As I look out the window on the heaping snowbanks, I do know I would like groceries however I feel, can it wait another day?
Normally the reply is sure. I sometimes hold a pantry of provides, but when I’m going to prepare dinner one thing, I’ll sometimes want a number of elements I don’t have.
So earlier this week I placed on my boots and heat coat and I made my solution to Aldi to purchase a number of staples, significantly greens.
I observed that a whole lot of the produce was picked over on a Tuesday night time, however I additionally observed there was an abundance of massive cabbage heads with very nice inexperienced leaves on them, and the value was fairly low.
There aren’t a whole lot of recipes that decision for cabbage, however you may make haluski, which is cabbage minimize up and braised in butter with noodles, or coleslaw, or you’ll be able to put it in vegetable soup.
I had already purchased two heads of cabbage earlier this month and made a small batch of stuffed cabbage in my sluggish cooker as a stuck-at-home undertaking. My mom all the time used a recipe that known as for bacon, tomatoes and sliced cabbage layered in between the pillows of meat-filled cabbage leaves, or she’d make it the German method with sauerkraut. This time, I opted for the tomato recipe, however the finish product left me wanting another taste.
Each time I make stuffed cabbage, it takes me again about 40 years to a reminiscence of 1 New 12 months’s Eve.
I used to be single and my boyfriend on the time and one other man pal had been planning a New 12 months’s Eve celebration at certainly one of their homes.
They had been good mates from their celebration days at Slippery Rock College, so I knew this was going to be a loopy celebration. My thought was that I’d make some meals for the occasion so individuals would not less than have one thing to take in the alcohol.
I purchased all of the elements for stuffed cabbage, aka pigs within the blanket. I used to be going to make the 2 sorts, one pot with the tomatoes and bacon, and one other pot with sauerkraut. I had purchased sufficient elements for 20 individuals, so it was going to be a giant manufacturing.
Properly, the day earlier than the celebration, I got here down with a nasty abdomen flu. As you’ll be able to think about, I didn’t wish to even take a look at or take into consideration stuffed cabbage or sauerkraut. I used to be flat on my again in mattress with a bucket close by. I needed to name them and make an apology, I can’t do that.
They had been good sports activities about it and came visiting and acquired the elements.
Then, over the telephone from my mattress, I gave them step-by-step directions for making each sorts. They had been laughing and having enjoyable with it and not likely paying shut consideration to the instructions I used to be giving them. I wasn’t amused.
And as a substitute of constructing each sorts, they mixed each recipes collectively and put all the elements in a single pot. The end result was stuffed cabbage on a mattress of cabbage, bacon, tomatoes and sauerkraut.
As I drank my New 12 months’s Eve ginger ale, lined in blankets and watching the Occasions Sq. ball drop, they known as to tell me their stuffed cabbage effort was an enormous success.
Just a few days later, as soon as my urge for food returned, I discovered they’d saved me a few these beauties to attempt. Since then, I’ve seldom made stuffed cabbage every other method. They had been the very best I’d ever tasted.
I grew up in a German family the place sauerkraut and stuffed cabbage had been New 12 months’s staples, so I typically watched how they had been made and I’d assist out as soon as in awhile.
By way of the years, there by no means has been an actual recipe that I can share in the present day. I might simply stroll you thru the method, like I did on the telephone that day. However I’m going to offer you their model that was extra of a success. There are a number of steps within the manufacturing, so right here goes.
For procuring, you’ll want not less than two good huge heads of leafy cabbage, bacon, two giant cans of entire tomatoes, floor beef and pork meatball combine (no veal), long-grain rice (I take advantage of Uncle Ben’s), two eggs, salt, pepper and grated onion should you want. (I don’t use the onion however some individuals do.)
First, you cube up a few half-pound of bacon and fry it until crispy. Take away it from the grease and drain it on a paper towel. Preserve the pan grease. You’ll want it.
Pour a pair tablespoons of the grease into a big, deep soup pot or your Crockpot and set it apart. Now you’ll be able to discard the remainder of the grease.
Subsequent, minimize the cores out of the bottoms of the cabbage heads. Use a giant, sharp knife, however watch out. Then put the entire head, separately, in a big pot of water on the range and boil it barely till the cabbage leaves are semi-tender and simply separate from the pinnacle. Utilizing a pair of tongs, take away the leaves one at time and stack them on a plate for rolling; drain off the water from the plate.
Whenever you get right down to the smaller leaves, slice up the remainder of the pinnacle actually skinny and put one layer of the cabbage slices within the backside of the pot on prime of the bacon grease.
Place the bottom meat in a big bowl (I normally purchase about two kilos, three if making for lots of people). Combine in two eggs, about ½ cup of raw rice, salt and pepper, and the onion should you want. Mix all of it collectively and kind footballs with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of meat, relying on the scale you like.
Open one can of the tomatoes and drain a bit of little bit of the juice into the pot with the bacon grease and cabbage.
Begin rolling the cabbage leaves, taking a ball of the meat, tucking within the ends of the leaf as you roll. (You would possibly wish to minimize that heavy vein out of the leaf first).
Put one layer of the rolled leaves, seam aspect down, into the pot on prime of the cabbage slices. Then take a few tomatoes from the can and minimize them up small on prime of it, and add a bit of extra of the juice.
Then open a bag of sauerkraut, drain it off into the sink, and add a layer of sauerkraut to the pot.
Then slice extra cabbage, extra rolled cabbage leaves, extra tomatoes and juice, and extra sauerkraut, repeating the method until you’ve used up all of the meat and the cabbage leaves, tomatoes and kraut.
In the event you want the second can of tomatoes, go forward and use it. You additionally would possibly want two baggage of sauerkraut, relying on how a lot you make.
Be aware: If you’re making a whole lot of these, you would possibly want to make use of two pots, dividing the elements evenly in each pots. Cook dinner over low warmth for a number of hours, or within the sluggish cooker for about 6 to eight hours on low.
(I want the nice outdated stovetop methodology, as a result of the cabbage will get softer because it cooks.)
Serve it with some home made mashed potatoes and a dollop of bitter cream on the aspect, and a slice of crusty rye bread.
It’s sufficient to heat your tummy on a chilly winter night time.