Created by jclawson
, Thursday, 02 December 2010
Cabbage leaves can be precooked at home two or three days ahead of time. Blanch the leaves until they are barely pliable; drain well; layer with plastic wrap; and chill. The secret to this dish is to add a touch of brown sugar or molasses -- no more than a tablespoon. To save time, use leftover or instant rice.
Large head cabbage, approximately 3 pounds
Large onion, diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound lean ground meat (preferably a mix of beef with turkey, pork, or veal)
1-1/2 cups cooked rice, cooled
1 tablespoon brown sugar or molasses
28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
Cut the core out of the cabbage, discard the leaves that are tattered or tough, and place the cabbage, core side down, in a large pot of boiling water. After 5 minutes, remove the cabbage and rinse it under cold water. Carefully separate 12 leaves, trim out the large veins, and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest of the head.
In a small skillet, heat the onion, seasonings, and garlic until the onion is limp. Add the raw meat and cooked rice and mix well. Lay out the cabbage leaves one at a time; fill with approximately 1/4-cup of the meat and rice mixture; and roll up, tucking in the ends as you go to make a neat bundle. Mix the brown sugar or molasses with the tomatoes and put a small amount in the bottom of a buttered casserole dish. Top with the chopped cabbage, then the cabbage rolls, alternating and ending with the tomatoes. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. This recipe serves six with two cabbage rolls each plus a serving of chopped cabbage in sauce. Arrange the servings in shallow soup plates and complement the meal with crusty Italian bread, spinach salad, and a dessert of baked apples with maple syrup.