Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This is the amazing and time consuming dish I made for my amazing mother's 60th birthday, here is the original recipe.  For my mother's 60th my father, her and a bunch of their close friends all went to Silcox Hut which looks breathtaking, above Timberline lodge over 7,000 feet up.  It is an adventure I hope to take one day although I do get really bad vertigo and wonder how flat it is that high up...  In other news I don't even know where to begin when it comes to discussing how disgusted and sad I am about the state of #Ferguson, but this article from the Washington Post sheds some light on the reality of the situation: "Ferguson isn't about black rage against cops.  It's white rage against progress."  On that note eat well and don't forget that love is what it is all about.

Makes 16 rolls

The Ingredients

Cabbage Rolls:
1 large head green cabbage, about 2 to 2¼ pounds

2 pounds ground beef

2 eggs (not necessary, you can leave them out, but they do make the meat fluffier)

1 large onion, grated or minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup raw long-grain white rice

Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

2 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 large onion, chopped (medium dice)

2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce or one 32-ounce can whole tomatoes, pulsed in a food processor with juice until pureed.

juice of one lemon or 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup golden or regular raisins (optional)

Chopped parsley, for garnish

The Process

1. Core the cabbage. Carefully separate the leaves. Blanch 16 large leaves in boiling water for about 1 minute, or until bright green and just softened. Immediately refresh the blanched leaves in ice water. Drain and reserve. OR, freeze head of cabbage for two days then defrost, core, peel off leaves and roll cabbage rolls. Another method is, place the cabbage in the microwave for 6 minutes. The core will slip right out and the leaves will be perfect for rolling. (I used this method)

2. Chop some of the remaining leaves to make 1 cup of chopped cabbage and reserve.

3. Mix the ground beef with the eggs, grated onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and rice. Divide this mixture into sixteen 2-ounce balls. Using moistened hands, form the balls into cylinders.

4. Place a cylinder of filling near the bottom of a cabbage leaf. Begin to roll it up, folding both sides over the filling, and finish rolling to enclose the filling, like an egg roll. Continue, filling and rolling all the cabbage leaves. Place them, seam side down, on a tray or baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

5. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a heavy, nonreactive saucepan. Sauté the second onion until soft and golden. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes, then add the reserved chopped cabbage and sauté briefly.

6. Add the tomato sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine. Increase the heat until it comes to a boil, then lower it and simmer for 5 minutes. Add raisins now, if using.

7. Line of the bottom of a 13 x 9 roasting pan or glass dish with a layer of sauce. Place cabbage rolls, seam side down, on top of sauce. Top cabbage rolls with remaining sauce then cover the whole pan with tin foil.

8. Bake for 2 hours in a preheated 350F oven.

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