STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
1 medium cabbage head
½ cup rice
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork
¼ teaspoon sweet basil or basil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ cups tomato sauce
½ cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or vinegar
9″ x 13″ casserole dish
Makes 12 cabbage rolls. Takes 2 hours.
Add cabbage head to 8-quart pot. Add enough water to cover cabbage. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 15 minutes or until leaves are soft and pliable enough to be removed easily. Remove cabbage from pot. Let sit until leaves are cool enough to be removed by hand. Drain cabbage. Remove and reserve damaged outer leaves. Carefully remove 12 leaves. Snip off the top part of the large spines on the cabbage leaves. This will make folding the cabbage rolls easier.
While cabbage boils, cook rice according to instructions on package. Dice garlic and onion. Add garlic, onion, and olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Beat egg in small bowl with whisk.
Add garlic, onion, rice, egg, ground beef, ground pork, sweet basil, paprika, parsley, and pepper to large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients with hands until well blended. Place 1/12 of the rice/meat mixture in the lower, middle part of a boiled cabbage leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the rice/meat mixture. Roll up the leaf from the bottom to make a cabbage roll. Repeat for the other 11 leaves.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add sugar, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and white wine vinegar to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Place damaged outer cabbage leaves on the bottom and on the sides of casserole dish. (This helps prevent the cabbage rolls from burning.) Place cabbage rolls seam side down in casserole dish. Pour tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes over cabbage rolls. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until meat is done.
(The doneness of the meat is difficult to assess without x-ray vision. If for some reason you don’t possess that capability, may I suggest discretely sampling one? Okay, okay that cabbage roll is yours.)
Place cabbage rolls on plates. Ladle tomato sauce from casserole dish onto cabbage rolls.
1) There is only one way to spell “taco.” That way is “taco.” However, this are multiple ways to spell this entree, “golumkies.” They are: golumpkies, golabkis, and galumkies. There are probably many other spellings used by underground culinary cultures.
2) There are many, many taco trucks in America. But there aren’t many golumki trucks. This goes back to tidbit 1. All hungry eaters know what they’ll be enjoying when they go up to a taco truck.
3) What if you grew up thinking the correct spelling was golabki?. What if you saw a golumki truck on your street corner? What if you also suffered from dyslexia? You might think the vendor was selling “K gum oil.” You wouldn’t buy that, certainly not the “K” variety. You’d scurry down to the other corner where a truck owner sold tacos. The word tacos is so well known that even dyslexics won’t confuse it with any other word.
4) Lefthanders are much more likely to suffer from dyslexia than are northpaws.
5) There was a time way back when people walked hunched over. Half of them were cro magnon and the others were neanderthals.
6) We know now a right-handed cro magnon named Bartolomeo Diaz killed the first elk. It was delicious, especially cooked that new-fangled way with fire. In fact Bartolomeo routinely won all the caveman chef contests. Bartolomeo, being a kind hearted soul, rushed to all the neighboring caves and wrote, “I so gum elk.” Cavemen, notorious for bad dental hygiene, usually lost all their teeth by adulthood. So their word for “eat” was “gum.”
7) The right-handed cro magnons read Bartolomeo’s words and hunted elk. Elk meat is high in protein. The cro magnons grew in strength and stature. They would conquer the animal kingdom and rule the world.
8) Neanderthals were all lefthanded dyslexics. They interpreted the cave-wall writing as “golumkies.” They stopped all hunter-gatherings and searched for golumki trucks. There were no prehistoric golumki trucks. There are none now. The neanderthals died out. Bummer.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.