29 October 2010


Sarma is a Turkish word meaning "a wrapped thing". You might be more familiar with the Greek term "dolmathes". More often than not, I call them "dolma", but that is a much broader term for a variety of stuffed vegetables. What they are is grape leaves filled with rice, currants, and spices. No meat this time, though I've tried with venison before. I'm still playing with how I like them, so no recipe yet. Just some play-by-play for fun . . .

about a TBSP of prepared filling is placed on a leaf

each bottom wing gets folded up like so . . .

then the sides are folded in as you roll it all up

done. (expect for steaming!)

steam in pan about 1.5 to 2 hours . . . they're worth the wait

As you can see, not a fast food. Rather time-consuming and tedious, a food well-suited to a cooking party with lots of friends around. The up-side is that they're yummy and fun to eat (finger food!). AND since you've gone to all the trouble and made a HUGE pot, there are leftovers for snacking!

I think this is a love affair that will continue to be refined with time.

Fish and Mango Burritos

I can never resist a just-ripe mango at a good price. Unfortunately, I often think they're too special to eat right away and end up waiting until a few over-ripe spots appear before taking the plunge. On this occasion, it was with fish. The mango was diced into a fresh salsa of onion, red pepper, lime juice and basil, spooned over cooked tilapia filets, topped with cheese . . .

. . . and rolled into a flour tortilla, drizzled with olive oil, and placed in the toaster oven at 350F for about 30 minutes.

I had some leftover mango salsa, so I stir fried it quick and we ate it over our rice at dinner.

20 October 2010

Butternut Pie

Nothing novel here. Just take your favorite pumpkin pie recipe and substitute an equal amount of butternut squash puree for the pumpkin! This is for those of you who are lucky enough to have an abundance of butternut in your garden. Or for those of you who don't want to mess with cooking a whole pumpkin.

I just cut my butternut into small pieces, peel, and cook them with minimal water. When soft, I mash them roughly with a fork and let them cool a bit. When you're ready to make pie filling, lob all the ingredients into a blender. This ensures that the squash will get smoothly pureed.

Happy autumn cooking!


Taste-tester reports that the pie is yummy but a little too spicy. Cook's note-to-self: hold some of the cloves next time!

18 October 2010

Pumpkin Gnocchi

While my husband re-heats leftovers, I have a few minutes to do a quick post before we enact "Computer-free Monday Evenings". (I'm getting reports that something bad might happen to me if I go around violating computer-free nights too freely). Yikes!

So, quick . . .

Pumpkin Gnocchi

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart. She e-mailed it to me. Just kidding! It's right here if you want to check it out. Since I pretty-much followed the recipe, I won't re-post it on this blog.

The gnocchi itself was fairly simple--flour, pumpkin, nutmeg, and cheese--while the sauce was a bit more involved.

Once this is mixed together, you roll it into ropes, cut into pieces and then boil them. It's a dumpling-pasta thing that is very soft and a little chewy. See a very poor picture below of the gnocchi emerging from the boiling pot.

First impressions: sorta flavorless with an overly-rich sauce. I think I would have preferred them with a tomato-y sauce, make it more like pasta.

Taste-tester says: "It's really gnocchi--like gummy bears with gravy." (to understand this comment better, you really should look up a pronunciation for "gnocchi")

Cook's Word: I think I'd make them again because it's a simple, fun, fast pasta thing to do. We liked them better lukewarm, and the texture kinda grew on me after a few days. I should try the more traditional potato variety too.

Now. Leftovers are hot, and "Computer-free Mondays" start in "one", "two" . . .