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.
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.
When 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!!!
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.
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:
These are some awesome 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!