My “FiL” Andy our 87 year old live in, asked for cabbage rolls if he got out of the hospital.
Me- “Sure I can make that for you no problem”.
Andy- “Have I ever made them before” (Andy thinks everything tasted better back home, the ingredients are unparalleled and he was destined to be the greatest chef. He still believes he is the only one who can cook.
Me- “No, but my mother has and she taught me to cook for myself at a young age so I am confident I can prepare anything I desire.”
What is a cabbage roll. A little meatloaf with rice in it, wrapped in a cabbage leaf baked in tomato sauce.
As simple as they as time consuming. This is why I have never made the actual rolls up to this point. I always made a cabbage roll casserole. A favorite one dish wonder because I despise doing dishes with psoriasis on my hand.
What you need to make naturally glutenfree cabbage rolls
- 1 head of cabbage ( I was able to peel 20 leaves off the one head that means 20 rolls)
- 1 pound of very lean beef (it cooks in the sauce so you cant drain extra fat)
- 1 cup rice cooked (3/4 cup is good but I cook mine by the cup less waste if I use it all)
- 1 egg
- 1 small onion minced
- 1 clove garlic
- Salt and pepper ( whichever seasoning you prefer, I kept it plain, seniors tend to like plain but some spicy meatballs in there would be wicked with and arrabiata type sauce on top “insert Italian hand gesture for delicious here” )
- Tomato sauce of your choice to pour on top and cook em in ( I used just pure crushed tomatoes)
FIRST THINGS FIRST…
HOW THE HECK DO YOU GET THE CABBAGE LEAVES APART & PLIABLE TO DO THE ROLL UPS ?
Here are a few ways I found,
- I saw one crazy man take a drill to his head of cabbage (cabbage rolls extreme edition)
- Put the cabbage in the freezer overnight then pull it out in the morning once it thaws out the leaves will be pliable. I have no room in my freezer for this,
- I OPTED FOR THE MORE CONVENTIONAL WAY … CUT AROUND THE STEAM THEN DROP THE WHOLE HEAD INTO BOILING WATER PEEL OFF THE LEAVES THAT ARE SOFT and PLOP IT BACK IN THE WATER AS MANY TIMES AS NEEDED UNTIL YOU PEEL ALL THE LAYERS OF LEAVES. Once these are all separated set em aside and get to work
- ** if you know a faster, easier way to save me time on this part please let me know #GFWTRYTHIS it’s legit the most time-consuming part… probably the reason most people don’t take the time to make this easy dish.
NOW TO MAKE THE ROLLS…
By hand mix together the beef, rice, egg, onion, garlic, and seasonings of your choice.
Divide into 12 portions and place em in the cabbage leaves
Then roll like a burrito (fold the two sides in then roll)
Hold together with a pick or place with the flap side down to hold it shut.
INSTEAD OF DOING ALL OF THE ABOVE SIMPLY SLICE THE RAW CABBAGE AND LAYER ALL THE INGREDIENTS IN ONE DISH AND CALL IT CABBAGE ROLL CASSEROLE
Cover with your sauce or like a did some crushed stewed tomatoes cover with foil and bake the little gems at 350F for 1- 1.5 hours. While this is cooking is a great time to do the rest of your meal prepping for the week.
Stay healthy and eat good food friends,