December’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge had us on a roll! Olga from http://www.effortnesslessly.blogspot.com/ challenged us to make stuffed cabbage rolls using her Ukrainian heritage to inspire us. Filled with meat, fish or vegetables, flexibility and creativity were the name of the game to get us rolling!
This was a timely challenge for us. In the week before the challenge was published, we had remarked to each other that the cabbages in our local farmers’ market looked particularly good, so on our weekly grocery shopping expedition we picked one up. We were therefore delighted to find that the December challenge was to make stuffed cabbage rolls! We stuck with the recipe that we had planned to use (outlined below), but were grateful for one of the tips in Olga’s challenge instructions, namely boiling the cabbage whole and separating the leaves in situ. In the past, we used to separate – or rather, try to separate - the uncooked leaves, and often the assembly of stuffed cabbage rolls was more of an exercise in patching together torn pieces of cabbage rather than wrapping up the filling. By pre-cooking the whole cabbage, the leaves separate out nicely and we also appreciated how the core remained intact – we used this in a second recipe during the week.
Here, then, is our stuffed cabbage recipe:
1 green cabbage
2/3 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup uncooked white rice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients to form a meat/rice stuffing mixture. Bring a pot of water to the boil (the pot needs to be big enough to hold the cabbage!) Simmer the cabbage, core facing up on low heat for about 5 minutes, until the leaves can be easily separated from each other. It’s easiest to stick a large fork in the core while you’re doing this…
Wrap the stuffing up inside neat parcels of cabbage, and place in a baking dish:
For the sauce:
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 lb mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 oz butter
1 oz flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until they give off their liquid and get soft.
Make a roux with the butter and flour, then gradually mix in the milk to make a white sauce. Add the sour cream and season to taste.
To assemble, pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls, cover with foil and bake at 375 F for ~1 hour.