Tuesday, September 21, 2010

147. Stuffed Cabbage, 1975

As a child, I could hardly wait for the mailman to deliver the many magazines my parents had ordered. Reader's Digest was a huge favorite with its short stories, high interest pieces and funny jokes. They also subscribed to National Geographic, Life, The Saturday Evening Post, Better Homes and Gardens, Look, Ladies' Home Journal, Women's Day, Redbook, McCall's and others which I can no longer remember.

I was especially drawn to the women's magazines because they featured the latest clothing, make-up and hair styles and included recipes and decorating suggestions. Most issues rounded things out with high-interest articles and short stories. I don't think I ever changed my looks because of a magazine, but I definitely took notice of the recipes. It wasn't long before I had a large pile of cooking ideas in the box under my bed and dreamed of the day when I would be in charge of my own kitchen and able to plan one great meal after another.

McCall's magazine had a section for beginner cooks and it featured a montly recipe with a step-by-step pictoral guide. Today's recipe is one of those from a 1975 issue. This stuffed cabbage recipe is different from many other standard methods because the meat is cooked first and drained of excess fat; a much healthier alternative in my opinion.

My recipe updates from the original: liquid changed from 2 cups to 3; more seasoning in the sauce; microwave cooking directions.

 Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 large head of cabbage

1 tsp salt

Bring 6 C salted water to a boil. Add 12 large cabbage leaves. Simmer 3 minutes. (Cook longer if leaves are not pliable). Drain. Reserve 3 C liquid. Trim rib (take out a triangle-shaped piece). Put ½ C meat mixture in each leaf. Fold sides and ends to form little pouches. Arrange seam-side down in single layer in a greased casserole.

*Note – if your cabbage head does not have 12 large leaves, use two smaller leaves to form a little pouch. Soften leaves as indicated above and trim the rib. Overlap the rib ends of two smaller leaves, fill and fold the top and bottom inward and then the sides and place in a baking dish.
Stuffing ingredients:

½ C margarine                       1 lb ground beef
1 C chopped onion                1 ½ C cooked rice
1 crushed garlic clove             3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
½ lb sliced mushrooms           1 tsp salt, pepper to taste

Brown ground beef on med. high heat in a heavy pan. Drain fat and remove meat to a dish. Wipe out pan with a paper towel. Melt ¼ C margarine add onion, sauté 3 min. Add ¼ C margarine garlic, mushrooms – sauté 4 min. Add browned meat, rice, eggs, salt, pepper…sauté 5 min. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Sauce ingredients:

¼ C margarine
¼ C flour
1 can tomato paste
½ tsp salt, pepper blend

Sauce: melt ¼ C margarine in a covered microwave safe bowl. Remove and add flour stir until smooth. Add paste and 2 C liquid from cabbage leaves. Cover and place in microwave. Bring to boil - 1 ½ minutes. Add salt, pepper to taste. Remove from microwave. Stir. Add more cabbage liquid to make a nice sauce that is easily poured.

Pour sauce over all. Cover and place in microwave. Bake at 50% power for 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes covered prior to serving.

Serving suggestion:
Serve on a buttered layer of rice.

*Conventional oven baking: place the assembled rolls in a greased dish, bake covered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes; uncover for the last 10 minutes.

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