Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Of Cabbage Rolls and Kings

Ok- no kings.  Don't have any, don't know any.

But we do have cabbage rolls, in the oven, as we speak.  I remember my mother used to make these, and they were an all day affair.  I've also made them myself, and one of my biggest complaints (and from the kids) was crunchy rice. You see, all the recipes from my childhood have you using uncooked rice in the balls.

This time - I cooked the rice until it was almost ready.. We shall see  how that turns out.

My recipe - compiled from many recipes:

Cabbage Rolls

1 pound of ground beef
2/3 cup of uncooked rice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
1 can tomato sauce

Cook the rice until mostly done.  Drain and rinse to cool.  Put the pound of ground beef in a bowl, sprinkle the onion and garlic powders onto the ground beef, add the rice.  Mix it all by hand until thoroughly and evenly mixed together.

Pull about 8 leaves off the head of the cabbage. The leaves may rip a bit - that's ok. Put a saucepan full of water on to boil, and put the cabbage leaves in the boiling water one at a time, about 2 minutes, or until the cabbage leaf starts getting limp and a bit translucent.

Put cabbage leaf on a cutting board and cut it in half the long way, taking the vein out of the middle.  Make a small ball of the ground beef mix, put it in the middle of a leaf half, and wrap the leaf around the ball, covering it fully. Repeat until you have about 12 balls, or have used up all of the ground beef mix.

Pour about 1/4 of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a square glass pan, then put each of the cabbage wrapped balls in the pan - it's OK to crowd them together.  once the pan is full, pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the top, cover with foil, and put in a 350 degree oven to cook for 30-40 minutes. I cut one in half to check if they are done.

Salt and pepper? up to you.

The finished product, happily eaten by all. Oh, and mostly cooking the rice before was the right thing to do.If you like more meat and less rice, cook less rice.


Something thrifty you can do - let the water you cooked the cabbage leaves in cool, and save it to water plants.  Puts those extra nutrients into the soil. You can do this for most vegetables; however I don't always recommend it for indoor plants - it can be odiferous.

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