Friday, September 17, 2010

Mr. B.'s Cabbage Rolls

* * * Mr. B.'s Cabbage Rolls

Rarely do I follow a recipe exactly. I scan over it first and while doing it I can almost taste it all, so if I think something could be added that might improve it, then in she goes. That is how this recipe came to be called Mr. B.'s. I did follow the directions from the Smitten Kitchen on how to prepare and kept pretty close to the amounts called for.
I must say this was quite a lesson in itself about how many varieties there are of this dish and from all over. I will not take the time to review it but would encourage you to check out the comments on the post of Alex's Mom's Stuffed Cabbage, they are very sweet and full of different little bits of family memories from many of the readers.
I will give you the way I made this and what I would do differently. You can go to the link above to get the original recipe and the comments there.
1 head cabbage - Savoy was called for but the 2 stores I went to had poor offerings.
1 lb. ground beef 87% lean
1 medium onion, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 carrot, shredded
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 C. dried cranberries, to your liking
1/2 C. uncooked rice
2 T tomato paste
3 C. tomato sauce ( 3 - 8oz. cans)
1/2 C. tomato juice
1/2 C. ketchup
Fresh grated nutmeg
Core the cabbage, leaving it whole and put it in a large bowl. Pour boiling water into core area and around cabbage so the leaves will get soft enough to remove. Leave 10 min.
Heat oil in a large frying pan with straight sides, you will be using this pan for the rolls too. Saute onion until soft then add carrot and celery and some salt and pepper and cook a little longer just to take crispness .
In a bowl put the meat, rice, tomato paste, and cranberries, oh, and I forgot that I put in some ketchup for taste too, salt and pepper again and grate a bit of nutmeg..go easy as this is stronger than ground nutmeg from a jar, maybe use like your pepper. Add contents of pan give a quick mix and let cool while dealing with the cabbage.
Get a towel ready to lay your leaves on and drain cabbage, carefully remove leaves and remove the hard rib by making a V cut. I ended up using 12 leaves (not counting the ones I messed up). The instructions said to dry leaves but I gave up after first one because I saw no reason, just don't have a bunch of water on the leaf.
Now I don't know how you feel about touching your food but I get right in there with my hands and give it a good mixing.
Now here we go down the home stretch. I took a 1/4 C. measure and pushed a glob in there and mounded it a bit then plopped it on to the leaf at a place that looked like I could start wrapping it like a tortilla and that is just what you do.
Put the tomato juice evenly on the bottom of the pan and start adding the rolls seam side down, they will be very snug in the pan.
Mix the tomato sauce and ketchup along with some salt, pepper and a little more grated nutmeg together in the bowl and pour evenly over the rolls, cover and bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for about 50 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
I hope you get something from this and maybe you will want to branch off and do your own thing. If you have any comments or questions please do not hesitate to ask. And don't be shy if I didn't make something clear.
** Next time I will use the Savoy cabbage and find a different way to get the leaves off. Please share if you know of a good way.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stuffed Cabbage

* Photo - Smitten Kitchen
One thing I really like about Fall is that we head back to the kitchen to rattle around with our pots and pans. We pull out all of those comfort food standby recipes and start looking for new ones to add to our repertoire. Today I am sharing one that I will hopefully be adding to mine and will be testing one day this week ( a full report here ). This is from the files of Smitten Kitchen under the title of Budget recipes and is her husband Alex's mom's Stuffed Cabbage. At a glance it appears to be of few ingredients and not very difficult. I am looking forward to giving it a place at the table.
Check back later this week and see how it went.
Keep an eye out for her new cookbook coming out in 2012.
Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nigella Lawson's New Cookbook

* * * * Photo from The Quince Tree

Sue, over at the lovely and always informative blog, The Quince Tree has this post today, introducing and giving us a very nice review on Nigella Lawson's new cookbook Kitchen - Recipes From the Heart of the Home. She is over in the UK so links to Amazon over there, here is the link to the US
I encourage you to go and check out Sue's post as she also has a very nice recipe she shares for an adult beverage that she is brewing up to be ready for Christmas.
Have a great day.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Barefoot Cookbook

Daughter just emailed the link for info on Barefoots new book. I new nothing about this...what is the matter with me? Here it is over at
Have a great weekend.