Pondering Sarmale (stuffed cabbage)
No, I am not your typical Romanian. I never ever made sarmale in my life! In fact my wife who is American made sarmale and they actually tasted better than in Romania! Heck, what is wrong with me?? They are known in the West as cabbage rolls or stuffed cabbage.
As a result, I decided to start a quest by making my first sarmale ever! Meaning that today I will go to our favorite grocery store Valli Produce, with a shopping list in hope of finding the right ingredients! In the mean time I will need to make a couple international long distance calls to a couple Mamas in Romania there to try to compile a recipe that’s very close to the origins.
Of course the main ingredient is impossible to find here unless you make it yourself: pickled cabbage leaves. This thing is usually sold in the piata (read: farmer’s market) there out of huge wooden barrels. A delicious stinky pickled cabbage ready to rock and roll!
But there is an ‘Americanized” trick to freeze the cabbage and then thaw it. That will wilt the leaves making it easy to roll.
The list looks like this:
– white or brown rice (still debating)
– Guanciale (yeah, right)
– Pork and/or Beef ground
Am I missing something? Please twitter me. I’ll have my cell with me. Here is your chance to give me some tips!
Wish me luck!