Sunday, January 08, 2006
SarmaSeveral people have wondered what "sarma" might be. Dictionary.com defines it as:
sarma (pronounced: "sa:rma") Serbian national dish. Made with minced meat (sometimes bacon is added for extra flavour), rice, onion and various spices (salt, pepper...), rolled into cabbage leaves, then cooked together in boiling water for few hours. A special ingredient called zaprska is added at the end of the process. It's almost impossible to make sarma for two persons. Often being served as a main dish during wedding ceremonies.
I have never been able to figure out what "zaprska" is, so my sarma doesn't contain it. I don't think. Unless maybe it's really something quite common, travelling in disguise.
Many recipe books tell us that sarma is really any kind of minced meat, combined with almost any kind of spice your family likes, as long as garlic and onions are part of it, and rice. It's fine to use more than one kind of meat. I always add some kind of shredded cheese. Many people spread sour cream concoctions on whatever they are using as the rollup before adding the meat mixture, although cabbage or grape leaves are the most common. You can also use almost any kind of dough, rolled paper-thin. (If you use dough, bake it in the oven instead of boiling or steaming it.) (With the cabbage or grape leaves, it's best to use a very steamy or damp method of cooking.) (Zappa used grape leaves over Christmas; last night, I used biscuit dough.) (stick a toothpick through it if it won't stay rolled by itself.)
For the sour cream concoction, just dump whatever you've got left over in your 'fridge into the sour cream and stir it up. Last night I used minced garlic, tabasco sauce, poppy seeds, mozzarella cheese, and cream cheese. Measurements? They're different every time. Just keep adding and stirring till it's not watery, so you can spread it. Use the remaining concoction as a dip, for the finished sarma. Honestly, sarma just uses up all your tag ends of food and it's different every time.
The end result is cool. You'll have an attractive food item that looks as though you spent hours and hours making it, when in fact it only takes a little while, plus you've emptied your refrigerator of all those baggies and tupperware containers of little bits of food that were too good to pitch but too weird or small to really use.
My son showed me how to make sarma.
Speaking of my extremely attractive single almost-seven-feet-tall 25-year-old son, he's got the flu and he's got it really bad. If anyone has a spare positive vibe to aim his way, it would be very much appreciated. He was so sick when I saw him Thursday that I made him come home with me so I could Mommy him all night long. He's back home now but I will of course worry till I call him tomorrow and find out how he's doing.
I will not call him before noon, however. He's MY boy, and if he got up before twelve when he didn't actually have to, I will KNOW he's sick. He starts back to college tomorrow morning, just as I will, so one more day of leisure before the grind starts, for him.
I'd offer you all some sarma, but there isn't any left. It was pretty good, if I do say so. And I do.
My sister D's casserole was awesome, too. And my sister T's meatballs were delicious. I was told several times on the way home tonight that they were far superior to mine.
So I guess the next time "he" wants some meatballs, he'll be making them himself.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:59 AM | |