~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Romanian Potato Salad(Salata de Boeuf)...

Romanian Potato Salad(Salata de Boeuf)... This is a typical Romanian dish that can be found in many Romanian homes. It may sound French, but the real history behind this salad is that it was of Russian origin, properly called Salad Olivier. It was invented in the 1860's by a well known chef, Lucien Olivier. He worked at Moscow's most celebrated restaurant, the Hermitage. You can read the whole story here... it is quite fascinating! So, I am giving the Russians credit for this salad:)!

This type of salad is very common in Romania. It is often made for special occasions and around the holidays. A traditional potato salad that is a bit tangy, but quite delicious. I have to admit that this type of salad should be done with beef, therefore the name boeuf(French). But many people have adapted this salad with ingredients that they have on hand....usually using cheaper cuts of meat. It it is often done with chicken, turkey or ham. This salad has been changed over the years and the Romanians have their own version. It can be quite time consuming, as you have to do a lot of dicing. Feel free to adjust amounts of vegetables/meat....you really can't go wrong with amounts.

If you don't like your salad to be too tangy, decrease amount of pickles... if you like more potatoes, add more potatoes... taste and adjust seasoning as you go along. But once it comes together, it is well worth it. It is often decorated elaborately ...sort of like decorating a cake. You can click here to see a few decorations....it kind of gives you a main idea. Please forgive my lack of a decent decoration. I totally forgot to reserve some boiled vegetables for the decorations...I just had some egg:). I also was not planning on posting this, but I thought some of you might try it.

This salad is normally served with some french bread and can be a meal in itself. You can also serve it as an appetizer....it is fun to make individual servings. Hope you enjoy...

Tip: I love to add some dried onion flakes to the salad when mixing all the ingredients together...I also know that it isn't traditional...but it brings in a ton of flavor.

Note:* in case you would like to make your own homemade mayo, you can click here...HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE.

You will need: this is my own version....it doesn't include boiled parsnips, which are often used.

2 chicken breasts,cooked, diced* (or use beef,turkey,ham,etc)
2 large baking potatoes, cooked,diced
1 cup carrots,boiled,diced
1 1/2 cups diced pickles
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
4-5 ex large eggs, boiled,diced
1 TBS mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups mayonnaise( you can get away with cutting down the fat by using a some plain yoghurt or sour cream)

extra ingredients for boiling chicken:
*(if you want to make a stock, use the rib-in type of chicken breast...the ones with the rib bone attached. The bones impart a ton of flavor to the stock.You can then just remove the breast meat to use in the salad. If you don't want to make any stock, just use regular chicken breast. )

1 onion
2 celery stalks
2-3 carrots
1 parsnip (optional)

To decorate:
use parsley, olives, reserved boiled vegetables, egg etc.


Important: If you would like to decorate your salad, remember to reserve some vegetables,egg,etc.

1. Boil potatoes in their skins in salted water till fork tender. You can pierce the potatoes before cooking....

2. Boil eggs till hard. Set aside.

Cook Chicken: you can skip this step if you are using leftover chicken, beef, turkey, etc....but you will need to cook the carrots, parsnip( if using) and eggs.

1. Place chicken breasts in a pot with water(sort of like making a soup). Water doesn't have to be exact but you should have plenty(maybe 6-8 cups).
2. Place about 2-3 carrots, a stalk or two of celery and 1 onion. Add some salt ( about 1 TBS kosher salt).
3. Bring to boil and then simmer till carrots are tender and chicken is cooked.
4. Remove chicken and carrots to use for the potato salad. You can reserve the stock for a soup or freeze in small containers to use later in pan sauces, etc.

Assemble Salad:

1. Dice chicken, potatoes, carrots(parsnip too, if you are using), and eggs.
2. Dice pickles and squeeze them a bit to remove some of their juice(this helps so that your salad doesn't become too watery).
3. Place frozen peas in a colander. Place under running warm water to defrost them . Drain completely and add to the rest of the diced ingredients.

4. Add mustard and pepper and 1 cup mayo. You can add the dried onion flakes, if you like.

5. Mix till combined and taste for seasoning.
6. Add more mayo to the mixture until it is tuna salad-like(for a lack of a better term) . You might need the full 2 cups. This depends on preference...use less if you don't want it too creamy or use more if you like it creamier.
7. Place in a nice serving dish and spread a thin layer of mayo...
8. Decorate with reserved vegetables(egg, carrots, peas, pickles, parsley, olives, chopped eggs...).
Since I didn't have too much time to decorate, wasn't planning on posting, and forgot to reserve some vegetables, I kept it rather simple. Actually, it wasn't much of a decoration ....but it tasted delicious!


