Friday, April 13, 2012

Cabbage Rolls

I made these a little while back when we were getting cabbage in our veggie box.  I used two heads and thought, "whoa, I'm going to have too much of this"--pictured is a quarter of the whole batch.  We blew through it all in 2 days, they made excellent leftovers, especially at breakfast (!).   It's also a good one to bring to a potluck as they retain their heat well and taste great room temperature or even cold.   I used green cabbage--you could use savoy as well but don't use Napa or red cabbage, it won't translate well. I was a little leery with this one for the kids, I remember my mom making this for me when I was a kid and I didn't love it--in our home it was called Sarma.  When I asked the kids if they thought it was good, Leo said, "this isn't good, Mom, it's GREAT."  So, there you have it.

Another note:  from start to eating-at-the-table this took about an hour and half--not too bad for an entire meal.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Cabbage Sarma)

2 lbs. ground meat (I used beef and pork from Prather Ranch this time out)
3/4 c. cauliflower rice
3 large tomatoes diced small
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. cinnamon (or you could go in the other direction and use dried mint)
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
2 heads cabbage from Tomatero Farms
3 T. lemon juice

Combine meat, cauliflower rice, tomatoes, cinnamon, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Mix well, cover and refrigerate while preparing cabbage leaves.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  While water is heating, prepare the cabbage.  Leaving heads of cabbage whole, remove hard core centers to make it easier to separate leaves after they are softened. Place cabbage, stem end down, in water to cover.  Return to boil again.  As cabbage cooks, begin to peel off outer whole leaves as they soften.  Continue until all leaves are softened. 

Line bottom of large pan or dutch oven with largest outside leaves.

Place spoonful of filling along bottom of each leaf and roll up. Roll up bottom over filling, tuck in both sides, then roll to the top creating a nice snug rollup.  Don't let any filling seep out.  Don't use the leaves with the biggest vein in them.

Arrange seam side down and nestle them closely together.  I had about 3 layers, make sure the top layer is even across.

Combine lemon juice and water to almost cover cabbage and pour over top.  Place an inverted plate on top to keep the rolls in place while cooking.  Cover with pan lid and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.  Drain off cooking liquid and serve on the side or use to reheat leftovers.

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