Stuffed Cabbage from Cooking & Travelling in South-West France by Stephanie Alexander

So here we go, week 2 and another simple dish. Stuffed Cabbage, how hard could that be. This is another of those dishes that sound simple, not very exciting and probably a bit old fashioned. I do remember trying this some years ago and wasn’t a great success so here goes a second try.

Its a pretty simple concept and one that I think pretty much every culture has a version of, find some leftovers, stuff into vegetable and cook. One of those great necessity dishes that over time got elevated to a higher status.

The general concept of the recipe is make a stuffing, blanch and separate cabbage, stuff and then braise for extended period. Am pretty sure the last time I tried this I used Savoy Cabbage and did not work out. Think that you need a tighter cabbage to hold it all together. So standard every day cabbage that once had trimmed the damaged and overly loose leaves off was a bit over 2kg.Also trimmed the base so it sat nicely on the bench.

Starting Cabbage

Continue reading

Coulibiac from French by Damien Pignolet

So first one and why not something challenging, thanks Carrie!!!

A real challenge that need to think about is lots of pictures and descriptions but will be unable to post the recipes as would likely make some of the authors unhappy!

This is one of my favourite cook books and have eaten at Bistro Moncur in Sydney many times where some of these recipes have featured. Including the fantastic Crab Omelette (hopefully that will get picked in the future).

So the recipe for Coulibiac is a pretty good start, its a dish I first tasted many years ago when I was working in one of my short stints in a kitchen in Sydney. The version that Damien has in his book is by no means the shortcut version Make the brioche and rest, make crepes, prepare the rice and fish. One thing I do like about his recipe is using a bread tin to bake it in to hold the brioche together in a nice loaf and not spread across the baking tray.

The history of Coulibiac appear to go back to the humble Russian fish or meat pie made with bread dough, crushed wheat, dill and onions known as koulibiaca. It was the 19th century French chefs hired by the Russian nobility that created from that what is today Coulibiac. The original called for Sturgeon but we will make do with the humble Salmon.

Time to go and shop for ingredients

Continue reading