Monday, May 25, 2020

Spiced Blueberry Tart + Blue Jasmine Tea Ice Cream #TheJaneAustenSocietyParty #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of author Natalie Jenner and publisher St. Martin's Press.
I received a complimentary book for the purpose of review, but all opinions are honest and they are my own.
No additional compensation for this post was provided; this page may contain affiliate links.

Today I am excited to be taking part in a virtual book release party for The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner* hosted by The Book Club Cookbook. You can see the blog party information:  here. You may also search for the hashtag #TheJaneAustenSocietyParty on social media to find the posts. But to make it easy, I'm also linking to my fellow bloggers' direct posts. Please take a look...

The Jane Austen Society Party Bloggers 
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Lemon Ice Box Cake
All Roads Lead to the Kitchen: Lemon Glazed Cake
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Spiced Blueberry Tart + Blue Jasmine Tea Ice Cream
 The Book Club Cookbook: Natalie Jenner's Victoria Sandwich Cake

On the Page

The Jane Austen Society tells the story of a group of unlikely cohorts - including a widowed village doctor, a school teacher, a reclusive spinster, and a Hollywood starlet - who band together to preserve the legacy of author Jane Austen. They aim to create a museum in her honor by saving the books and relics from the family estate. The novel's premise is that despite their differing backgrounds and disparate life situations, what they share in a love of books, particularly Austen's books, bridges the gaps and unifies the characters.

The relationships are intertwined as lives in a small village would be; we see their poignant struggles with life, death, grief, unrequited love, rejection, acceptance, and fear. And this new mission of theirs offers them the stage for healing and reconciliation.

That being said, I felt Jenner does a fine job of depicting the characters and their conflicts, but she seems to rush through the resolutions. However her research and love of Austen are evident and her deliberate imitation of Austen's writing style is admirable. Still I will say that while I enjoyed the book, I didn't love it.

On the Plate

While there were some mentions of food and drinks throughout the novel, I was inspired by Frances' meeting with Jack Leonard and Mimi Harrison. "Frances made her way down the hanging oak staircase.... Afternoon tea had been set out on the sideboard near the row of large mullioned windows, with two different types of cake on display: coffee and walnut, and Victoria sponge filled with preserves made from strawberries from the walled garden and honey from the estate's own apiary" (pg. 159).


I decided to make a treat worthy of an elegant tea tray and settled on a spiced blueberry tart. And in honor of British tea time, I served it ร  la mode with one of my favorite ice creams of the moment: Blue Jasmine Tea by a localish-to-me company called Tin Pot.


Ingredients makes one 9" tart
Crust
  • 100 g organic granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 80 g oil (I used canola oil)
  • zest of 1 organic lemon, approximately 1 t
  • 280 g flour (I used all-purpose flour)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t lemon extract
  • Also needed: 9" tart pan with removable bottom, parchment paper, rolling pin


Filling
  • 3 C organic blueberries, divided
  • 1/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 t spice blend*

*I used the "We're Not Gonna Bake It" Apple Pie Spice from the Book Club Cookbook collection. You can read a little bit more about their spices in this post: Buggies and Red Wine Cocoa-Mo Brownies. If you don't have that spice, use a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom in whatever proportions you prefer!



Procedure
Crust
In the bowl of a food processor, place all of the ingredients for the crust. Pulse a few times until the mixture comes together. You should have pea-sized crumbles. Turn the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined work surface. Knead until you have an elastic dough that doesn't stick to your hands.

Roll the dough ball into a circle and transfer it to the tart pan. Prick the bottom with a fork. Place the crust into the freezer to chill while the oven reaches temperature. Preheat oven to 350° F.

Filling
Place 2 C blueberries in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the berries. You don't want a puree; you just want the berries split open a bit. Turn the berries out into a mixing bowl.

Stir in the sugar, flour, and spice blend. Stir until well combined, then spoon the filling into the frozen tart crust.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 C of blueberries over the top and press them gently into the filling. Place tart into the preheated oven and bake for one hour. The crust should be golden brown and the filling bubbling.


Let cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the tart pan. Slice warm and serve with ice cream on the side.

Many Thanks...

To the Publisher, St. Martin's Press, on Twitter
To the Author, Natalie Jenner, on Instagram, on Twitter
To the Book Club Cookbook on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on Pinterest

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

I have also added this to #FoodieReads.
Click to see what everyone else read in May 2020: here.

