Category: Cabbage

Rolling, Rolling Rolling…Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Daring Kitchen & Spice Peddler recipe)

I’ve been doing some wicked multitasking over the last few weeks – moving house has taken up just about all the time, energy, patience  and sanity I had left…which, particularly in the case of the last two was not a huge amount to begin with.

So, how to get through the move, life in general,  and a couple of cooking challenges for the month? Multitasking is how.  November’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge had us on a roll! Olga from http://www.effortnesslessly.blogspot.com/ challenged us to make stuffed cabbage rolls using her Ukrainian heritage to inspire us. Filled with meat, fish or vegetables, flexibility and creativity were the name of the game to get us rolling!

The Spice Peddlers this month sent their Big 5 Pepper Steak Rub which consists of black, green, white, pink, Szechuan and Tasmanian pepper plus cardamom, garlic salt, nutmeg and cloves.  This is a delicious blend which should by no means be limited to Pepper Steaks…although, having said that, it would be pretty great used like that.

Cabbage Rolls 2

So, the basic recipe for the cabbage rolls can be found here along with a vegetarian and a fish version which I am just itching to try!

I made some changes to the original recipe.  I’m not a huge fan of pork so I used lamb mince as my meat of choice.  I also added a teaspoon of the Big 5 Pepper Steak rub into the lamb mixture.

DSC00278When I made my rolls, I had a quite a bit of the meat mix left so I made up some meatballs and lightly fried them up before adding them to the pan with the rolls.  As I was frying them up, I also sprinkled more of the Pepper Mix into the pan so the meatballs picked up the pepper mix and got a kind of crunchy peppery coating on them.  Delish!!!

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Then into the oven with tomato sauce, another light sprinkle of the Pepper Mix and some salt to finish and a lovely hearty meal was had by all.

Perfect timing too because, whilst Melbourne’s weather cannot compare with the Ukraine, it has been an unusually cold summer and the cabbage rolls and a glass of red were the perfect accompaniment to a chilly night where we had to put the fire on!  The warming spices in the Big 5 Pepper Rub were a perfect blend for this hearty and warming dish.

Stufffed Cabbage Rolls
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This wasn’t the quickest of things to make as it has many moving parts – pre-cooking the cabbage, and the rice, making the filling and the tomato sauce, then the baking all takes time.  However, no single  part is difficult and it is delicious and was as good, if not better when re-heated for lunch the following day

Also, I used half the quantity in the given recipe and, as you can see, it made a huge amount….

Meantime, i was inspired by this recipe’s Ukrainian heritage to have a look at some of the great old posters produced in the Eastern bloc…

I think this is the one that insprisred the Franz Ferdinand cd cover:

1920’s Communist Poster
Franz Ferdinand

These are some awesome Polish movie posters:

Polish Movie Posters

And this is apparently an anti-drinking message…yep, I’ve had mornings where my head felt like that too…

Last month’s Bloody Mary was kind of a hit so I’m going to be spending the new few days thinking about how I can incorporate the Big 5 Pepper Steak Rub into a cocktail…stay tuned!

Have a great week!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Food For Lovers – The Three Course Love Feast

As a concept, Kelly Brodsky’s Food For Lovers falls on the kooky side of the spectrum.  Is this echoed in the food?

Well, sort of…

There are a number of odd recipes.  Many of which rely on inappropriate uses of pineapple:

  • Pineapple isn’t automatically an ingredient I would expect to see in a recipe entitled Braised Wine Steeped Beef. And yet, Kelly Brodsky takes it there.
  • The stuffing mix for the Veal with Cashew Nut Stuffing recipe on p65, contains bacon, cashew nuts, calves liver and pineapple.  If mixing offal and pineapple was a good idea, surely it would be pizza by now.

And if that wasn’t enough, there’s the veal scallopine sandwich:

Ok. Pineapple is the least of  the problems in that recipe which actually sounds frighteningly modern.    I”m sure something similar is being served in a fast food restaurant somewhere even as I write this.

Monosodium glutamate also features prominently in the recipe ingredients.  As does canned asparagus.

However,  Food For Lovers also contains a lot of good as well.   I  marked up over 30 that I would be prepared to make and I have made four, all of which were delicious!

So now, here is my Food For Lovers Three Course Love Feast.

Cucumber Stuffed With Cream Cheese

These were great!

2 large cucumbers, leave the skin on1 cup cream cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
10 chopped anchovies
1 tbsp chopped chives
Ground black pepper

Scoop out the centres of the cucumbers.

Combine the cream cheese, lemon juice and anchovies and stuff this mixture into the cucumbers.

Place in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Serve sliced very thin sprinkled with the chives and black pepper on crackers or buttered crusty bread.

(Brodsky suggests serving with a dab of mayonnaise, I tried both with and without mayo and preferred it without)

 Sautéed Cabbage and Bacon

          1/2 head of cabbage
          3 bacon rashers, chopped
          1 clove or garlic chopped
          Dash of lemon juice

Finely shred the cabbage and steep it for 5 minutes in boiling salted water.  Whislt this is steeping, sauté the bacon.  Add the cabbage and garlic.  Sauté Lightly.  Sprinkle with a dash of lemon juice and serve.

(Broiled) Chicken With Corn Stuffing

I always thought that broiling was what Americans call grilling.  The original recipe for this cooks it in water.  Maybe she meant boiled?  Either way, I roasted my chicken and it was super!

4 lb chicken
1 1/2 cups dry whole wheat breacrumbs
1 cup whole corn kernels
2 tbsp  butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 finely chopped green pepper (I”m not a fan of this, I used a red onion in mine)
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
Chicken Stock
I also added a clove of garlic, crushed, 1/2  a chilli and some thmye and sage leaves)

In a large pan, heat the butter and saute the celery, pepper (onion), corn, mushrooms and garlic.

Take off the heat, add the herbs and breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Moisten with chicken stock.  Cool. Then spoon into the chicken.

(I actually prefer to cook my stuffing in a separate dish).

Roast as per your preferred method.  If unsure, Jamie Oliver has a solid method.

Gingered Dutch Apple Cake

This was very yummy!

3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup sifted self raising flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup stewed apples
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sultanas
1 tbsp chopped preserved ginger

Cream butter and sugar.  Add the egg and beat well.  Then stir in the flour a few spoonfuls at a time, alternating with the milk. Pour into an 8 inch tin.

Combine the apples, cinnamon, lemon juice, brown sugar, walnuts, sultanas and ginger.  Spoon on top of the cake mixture.  Bake in a 190°C oven for around 45 minutes.

Slice and serve still warm with cream.

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