hand for the rolling fun. Again, it’s really very easy. After separating the dough into nine portions, the kids rolled them into small sausages which were about the size of breakfast links.

To hear Miss A tell the story to her grandparents, she insists that she did all the rolling herself. Hmmm. Looks like Mr. N did a bit himself too Miss A.

They both did a great job – and I didn’t have to touch raw ground beef which is always a bonus in my book.

Once the sausages were ready, Mike threw them on the grill. It took about 7 minutes per side.

Then, that’s it. They’re done! Isn’t that easy. I like easy. Especially in the summer. We served our mititei with some avocado and tomato as a main dish. You can also skewer the mititei and serve them as an appetizer.

The sausage reminded Mike and I of the homemade sausage my mom and dad make at Christmas. It wasn’t quite the same, but had hints of similar flavors.

I wasn’t a big fan of the mititei, but truthfully beef just isn’t my thing. Every now and then I crave a good grilled hamburger, but not all that often. It was a 2 spoon dish for me. Mike gave it a 2-1/2 initially, but later changed to 3 spoons after eating it inside a pita with a couscous salad. It reminded him of shawarma.

Miss A said it was delicious and gave it 100 spoons. She ate her whole dinner that evening, but then later refused to eat the leftovers saying she didn’t like it. I think that just speaks to the fact that she doesn’t like leftovers. One and done with her. Mr. N, like me, isn’t that big of a beef eater. He even refuses to eat hamburgers. So this one wasn’t really for him. It got the lowly 1 spoon.

Honestly, I think this is a good recipe and I think that the seasonings can be customized for anyone’s tastes. It’s really just a matter of whether or not you’re a sausage and beef eater. Mike is. He liked it. Miss A is. She liked it. So there you go. Thanks for following along on our Romanian adventures these past several weeks. You’ll want to stay tuned for next week too. We have a few birthday celebrations coming up, and you know those always involve dessert!

Print this recipe: Mititei

30 comments on “Hands-on Fun

  1. EdithK says:

    As the grown-up daughter or Romanian parents, mititei were a summer staple. Didn’t like them all that much as a kid, but I now realize the major problem was they were overcooked. Your improv spices may be part of the issue. My version tends to be more traditional – like your recipe but minus the lemon juice. I also it the baking soda because I don’t like the taste, however, this makes mine a bit heavier than the ‘real’ thing. I’ve also learned from cooking shows that it’s really important not to over handle the raw meat, which makes it tougher. Finally, hot coals or grill are essential.

    I’ve enjoyed reading about your culinary adventure. Keep up the good work!

  2. Karen says:

    Nice end for your Romania adventure. It will be interesting to see where Miss A takes you next.

  3. rsmacaalay says:

    I agree that looks easy, nearly same as kofta but with different spices used. Yum!

  4. Oh boy I want to get my hands on that. Ha, couldn’t resist. Great recipe. It reminds me of kofta too.

  5. This really reminds me of kofta, the only difference is that kofta has minced onions and parsley mixed in with the meat.
    I think the kids did a brilliant job rolling them. My kids would never touch raw meat!

  6. My girls are real beef eaters and they love sausage — so I can see this recipe being a big hit with them both. This is on my list of things to make this summer Kristy. Is July starting to slow down for you? The girls’ activities have started to calm down but work is heating up. Figures!

    • Kristy says:

      Not slowing down at all. That said, we’ve found a groove that seems to be working. Of course that will all change when school starts up in a few weeks again. LOL. ;)

  7. Charles says:

    I’m surprised this got so lowly a score – what a shame… maybe it’s just a question of finding the seasonings that are right for you, but of course if you’re not a beef fan then it just ain’t ever gonna happen I suppose.

    It reminds me a bit of kofta, and I bet it was fun to eat them straight off the grill. Nice little convivial meal :)

  8. My boyfriend pretty much lives on red meat, so this is a must try for me! Kiddos look so mature working the meat!

  9. Eva Taylor says:

    I saw that Maria had posted a recipe for this dish as well and was intrigued by it. I think I would love the spices and herb flavourings. I’m not much of a ground meat eater (unless it’s freshly ground) but I am considering to purchase a kitchenaid attachment for my mixer to grind meat at home. I will hold off making this dish until then. They kind of remind me of kafta.

    • A_Boleyn says:

      Eva, even my mother didn’t have a recipe for this. She’s been buying the pre-seasoned mix from the same butcher/family for years.