Sailaja Damodaran said...

Very colourful.....iam thinking of making your bread cones....pl. suggest some filling.

Esty said...

HI!! It's your cousin Estera! :) I just got back from visiting Manu in Chicago with my sister Lizzy and he told us about your blog!

It's so fun to read! and finally, real recipes for Romanian food! :) hope you are doing well! :)

Ellie said...

Thanks for stopping by...I filled my bread cone with some tuna salad. But, you can easily add some chicken salad,scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, some shredded beaf with bbq sauce, meatballs and spaghetti sauce, etc. Here is a link that kind of gives you some ideas that are actually pretty cool.
Hope you enjoy it!

Ellie said...

Hi!! How are you? I was excited to see that my own cousin wrote:)
I am glad you are enjoying the blog. But, I am sure you won't need any recipes for romanian food!:) There are other recipes that are pretty neat to make...
I hope you are doing great.
Take care amd thanks for stopping by.

Jenny said...

I have a question that I am sure you will love to answer about food and baby showers!
I am throwing a baby shower...we are Romanian as well :) and would like to get some advise or suggestions about good Romanian appetizer finger food dishes we can serve at the party. We have a list going already, but we wanted to add a touch of Romanian cuisine.
Do you have any suggestions and recipes??
Magdalene Danilet

Ellie said...

Hi Magdalene,
You are too sweet to ask me for advice on Romanian food! I will do my best to give you some ideas...
Shall I make you a list:)
1.Crostini(toasted bread) with zacusa, vinete.
2.Tomato, feta, olives skewers... (similar to the ones I made using fresh mozzarella.
3. Chiftelute
4. Sarmalute in foi de vita(served with a toothpick)...this can be harder to prepare...just takes a bit longer.
5. oua umplute...with a variety of fillings,mushrooms,egg yolk,etc.
6.mamaliga(cooked spread out to about 3/4 in thickness and cooled cut in small rounds(1-2inches), using a cookie cutter and then topped with favorite topping. You could use feta cheese and a dollop of sour cream,etc.
7. Snitel
8. Stuffed mushrooms
9. Deli meats,salami with various cheeses and olives. You can also put these on small wood skewers for a bit more elegance.
10. Of course, if you can make mittitei:) with mustard,yumm.
11. Ardei copti...puree them and make a dip. or leave them in strips to go along with sliced beef. You can actually make some small finger sandwiches.
Anyway, this is just a few ideas on the top of my head.
But, there are many romanian blogs that can give you great ideas. Marcela S. (a follower on my blog) has quite a few recipes you can look at. She also FOLLOWS other Romanian bloggers that have MORE recipes.
Here is Marcelas blog http://marcela-home.blogspot.com/

Another great one is

I hope I have been of some help, please feel free to toss out any ideas you don't like:).~Ellie

P.S. I hope you have a wonderful Baby Shower Party and that everything works out for you.

Jenny said...

Thank you thank you! I will defenetly use these ideas! God bless!

Adelina said...

Lovely blog! I'm Romanian, but never got into cooking much. I have bookmarked your blog :) Thanks for sharing!!!


Ellie said...

Welcome to my blog...I hope you can find a recipe or two that you might like. Thanks for taking the time to comment...I appreciate it!~Ellie

Unknown said...

Hi Ellie... YUMMY! What an answer to prayer. Ashley and Daniela made this amazing Romanian potato salad for New Year's and I LOVED this salad so much that I went searching for an "official" recipe. So glad Susie introduced me to your site and you had this listed. I really don't like mayo so used plain yogurt instead, but still lovely. Miss you and look forward to trying more of your recipes! Love and miss you... Abby John

Ellie said...

Hi Abby!!!
So sweet of you to stop by...what a nice surprise:)!I am so glad you made the potato salad. What a great idea to use yoghurt. You know, that's what is so nice of making your own meal at home. You can make it theway you like:)Anyway, I am so glad you took the time to comment...sure miss you tons! Pray you have a wonderful day ~Ellie

caro567 said...

Hi Ellie,
Just made this salad...the husband was well and truly shocked this time. I have eaten this so many times but never actually made it. I'm embracing the Romanian cooking at last. Thanks for the inspiration and another fab recipe.

Anonymous said...

Boeuf Salad is the best, I didn't make it in a long time! I'll try it for this holiday.
Thank's. I'm happy that you post the quantities will make it easy.

