20 of March 2019
AMERICAN STUFFED CABBAGE
FROM THE WORLD
Andrea Reusing of North Carolina won the Best Chef Southeast in 2011. She figured out perfectly, how to use popular, century-old components in contemporary American cuisine and how to modernize the provisions of the old European recipes.
(...) Her stuffed cabbage rolls deliver convenience for the cook and family-friendly comfort food for the table.
Reusing says she can assemble the dish quickly in the morning, then bake it around dinnertime. It's superhomey, and rich and satisfying, but there are still a lot of vegetables in it. In fact, Reusing sometimes fires up a vegetarian version, subbing in more rice and veggies for the beef. (...)
Reusing prefers Savoy cabbage in this dish. The Savoy is beautiful. The leaves are a little thinner, with great color, she says. Savoy leaves are also more tender and slightly sweeter than other cabbage varieties.
Part of what makes the dish such a winner is that Reusing treats the cabbage respectfully. The key to cabbage is not letting it steam for an insanely long time, she says, because overcooked cabbage turns unpleasantly funky. (...)
(quotes from the "Cooking Light", January 2017. Interview with Andrea Reusing)
Savoy cabbage, the main ingredient of this recipe, is a cultivated plant, and although it is said - on the basis of various studies - that it has been known for two thousand years (specifically in northern Italy), its first crops appeared in the XVII century.
About "cabbage rolls", meaning stuffed cabbage (white fresh or pickled, Italian, red, Chinese) or grape leaves, you can talk for a long time. The rules in this topic are huge. They can be fried, stewed, or baked. They can be stuffed with pork, but there may also be beef, lamb (Greece) or fish stuffing (Romania), and even mutton and poultry. You can also create meatless stuffing, including: buckwheat, millet, pearl, pearl barley, rice or vegetables. In tomato sauces I use dill, sometimes dry mushrooms, onion, carrots.
I'm sure everyone at least once wondered about the origin of the name. Why "pigeons" ? Well, according to the etymological dictionary the name "doves" means dish with grits and minced meat wrapped in cabbage leaves. "Doves" it is probably borrowed from the Ukrainian word "hołubci" (dove) and was brought to the Poland in the XIX century. Apparently, formerly the courts ate pigeons stuffed and wrapped in cabbage leaves. The poorer segments of society have adapted this recipe - wrapping potato and grits in leaves of cabbage. Such were the beginnings of Polish cabbage delicacy.
However, the American descendants of various nationalities adopted stuffed cabbage rolls or "doves" recipes from Central and Easter Europe to american culinary and taste.
Listening to various culinary stories, an interesting reflection is needed, forcing you to look into the secrets of human perception. Extracting theories about the origins of dishes, remembrance of their flavors creates an intriguing mix - genealogy and culinary. Completely assimilated with this country's next generations people, no longer remember the country of origin, language, religion or customs. They remember a plate, a dish with which one subconsciously identifies and ... as it turns out ... it's a taste from a family home from many years ago. A few words in the language of ancestors, wandering around the corners of memory, is the awareness of the roots with which such moments identify themselves immediately. And it is really fascinating!
By the way, I would like to add that Andrea Reusing serves in her American restaurant white borscht, made with sourdough, with the addition of black turnip.
Stuffed savoy cabbage with Parmesan Cheese
500 grams of very lean, ground beef
1 large head savoy cabbage (about 2 pounds)
1 yellow onion
4-5 large cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 peeled carrot
70 grams of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
250 grams of cooked white rice
5 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 egg lightly smashed
750 milliliters of tomato sauce with chunks of tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Boil the cabbage for 2 minutes on each side, slightly cool, remove from the water and remove the whole 2-4 leaves; repeat the process of cooking and remove a total of 12 leaves, set aside to cool down.
Cut the remaining part of the cabbage finely.
Prepare the remaining vegetables: peel and chop onions, garlic, carrots.
On a heated deep pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil put onions - fry for 5 minutes; add garlic, cabbage, carrots - fry for 4 minutes; set aside to cool down.
Mix gently in a large bowl: beef, grated Parmesan (60 grams), rice, dill, lemon zest, salt, pepper, egg, a mixture with cabbage ...
Meat stuffing divided into 12 parts and wrapped in cabbage leaves.
Pour the remaining oil into a small saucepan and add the tomato sauce. Heat and season with the preferred herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, chili or hot pepper.
Part of the prepared sauce pour into a casserole, put stuffed cabbage, pour the rest of the sauce, cover with a lid or aluminum foil and put in a hot oven for 1 hour.
Serve with white bread or potatoes, previously sprinkled with the rest of Parmesan. Enjoy your meal!
ABOUT THE RECIPES:
I am not deliberately giving herbs to season tomato sauce, because every lady of the house prepares this sauce at her own discretion (I add a large amount of garlic, onion, salt, pepper, chili).
You can also prepare the stuffing with pork, or a mixture of meat.
I suggest you us a Parmesan cheese; it adds charm to the taste of the dish.
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