Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Galumpkis)

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Galumpkis)

Stuffed Cabbage

While stuffed cabbage rolls are common to the cuisines of the Balkans, Central, Northern, Eastern Europe, Iran, West Asia and Northern China, when I think of this comfy dish, I think of Eastern Europe.

Galumpkis, as stuffed cabbage is known in Eastern Europe, are typically meat-filled steam cabbage leaves bakes in tomato sauce. As is common, I add cooked white rice to my meat mixture, which consists of pork, veal and beef. The rolls steam under a foil-wrapped baking dish and then I remove the foil to let the tops crisp up a bit.

Note that you’ll have leftovers of the meat mixture. I roll the meat up in meatballs and cook in tomato sauce for 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. each dried basil, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

For the cabbage rolls:

  • 12 cabbage leaves, boiled in salted water for 5 minutes
  • 2 pounds of ground meats – pork, veal, beef (known as meatloaf mix)
  • 1 cup cooked white rice ( I use boil-in bags)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp. each salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried basil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together tomato sauce, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Add ½ cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 oven-proof pan. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, combine the meats, rice, egg, milk, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and basil. Place about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf and roll up (like a burrito). Place the rolls, seam side down in the prepared pan. Cover the cabbage rolls with the rest of the tomato sauce, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes. Remove the foil and cook an additional 15 minutes, until the tops of the rolls are a little crisp.

Makes 12 cabbage rolls, 4-6 healthy servings.

Mini Meatball Tomato Basil Soup

Mini Meatball Tomato Basil Soup

My guy’s been asking me to make his childhood favorite – tomato soup with mini meatballs, for a while now. I just didn’t get it…what could be better than rich tomato soup on its own, or perhaps served with a melty grilled cheese? Mini meatballs and tomato soup is actually better, that’s the answer.

Last weekend, I finally agreed to try to replicate this soup from my hubby’s childhood in The Netherlands and he loved it! I used my tomato basil soup as the base and just made tiny, the size of large marbles, meatballs that simmered in the rich soup.

To make things really easy, I used my stick blender to pure the soup but you could follow the recipe and use a standard blender also – up to you how much clean up you’re looking to do!

Ingredients:

  • Recipe for Tomato Basil Soup
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. each, salt, black pepper and dry basil

Mini Meatballs

Directions:

  1. Make the soup according to the linked recipe. Once the soup is cooked and has been pureed, turn the heat to low and keep warm.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients and stir to fully combine, making sure to not over mix. I use my hands for this. For meatballs the size of a large marble. Add the mini meatballs to the simmering soup and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

Vermont Cheddar Cheese Soup

Vermont Cheddar Cheese Soup

Rich, comforting, decadent…just some words to describe this cheesy soup. To take this soup from starter to entree, I sometimes serve it with a bacon grilled cheese…can there ever be too much cheese?

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half (or light cream)
  • 2 1/2 cups white Vermont cheddar cheese, grated (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash Tabasco
  • 1/4 cup parsley

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, celery and garlic and sauté 5 minutes.
  3. Mix in flour, paprika, and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
  4. Gradually stir in broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. 
  5. Using a stick blender or standard blender, purée the soup until completely smooth.
  6. Add half and half to soup and bring to a simmer over medium heat. 
  7. Add cheese 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until cheese melts after each additions. 
  8. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and parsley. 
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yields 6 Servings.

Easy Apple Butter

Easy Apple Butter

It’s fall and since I love to go apple picking at our local orchard, I’m always looking for recipes that involve apples. My main issue with apple recipes – I don’t like cinnamon! With this simple apple butter recipe, one could use or leave out the cinnamon – brilliant!

This recipe yields about 4 8-ounce canning jars and they can be kept refrigerated for a month. They make great hostess gifts!!  

I replace regular butter with this fab concoction on my toasts in the morning – it’s incredible.

Ingredients:

  • 12 apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite-size chunks (I always use my old favs – McIntosh)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon, optional
  • ½ cup softened butter

Directions:

  1. Add the apple chunks and the brown sugar to a heavy pan over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes partially covered, stirring occasionally. If the apple mixture gets dry, add ¼ cup water. Some apples are juicier than others are. After the 15 minutes have elapsed, add the vanilla and the cinnamon (if using).
  2. Add the cooked apples to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and continue to mix until fully incorporated and creamy, another minute.
  3. Add the apple butter to 8-ounce canning jars and keep refrigerated up to a month.
Coconut Milk Roasted Chicken

Coconut Milk Roasted Chicken

I had a couple of whole chickens in the freezer that I wanted to cook now that fall is here and I need the space in the freezer for bags of foods from my summer crops.

This recipe follows in my goal to make tasty dishes even when “there’s nothing to eat in this house” so I opened the pantry and gathered leftover produce and made a roasted chicken with tons of Thai/Indian flavors that was a huge hit at my home.

I know roast chicken and white rice isn’t the easiest to photograph BUT, this was definitely a tasty dish that took about 20 minutes to prepare (plus roasting time).

