Thursday, January 7, 2010

Comfort Food

Just before Christmas, I was visiting with some friends where preparing for a party they were hosting that evening. As I was leaving they insisted that I take some food with me. I declined but as I was walking out I lifted the top off of a roaster and was tempted by the smell of the delicious little cabbage rolls packed neatly inside. I had never had a cabbage roll and they put one in a dish and covered it with a tomato sauce and topped it off with a warm home made roll. I told them that I would eat it later at home.
As I was driving home my car smelled so good and my windows were steaming I had to eat it...right the car...without any utensils. I can't imagine how I looked scarfing it down, marinara dripping all over me...but it was soooo good. It was down right comfort food in every way, warm...spicy...yummy. I had to make it. But like all good recipes, it didn't have a recipe, just a bunch of stuff thrown together to make complete yumminess.
So, here it is, I put together a recipe for you to try. If I make it again, I will probably add a cup of chicken stock to the marinara to thin it just a was thick and super good, but for presentation sake, I think it might be better a bit thinner. And if you aren't going to make fresh rolls to go with...don't skimp on a good roll or bread, because you will want to soak up any remnants with it.

Cabbage Rolls, inspired by Barry

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork sausage
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
1 cup rice, cooked
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix together well. Meanwhile fill a large stock pot 2/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Cut the bottom off of the cabbages. Once the water is boiling, put a cabbage in the pot and cover. turn the heat off and leave the cabbage in for about five minutes. Fill a large bowl with ice water and place the cabbage in it. This blanching process will make it easier to remove the leaves. You will need to repeat this same technique on the second cabbage. Don't bother with the smaller leaves, save them for another dish. Wrap a large spoon full (1/2 -3/4 cup) of the meatloaf mixture in each leaf and set in a lasagna pan. Make the marinara sauce and pour over the stuffed cabbage leaves. Cover with foil, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

Simple Marinara

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 28 oz. can pureed tomatoes
2 tsp. garlic
1/2 cup onion
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a saucepan, saute the onion in a bit of olive oil until it is translucent. add the garlic and saute for just a moment before adding the remaining ingredients. Simmer for ten minutes.


erica said...

Wow! What an amazing comfort food. It looks, and sounds delish!

Gelareh said...

I love cabbage roll but i have never made it at home

Mrs. Dressman said...

This sounds so yummy! I was looking for a spaghetti sauce recipe and found this. I suppose it would work just as well. Do you happen to have a spaghetti sauce recipe? (I want to make one from scratch that tastes as good as store-bought.)

Beatrice said...

The one meat-dish I really miss is my grandma's cabbage rolls -- sigh. These look very similar...