Ellie said...

Anon, The quantities can easily be adjusted to preference....and feel free to use whatever meat you like. Yes, the salad is quite delicious...a part of the Romanian food we grew up with. Thanks for stopping by...

Have a Merry Christmas.

Geoffrey Young said...

This is absolutely delicious! I was married to a beautiful Bucarest woman for years and was treated to many Romanian dishes over the years. I will be making Sarmale and Kozonac today along with Yorkshire pudding and onion sauce. Mici could also creep onto the list!
Great site - thank you
Geoff Young

Ellie said...

Geoff, Looks like you are going to have yourself a Romanian Christmas:)...sounds like you are a great cook:).
The salata de beouf sure is delicious! I am glad you are enjoying the site.

Have a Merry Christmas! ~Ellie

Anonymous said...

I've made this a few times and it turns out great every time, I love your blog and how you have detailed pics for everything, it makes it so easy to make. My husband is Romanian and his sister makes this it my favorite side dish or I eat is as a meal myself.. Thank you

Ellie said...

Staci, Aww. so very sweet of you...thank you so much for your kind comment...and for just taking the time to write.

The salata de beouf is a favorite...even for my sister- in- law who isn't Romanian:). Actually, I prepared this dish for her when she and her family came for a visit some time ago....and decided to post it:)

I am glad I could be of help...through the recipes as well as the photos. I know I learn much better when I "see" the final product.

So GLAD you stopped by...Your kind comment meant a great deal...and made my day:).

Have blessed day....~Ellie

Anonymous said...

Hello Ellie! My name is Aurelia. I was looking for quite a long time for Romanian recipes that have American measurements because I never learned to cook Romanian food when I lived at home because my dad wouldn't let me in the kitchen and I am so happy I found your blog. I've tried the salata de boeuf and the supa de galusti and the kids loved it and even my husband liked them. I did the galusti with cream of wheat and they were so yummy. Thank you again. I'll have to try more recipes.

Ellie said...

Hi Aurelia, You simply made my day! Thank you so much for your kind comment...I am SO very glad that I could be of help. I totally understand when it comes to the Romanian measurements...it always detered me from trying out recipes( was given a Romanian cookbook...written in Romanian... and never used it...just because I didn't know how to "translate" it to American standards). I've slowly adapted my own style and measurements...so it means a TON to me that I could inspire others to make the dishes that I once thought unattainable.

Real glad your husband and children liked the dishes:)...And thanks again, for stopping by

Myrna Jacobs said...

I was so happy to find this. My daughter-in-law always makes delicious dishes from her youth in Romania. Today I am eating a huge bowl of boeuf salad that she brought over for EAster. Yummy!!

Ellie said...

Myrna, Oh, yes, the salata de boeuf is a Romanian favorite... for holidays and all sorts of celebrations Sometimes we have it for no special occasion:). It's delicious, for sure.
Many people make their own versions, but this is how I make mine.
I'm glad you found this recipe... in case you want to give it a try yourself. Feel free to adjust ingredients to taste. Enjoy.
Thanks for stopping by.... appreciate it.

siggy said...

Hi Ellie, my mom made this for parties when I was a kid. She used salami that she would slice herself for the meat. Here is a challenge for you. How about making a Dobos Cake. I got close and failed. My mom's recipe is gone, and my grandmother doesn't remember it. Her filling actually had some crunch. I couldn't come close.

Ellie said...

Hi Siggy, For sure this salad is made at plenty Romaninan parties:)... I'm sure your mom's idea of using salami brought a ton of flavor to the salad.

As for the Dobos torte, I've often thought of making it, along with other sweets like amandine, savarine, etc .... But I normally try not to bake too much... especially cakes, as most use quite a bit of buttercream:). In any case, it's been on my mind to add a few of these dessert recipes on the site.

For some time now, I've been limiting the amount of sugar in our diets, as much as possible anyway:). So baking has been on the back burner....

But one day, for a special occasion, I may venture out to try a Dobos. Incidentally, I've been wanting to try this recipe ever since I've seen it years ago:): http://www.pastrypal.com/2009/08/chocolate-dobos-torte-and-the-daring-bakers/

I am thinking your mom may have crushed some of the hard caramel and folded it into the buttercream.... to get that crunchy texture. Just a thought.

Anyway, maybe you will beat me to making the Dobos:)... would love to see your version.

Fritz said...

