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  • Cabbage Rolls

    Like Clem and I am sure others here on Cowbird, I love to cook. Primarily, I love to cook because I love to eat. So, since I am coming up a little dry on the poetry and prose side, I thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes with you. Hope you enjoy it, 'cause I know you will enjoy eating them.


    1 large head of cabbage

    1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
    1 pound of ground meat (pork, beef, sausage...up to you)
    1 large bell pepper
    2 small or 1 large onion
    2 stalks of celery
    1 tablespoon of garlic
    1 cup white rice
    Seasonings to taste
    1 large jalapeno pepper (optional)

    16 ounces of beef broth or stock

    A box of round toothpicks

    Finely chop the bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. In a large skillet, bring to a medium heat and add the olive oil and garlic. When the garlic is aromatic, add the pound of ground meat and brown, stirring in the remainder of the chopped ingredients. Continue to heat until your onions are translucent, remove from heat, and stir in the uncooked white rice. Set aside to cool, covered.

    In a large pot, heat enough water to completely cover your cabbage. Core the stem of the cabbage using a long, sharp knife, removing the core. Check to make sure all the leaves of the cabbage are off the core. When the water is hot, but not boiling, SLOWLY place the cabbage in the water. As the cabbage cooks, the leaves will separate from the cabbage. Remove these leaves using tongs as they come off and place on a large platter covered with a dish towel or paper towels. Let the leaves blanch off until the cabbage is down to the core. Let the leaves cool before proceeding.

    With the larger outer leaves, there will be a heavy stem up the center of the leaf. You want to remove that stem by cutting as close to the edge of the stem as possible. The remaining leaf is your material to roll the meat and vegetable combination, which should be cool as well.

    Using a tablespoon, scoop about one tablespoon of the mixture into the leaf and roll the end over the mixture, bringing the leaf around until the leaf forms a roll. Use a toothpick to secure the roll, place in a large baking pan (I use a half sheet pan about 3 inches deep). Repeat with the leaves of the cabbage until all the leaves are used and all the mixture is contained. (Just in case, I have a second pan, 9x9, standing by for any excess)

    Pour the beef broth over the rolls and place in the oven at 350° for approximately 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with shredded cheese or bread crumbs (optional), and bake for an additional five minutes.

    I'm letting the cabbage leaves cool as I am writing this, and I see by the clock it's about time to get started. I will let you know that when I fix these, I rarely have leftovers.

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