Monday, April 8, 2013

Cabbage Rolls

We love cabbage rolls around here. We use the hottest sausage we can find for these, but any type will do or you could just use some ground pork.

This recipe is a combination of a couple recipes, but mostly it comes from a Barefoot Contessa recipe on Food Network. That Lady knows how to cook and bake. I still need to make her brownie recipe that has like a dozen sticks of butter in it. I bet they are good!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls  From: Food Network Barefoot Contessa

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped white or yellow onions
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
2 (28) ounce cans of crushed tomatoes (or I sometimes use  2 (14) ounce cans of petite diced tomatoes with one 6 ounce can of tomato paste and 1 cup water)
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar (I use honey or agave sometimes instead)
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
3/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I got this idea from a Martha Stewart recipe for stuffed cabbage)

1 Large head of cabbage. My neighbor just told me about a cool trick for the cabbage. Instead of coring the cabbage and soaking it in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes-take the whole head and freeze it for a day or 2 until completely frozen through. Then thaw out on the counter starting the morning you are going to make these. She said almost every leaf is usable and doesn't tear. That would eliminate the frustration I have when making these. I am definitely trying this trick next time. Takes a little planning ahead though.

1 to 1 1/2 pounds of sausage(as spicy as you want it) or ground pork
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon or more of smoked paprika (if you want more spice-idea also from the Martha Stewart recipe)
You can add about a 1/2 cup of the sauce to this filling if it seems like it needs a little more moisture.

Start you water boiling in a large pan for the head of cabbage. In another pan, saute your onions and garlic in the olive oil about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer about 30 minutes. I just start with the sauce and by the time I make everything else, the sauce is ready.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Core the cabbage and immerse into boiling water for a few minutes or try the freezing trick up above. Separate the cabbage leaves once cool enough to handle.

Mix all of the filling ingredients together and divide among the cabbage leaves. Roll the cabbage around the filling and put in a greased or sprayed 9x13 pan. Spread the sauce over the top and bake cover with foil for an hour. Take the foil off and make sure the sausage is fully cooked by slicing into the middle of a cabbage roll with a sharp knife. You may have to cook them for another 15 to 20 minutes. You can leave the foil off.

This recipe feeds the four of us-3 adults and a 16 year old that eats more than the rest of us. Ha!