Cooks Exchange

Cook's Exchange | Fruitcake, plus cabbage recipes are on a roll

The Kiln, Miss., reader who wanted to be anonymous hit the jackpot. Not only have readers found her pound cake and pusharata recipes, two readers found the cherry pecan fruitcake that she requested.

She asked for those three recipes and is still receiving answers.

Jim Nowacki came up with the cherry pecan fruitcake and a pretty clever turn of phrase.

"I cherry-picked this recipe from www.magnoliadays.com," he said. "I hope this is close to the one your requestor was looking for."

Ann Sharpton of Gautier shares another Christmas cake that is made with lemon extract, candied cherries and candied pineapple. She also sent in pound cake and pusharata recipes, all hand-written.

"I'm sorry that I had to write these. I am technically challenged and don't use a computer and don't have a typewriter," Sharpton said. "I'm almost 82 years old, too."

Now that is dedication.

CHERRY PECAN FRUITCAKE

1 pound candied cherries

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 jar (16 ounces) pineapple preserves

4 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Cut cherries in half and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon extracts and mix well.

Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl.

Add flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture and mix until combined. Stir in pineapple preserves, cherries and pecans.

Pour into prepared tube pan. Bake for 3 hours or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool cake completely in pan. Remove cake from pan and transfer to a cake plate.

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 180 minutes. Total time: 3 hours 25 minutes. Yield: 12 to 16 servings

-- Submitted by Jim Nowacki

LEMON CHRISTMAS CAKE

1 pound butter

2 cups sugar

6 eggs

4 cups flour

1 quart pecan halves

1/2 pound candied cherries, chopped

1/2 pound candied pineapple, chopped

1- 1/2 ounces lemon extract

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 3 1/2 cups flour. Fold in fruits, nuts and extract. Use 1/2 cup flour over fruits. Pour into 2 loaf pans. Bake at 300 degrees for about 2 hours or until cake tests done. Put a foil tent over pans to prevent excess cracking.

-- Submitted by Ann Sharpton

Rolling in cabbage

Lynette Faul never imagined that she would have so many cabbage roll recipes from which to choose. My Florida and Texas, as well as Mississippi, readers have weighed in with some of their favorites.

"Here are two of my family's ground meat favorites," said Charlotte Pluta of Bradenton.

GOLEMBKI (POLISH CABBAGE ROLLS)

1 pound ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/4 cup uncooked rice or 1 cup cooked

1 egg

8 large cabbage leaves

1 can condensed tomato soup

2 cans water

2 beef bouillon cubes

Pour boiling water over cabbage leaves and let soften. Mix meat, rice, salt, pepper, onion and egg. Roll mixture in each drained cabbage leaf. Place in oven dish with cover. Mix liquid ingredients and bouillon cubes and pour over rolls. Cover. Cook at 325 degrees about 2 1/2 hours or so. Or, cook in pressure cooker for 8 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. Feeds 4.

-- Submitted by Charlotte Pluta

DILLED CABBAGE ROLLS

8 large cabbage leaves

1 pound ground pork

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons instant tapioca

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 (10-3/4-ounce) can condensed tomato soup

3/4 cup water

Pour boiling water over cabbage leaves to soften.

Mix meat, dill, salt, pepper, tapioca, 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup soup. Spoon mixture in each cabbage leaf and roll. Place in large covered fry pan. Mix rest of soup,1/4 cup water, brown sugar and vinegar and pour over rolls in skillet. Simmer for 1- 1/2 hours or so. Or, cook in covered oven dish at 325 degrees for 2 hours or so. Serves 4.

-- Submitted by Charlotte Pluta

"I saw your request for cabbage roll recipes and wanted to forward you this one.," said former Coast resident, Catherine Miller Nelson, now of Austin, Texas. "It's wonderfully good. "

STUFFED CABBAGE LEAVES WITH PAPRIKA TOMATO SAUCE

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves:

9 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup milk

1- 1/2 pounds ground meat of your choice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon sugar

1- 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

12 large cabbage leaves, preferably Savoy cabbage

Paprika Tomato Sauce:

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup prepared tomato sauce or 1 cup diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

4 leaves fresh sage or 4 sprigs thyme

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

First, make the filling for the stuffed cabbage leaves: Put the bread cubes in a small mixing bowl, add the milk and leave the bread to soak until it is completely saturated. With your hands, squeeze out the excess milk. Discard the milk and add the soaked bread to a large mixing bowl with the meat, parsley, sage, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare a large bowl full of ice water. Add the cabbage leaves to the pot and blanch them in the boiling water just until they are slightly wilted, about 1 minute; drain them and immediately transfer the leaves to the ice water. When the leaves are cold, remove them from the water and pat them dry. With a small, sharp knife, cut the thick part of the stem from each cabbage leaf. Place a heaping 1/2 cup of the filling in the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling, overlapping them slightly, and then, starting at the stem end, roll up the leaf into a compact bundle. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat a large heatproof saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic and saute until the vegetables are translucent. Add the tomato paste and paprika and saute briefly. Then, stir in the chicken stock, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, sugar and sage. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Arrange the stuffed cabbage leaves neatly in a single layer in the saucepan. Bring the sauce back to a boil. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake until the bundles are cooked through and firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. To serve, use a large spoon to transfer the rolls to a platter or individual heated plates. Spoon the sauce over and around them.

-- Submitted by Catherine Miller Nelson from FoodNetwork.com and Wolfgang Puck

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