This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays comes from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Everyday Dorie and wasn’t what I thought it was going to be! Stuffed Cabbage was, in fact, cabbage rolls (I had visions in my head of a whole cabbage hollowed out LOL!).
Dorie’s recipe calls for a whole head of cabbage (but just 18 leaves – the rest is in the sauce) but because there are just two of us, I wanted to make 1/3 of the recipe so I cut the cabbage in half – mistake! This makes for smaller leaves and makes it hard to cover the meat/ rice filling. I needed a few extra (half) leaves to be able to fully wrap/ cover the filling.
I had a tough time getting the leaves off the cabbage and made a big mess of it! But, because they are blanched in boiling water, they soften and so when you wrap them around the meat filling and cover them in sauce, you can’t notice too much. Dorie secures the bundles with a toothpick but I didn’t and they were fine.
The filling is a mixture of pork and beef with rice, spices, and Dorie’s secret ingredients – ketchup (and soy sauce). The sauce for this dish is meant to be tomatoes, apple juice and grated apple the extra cabbage thinly sliced, onion, apple cider vinegar and a few other herbs and spices. To be honest after wrangling the cabbage leaves and making the filling, I didn’t feel much like making the sauce with the long list of ingredients and fiddly jobs so I used a canned fire roasted tomato sauce with herbs and spices only and it was great. A heads up that this is not what I’d call an “everyday” dish as it is pretty labour and ingredient intensive. It also takes three hours (!) to cook! I made this in a baking dish, covered in parchment and then placed a heavy baking tray on top to weight it down (Dorie uses a Dutch oven type dish).
This was SUPER tasty and, per the recipe, was excellent the next day too. Would I make it again? Maybe, but I live in a Polish neighbourhood here in Toronto so excellent cabbage rolls are easy to find! This gives me a great appreciation for the amount of labour that goes into them though!
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Stuffed Cabbage on page 154 of Everyday Dorie.
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “Everyday Dorie” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
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