Hai la masa!: Mititei
This is the last post of my Moldovan masa miniseries, in which I’ve been talking about (and providing recipes for) the various types of Moldovan/Romanian cuisine we prepared last weekend for a dinner party with our friends from Peace Corps and some Moldovans.
Mititei (prounounced “mee-tee-tay”), also called mici (pronounced “meech”), are a kind of casingless Romanian sausage seasoned with thyme, garlic and baking soda. Yes, baking soda. I’d never heard of mixing meat and baking soda before, but all the recipes I found online included it. Whether it made any difference in the final product is yet to be determined.
I never actually went to a masa where they served mititei, but without some kind of meat our masa would have been a carb-lover’s free for all. I cobbled together a recipe based on the various ones that I found and what I remembered from Moldova. The mititei turned out really nicely, although they are better hot off the grill than the day after. I thought the thyme was a bit over-powering, so in the recipe below I decreased it by half.
Samira also made a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, salt and oil. This is probably not a salad that would be served at a real Moldovan masa (it’s not fancy enough), but it was something that almost all of us found at the dinner table every night during the summer. Some things you just have to do for nostalgia’s sake.
Now that you probably know way more about Moldovan food than you ever wanted to know, hopefully I’ve not bored you to tears.
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef (could use lamb instead)
8 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 c stock (if you need it to get the mititei to stick together- I didn’t need to use any)
Mix all the ingredients together and let rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Shape into sausages about 1/2 as long as a hot dog and a little bit wider. Grill over a hot fire until done. Serve hot with mustard or/and ketchup.