Hi, I made this today and it turned out great. I lived with my wife (who is Romanian) in Iasi for a couple of years before coming back to the U.S. I am always trying to find ways to make her feel at home and food is usually the way to go! :) This turned out perfect! Sarut mana si multumesc! :)

Ellie said...

Hi Fritz, I am so glad you tried the recipe and enjoyed it! Sweet of you to make this for your wife, I am sure she was touched:).

Glad I could be of help and bring back a few memories of Romania for you both... even if it is through food.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing your feedback... really appreciate it!

Melinda said...

Ellie, glad to have found you. My neighbor's mother used to make this every holiday and has since passed. His wife has the recipe, but what was written was vague and in Romanian. I'm bookmarking you so I can try some of your other Romanian dishes as well. She made the best cabbage rolls ever. Do you make those?
A Vegas Chef.

Ellie said...

Melinda, Welcome:)... and Happy New Year to you! I sure hope you will enjoy a recipe or two from the blog. I know every Romanian household has their own version of various dishes, but the recipes I've posted come from my upbringing. So I hope they will act as a base and from there you can adjust ingredients to taste.

I do have the Romanian cabbage rolls posted... just check the Romanian Cuisine Tab on top. Hope that helps... and thanks for stopping by!

Laviheartsjoe said...

Hi, I was wondering if canned peas are ok to use instead of frozen? Thanks again:)

Ellie said...

Laviheartsjoe, Yes, you can use canned peas if you like... it just won't have that bright green color as the frozen. I think the original Russian version included canned:)...

Hope that helps... and enjoy!

Claudia said...

This is wonderful recipe. Almost the exact same one as my mom's. U til I got married, I thought everyone made it this way. Until I had the one my mother in law makes. With ham, no potato, no mustard. And still delicious. So many variations of this! Love it!

Ellie said...

Claudia, Yes, it's true... definitely lots of variations. Interestingly I've never thought of skipping the potato, but I'm sure it would still be tasty:).

Thanks so much for stopping by...

Unknown said...

I want to thank you for this recipe. I remember making it with my "mamama" when I was little...she was so precise and picky of how the pickels were cut...thank you again...I'm making it today! :) thank you...Tina

Anonymous said...

How long do you cook the potatoes? I think I cooked them too long??? I remember making this with My Mamama...she was so very picky with the slicing and dicing...i miss her...but this brought me to a very wonderful memory! and it's better than many on the internet...thank you thank you !

Anonymous said...

where is my comment???

Ellie said...

Tina, Thank you for stopping by and sharing such beautiful memories of your "mamama". She must of loved to cook for her family as dicing the individual ingredients so perfectly would only mean she wanted the salad to be at its best:). I don't always do the best job of dicing but the salad still tastes delicious... just might not look so pretty:).

Sorry it took me so long to respond... I don't always have availability immediately... but I try to answer as quickly as possible. I am assuming all 3 comments are yours:).

And as for how long to cook the potatoes, it really depends on the size of your potatoes... There is no exact timing. But as long as your potatoes can be pierced with a fork they are good to go. I overcook my potatoes too:)... but as you say, it still is delicious.

Thank you for stopping by...and for you kind comment! I am glad you like the salad. Have a great day!

Unknown said...

Hi, Ellie, I've been following your blog for almost 9 months. And I've tried some of them. They are so cool!!! Just want to say thanks to your recipes and nice photos! Queenie

Unknown said...

Hi, Ellie, I've been following your blog for almost a year. I've tried some of your recipes and they're so cool!!! I really appreciate your very nice recipes and photos! I'm also amaze at you being such a good chef without formal training!

Unknown said...

Hi, Ellie, I've been following your blog for almost a year and tried some of the recipes such as this salad. Others are like colzonac, samale, pickles, etc. I wanna make for my boyfriend cuz he's from Romania. You're recipes are so cool!!! And I also appreciate your pictures with all the descriptions. I'm simply amazed at how you are such a good chef without formal training! Queenie

Ellie said...

Queenie, Aww... you're so sweet! Thank you for your nice comments... I really appreciate you stopping by and sharing. I'm thrilled to hear that you've enjoyed some of the Romanian recipes. So glad I could be of help:)....
Have a wonderful day!

Sharon said...

Hello! I am planning to make Romanian potato salad but with your recipe, how many people it will be serving?

Ellie said...

Sharon, Well, serving size can vary... depending on if it’s considered a “meal” in itself- or if it used as an appetizer. I say it would feed 6-8 people-give and take? It’s hard to estimate as serving size is dependent on lots of factors. You could probably feed more if there are other dishes involved😊.