Since this is the lent season I thought I would post an old-time Eastern European classic meat recipe, without meat – Rice Stuffed Cabbage.
- 1 large sour cabbage (if you don’t have sour cabbage you can buy a regular cabbage, freeze it for 24 h and then let it at room temperature to unfreeze; another option is to boil the leaves so that they can be easily wrapped)
- 1 large onion
- Half a celery bunch
- 2 cups tomato paste
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 cups rice
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 TSP salt
- 1 TSP pepper
- 4TBS oil
- (Optional: raisins, grated carrots)
- Chop the onion and celery
- Heat a pan, add the 4 TBS oil and cook the onions, celery and mushrooms until the onions turn golden
- Add salt, pepper, rice, 1 cup of tomato paste, 1 cup tomato sauce and cook for 5-7 minutes
- Let it cool for about 20 minutes while you are preparing the cabbage
- The cabbage leaves need to be a little larger than your palm so if needed cut and stack them. You can also remove the thick stem so that the leaves are flat. Any cutting leftovers you can place on the bottom of the pot you will use to cook the rolls. You can either cook the rolls in the oven or on top of the stove.
- Add 1 cup of tomato paste on top of the cabbage leaves leftovers
- Start rolling the cabbage; usually I use one large TBS of mixture for each leaf. The composition should be enough for about 30 rolls but it depends on how big you end up wrapping the roll.
- To create the roll you place the mixture at one end of the roll, cover the bottom side, roll it and tuck the top side in. Another rolling technique is to place the mixture in the middle of the leaf, roll it and tuck in both ends. Don’t roll the cabbage to tight as the rice will expand during cooking.
- Place rolls closely together standing up in the pan
- If you have any leftover leaves you can use to cover the rolls
- Cover with water and boil or bake at medium heat since you won’t be able to stir the rolls. From time to time you can shake the pot to make sure the cabbage will not stick to the bottom.
- Rice stuffed cabbage rolls take longer to cook than the meat stuffed cabbage rolls, usually I take one out when it looks cooked to test and make sure the rice is fully cooked in the middle
Serve Warm! ENJOY!
Here is also an image of Stuffed Grape Leaves – this stuffing mixture includes meat.