Oh, Deer! Teriyaki Sauce-Swabbed Venison Burgers with Grilled Pineapple and Sesame Onions #BurgerMonth #GirlCarnivore

This epic burger is part of a fan-frickin-tastic month long event 
hosted by Girl Carnivore, but opinions are always my own!

May is Burger Month. So says our fearless leader, Kita at Girl Carnivore. For the past several years, I've taken part in this burger-palooza that she calls #BurgerMonth. Every year she invites food bloggers to get wild and crazy with the burger creations. Done!

Did I mention the giveaway? Kita wrangled some great companies to bring you a serious grilling package! Go her event page to enter...or scroll all the way to the bottom of this post.


In 2014, I shared a Bulgogi-Spiced Burger with Homemade Kimchi. In 2015, I found inspiration in the sea and made a hand-chopped salmon burger with cuttlefish buns. 2016 had me going for an Indian-inspired burger: Kheema Aloo Burger with Fresh Mango Chutney. And in 2017 I served up a Chile Relleno-Topped Chorizo Burger. I posted a double-header in 2018, sharing both California Kurobuta Pork Burgers and Sticky Hoisin Duck Burgers.


But, I apparently skipped 2019's event. So, I'm making up for that by posting two burgers this year. Earlier in May I shared Ahi Burgers Topped with Artichoke Pesto + a Sparkling Rosรฉ.


And today I'm sharing the burgers that I made for my own Mothers' Day dinner: Oh, Deer! Teriyaki Sauce-Swabbed Venison Burgers with Grilled Pineapple and Sesame Onions. Did I mention that I made homemade sourdough buns to go with that?! Oh, my goodness...so tasty! I served the burgers with oven-roasted sweet potato fries (similar to these oven-roasted wedges)...and we delivered the same to my mom since we couldn't have her over for socially-undistanced Mothers' Day.

The Buns

If you follow my blog regularly, you'll k now that this shelter-in-place ordeal has finally gotten me over my fear of baking sourdough. So, I used some of the starter to make homemade seeded sourdough buns for this burger creation.


Ingredients makes 8 buns
  • 1 C sourdough starter
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 3-1/2 C all-purpose flour + more for dusting the workspace and the baking sheet
  • 1 T organic granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 t salt
  • 1-1/2 t active dry yeast (I am going to try to omit this next time or use more starter with less milk - stay tuned!)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • oil for greasing the bowl
  • heavy cream for brushing
  • seeds for sprinkling (I used black sesame seeds mixed with a pinch of salt)


Procedure
Place the sourdough starter and milk in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and salt, then sprinkle the dry active yeast over the top. Let stand for a few minutes before adding in the egg. Fold in the flour with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Then knead until smooth, approximately 5 minutes.

Form into a ball and drizzle with oil. Turn to coat before covering the bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Let rise for 90 minutes.

After about 90 minutes the dough should be nearly doubled its original size. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold over itself four times with a 90-degree between each fold. Divide the dough ball into eight equal pieces.

Okay, I need to work on the "equal" pieces part. Most were the same size; but I did have one that was significantly larger and one that was significantly smaller than all the others. Whoops!

Form the buns into a ball, then fold the dough under while pinching the bottom together. You will get a smooth tight surface. Place the buns on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover them lightly with a towel and let them rise for another 60 to 90 minutes. They should be nicely puffed.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F during this last rise. Brush the tops of the buns with a little bit of cream and sprinkle with seeds.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the buns are firm to the touch and a beautiful golden brown. Let cool completely before storing.

The Burgers

You can make these with any kind of ground meat, really. I just happened to have venison in my freezer and knew that they would make a tasty burger!

Burgers
  • 12 ounces ground venison
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 2 T minced shallots
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, approximately 1 T
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 T teriyaki sauce (recipe below)

Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 1 T organic light brown sugar
  • 1 T molasses or more to taste
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, approximately 1 T


Teriyaki Sauce
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth. Simmer until desired thickness. Set aside.

Burger
Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined. Form the meat into 4 equal size patties, these were about 6 ounces each. Place on a parchment-lined plate and set aside until ready to cook. Just before cooking, swab one side with teriyaki sauce and place that side don on the grill. Before flipping, swab the burger again so that the newly swabbed side is face down.

Cook, as desired, on a grill or on the stove with  grill pan.

The Toppings

You can top these with whatever you want. I ended up melting a mild cheddar on the burgers, then topping with grilled pineapple slices and sesame onions.

Sesame Onions
1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced (I used a red onion)
1 T butter
1 t olive oil
1 T sesame oil

Melt butter in olive oil over low heat. Stir in onions. Cook over low heat until the onions are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Stir in the sesame oil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes longer. Set aside until ready to serve.


