Monday, April 13, 2009

Cabbage Rolls - Sarmale

This is one of the most popular Romanian traditional dishes. It’s mostly a winter dish, but we also eat it at weddings or any kind of celebration.
1 large soured cabbage, 1 3/4 lb/750 g ground meat (mixture of pork and beef is recommended), 2 large onions, 2 tablespoons rice, 2 tomatoes or 500 ml tomato sauce, salt, pepper, sweet paprika and sour cream (optional).
Grind the meat with a raw onion. Place in a bowl and mix with rice, pepper, salt, paprika, and finely chopped onion. Mix everything well. Core the cabbage with a sharp thin knife. Carefully remove the cabbage leaves, one by one, so that they do not tear. Cut larger leaves in 2 or 3 and then place a little meat in each cabbage piece and roll in. The smaller the rolls are, the tastier they are. Place a layer of rolls in the pan (take a deep one), then cover with a layer of chopped (julienned) cabbage and the bay leafs, then a layer of thinly sliced tomatoes. Do this layering until all the rolls are made. The last layer must be tomato slices and add tomato sauce. Then place in the oven so that the liquid is reduced. Serve hot with sour cream and with polenta, if you like it. It’s better to make them the day before you eat them, the flavour has to “settle down”.
It’s not the only way they can be made . When soured cabbage is not available, use cabbage leaves scalded in water

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