Sunday, January 10, 2010


Since my last post was about the Mission Trip to Romania, this week's Forgotten Recipe Friday will be my sweet husband's favorite Romanian dish, Sarmale in foi de varza dulce, or Sarmales (in a thick Texas drawl) as he calls them.  I have not had the privilege to try these, but he adores them. 

There is not much to buy in Romania, but I love books and Sonny has provided me and the grandkids with several books on Romanian culture complete with beautiful landscape photography.  We are not sure where they took the photographs in these books, as we have never seen these beautiful areas, but they are suppose to be in Romania somewhere!  This trip I requested a Romanian cookbook since cookbooks are one of my favorite books.  He actually managed to find one so the following recipe is from "100 Romanian Recipes, A tasty souvenir from Romania!"  Now you have to love the title of this cookbook.  Below is the recipe for Sarmales.  Anyone interested in helping me make these?

The English translation: Fresh Cabbage Meat Rolls

300 gr. pork
200 gr. beef
100 gr. rice
150 gr. fat
150 gr. onions
50 gr. tomato sauce
300 gr. tomatoes
ground pepper

Use blender to mince the meat together with part of the diced onions, previously half fried.  Add the rice (soaked in hot water), pepper and salt.  Mix well and roll small meat balls into fresh cabbage leaves that have been taken apart and soaked in hot water, borsch or preserved sauerkraut juice.  For a bitter taste, add tomato slices among the meat rolls layers.

Half fry the onions in fat, add tomato sauce and water.  Stir well.  Place some of it in the sauce on the bottom of a pot and then layers of meat rolls.  The first and last layer should always be sauce.  Cover with tomato slices, pepper grains and cinnabar, then boil for 3-4 hours at low heat.  Occasionally, rattle the pot to prevent from sticking and add hot water when necessary. 

Cover the pot and cook for another while in the heated oven, at low heat, when nearly ready take the lid off to get a nice crust.  Make sure that there is always enough water. 

Serve with sour cream and corn mush. 

OK, again, I have not had these but Sonny loves them so they must be good.  I really love the way that recipe is written.  I'm not sure how much was lost in translation, but how many American cook books tell you to rattle the pot?  Julia Child would have loved it!  

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