Sunday, February 1, 2009

Beet Leaf Holopchi


Beet Leaf Holopchi

I recently had the privilege of joining a group called Recipes to Rival. This months challenge is hosted by KatBaro at A Good Appetite and Giz and Psychgrad at Equal Opportunity Kitchen. The purpose of the goup is to explore the world of uncommon savories. Each month the group collectively works on a recipe chosen by one of its members. This months experiment was Beet Leaf Holopchi, a Ukranian dish in which beet leaves are stuffed with a bread dough, then cooked and served in a creamy sauce with onion, garlic and dill. As you can already tell, this is not an ordinary cabbage roll. And I must say I was grateful for the support the group offers to its members. The original recipe makes enough holopchi to feed an army. One of the members rescaled the recipe for those of us with smaller families. Quantity taken care of, I moved on to the wrappers for the bread dough. The beet leaves in my market were way past their prime so I decided to use red chard, hoping that I'd be able to retain the gorgeous red striping of the leaves in the original photo I had seen. The leaves were tough so I microwaved them for a few seconds to soften them a bit before filling. The last item to deal with was the sauce and when it should be used. Some folks were going to cook the leaves in the sauce, others were going to use it to sauce the finished product. I planned to use it as a sauce. How did it all turn out? It was an adventure to be sure. I found the holopchi to be bland but could see how they might be made more tasty if they had cooked in a sauce or a lower calorie broth. I'm really glad I tried this recipe, but I would not make it again. I love this kind of exercise. You win some, you lose some, but in the course of trying something new you learn and meet new people who share your passion for food. How great is that?


Anonymous said...

What a fabulous idea of trying such unusual foods. They turned out really well and a shame there wasn't too much flavour!

Martha said...

What a different dish. You certainly are a creative cook.

Lisa said...

They look very pretty. I have been wanting to post about Golabki, a dish my husband remembers from his youth, but so far the photos have never turned out well, though the stuffed cabbage rolls taste nice. I applaud your effort!

Becky said...

Oh how interesting to try different and unusual foods. And what a great idea to do it together. Thanks for the review!

giz said...

You really did a great job. The taste is brought out with the sauce but for sure it doesn't smile on the waistline. It's the combo of the dill and milk/cream when heated together that make it interesting.
Thanks for playing.

Cslon said...

Regarding your beet leaf rolls, they would not taste right at all if you didnt use actual beet leaves. You should try them again using beet leaves. I think you will love them! They have a very unique flavour and the best smell while they are cooking. To die for!!!

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