It always amazes me how childhood favorites stick in my memory. Cabbage rolls are a classic that I really enjoy. But, my cabbage rolls are not my grandmother's recipe.
Don't get me wrong, she was a lovely lady. She didn't cook that much... that I knew of. Her round steak and peas, mashed potatoes and gravy were top notch, but this recipe brings in a current twist. Namely sundried tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes AND caramalized onions.
Right now it seems like produce and grocery costs are climbing every month. Luckily, the humble cabbage never breaks the bank. Actually, nothing in this recipe is very expensive. Sundried tomatoes have you worried? Well, this recipe only calls for a few, save the rest of the jar for another dish. I actually dry my own every Summer. During season, grape and cherry tomatoes are plentiful, perfect to stock up on. I just keep my dehydrater going around the clock during tomato season. Then I soak them in chicken stock when I am ready to use them. Olive oil or warm water works too.
Savoy cabbage works really well for cabbage rolls, but any type will do. Grab a head and cut away at the stem. I don't take mine out, I just peel the layers away from the stalk.
Blanch each leaf until it is pliable. Then set it aside on a kitchen towel to dry and cool.
You will need at least 6 leaves, if you like your rolls large (I do!). Have a few extra handy in case one tears while rolling. I like to trim a little off the spine of each leaf to take the tougher part off the back. This also helps each leaf to bend easier.
While the leaves are cooling, start the tomato sauce simmering. I made mine in my Dutch Oven. First saute a few cloves of garlic and diced onion in the pan. A can of fire roasted tomatoes, a can of Italian seasoned tomatoes and another of whole tomatoes made up my base. Since tomatoes aren't in season, it was best option. The in-store stock is pretty flavorless right now.
Rolled egg roll style, I put a heaping scoop (or two) of my filling. I used a sweet sausage, sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, brown rice, day old sourdough, milk and carmelized onions. Yum!
Then nestle each little packet down into the tomatoe sauce. Bake until bubbly and enjoy with a little buttermilk mashed poatoes. Trust me, it is delightful.
I promise, these aren't your grandmother's cabbage rolls either.
Sundried Tomato & Carmelized Onion Cabbage Rolls
You Will Need:
- 1 large head of cabbage
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1/4 c. diced yellow onion
- 1 14.5 oz. can of fire roasted tomatos
- 1 14.5 oz. can of Italian seasoned tomatoes
- 2 sliced of old bread (I used soudough)
- 1/3 c. cooked brown rice
- 2/3 c. milk
- 1 lb. sausage
- 1/4 c. diced sundried tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced and carmelized
- 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by seperating out the cabbage leaves. You can cut the core out completely, or I like to make deep cuts without removing it. It allows me to still remove the leaves. Work around the cabbage and don't rush, or the leaves might tear. Blanch the leaves in hot water just until tender enough to bend. Move to a clean towel to dry and cool. Once cooled, slice away the spine on the back of each leaf, leaving a flat and pliable sheet.
In a Dutch Oven, or oven safe pan, saute the garlic and onions till tender in a tablespoon of olive oil. Then add in the canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover and let it gently simmer while you work on the filling.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the bread crumbs, milk and rice. Then mix in the sausage, sundried tomatoes, carmelized onion, cheese and a little salt and pepper. Once the milk has been fully absorbed, place a large muffin scoop of filling on the middle of a cabbage leaf. Turn off the burner under the sauce. Wrap the ends and then the sides, egg roll style, and nestle into the tomato sauce. Create one layer of cabbage rolls, I fit 6 large rolls in my Dutch Oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has started to boil. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
Do you have a favorite cabbage roll recipe?