I wanted to find a really cool savory cabbage recipe that was a step up from your typical old fashioned BORING boiled cabbage. I decided to buy a head of cabbage because it was ridiculously cheap this week, and wanted to experiment. Perusing around the net led me to the idea of making galumpki’s, which are a form of stuffed cabbage roll in a tomatoey sauce, which of course, I had to change and tweak to make it my own
I started with Tyler Florence’s recipe on Food Network, making a half recipe and tripling the garlic amount. However, instead of steamed white rice, I partially cooked some long grain brown rice, and instead of ground beef and pork, I used some garlic flavored chicken sausage, found in the natural section of my local grocery store. I typically am not a huge red meat eater (I have some serious guilt issues with eating lots of red meat, and poultry is generally healthier anyways), and I thought the garlic version would go with this well. Also, this sausage is already cooked, so I didn’t have to worry as much about baking time, because I knew it would be done. I also added in a bunch of red pepper flakes to give it some kick
Coring out the cabbage can be a bit of work. Make sure you use a really good knife, and be slow with peeling off the cabbage leaves. I found that doing the blanching step before peeling sometimes helped make the leaves a bit more pliable to peel off without ripping. I still ended up ripping some of them. To do this, I took my pot of boiling water, used the cored end as a handle to hold the cabbage, and sit it in the pot of water, with the leaf I was looking to peel off down in the water. Held it for about 30 s or so, then put it back on the cutting board, and finished pulling off the leaf. After peeling off 15 leaves or so, I saved the rest of the head for something else – maybe more Asian slaw??
I then scooped up my rice/chicken sausage mixture and started rolling the cabbage leaves, though I used a lot less than the full 1/2 cup that was recommended. I cut out the stem like Tyler Florence suggested, then folded up each part of the bottom of the leaf, then folded in the sides, then finished rolling so it looked like a little cabbage burrito:
And the end result is about a dozen stuffed cabbage rolls, ready to be baked. I didn’t roll them up too tight, because the rice still needs to finish cooking, and it is going to expand as it does.
But then I found this great post and youtube video from Foodwishes’s Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, which showed some great instructions. I really liked how he arranged everything in his pot, and then added broth on top to keep everything moist and finish cooking the rice as it baked. So I arranged my rolls in the pot, and then topped it with my tomato sauce and some broth, and stuck it in the oven. I ended up making a total of 11 cabbage rolls.
I cooked them for an hour with the lid on, and another half hour with the lid off. Two rolls made the perfect size meal, so I’ve got a good 4-5 more meals left here, at about $2 per serving!