Tonight’s World Tour Wednesday was Romania. Honestly, we didn’t know a lot about the country until we were preparing for our meal. They are a Balkan country and their food is influenced by both Eastern European countries and the Mediterranean. You probably know the most about it from its inspiration for Dracula (Transylvania is there) or from the Romany people (used to be called “Gypsies”). This meal wasn’t very pretty, but it was delicious!
First, we made Sarmale, or cabbage rolls. The meat filling of the cabbage rolls had dill, parsley, onion, garlic, rice, ground pork, and ground beef. Romanians also tend to put bacon on top of theirs. The polenta was a creamy polenta cooked in milk with feta cheese inside. Gus hates grits (which are basically the same thing), but he loved these. He said he’ll eat them all the time if I make them that way. For the polenta, I just bought a bag of them and followed the instructions for a slow-cooking creamy version. We cooked them in milk with a tiny bit of cream. Then I added a small container of feta cheese and stirred it until creamy once the polenta was done cooking.
My only problem was the tomato sauce. Traditionally, these are cooked for 3 hours with the tomato sauce around it. I did an Instant Pot version and although the cabbage rolls were cooked perfectly, I think the bacon grease in there thinned down the tomato sauce too much. I feel it would have been more successful with having them all in a pan so the rolls could soak up the tomato sauce. But all in all, this was a success. They were not excited about it all beforehand, but ended up saying it was a favorite and gave it an:
We’d make this again for sure. It was a very nice surprise!
Links to the recipes we used:
Cabbage Rolls: https://www.jocooks.com/recipes/sarmale/ (I used half ground beef and half ground pork.)