Dear Martha Stewart,
I love you. I love your magazine, I TiVo your show every day, I peruse your website daily, sometimes I even read your tweets. I wish I had been crafty enough to be MS before MS was cool. That said, sometimes your projects, crafts, and recipes aren’t nearly as easy as you make them look. I’m sure it’s just because you are so darn good at everything, but it has kept me from testing your recipes lately.
Tonight, I tried out the Stuffed Savoy Cabbage from your January 2010 issue. While it was quite a bit more time intensive — is that why you don’t put durations on your recipes? — than I expected, I planned ahead for such a difficulty. Thankfully, you caught me on Sunday Supper.
The grocery store was out of ground pork, so I went with ground lamb, the cabbage heads available were small, so I made more than 12, but Martha? Wow. These little pockets of savory meat tucked into perfectly cooked cabbage and topped with a fresh, slightly spicy tomato sauce = perfect.
Thanks for making my first Sunday Supper of 2010 great. I hope you are recovering well from your trip to Thailand (don’t be scared readers, she talked about it on her show this week – I’m not a stalker) and you, Francesca, and Sharkey have had a great start to the year. I’ll be giving some more of the recipes in Jan 2010 a try.
Stuffed Savoy Cabbage
Martha Stewart Living, January 2010
image of different stuffed cabbage via marthastewart.com
for the tomato sauce (makes 3 cups)
1 can (28 ounces) whole, peeled
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
for the stuffed cabbage
1 large head savoy cabbage (2-3 lbs)
12 ounces ground chuck (90% lean)
12 ounces ground pork
2 cups cooked brown rice (from 1 cup dry)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon hot paprika
1. Make the tomato sauce: pulse tomatoes with juice in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 20 minutes. Season with salt. Let cool completely.
2. Make the stuffed cabbage: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cabbage head, and cook until outer leaves are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Peel outer layer of leaves, and drain. Return remaining cabbage to water, and repeat until all leaves are cooked and removed. Pat each leaf dry with a kitchen towel. Select 12 large light-green leaves. Reserve remaining leaves for another use.
3. Preheat oven to 375°. Using 2 forks, gently stir together beef, pork, rice, onion, parsley, paprika and 1 tablespoon salt.
4. Working with 1 leaf at a time, trim the thick part of the rib with a paring knife, leaving the leaf intact. Arrange about 1/2 cup filling (less for smaller leaves) in center of each leaf. Fold stem end of cabbage over filling. Fold in sides of cabbage. Carefully roll cabbage over to form a package, overlapping ends to seal. Transfer each, seam side down, to a large, shallow baking dish.
5. Spreads sauce over stuffed cabbage leaves. Cover with parchment-lined foil, and bake until cooked through and cabbage is tender, about 1 hour.
Make ahead: tomato sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Notes: I used 10 fresh tomatoes instead of canned. I happened to have 10 tomatoes that might go bad this week, so I used them up. It made for a very fresh sauce! I also could not find ground pork today, so I used ground lamb instead (I get the impression that any ground meat would work just fine).
Lastly, I think the entire step 2 took a long time, hurt my hands, and made a mess. Other recipes I’ve read indicate you can cut the leaves off the raw head of cabbage and boil them for 2-3 minutes instead of the long process I did. I’ll give that a try next time for sure!