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The friendliest kitchen in all the land!

The Taste of Eastern Europe…

Hi folks! Hope you are having a great week. The Super Bowl is almost here and I’m getting ready for a big night on Sunday.

I’ll be preparing lots of dishes and I will be sure to share all the recipes with you. One of my recipes made it onto the official NFL blog. Hooray for that!

Today I would like to share with you a recipe from Romania. This delicious dish goes by the name sarmale and it’s basically meat rolled into cabbage leaves. This recipes originates from the former Ottoman Empire and it’s quite specific to the Middle East and Central Europe. Each country has their own variation on this recipe.

Let’s see how you can make “sarmale”!

Sarmale

What you need:

2 cabbages
500g minced meat (turkey, pork, beef, lamb)
80-90g rice
2 onions (chopped)
tomato puree
paprika
oregano
basil
parsley
salt and pepper

Instructions

First fry the onion in some oil with some paprika. When the onion is soft and almost see-through, add the rice and continue frying for about 2-4 more minutes.

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Put the onion and rice into a bowl and then add the meat and the spices. Mix really well.

Next up take the cabbage and put into a pot with boiling hot water.

You will need to be careful not to over cook it. We are not trying to boil the cabbage completely.

We want to get it to peel off and get some nice leaves that will be soft and easily stuffed.

Once the cabbage start coming off, it means they are ready for stuffing.

The next part requires a bit of finesse, but it’s not too difficult.

Take a leaf and place a bit of stuffing in the middle, not too much, because otherwise they will burst when boiled.

Below you will find some photos on how to stuff them and here’s a video that might prove helpful. Next time I will make the video myself.

This is a very important piece of advice, make sure that you tuck the edges so the meat doesn’t float away later on.

Here you have a choice, you can make them small or quite big. I recommend you try to go for a smaller size, since it’s easier to roll them up.

Check out the gallery below for some pics on how to stuff the sarma’s.

Once they’re stuffed, lay some cabbage leaves on the bottom of the hob and then put the sarmas in there. Add some water and start boiling them.

Boil for 1.5 – 2 hours, then add some tomato puree into the water and boil another 1.5 – 2 hours.

When they’re done, you can put them in a baking tray and cook them in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes. This will release the flavor some more. But it’s not necessary, and you’re probably too hungry by now to do that.

Serve with some creme fraiche or some nice yogurt. There you have it, a delicious pot of sarmale.

I know it sounds a bit complicated and long to cook, but it’s well worth the wait! This is one of my favorite dishes and people in my family, especially my Mom, make the best sarmale.

Enjoy and I hope you will give them a try! See you next time for a Super Bowl Special Post!

7 comments on “The Taste of Eastern Europe…

  1. Eva Taylor
    January 30, 2013

    Great recipe; in Hungarian it’s called Töltött káposzta. I haven’t made it in years because it stinks up the house!! But I’d love one of yours Tudor.
    Congrats on your recipe feature for NFL! Last year everyone was posting Super Bowl recipes but this year the blogs I follow aren’t doing it! We’re having my girlfriend over and her kid, we (read: the girls) like watching the American commercials!

    • tudorteodorescu88
      January 30, 2013

      Thanks, Eva. Cooking cabbage, usually requires some good ventilation otherwise the neighbors might enquire what has died in your house.

      Who doesn’t love Super Bowl commercials, unfortunately we’re stuck with Sky Sports boring people talking during commercials or ads for non-fat yogurt and mortgages. I love American commercials and did a lot papers on them in my university days.

      I’ll be posting the recipes and pics from the night next week and maybe even links to the best Super Bowl commercials once they are on Youtube.

      After this special feature, I will have another one, a Russian Feast, where me and my Russian friends will cook some traditional Russian dishes.

      I’ll have more details soon, maybe even a trailer :).

      • Eva Taylor
        January 30, 2013

        How cool, can hardly wait to see your Russian Feast. We got rid of our cable TV because we were paying in excess of $100 per month, and hardly watching TV, so now we have a digital antena which was a one time cost, and we get all the US stations (our cable provided used to resell the commercial space in Canada for Canadian ads). The US ads are much better than ours!
        Yes, I know that odor very well, once when I was a kid we went away for the weekend to come home to something dead in the house…it turned out our neighbour cooked cabbage rolls. It was really gross.

  2. Elena Veret
    February 7, 2013

    Looks delicious, absolutely love this dish! Only we call it ‘Golubtsy’.

    • tudorteodorescu88
      February 7, 2013

      Hi Elena! How are you? Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      It’s on of my favorites as well, it was the first time I’ve ever made this. It came really nice, I think.

      Remember when we had the BBQ, we have to do a Russian feast soon!

  3. merrill
    June 2, 2013

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Thank you!

    • tudorteodorescu88
      June 2, 2013

      Hi Merrill. Thank you so much for the kind words and taking the time to comment. About you starting a blog I definitely would recommend WordPress. Start with the free package that they offer. Then when you feel the time is right buy the Pro package which is 80 $ a year. So a pretty good deal.

      What kind of blog are you looking to start. Please send me the link when it’s ready. 🙂

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© Tudor Teodorescu and tudorsmenubar, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tudor Teodorescu and tudorsmenubar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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