Monthly Archives: March 2014

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

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Stuffed Cabbage Leaves
Servings: 12-16 stuffed cabbage leaves
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 2 ~ 2-1/2 Hours

Ingredients
Rolls:
1 large green cabbage (3.5-4 lbs.)
1 lb ground beef, ground chicken, ground pork/bacon or a mixture
1 cup cooked long grain rice, white or brown
1med onion, finely minced
2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
1 tbsp paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp tumeric
2 tsp mustard powder, divided
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
Sauce:
1 can (48 oz) tomato juice
1 can (28 oz) diced or crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
2 tbsp brown sugar (or more to taste)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup stock or water

Optional: sour cream

Rinse the cabbage clean, then immerse it in a large pot of boiling water and cook it for 4-5 minutes until leaves are soft and pliable, but not overly soft.
Drain the cabbage in a colander and let it sit until cool enough to handle.
Alternatively, you can freeze the cabbage overnight (or up to 3 days). Defrost the cabbage for about three hours. This will make the leaves pliable in the same way that parboiling does.
Prepare your filling. In a bowl, mix together ground meat, cooked rice, minced onion, minced dill, paprika, garlic, celery seed, tumeric 1 tsp mustard powder, cayenne pepper, egg, salt and pepper to taste. I use about 1 ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper—kosher meat needs less salt.
To test the seasoning of the meat, you can fry up a small portion in a skillet or pop it in the microwave till it’s thoroughly cooked, then taste it. It’s easy to under-season the filling, so err on the side of adding extra pepper and salt.
Tip: You can make this filling ahead and refrigerate a few hours to overnight; this will allow the flavors to marinate and make it firmer and easier to handle.
Peel off the large cabbage leaves from the head of cabbage, keeping only the leaves that are whole/intact and big enough to stuff. Chop up the remaining smaller leaves along with the core of the cabbage. Reserve.
Place your large leaves on a cutting board.
Take a leaf and pat it dry with a paper towel.
Shave down the tough, thick part of the stem at the base of each leaf using a paring knife, being careful not to cut through the leaf itself. Repeat process for the remaining leaves.

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Fold the base of the leaf up and over the filling till it’s completely covered.
Fold the left edge of the leaf inward. Leave the right side of the leaf open.

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Continue rolling the leaf till it’s completely rolled up (with the right end still loose/open).
Tuck the loose end of the leaf inward, pushing it into the filled center of the leaf.
This will create a neat package that has a better chance of holding together in the pot.
Continue the process for the remaining leaves.

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Depending on how many useable leaves your cabbage has, you may find you have some leftover filling. Simply roll that filling into meatballs; you can place them into the pot along with the stuffed leaves, so you don’t waste anything.
In a small saucepan, combine the tomato juice with the diced or crushed tomatoes, lemon juice, brown sugar, tomato paste, garlic and mustard powder. Warm up over medium heat till bubbly and fragrant. Taste the sauce; season with salt and pepper and more brown sugar or lemon, if desired.
Put remaining chopped cabbage leaves/core into the bottom of a roasting pan. Spread it out to create an even layer, then pour ½ cup of broth or water over the top of the leaves.
Place half of the stuffed cabbage leaves on top of the leaves.
Pour 1/3 of the warmed tomato sauce over the first layer of stuffed cabbage leaves.
Put another layer of stuffed leaves on top…
and top with the rest of the sauce.
Cook in 350º oven for 2-2 ½ hours till the thickest parts of the leaves are tender. Check  periodically to make sure it’s not boiling too vigorously—this can make the leaves fall apart. A slow, even simmer works best.
When finished cooking, remove the stuffed cabbage leaves from the pot carefully with tongs. Top the stuffed cabbage with some of the sauce and a very generous sprinkle of black pepper. Serve hot. Leaves can be refrigerated for 4-5 days or frozen and reheated before serving.

Optional: Top with a spoon of sour cream

Being as my mom cannot tolerate seasonings very well I made a huge batch, 4 lb of ground beef, 1 lb of bacon (cut small), 2 heads of cabbage and the same amount of seasonings listed above

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The Bravest Woman I’ve Drawn

God saw you were getting tired, and a cure was not meant to be
So he put his arms around you, and whispered come with me
With tearful eyes we watched you, as we saw you pass away
Although we love you deeply, we could not make you stay
Your golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest
God broke our hearts to prove to us… He only takes the best

You will be missed so much.

clearcartoons

A few years ago I had trouble sleeping.  I was living in the small northern Ontario town of Bracebridge.  I would go out to the local 24 hour Tim Horton’s coffee shop and sit by myself and draw.

After a few nights of this, other insomniacs began to take notice of me and ask me about my art.  I became friends with so many people that I decided I had to try to draw them all.  I like challenges like this.

One of the first people who became my friend was a woman named Katie.  I noticed her right away because she was a very interested in drawing herself.  She is one of the few who asked me to draw with her and actually bought some pencils and paper so she could sit and draw with me.

I like people who try to draw.

It takes courage to touch a…

View original post 483 more words

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My Grandmother’s Portuguese Sweet Bread – Farmgirl Gourmet

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http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2014/02/grandmothers-portuguese-sweet-bread.html

Grandmother’s Portuguese Sweet Bread
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 3 dozen

My Grandmother’s Portuguese Sweet Bread

My grandmother’s Portuguese Sweet Bread recipe. If you love a sweet yeasty bread, than this is for you. Don’t overwork the bread and make sure it’s a tacky consistency for the first rise, not the typical dry dough of other breads.

Ingredients

5 cups bread flour
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups + 1 tablespoon sugar
3 sticks salted butter, room temperature, divided, cut into 1 inch pieces
7 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup warm water
2 packages yeast
1 cup whole milk
Instructions

Fill sink 2 inches with hot water and place the mixing bowl in the sink to warm it. Have ready thick hand towels for covering the bowl.
Sift the bread flour and 2 cups of the all purpose flour into the bowl in the sink. Add the salt and stir lightly to combine.
In the bowl of a mixer add 1 cup of butter (1 stick) and 2 cups sugar and cream together on low. Add 4 eggs and mix to combine. Add the remaining 3 eggs and mix to combine.
Add the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar to the warm water in a small bowl or glass measure. Cover with a plate and set aside to bloom the yeast. Make a well in the flour in the sink and pour in the yeast mixture. Don’t stir. Cover with the hand towels and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Add the milk to a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Slowly add to the egg and butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add to the flour and yeast mixture and fold the flour into the egg mixture from bottom of the bowl to the top. It should be sticky and not completely mixed. Cover again with the towels and let rest for 10 minutes.
Melt 3/4 cup of the butter and set aside. Sift 1/4 cup of remaining flour over the dough and using a spoon beat in a folding motion to incorporate into the dough. Continue adding 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is too thick to beat with a spoon. Use your hand to grab the dough from the bottom of the bowl, up the side and fold into the middle and punch down lightly. Repeat using more sifted flour and the melted butter until the dough starts to clean off your hands but is still slightly sticky and glossy. Cover with the towels again and place in a warm draft free location until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Grab a lemon sized ball off the side of the doubled dough and form into rolls of choice. Place on a greased cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Cover and place in a warm draft free location and allow to rise for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325º F and bake rolls 1 sheet at a time for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and brush with melted butter and cool.
Notes

The higher the fat content in the butter, the better. Tillamook is one of the highest I’ve found.