Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stuffed cabbage (and a pepper)

Lately I've been looking at the question of how to use my new-found skills to create delicious yet cheap food. It must be cheaper than going to some fast food joint and eating Mystery Meat topped with Mystery Sauce mixed with Unusually Colored Vegetables.

Yesterday, it was eggs on a bed of kale. Yes, I'd if I must abandon junk food the alternative should be healthier.

Today, stuffed cabbage sounded good. The basic process goes like this:
  1. Make some sausage meat from pork shoulder, red wine, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, scallions and garlic. Add a bit of powdered milk for protein binding.
  2. Blanch some cabbage leaves in boiling water, then shock them by dunking them in ice water.
  3. Wrap the sausage meat in the leaves, tuck everything in neatly, and arrange in a baking dish.
  4. Throw in a pasilla pepper, too. Stuff it and place in the dish with the cabbage.
  5. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, then add some unsalted chicken stock to keep things moist.
  6. Bake the stuffed leaves at 350° for about an hour.
  7. Use the excess cabbage leaves, along with some stock and garlic to make some cabbage soup (soupe aux choux) while you're waiting for the leaves to be ready. Purée all this stuff to make it feel richer.
There were no tomatoes in this, because they're not in season and I like to work up dishes that are made from things that are fresh and good now, not dependent on canning technology to make them work.

This would probably be better with red bell peppers than the pasilla. It really doesn't need a pepper at all, but I needed to clean out the refrigerator.

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