And that's a wrap on my 2020 burger offerings for #BurgerMonth with Girl Carnivore. Enjoy...and be sure to check out all the other bloggers' burgers for grilling inspiration all season long!


All the Bloggers
Please visit their blogs and search for #BurgerMonth

๐Ÿ” Girl Carnivore ๐Ÿ” A Kitchen Hoor's Adventure’s ๐Ÿ”A Day in the Life on the Farm ๐Ÿ” A Merry Recipe ๐Ÿ” An Affair from the Heart ๐Ÿ”Art of Natural Living ๐Ÿ” Caroline's Cooking ๐Ÿ”Chef Justin Grimm ๐Ÿ”Chiles and Smoke ๐Ÿ” City Living Boston ๐Ÿ”Comfortably Domestic ๐Ÿ”Culinary Adventures with Camilla ๐Ÿ”Daily Dish Recipes ๐Ÿ” Everyday Eileen ๐Ÿ” For the Love of Food ๐Ÿ”Grillax: Fire. Food. Fun. ๐Ÿ” Grilling Montana ๐Ÿ” Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks ๐Ÿ” Jolene's Recipe Journal ๐Ÿ” Karen's Kitchen Stories ๐Ÿ” Kate's Recipe Box ๐Ÿ”Kudos Kitchen by Renee ๐Ÿ”Life Currents ๐Ÿ” Life of a Ginger ๐Ÿ”Making Miracles ๐Ÿ”Man Meat BBQ ๐Ÿ” Miss in the Kitchen ๐Ÿ”Off the Eaten Path ๐Ÿ”Our Good Life ๐Ÿ” Palatable Pastime ๐Ÿ” Pastry Chef Online ๐Ÿ” Real Life With Dad ๐Ÿ”Renee Nicole's Kitchen - Everyday Gourmet ๐Ÿ” Sarah's Cucina Bella ๐Ÿ”Savoring Midlife ๐Ÿ” Simple and Savory ๐Ÿ” Spoonabilities ๐Ÿ” Sumptuous Spoonfuls ๐Ÿ” Swirls of Flavor ๐Ÿ” The Redhead Baker ๐Ÿ” The Spiffy Cookie ๐Ÿ”This is How I Cook ๐Ÿ” Thyme for Cocktails ๐Ÿ”What's Cooking Italian Style Cuisine ๐Ÿ” Wildflour's Cottage Kitchen ๐Ÿ”Wile E. BBQ ๐Ÿ” Wok & Skillet ๐Ÿ”

The Giveaway
Disclaimer: Thank you to #BurgerMonth Sponsors: CabotAnvil & HammerNew York Beef CouncilRed Duck Foods, and Spoonabilities for providing prizes for this epic event. All opinions are my own. The #BurgerMonth giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All winning entries are verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness.

The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. One winner for each weekly giveaway will be selected. The prize packages are sent directly from the sponsors. Winners have 48 hours to respond or they forfeit the prize and another winner(s) will be chosen.

The #BurgerMonth Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #BurgerMonth posts or entry.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Strawberry Fromage Blanc Muffins #MuffinMonday



In February I saw a post from one of my favorite bloggers - Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm - and I realized that they've been having a muffin party for years without me. LOL. I emailed the host, Stacy of Food Lust People Love and got the scoop: "...last Monday of the month and no themes. We've been baking together since August 2015! Only one rule, you must use the muffin method (folding wet ingredients with dry - no creaming butter and sugar, etc.) to bake muffins."

Oh, my goodness...is that the muffin rule? That makes total sense. But I had no idea. 

In my house we've always said that if it's 'naked' as in frosting-free, it's a muffin; if there's frosting, then it's a cupcake. Turns out there's more to it than that. In any case, I jumped in. This is my third month participating with the #MuffinMonday bloggers.

Here's the line-up for this reveal...

Strawberry Fromage Blanc Muffins

  •  2 C all-purpose flour
  •  3/4 C organic granulated sugar
  •  2 t baking powder
  •  1/2 t salt
  •  1 C fromage blanc cheese
  •  2 large eggs
  •  3/4 C sour cream
  •  1/4 C olive oil
  •  2 t pure vanilla extract
  •  1-1/4 C fresh strawberries, hulled and diced

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350ยบF. Butter the hollows in a muffin tin or line with paper liners. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk fromage blanc, eggs, and sour cream together until smooth. Add in olive oil and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture into the fromage blanc mixture. Fold together with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula just until combined. Gently fold in diced strawberries.

Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven. Allow to cool 10 minutes in pan, then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Muffins are best the same day they are made, but can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Though a dozen muffins never last more than a day in my house. Enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Peppered Brisket, Honeyed Onions, and the 2016 Galil Mountain 'Ela' #WinePW #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the bonus May #WinePW Israeli wine event.
A wine sample was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

The Wine Pairing Weekend - #WinePW - group was offered the chance to explore wines from Yarden Wines* which represents two wineries: Golan Heights Winery and Galil Mountain Winery as well as a Yarden Wines label. Our bloggers were lucky enough to receive a variety of samples from these labels.

You can read Jeff's preview post: here. But the if you are reading this early enough, feel free to jump in on our May bonus Twitter chat. We'll be live on Saturday, May 23rd at 8am Pacific time for about an hour. Follow the hashtag #WinePW and be sure to add that to your tweets if you chime in so that we can see it. In the meantime, here are the posts that the bloggers have planned. They will all go live between Friday, May 22nd and early on Saturday morning before the chat. Cheers!

The Yarden Wines Line-Up

 In the Glass

Israeli wine? Now that's not something I hear everyday. I'm going to start with a little bit of winemaking history from the land of the bible. Viticulture has existed in the region since biblical times. In fact, in the book of Deuteronomy, vines are listed as one of the seven blessed crops in the land, "a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive trees and honey" (Deuteronomy 8:8).

Israel's location placed it on a historic trading route between Mesopotamia and Egypt. And, in addition to goods, that commerce brought winemaking know-to to the area. During the Roman empire, wine from Israel was exported to Rome. In fact, historically Israeli wine has almost always left the area; when the Egyptians ruled the region, taxes were often paid in the form of wine.

I received two bottles of wine from Yarden Wines - this 2016 Galil Mountain 'Ela' and a 2019 Gilgal Sauvignon Blanc. You'll see the Sauvignon Blanc paired with an elderflower cake with strawberry buttercream soon! But here's a photo as a sneak peak...


This post, however, focuses on the 'Ela' from Galil Mountain Winery which is located in the Upper Galilee mountain range. Galil's chief winemaker, Micha Vaadia, was trained as an electrical engineer before he moved to studying horticulture. After earning his bachelor's degree, Vaadia went on to attend the enology program at the University of California at Davis. And, before returning to his native Israel, he held winemaking positions in California, New Zealand, and Argentina.


This red wine is a blend of 62% Syrah, 33% Barbera, and 5% Petit Verdot. And with a suggested retail price of just under $20, it's a delicious, affordable wine. Pouring a deep purple color, one the nose I got fruit at the forefront with underlying notes of spices and coffee. On the palate, the wine has a full mouthfeel with some sold tannins that soften into an almost salted caramel decadence. What a fun, expressive wine!

On the Plate

Wanting to play on the hints of pepper and clove in the wine, I decided to make an oven-roasted pepper-rubbed beef brisket. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare brisket as it's largely hands off and the result is simply mouth-watering. I pulled out the collection of peppercorns that D had gotten in his stocking for Christmas.


And I opted for a mix of the Indian green peppercorns, Sarawak white peppercorns, and Brazilian pink peppercorns. Note that this brisket roasts for six hours, so if you want to serve it for dinner, plan your time accordingly.

Ingredients

Brisket
  • 1 brisket (I used a 4-1/2 pound piece)
  • 3 T mixed peppercorns, ground
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t sweet paprika
  • 2 t freshly ground sea salt
  • dash of ground coriander
  • dash of ground cardamom
  • Also needed roasting pan with roasting rack, foil

Onions
  • 1 organic red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 organic leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T raw honey
  • 1 T water or wine


Procedure 
Brisket
The night before, or first thing in the morning, prepare the rub. Combine all spices and mix thoroughly until well blended. Pat the brisket dry, then coat the brisket on all sides with the spice rub. Refrigerate for as many hours as you can; I ended up leaving them for 8 hours. Although you can let it rest for as little as an hour, if needed.

Right before you want to cook them, preheat the oven to 290 degrees. While the oven heats, take the brisket out of the refrigerator to warm up.

Place the brisket on top of the roasting rack in the pan and cover with foil. Place in the oven. Roast for 6 hours. Remove the foil and raise the heat on the oven to 400 degrees F. Return brisket to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.


Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.


During the final hour of cooking, prepare the onions.

