Saturday, May 5, 2012

My Favorite Cabbage Rolls

Allow three hours to make this fantastically good dish. Your time is precious, but the results are worth it. This recipe is also a great penny pincher.

My Favorite Cabbage Rolls:

1 large head of cabbage
2 c. uncooked long-grain white rice (see Note)
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 lb. (454 g) ground pork
½ c. butter or margarine, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
Two 14-oz. (398 mL) cans tomato sauce (use the plain variety - no garlic or other additions)
Dairy sour cream, as required
Core whole cabbage, placing unwrapped in deep freeze overnight, to soften leaves. Alternately, core whole cabbage, pouring boiling water into core and around cabbage, covering completely until leaves are soft, about 30 min. 
Prepare and cook rice (see Index for How to Cook Rice). While rice cooks, break up pork sausage and fry together with chopped onion in 2 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. When rice finishes cooking, stir in to meat and onion mixture, adding remaining 6 tbsp. butter and seasoning. Cool and set aside.
Lightly oil 13x9-in. casserole before filling, rolling, and placing Cabbage Rolls in dish. Drain cabbage and carefully strip away leaves. Cut large leaves into two sections, removing vein. Do not cut small leaves. To fill, place no more than 1 heaping tbsp. of filling in each leaf (less for smaller leaves). Fold in the sides of the leaf; roll the toughest part under; end with the most tender part of the leaf, placing this part  where the roll meats the pan. Ensure the roles are snug and close together in the casserole. Depending on the size of the cabbage, you may need an additional, smaller casserole.
Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Pour tomato sauce evenly over rolls. Cover tightly with foil and bake 1-½ hr. Serve with lashings of sour cream. Serves 6-to-8.
Note: Use leftover rice mixture to make Shrimp-Fried Rice. I’ll blog my favorite recipe for it tomorrow.

A large head ... of cabbage!

Remove the core

Plunge it into boiling water to soften the leaves

Sniff and sob your way through chopping onions or ...

Look like an idiot and be smart about it

Of course, some people always go too far!

Prepare to cook rice

Add onion to ground pork

Fry in a little butter on medium high

Add cooked rice to pork mixture when no pink remains
Remove softened cabbage from boiling water; drain 

Trim tough veins from cabbage leaves

Separate leaves from cabbage, using all but the smallest

Fill and commence rolling

Tuck in the edges

Place the most tender leaves under the rolls

Place Cabbage Rolls snug and close to one another

Nap with tomato sauce, cover, and bake

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