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 pound whole chicken, washed under cool water and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 tsp. each salt and black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garam masala (use curry powder if you don’t have)
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 13-ounce can coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or 14.5-ounce can)
  • Slurry – 1 Tbsp. cornstarch whisked with ¼ cup water
  • Squeeze of lime juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Rub the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine garlic, lemongrass, ginger, thyme and olive oil to create a paste.
  4. Rub half the garlic mixture on the chicken, reserving the other half. You can use the chicken right away or store it for a day, wrapped in the fridge.
  5. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, allow the vegetable oil to warm for a minute. Add the chicken, breast-side down and brown for about 5 minutes then turn and brown the other side of the chicken for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven to a platter.
  7. To the hot Dutch oven, add the second half of the garlic mixture, the paprika, the garam masala and the cayenne pepper and cook for a minute until fragrant.
  8. Add the diced onion to the spices and cook until softened, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  9. Add the coconut milk and the broth to the onion mixture and stir.
  10. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours, until very tender, basting the chicken with the broth periodically.
  11. Remove the chicken from the pot to a serving dish and place the Dutch oven on the stove over high heat. When the broth is simmering, add the corn starch slurry and whisk for 2 minutes until the sauce has thicken.
  12. Carve the chicken and serve with Easy Basmati Rice and the sauce. I love adding a squeeze of lime juice to this dish, but it’s optional.

Serves 6.

 

Inspired by this recipe.

Salmon with Maple Glaze

Salmon with Maple Glaze

I’m Canadian – you know I have to put maple syrup on things! This is a VERY simple and delicious recipe for salmon, which can be a boring fish. Serve this with green beans or asparagus and you’re in business on busy weeknights.

Don’t have a grill? Live in the frozen tundra and don’t want to go outside? Sear the salmon skin side down in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat then finish in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 salmon fillets, 6 ounces each

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the brown sugar, maple syrup and butter. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger.  Let cool.
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat.  Brush salmon skin with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place the salmon skin side down on the grill. Brush some of the glaze over the salmon fillets.  Grill for 10 to 12 minutes to medium doneness, with the lid of the grill closed.

Serves 2.

Easy Apple Crumble

Easy Apple Crumble

Last week, I visited family in Quebec where it’s apple season. While I love a crisp apple picked right off the tree in our orchard, I’m not typically a fan of apple desserts. It’s really not the apple part I don’t like in those desserts, it’s the cinnamon that seems to always be prominent. I do NOT like cinnamon! I know, I’m weird. Come to find out my sister is also weird and doesn’t like cinnamon either, so when she made an apple crumble for dessert one night, she just left out the cinnamon – delish dessert!!

This easy dessert is best served with vanilla ice cream and warm.

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium apples, peeled and thinly-sliced (used Cortlands)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup quick cooking oats

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter (or coat with cooking spray) a 3-cup baking dish or an 8” pie plate.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice and the water. Place in the baking dish.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter for a minute. Add the brown sugar and beat for another minute. Add the flour and oats and beat until just combined. Cover the apples with the flour/oats mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, until top of the crumble is browned and slightly caramelized around the edge.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Yields 6 servings.

Cremini Mushroom Freekeh

Cremini Mushroom Freekeh

I try to stay faithful to Meatless Mondays and that’s a bit easier when I can incorporate “meaty” mushrooms to my recipes. This is one of my “not really a recipe” recipe that takes very little effort to make and is pretty darn tasty.

I use freekeh from Freekehlicious, the leading importer of Greenwheat Freekeh, a product of Australia and toss it with some slowly sautéed Cremini mushrooms. Yes, you could totally make this with regular button mushrooms, but I like the beefiness of Cremini. I’ve also topped this dish with some grated Parmesan and it was delish.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups vegetable broth (could use water or chicken or beef broth)
  • ½ cup freekeh
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1½ pounds small Cremini mushrooms (or large ones cut in half)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the freekeh, stir, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes (or follow package directions). Turn the heat off, keep the lid on and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Warm the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 10 minutes, tossing frequently, until the mushrooms are browned and softened. Add the garlic to the mushrooms and cook for a minute. Add the Worcestershire sauce, the soy sauce, the sage and the salt & pepper and cook for another minute, tossing the mushrooms in the “sauce” to coat.
  3. Add the cooked freekeh to the mushrooms and toss to combine.
  4. If using, top the freekeh/mushroom mixture with the parmesan.

Yields two servings.

Pulled Pork on a Weber Kettle Grill

Pulled Pork on a Weber Kettle Grill

I’ve been smoking pork shoulder/butt for a few years on the Weber kettle grill since I don’t have a smoker (yet). The pork is always super moist, flavorful and delicious, but a couple weeks ago, I decided to try the method by “MNLang” he posted on Instructables – wow, amazing!!

Smoked Butt

I followed the instructions very closely and I must admit, it was some of the best pulled pork I’ve had, and god knows I get around a pork butt.

Here are his instructions: http://www.instructables.com/id/Pulled-pork-on-a-Weber-kettle-grill/

Once I had my cooked/smoked pork, I made several dishes with it, including fabulous pulled pork sandwiches lightly dressed with my World’s Best BBQ Sauce. I also made some pulled pork quesadillas with grilled onions, sharp Cheddar and Jack cheeses, cilantro and salsa verde.

I hope you try this technique if you have a kettle grill. It’s definitely not a “set it and forget it” method, but it produces some of the best smoked pork you’ll be able to make without a smoker.

Cheers,

Veronique

Easy 3 Ingredient Cheesecake Berry Salad

Easy 3 Ingredient Cheesecake Berry Salad

My mom shared this super easy-yet-delicious recipe with me last week and, I agree, it’s a winner. It uses three ingredients, takes mere moments to make and is a great way to use fresh berries when in season. Alternatively, I’ve also tried making this recipe with thawed frozen whole berries and it was great. If using thawed, frozen berries, just be sure to rinse them and dry them using paper towels.

Ingredients:

8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened

½ cup vanilla coffee creamer, I opted for Califia Farms Almond Milk Vanilla Creamer

2 cups berries, any combination works

Directions:

  1. Add the softened cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the creamer and beat for another minute until fully incorporated.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, gently incorporate the berries to the cream cheese mixture. Place in glass serving cups. I like to use small mason jars.

Makes six servings.