14 December 2008

Today's entertainment — cabbage rolls

In the "entertainment is where you can find it" category:

Blanched cabbage leaves — these were in the freezer.

A few weeks ago, I cooked a savoy cabbage, un chou frisé. I removed about a dozen of the outer leaves and blanched them in boiling salted water for a few minutes, and then I rolled them up, put them in plastic bags, and froze them.

Make a stuffing of ground beef and cooked rice,
cooked millet, or dry breadcrumbs, with seasonings.

A couple of days ago I decided to make stuffed cabbage leaves with eight of them. I found stew beef on sale at SuperU. Walt ran a pound (500 g) of it through the meat grinder this morning. We had some left over millet in the refrigerator. That, the ground beef, some sautéed onions and shallots, dried thyme, salt, pepper, two eggs, and some diced mushrooms made a good stuffing.

Chop some mushrooms. These are rehydrated shitakes.

Use cooked rice or dry breadcrumbs in the place of the millet, and add breadcrumbs as needed to make the stuffing stiff enough to form into rolls. Don't forget the seasonings.

Roll up "cakes" of the stuffing in blanched cabbage leaves.
Some of the leaves are dark green, others are more yellow.

With the meat stuffing divided into eight equal parts, I could roll up each sausage-shaped piece in a blanched cabbage leaf, which I had thawed in cold water. That way there was no stuffing left over.

Arrange the cabbage rolls on a layer of tomato sauce in a baking dish.

Meanwhile, I made a tomato sauce with a big can of whole peeled tomatoes, a few small carrots, and some onion, shallot, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Actually, that cooked while I was working on the stuffing and rolling up the leaves. You could use a jar of good tomato sauce. Or fresh tomatoes, if it were tomato season.

Spoon more of the tomato sauce over the top.

When the sauce and rolls are ready, put a generous layer of sauce in a baking dish. Arrange the cabbage rolls in the dish as best you can. Then spoon the rest of the sauce over the top. Spread it around.

With all the tomato sauce spread around, it's ready for the oven.

Put the dish, covered, in a 350F/180C oven for about an hour. That will give the stuffing time to cook through and the sauce time to cook down and thicken (I hope — it's in the oven now). Take the lid off at the end and let it brown a little. It would — will — be good with some grated cheese. And some red wine. And some French bread


  1. Be right over.

    I'll bet it smells great while it's cooking.

  2. Miam, miam, miam .
    My mom makes cabbage rolls from a Polish recipe, I believe. Similar concepts, though. I think she puts a little chopped, cooked bacon in the mix, too. And she adds a little brown sugar and beef bouillon to the simple tomato sauce... makes a wonderful flavor.

    They look so tasty!


  3. These look mouth-watering. Choux farcis are a big traditional dish around here. I've never tried making them, as we can get good ones from traiteurs.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?