The Lean Green Bean

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reader Request: Cabbage Rolls

Hi Friends!

On this day two years ago, I was getting married. Today I spent the day doing schoolwork and sitting in was terribly boring and I spent a lot of time thinking about that magical day two years ago. Seems like it's been forever!

Since Monday's are usually my longest days, and our anniversary just happened to fall on a Monday, and we already had a celebratory dinner in NYC, I turned to my crockpot. My mother-in-law provided my second reader request!! Another recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking: Crockpot Cabbage Rolls. Since cabbage rolls happen to be one of the hubby's favorite foods, and I NEVER make them for him, I thought today would be the perfect day to try out this recipe! Turns out that as a Happy Anniversary to me present, for some unknown reason, my classes were canceled this morning so I did have to drive in the rain...I got to turn around, come home and go back to bed for a bit! lunch, the hubby came home with these for me:

Note those delicious peanut butter M&M's down there on the counter...MY FAV!! In return, I gave him some beer in large cans. For some reason, he insists it tastes better that way :)

So on to the cabbage rolls:

--1 head of cabbage
--1 egg
--1 8oz can tomato sauce
--1/2 cup uncooked brown rice (I used more like 2/3 cup because it seemed like the right thing to do)
--1 envelope onion soup mix (I've never used this before. It looked weird when I poured it in the bowl...I just went with it)
--1 lb lean ground turkey
--1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
--2 cups V8 juice

The Directions.
--Core your cabbage, and save it for the guinea pigs (Quite honestly I never use cabbage. I dislike most everything about I wasn't really sure how to core it. I just cut off the bottom stem part and then kept cutting off more of it as I peeled leaves off and more was exposed)

--Very carefully, peel off large cabbage leaves and wash them. (This is easier said then done. After I cut off the end, I put the cabbage in a pot with some water, covered it and steamed it for a few minutes. For every few minutes of steaming, I was able to peel off one, maybe two leaves. It was kinda tedious and you have to go very slowly so you don't rip them...but I got the hang of it eventually.)

--In a mixing bowl, combine the turkey meat, raw rice, the egg, the onion soup mix, the cheese, and the can of tomato sauce. Mix well---the mixture will be like very gloppy meatloaf. 

--Using a spoon, scoop about 1/3 of a cup of mixture into each cabbage leaf and roll or fold. Put the stuffed cabbage leaves into the bottom of your crockpot, seam side down. (I didn't really measure, I just filled it until it looked like a reasonable portion size. They were surprisingly easy to roll up burrito style)

It's okay to stack the rolls on top of each other in the crock.Top with 2 cups of V8 Juice.

Cover crock and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

The result? A crockpot succcess. Similar to the cornbread recipe, and like most cooking endeavors,  this will take some experimenting to get the timing right. The times given on blog this recipe came from seem to be running a bit too long for my crockpot. The hubby said the flavor was great but that the cabbage wasn't as crunchy as when they're baked in the oven...this is probably due to both the long cooking time and the fact that it was done in a crockpot. I cooked them for 6.5 hours and the leaves got a little brown...ok black:

But most of them were fine...and for the two on the edges, the filling was just fine so we just discarded the leaves.

Overall, this is a good recipe. When I make them again, I will probably only cook them for 4-5 hours and I think they'll still be fine. Another option would be lining the bottom of the pot with some extra cabbage leaves so those brown instead of your rolls!
Give them a try and keep the reader requests coming!



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