      Believe me, I’ve tried to get the recipe but even freshly made cream puffs to one of the daughters (my age) hasn’t helped nor ‘chatting up’ the sons. (very sad!) I’m guessing the recipe uses a combination of beef and pork but I’m doubtful there’s any lamb in there. Though there COULD be and there is in other versions.

      • Eva Taylor says:

        Hi Maria, my Mom used to always mix the meats for burger or meatballs, usually beef and pork but never lamb (she never liked the smell of the lamb either). Adding pork to beef really lightens up the texture and add a bit of flavour too.
        My Mom had an aunt who was very possessive of her recipes…she thought if she gave them out no one would ever visit her. Little did she know it was likely true as she was a sour old woman.

  10. Deborah says:

    I’m a beef lover, so I’m betting I’d like this one. Can’t wait to see where you go next!!

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    Sorry this recipe didn’t quite make it at your house, Kristy, but it sounds like you expected that all along. Well, we can’t like everything, can we? The first time I made sausage, I was amazed at how simple a process it really is. I’ve not tried Romanian sausage but there is a butcher near here that makes it, although it is in casings. My Romanian neighbors told me about the place and they also sell, Hungarian, Greek, and Polish sausages, a veritable United Nations of Sausage!

    • Kristy says:

      Greek sausage? I hadn’t heard of that before. Polish sausage is one of my favorites though. That I have no problems eating. :)

      • ChgoJohn says:

        I’m with you about the Polish sausage. With so large a Polish population, we can get some really good sausage here. As for the Greek sausage, let me see if I can get a recipe or at least a list of spices. I know of a couple places that sell it but it will depend on who is behind the counter when I ask. I’ll let you know. :)

  12. What a lovely idea – if only I had little helpers like you.
    Have a super weekend. :-) Mandy

  13. Norma Chang says:

    How about substituting ground pork or ground turkey (dark meat) for the beef?

  14. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I might sound strange but I am not a huge fan of sausage skin (I can eat it but it’s not something I “love”), so this skinless sausage sounds great! Haha you don’t want to touch raw meat? I never actually had a second thought about that…. :D Great finale on Romania meal. Can’t wait for the next series! Have a great weekend, Kristy!

  15. I would have thought this would be a hit, since most kids like burgers and meatloaf. I think your two have developed some “worldly” sophisticated palates now:D I can’t wait to see where you travel to next!! xo

  16. Dawn says:

    Hmmm…looks very interesting – I am not a huge sausage fan, but I think your salad looks awesome. I love a good avocado and tomato salad when it is warm (that is, if it actually does get warm…). BTW, my girls LOVE sausage, so they would have loved this!!

  17. hotlyspiced says:

    Wow! You made your own sausages. That’s really impressive. I’ve never made sausages before. And the salad you’ve served them with looks very appealing. What a wonderful meal to enjoy on a summer’s day. And your daughter’s dress is gorgeous too! xx

  18. A_Boleyn says:

    I’m so glad you chose to make the famous skinless Romanian sausages mititei or mici which are one of my favourite dishes to make. Pork and lamb are included with the beef in some versions I’ve seen as well for those who aren’t big beef fans. :)

    The fresh tomato and avocado that you served them with was a great base to highlight the flavours of the meat, I think.

    As someone who’s always bought pre-seasoned meat I applaud your efforts and I’m glad there were some fans in the house. They’re best freshly barbecued or grilled of course and perfect for this time of year. I had the last 2 of the batch I barbecued a while back in a sandwich with some dijon mustard today

    http://a-boleyn.livejournal.com/98816.html#cutid1

    Looking forward to the next exciting location.

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks for your recommendations Maria! I think pork would be good in these. Might be the change up I need. The boys I’m sure would stick the beef though. And Dijon mustard sounds great for these! I wish I would have thought of that. :)

  19. my family picks at me so much because of my fear with eggs and raw chicken. meat i am okay with for some reason but I swear you would think i was in the hospital with my gloves and my soap and all the above when i handle chicken and eggs. why eggs> no idea but i don’t like them- i mean i like them in my cookies and bread,etc but dont like touching them. okay enough about me- love the sausages- so cool, so fun and so delicious

  20. I’m sure for the right person, this would be heaven on a platter :D
    You and your awesome kids did a wonderful job!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  21. Courtney says:

    You make me feel so much better about my aversion to touching raw meat, Kristy – and what a great idea to get the kids do it! And I know they loved it, too. :) Sorry this wasn’t a big hit, but I could see how it could be really tasty.

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! I’m totally squeamish about raw meat! The sausages weren’t too bad. Mike and Annie liked them. It’s just a beef thing for Nick and I. That said I did end up having my twice a year hamburger craving today. ;)

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