Saturday, January 9, 2010

fruits of labor - stuffed cabbage leaves

these stuffed cabbage leaves were absolutely delicious and a different way to use a head of cabbage, it being winter an all lots of cabbage has been coming in my weekly produce box, and ive been trying to come up with creative and different ways of using it - this is and involved, but really really good one!!

this recipe is adapted from one found in the oct/nov '06 edition of Eating Well - these can be made up to a day ahead too!

1/2 cup of brown or wild rice (i used a really yummy wild medley from trader joes)
1 cup of water
1 large Savoy cabbage (approx. 3lbs)
1 tbsp of EVOO
1 med leek white and light green parts only
3 sm/med. cloves of garlic
6 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
1 lb veal (ground turkey would be good too)
2 tbsp of fresh dill
1 tsp of caraway seeds
1 tbsp of fresh or dried thyme
1 tbsp of hot paprika
3/4 tsp of salt
tsp of fresh black pepper
1 1/2 cup of no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp of honey

Preheat oven to 375

first combine rice and water in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil. cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender and water is absorbed - set aside to cool

while rice is cooking - fill a large pot or dutch oven full of water and bring to a boil. carefully peal of the largest 14 outer leaves of the cabbage (you should only need 12 but its nice to have backups) - when the water is boiling, drop in leaves and boil for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure all leaves blanch evenly. after 6 minutes drain and rise with cold water, set aside to continue cooling.

chop up approx. 2 cups of cabbage from what remains of the head and combine with chopped onion in a med sauce pan with the olive oil. cook, stirring often, until mixture is softened - 4-5 minutes. add the chopped garlic and continue cooking 1 additional minute. next add 4 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice - continue cooking and stir until the liquid has almost evaporated - set aside to cool.

next combine in a large bowl the meat, dill, caraway, thyme,paprika, S&P, rice and the onion and cabbage mixture. mix all of this together thoroughly. when the mixture has been combined, clear a workspace, and lightly oil the bottom of a large baking dish (9x13"). lay one of the cabbage leaves on the work surface - place a small handful, approx 1/3 cup of the mixture in the center of the leaf - fold in the sides of the leaf over the filling and then roll closed. place in the baking dish seam side down - repeat until mixture is gone.

finally - whisk together the honey, remaining 2 tbsp of lemon juice, chicken stock and tomato sauce - pour evenly over rolls. cover the baking dish tightly with tinfoil and place in the over for one hour. after one hour remove pan and uncover, baste rolls then place back in the oven and continue cooking and basting for an additional 15-20 minutes or until meat is cooked through -

i served these with a mixed green salad with orange and pomegranate seeds - enjoy!

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