Cabbage Rolls

The following recipe was prepared during my International Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and check out the other recipes that were made for the event HERE.

Cabbage Rolls
shared at the event by Kevin & Marla

recipe courtesy of Graham Kerr

1 large head green cabbage (9-10 inches in diameter)
1 teaspoon non-aromatic olive oil
2 cups finely chopped sweet onions
4 cloves garlic, bashed and chopped
6-ounces leanest ground beef (9%)
6-ounces ground white meat turkey
¼ cup raw long grain white rice
2 tablespoons tomato puree
¼ cup beef broth
¼ teaspoon dried dill weed
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Sauce
1 ½ cups tomato puree
1 ½ cups beef broth
¼ cups packed brown sugar
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried dill weed
¼ teaspoon caraway seed
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons arrowroot mixed with 2 tablespoons water (slurry.

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C.) Spray a 9”x13” (23x33cm) baking pan. Fill a large pan with water, cover and bring to a boil. Carve the core out of the cabbage and place in the boiling water to cook, covered. for 10 minutes. Take out of the boiling water and plunge into a bowl of cold water to cool.

2. Heat the oil in a chef’s pan on medium high. Drop the onions into the hot pan and cook 3 minutes or until they begin to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Place half the onion garlic mixture in a large bowl. Leave the rest in the pan to make the sauce. Combine the ground beef and turkey, rice, tomato puree, broth, dill weed, salt, pepper, and parsley with the onion mixture in the bowl.

3. Pour the tomato puree, broth, brown sugar, vinegar, pepper, dill weed, caraway, and bay leaves into the pan with the reserved onion and garlic and simmer while you make the rolls, about 15 minutes.

4. Drain the cabbage and separate12 of the largest cabbage leaves without tearing. Cut out the center heavy rib from each leaf leaving a shallow v shape. Spread out on the kitchen bench. Divide the filling among the leaves (a heaping tablespoon is about right). Overlap the sides where you removed the stems, fold over the sides first and then roll to completely enclose the filling.

5. Set them side by side in the prepared pan and pour the sauce over all, lay a piece of foil on top. Bake in the preheated oven, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake ½ hour longer.

6. Divide the cabbage rolls among 6 warm plates. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and thicken with the arrowroot slurry. Spoon over the waiting rolls.

Classically a broad buttered noodle would be served but I prefer a mashed potato spiked with horseradish and a broiled half beef steak tomato.

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Care for Tamarind Soup?

Okay, my apologies to those that were grossed out with the previous post on balut. But please don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂 Moving on to daily eats, here’s a filipino dish that’s true comfort food for us, sinigang. We made this for dinner since we were feeling lazy with the heat wave coming through Chicago.

Sinigang is a filipno dish famous for the variety of ingredients one can use as well as for its taste. Sinigang is typically sour and is most often likened to Thailand’s tom yum.

Sinigang often incorporates stewed fish, pork, chicken, shrimp, or beef. Sinigang’s characteristic taste is attributed to the ingredient that gives its sour taste, not to the meat’s flavor.

Pork sinigang, the most common variety, is usually prepared with tamarind, tomato, leek, taro, and onion. Other vegetables cooked in sinigang may include cabbage, okra, spinach, radish, green pepper and string beans. Naturally, vegetarians would love this dish since various vegetables lends itself nicely with the flavor of tamarind.

Another variety is prepared with guava and is less sour than those with tamarind. Raw mango, calamansi and kamias can also be utilized. Surprisingly, that sour flavor is not because of vinegar, which many people may confuse it as. Powdered soup base or bouillon cubes cubes for sinigang are also used in place of natural fruits.

Most filipinos here in the US don’t have the time to gather those exotic fruits to create that sour flavor that sinigang is used for. Instead, most people use the powdered soup base such as that above.This is not a hard dish to make – even for those who aren’t familiar with filipino food. Here’s a common recipe for Sinigang, which is even found on the back of the powdered soup base package…

1-2 lbs pork (or beef)
8 cups of water
your choice of green veggies – cabbage, asparagus, green beans, spinach
1 large tomato, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion chopped

In a dutch oven or pot, add pork.
Cover with water and let boil until cooked.
Drain pork and run through cold water to rid of the “residue”.
Place pork back in clean pot and cover with water.
Add 1 package of sinigang soup base.
Add tomatoes, garlic & onions.
Let it come to a boil.
Depending on which vegetables you use, add the veggies that take longer to cook first.
Reduce heat and allow veggies to cook through.
Remove from heat and add other veggies on top.
Cover and let steam to cook.
Stir before serving over rice or eat as a soup.

This can be made vegetarian my omitting the meats and cooking up the veggies in the soup base.

Enoki Enhancements

Today for lunch I wanted to use some of the goodies I picked up from my recent trip to a Korean grocery store. What resulted was an eclectic mix of ingredients for a stew with a soy & tomato sauce. One of the ingredients I used were enokitake mushrooms.

Enokitake (enoki for short) are long, thin white mushrooms used in Asian cuisines, particularly those of Japan, Korea, China and Vietnam. These mushrooms are also called golden needle mushroom. Wild forms differing in color, texture, and sliminess are called winter mushrooms, velvet foot, or velvet stem among other names.

The mushroom is available fresh or canned, the fresh mushroom being my preference. They are traditionally used for soups, but can also be used for salads and other dishes. They have a fruity flavor and a crisp texture. The mushroom can be refrigerated for about one week.

For my pork & napa cabbage stew, I used the enoki as a garnish. Here is my recipe for pork & napa cabbage stew:

1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 lbs pork, diced
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 cups water
1 teaspoon: salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper
1 small head of napa cabbage, sliced in ribbons
1 oz enoki mushrooms

In a dutch oven, place about 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Heat dutch oven over medium heat.
Add sliced onions and garlic.
When onions have softened, add pork.
Add seasonings and stir, browning pork.
When pork has browned, add water and soy sauce.
Stir and add tomatoes.
Allow sauce to reduce to half.
Turn off heat and toss in napa cabbage.
Before serving, garnish with enoki mushrooms, with thick stems cut off.

I served this over steamed jasmine rice.

Pancit Bihon

:Pancit Bihon
(Filipino stir fried rice noodles)

1 pkg Excellent brand “rice stick special bihon” noodles, soaked in hot water
Silver Swan or Lauriat soy sauce
1 cup water
carrots – sliced in match stick
red bell pepper, sliced thin
green beans, julienned
2 cups sliced cabbage
chicken – small cubed or bite sized pieces
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1 medium to large chopped onion
1 cube chicken buillion
garlic salt
black pepper

1. Heat large wok with about 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil (veggie, corn, canola will do)
2. Add chopped garlic and onions to the pot – cook til translucent.
3. Add all meats and cook til heated through.
4. Season meats with garlic salt, black pepper, chicken buillion cube
5. Add veggies, water and soy sauce (I start pouring and count to 3, then stop.) Let simmer till shrimp is pink and cooked through.
6. Add soaked noodles
7. Toss until heated through.
8. Place on platter and serve with lemon or calamansi (philippine lemon)