About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Jan

Jan
Jan is a serious home cook who loves to read recipes and then do her own thing. Her focus is ingredient driven comfort food, often with an Italian influence. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about food and travels (next trip to Italy: May/June of 2012) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Kim

Kim
Kim joins us after being our permanent sub on the Pomodori e Vino project. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think or The Amy Foundation.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Our Subs

About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Amy

Amy
Amy is a teacher in suburban Boston with far too many cookbooks, her Grandmother's meat grinder and canning jars, and a new Wolf stove. She appreciates cuisines from around the world, with a particular fondness for French, Moroccan, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Tweaking her cooking and eating habits resulted long-lasting weight loss and health benefits, proving that living well still tastes good. An old hobby is knitting; and a newer one is canning preserves. Read more from Amy on her blog, Destination Anywhere.

« Leftover Roasted Carrot Risotto | Main | Almond-Crusted Pork with Rhubarb-Apple Sauce »

Russian Spring Rolls

By Deborah

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I really didn’t intend to go Russian again after last week’s Carrot Candy. But, this week, I wasn’t in the mood to shop. The package of unseasoned fresh ground pork in the refrigerator needed to be used. I pulled out the Flavor Bible and began checking my fridge and pantry for ingredients.

It started with the red cabbage. How could I combine ground pork and red cabbage? What flavor profile did it remind me of? German? I scanned my spices and my eyes fell upon Tsardust Memories. Eureka! Those of you who are fortunate, as I, to have a Penzey’s Spices in your town, or have discovered them online, will know what I’m talking about. For the rest of you, yes that is the name of a spice blend. It was originally called Russian Sausage Seasoning. Tsardust Memories has a better ring, don’t you think? It’s a spicy, sweet, and savory blend of salt, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, & marjoram.

I decided that red cabbage, and Tsardust must be the basis for my dish this week. So now what? I had rice and spring roll wrappers in the pantry. Do Russians make spring rolls? Do Russians, for that matter, use much rice? What the heck. Russian/Asian Fusion it will be.

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For the pork/rice filling:
1 c water
¾ c white rice
2T olive oil
¾ c finely diced ONION
¾ c finely diced celery
2 cloves GARLIC, finely minced
¾ lb fresh ground, unseasoned pork
1½ t Tsardust Memories
Salt & *PEPPER to taste

Cook the rice in water and set aside.
Saute onions, celery & garlic in olive oil until softened but not carmelized.
Add pork, salt & pepper, sauté until just past pink, breaking meat into fine crumbles as it cooks.
Drain remaining cooking liquids and reserve.
Mix Tzardust Memories into rice & add to pork mixture. Set aside.

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For the cabbage:
Reserved cooking liquid from pork
1 c good dry red wine
1 medium head red cabbage shredded.
1½ t Tsardust Memories

Combine all ingredients in heavy pan
Cook over medium-high heat until cabbage begins to soften and wilt.
Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and continue cooking for at least an hour, stirring occasionally, until cabbage cooks down to a very soft state and all the liquid has been absorbed.

At this point, you can immediately begin to assemble your spring rolls, or if you like, you can refrigerate the pork/rice filling and the cooked cabbage separately for up to two days for future use.

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For spring rolls:
24 pieces of parchment cut to 1½” by 3” size.
24 spring roll wrappers
24 long sprigs of chive, additional chive.
Pork/rice mixture
Cooked red cabbage

Soak spring roll wrappers one at a time in warm water until soft.
Put a tablespoon of cabbage in the middle of wrapper.

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Top cabbage with another heaping tablespoon pork/rice mixture.
Add a few small cuttings of chive.

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Fold one side over top. Then fold in each end, tightening into a smooth roll. Finally finish rolling over the last side.
Technically these aren't tight enough to be spring rolls. They are more like little packages. So, with cabbage side up, tie a chive around the middle making a knot on top.

Place completed spring rolls on parchment in bamboo steamer being very careful not to let them touch each other or the side of the steamer.
Place steamer in wok with boiling water. Steam for about 5 minutes and serve either warm or room temperature.

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As strange as it sounds, this one rates an absolute HOME RUN. I love them, and will make them again soon. I took them to the store and was very surprised at how many people really enjoyed them.

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Comments (3)

jgk:

So "creative"! Glad it turned out to be worthy of your efforts.

Oh, I love this idea. I am always putting things into springroll packaging and this looks really delicious. I have a Penzy's near me so I will pop in and pick up Tsardust Memories as the combination sounds really wonderful. I am learning so much, expanding so many horizons...thank you!

Deborah-You're being so creative in your challenges, which is something I feel I'm not really succeeding at. These sound really good. I never would have thought about making spring rolls like this.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 6, 2011 3:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Leftover Roasted Carrot Risotto.

The next post in this blog is Almond-Crusted Pork with Rhubarb-Apple Sauce.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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