Onions
Melt butter in a large, flat-bottom pan in the olive oil over low heat. Stir in the onions and leeks. Let cook until they begin to turn translucent. Stir in the honey and water or wine, depending on your preference. Continue to cook until the onions are soft and caramelized.


To serve, spoon honeyed onions onto a serving platter. Top with sliced brisket. Serve immediately.

Yarden Wines on the web, on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook
*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Sarma (Serbian Cabbage Rolls) + The Other Einstein #FoodieReads


Okay, so this isn't really a foodie book, however it does have a lot of delicious food inspiration. And it's a wonderful albeit slightly depressing book. The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict* weaves the story of Albert Einstein's first wife into a compelling historical fiction.

On the Page

I can honestly say that I knew nothing about Albert Einstein's private life. I doubt I even knew he was married. Once, much less twice.

The premise of this book is that Mileva Mariฤ‡, Einstein's first wife, is actually responsible for discovering and articulating the Theory of Relativity among others of his theories. And though Marie Benedict bases her novel on extensive biographical research, she admits that her narrative is largely speculative.

Mileva's actual role is unknown and, certainly, undocumented. Certain scientists and scholars assert that she was, at minimum, a sounding board off of which Einstein tested his theories; some believe that it was, in fact, Mileva who performed the mathematical calculations for his theories; and even others still who purport that the theories for which he is credited are actually hers. Perhaps we'll never verify those claims, but one of my favorite literary styles is to take a lesser known character or event from history and develop an entire story around it. I relish a well-researched story, whether it is fiction or non-fiction. This definitely fits the bill.

Benedict poignantly recreates the atmosphere in Switzerland, Serbia, and Germany during the late 1800s and early 1900s. She elegantly depicts class-consciousness, sexism, anti-Semitism, strict decorum surrounding courtships, and more. The Other Einstein is a beautifully written book albeit one that is tough to read. So many times I wanted to scream at Mileva to stand up for herself, to grow a spine, and to live up to the brilliant mind that she was...at least in the book.

The story is told from Mileva's perspective. And the reader immediately embraces her struggles - from been teased by classmates because of her hip "deformity" and the resulting limp to her desire to please her father in his push for her to earn an advanced degree in physics all the way to her ultimate sacrifice to put her husband's ambitions above her own.

One Serbian phrase embodies a large portion of this book: "Izgoobio sam sye. These were the only words I could think of to describe how I felt at that moment. Roughly translated from the Serbian, they meant lost. Lost as in directions, lost from myself, lost to him" (pg. 82). She lost herself. She relinquished her individuality and immense potential to become a wife and a mother. Mileva is likeable and that makes the story even more tragic.

On the Plate
There were many foods that jumped off the page in The Other Einstein. I will eventually have to make a lemon balm cake. It sounds delicious.

"The smell of lemon wafted toward me, and with a self-pleased grin, Milana slid over a plate of my favorite lemon-balm cake; the girls must have specially requested it for me from Mrs. Engelbrecht. A special gesture for a special day" (page 19).

There were meaty savories...
"'Miss Mileva, dinner is served.' The peppery, meaty scent of my favorite pljeskavica wafted through the air, but still, I was disappointed. I had to share Papa over dinner" (page 44). And "As we sat back to allow Ana to fill our plates with ฤ‡evapi, I expected a battery of questions and a good dose of jibes, just like every other time I’d received a letter from Albert. But strangely, no one said a word. Had they not noticed the letter’s arrival?" (page 131). Years ago I made Cevapcici and Pecenje Paprike; the cevapcici seem similar to ฤ‡evapi.

And lots of sweets at coffee houses...           
"'And I can still taste the marzipan and crรจme from the Sardegnatorte,' Ruลพica countered. 'I shouldn’t have had that second Milchkaffee,' I said, referring to the rich, milky coffee I adored. 'I’m so full that I might need to unlace my corset when we get back to the pension.' We giggled at the notion of appearing for one of Mrs. Engelbrecht’s dinner with undone corsets. 'You think you need to unlace your corset? What about me? I’m the one who ordered the second dessert. But I couldn’t resist the look of the Luxemburgerli,' Ruลพica said. The exquisite macaroon-style confections came in a variety of flavors, and Ruลพica claimed they were so airy and light they simply melted on her tongue. 'Maybe it’s a good thing that there’s nothing like Conditorei Schober at home in ล abac. I would have arrived here in Zรผrich for my studies quite the dumpling" (page 60).
               
