Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cabbage Rolls

I decided to make cabbage rolls while loosely following a recipe from Joy of Cooking. It was an... experience.

Materials and Methods
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 400 DEGREES NOW. First off you need these things:

1 lb ground beef                                                                                
1 can of diced carrots
1 jar/24 oz can tomato sauce
Mushrooms (diced up)
Garlic (couple of tablespoons)
1 Egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup water

Optional, but not used: 1/2 cup rice or bulgur wheat.

Mix it all together in that bowl in the picture.

Get a really sharp knife. Preferably, one that is long and skinny. Cut around the core (see that round white area, that's the core) until you can pry a good portion of it out. I suggest cutting at an angle so you cut out a cone versus a cylinder.

 It should look like this. Eggcelent. Place it in a pot of boiling water.

It will float. No one mentioned that to me. Also, make sure you don't fill the pot completely with water or it overflows with the addition of the cabbage. Leave it bubbling for 5 minutes and remove it.

Removing a cabbage from boiling water can't be that hard right? Using tools available, remove the cabbage but keep the water boiling. (HA! You can't use a strainer!) Don't damage the outer leaves! You need those to make the rolls. Oh ya. The cabbage will suddenly leak boiling water all over your counter. A dishtowel will not suffice, but will work well as triage for the situation.

Remove (carefully) what leaves you can (carefully) and pile them up (carefully). If you encounter resistance, place the cabbage back into the boiling pot from whence it came. Repeat until most the leaves are removed.
A plate can be helpful. My cabbage yielded 10 leaves and a softball sized core.


Take a handful of the meat mixture (like how much would be in those sausages that fit on a hotdog bun) and splat it at the base of the leaf, where the stem is the thickest. Roll gently. Leave some space if you use rice/bulgur since it will expand. Unless you want hulk cabbage rolls, bursting out of the seams. Continue until you use up the meat. I filled ten leaves. I dumped sauce on the bottom of this lovely dish and stuffed the leaves in there. Baked them for an hour! Disclaimer: they're still in the oven, so this could have gone horribly wrong. Results will be added soon.

RESULTS: Very yummy despite the hazards and mess :)

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