I was honored to be asked by Breadchick of The Sour Dough to participate in the Cookbook Spotlight #3 event, in which food bloggers receive a cookbook, look through it, and then are asked to prepare a few recipes, and write about it. This time around, the cookbook chosen was “Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook: Discover Their Culinary Legends” by PK McKenna. I’ll have to admit, it took me a while to get around to making a couple of recipes – this book is definitely geared towards cooking for crowds, and since I’m only cooking for two, I had to do some major scaling down of the recipes or prepare to drown in leftovers. So we decided to make a meal of it.
For an entree, we chose Lazy Man’s Cabbage Rolls (pg. 368), due to the fact that we both love cabbage rolls but not the work involved, and the fact that this recipe, like many others in the book, was very straightforward. How did it taste? Like cabbage rolls. Credible reproduction of the taste, however next time around, we’d probably modify it a bit by using V8 instead of tomato juice, and using about twice as much, as it was just a little dry for our tastes. But that’s completely subjective on our part, and your mileage may vary. Also, we cut the recipe in half, since there’s only two of us. Here’s the original recipe so you can judge for yourself:
Lazy Man’s Cabbage Rolls
2 lbs. ground beef
2 lbs. ground pork
1 lg. or 2 med. onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
4 c. Minute Rice
2 whole heads cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 cans tomato juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
In large frying pan brown ground beef and pork; add onions, garlic and celery. When meat is browned add rice. Season with salt and pepper, mixing well. Combine meat mixture and cabbage in large roasting pan or casserole dish; mix well. Pour tomato juice over entire mixture. Cover and bake at 375 degrees 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until cabbage is tender.
Note: If you use regular rice, you may have to add more juice or water to insure rice will be tender.
For dessert, we had Dump Cake, another recipe from the book (pg. 140) which sort of reminds me of a cobbler, with a crispy sweet top. This recipe was SO easy – and the results were amazing. While I can’t post the book recipe, I can tell you that this one is very close – mine cooked for closer to an hour, though.
While only a few of the recipes in this book were useful for my smaller-than-usual family, the historical information about the ships was fascinating, and a unique theme for a cookbook. I can, in all honesty, say I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. I’m proud to add it to my ever-growing collection of cookbooks, and I’m sure I’ll refer to it again in the future.