Sarma
Serbian Cabbage Rolls

But in the end, I just decided to make one of our favorite Serbian dinners, in honor of Mileva's heritage. In fact sarma is one of Serbia's most famous dishes. Besides, I can never resist using vegetables from D's garden and these cabbage leaves were ripe and ready!

Ingredients serves 6
  • 3/4 lb ground lamb (you can also make it with all ground beef).
  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t freshly ground salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T paprika (I used 1 t hot paprika and 2 t sweet paprika)
  • 2 C cooked rice (traditionally, you use raw rice, but I had cooked rice and it cut down on the final cooking time)
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1 large head of cabbage, leaves separated and blanched for 1 to 2 minutes
  • 3 C sauerkraut, divided (my homemade version, just know you need at least 3 days' lead time)
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1 C water or a mixture of water and red wine

Procedure

Heat a glug of olive oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Add the onions and cook until softened.

In a medium mixing bowl, place the ground meats, egg, salt, pepper, paprika, rice, and 1 C sauerkraut and mix until well-combined; I use my hands, but you can use a wooden spoon.

Stir together the tomato sauce and water or water and wine. Add a glug of olive oil and begin to warm the sauce.

After you blanch and drain your cabbage leaves, place a leaf flat on a cutting board or other clean workspace. Spoon 2 T of the filling onto the leaf, near the top. Fold the sides of the leaf in and roll as rightly as you can until you get to the stem. Place the rolls, stem side down, into the tomato sauce. Make as many as you can to fill the pot. After I ran out of cabbage leaves, I formed the rest of the meat into meatballs and added them to the pot.


Spoon the remaining sauerkraut over the rolls. Pour in enough water so that the rolls are about two-thirds of the way submerged. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot.

Let the rolls braise for at least 90 minutes. Check on the liquid levels about half-way through cooking so that the rolls don't burn.


Serve hot.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Click to see what everyone else read in May 2020: here.

Rhubarb, Rose, and Almond Cake #TheCakeSliceBakers


Here we are the May edition of the Cake Slice Bakers. For 2020, we'll be baking from The New Way to Cake: Simple Recipes with Exceptional Flavor by Benjamina Ebuehi.*

In this group, we are given a selection of three cake recipes. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!


Follow our FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book. Our choices for May 2020 were...

Chamomile Cake with Honey Crรจme Fraรฎche

Rhubarb, Rose & Almond Cake

Hibiscus Buttermilk Cake
Rhubarb, Rose, and Almond Cake 
very slightly adapted from Ebuehi's book

I made this back in March when we were just beginning to be sheltered-in-place to flatten the curve of the coronavirus spread. Funny thing: Felice had posted the options for April and May's cakes and I jumped on this one immediately, not realizing that it was for May. So, I did this cake before I did April's cake, Jasmine Green Tea Cake.

I made a few minor changes. As I mentioned, we were sheltered-in-place and discouraged from leaving the house except for the bare necessities. Since I didn't have yogurt in the fridge, I used the buttermilk that I had. Also, it seemed a little bit plain to me, so I whipped up a rhubarb compote for the top. Delicious!

Ingredients makes one cake

Cake
  • 3/4 C butter
  • 3/4 C organic granulated sugar (I reduced this from 1 C)
  • 1/4 t rosewater (omit completely if you are not a fan of rosewater!)
  • zest from 1 organic lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 C flour
  • 3/4 C ground almonds
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 C buttermilk (the original has yogurt, but we were out)
  • 1/2 pound rhubarb
  • 1 to 2 T raw organic sugar
  • organic powdered sugar for serving


Compote
  • 1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed and diced
  • 3 T organic granulated sugar
  • 2 T water
  • juice from 1 organic lemon, approximately 2 T


Procedure
Compote
Place all of the ingredients together in large skillet. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until rhubarb is mashable. Mash with a fork until desired consistency. Set aside.


Cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the bottom of pan; I used a tart pan with a removable base.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and rosewater until lightened and fluffy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the lemon zest and, then, the eggs one at a time.

Fold in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and baking soda until just moistened. Whisk in the buttermilk and transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth the top and set aside.

Slice the rhubarb into strips and arrange them in a pattern on the top. The original recipe had them radiating from the center like a flower; I opted to weave them into a lattice. Sprinkle with raw sugar and place in the preheated oven.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until the cake is golden brown and the top is firm to the touch.


Let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding. Then let cool completely.


To serve dust liberally with powdered sugar.


Then slice...


and serve on individual serving plates.


Let diners top with compote as they desire.


That's a wrap for May's #TheCakeSliceBakers. Stay tuned for next month's sweet treats.

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