Recipe for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls: Simply Scrumptious Comfort Food
Stuffed cabbage rolls, which long have been featured in European, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines, have also found a cherished place in homes and restaurants in America. Stuffing and sauce options abound. A basic recipe from my family’s culinary files is shared.
Stuffed cabbage rolls consist of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a seemingly infinite variety of fillings. The basic filling in European recipes emphasizes meat, grains, mushrooms, and vegetables seasoned with spices and onions. In Asia seafood, tofu, and shiitake mushrooms usually are wrapped in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa), a relative of the Western cabbage (Brassica oleracea).
Introduced into the New World through ethnic cuisines, stuffed cabbage rolls have also found a cherished place in homes and restaurants there. In addition to tastiness in their raw state, cabbage leaves are amenable to cooking. They serve as excellent wraps for an array of stuffings. The heavily veined leaves retain aromas and juices released during cooking by ingredients and, thus, are effective flavor enhancers. Also, the crispy crunchiness of cabbage leaves undergoes an appetizing, buttery, tender transformation during baking which is an irresistible gustatory sensation.
A basic recipe from my family’s culinary files suffices as a welcome dish throughout the year. Popular for both everyday and festive meals, my family’s stuffed cabbage rolls invite the creativity of adding or substituting ingredients while also being honored in their basic form.
My Family’s Basic Recipe for Simply Scrumptious Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 12 cabbage leaves (Note: remove core to separate leaves from head; store core and unused cabbage parts in freezer to use later for purées or stocks)
- 1 pound ground turkey or ground chicken
- 2 large eggs, cage-free brown
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, with liquid
- 1/2 cup barley, uncooked
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, to be divided
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (or substitute apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon sugar in the raw (turbinado in US, demerara in UK)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon water
- sharp knife
- 3-quart pan
- large (3 quart) mixing bowl with lid
- small mixing bowl
- 1/2 cup measuring scoop
- 1 teaspoon measuring spoon
- 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon
- fork or spatula (for folding)
- #12 disher scoop (ice cream scoop), 2 1/2 inch diameter, 1/3 cup yield
- 8 x 8 x 2 square baking dish, ungreased, with lid
- large serving spoon or spatula
- large serving plate
- small saucepan
- small sauce serving bowl
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (176° Celsius; gas mark 4).
1) Immerse cabbage leaves in cold water in large mixing bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes; then drain leaves in colander.
2) While leaves are draining, bring 2 quarts of water to boil; transfer leaves back to large mixing bowl and add boiling water; cover with lid about 10 minutes, until leaves are limp; drain into colander.
3) In the large bowl, with fork or spatula, combine ground turkey, eggs, chopped onion, mushrooms with liquid, barley, and seasonings (sea salt, parsley, black and white pepper, rosemary). Add half of tomato sauce (7-8 ounces), and mix well.
4) Place cabbage leaves individually on counter and place about 1/3 cup of stuffing in the center of each leaf.
5) Fold as though making a package: sides are folded over stuffing first, and then the leaf’s top and bottom are tucked in neatly as well.
6) Place rolls with seam side down in ungreased baking dish.
7) Combine rest of tomato sauce (about 7-8 ounces) with lemon juice and sugar in small bowl; then pour over rolls.
8) Cover baking dish with lid and bake in 350° F (176° C) oven for about 45 minutes.
9) Remove from oven and set, still covered, on counter; reduce oven to low and briefly warm serving plate.
10) Turn off oven; place serving plate on counter and transfer rolls to serving plate.
11) In small saucepan slowly combine 1 Tablespoon cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon water; then drain liquid from cabbage roll baking dish into pan and bring to boil while stirring constantly. Allow to boil, while continuing to stir, for one minute.
12) Pour sauce into small sauce bowl.
13) Enjoy the scrumptious aromas, tastes, and textures of stuffed cabbage rolls.
Copyright: Thursday, August 2, 2012 by Stessily.