And The Feasting Continues...
For dinner, we started with smoked trout mixed with creme fraiche, horse radish, shallots, dill and lemon in endive "spoons". There was mystery squash soup with fried sage leaves (mystery because the vendor said it was Mexican squash and just seemed like a butternut with a few bumps and more seeds.). The main was stuffed cabbage, hippie-style and then, believe it or not, I finally made a recipe out of this book that turned out well. I slavishly followed the directions and my prune-Armagnac bread pudding came out so well that all though everyone said they were full, we polished the whole thing off.
This takes a while to make. There are quite a few parts and will dirty perhaps all of your dishes, but if you get somewhat organized and have a fantastic kitchen assistant who makes you laugh and a great martini, you're good to go.
P.S. This can be made vegan, by using egg substitute or 1/3 cup mashed tofu for the egg and by omitting the cheese.
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce, adapted from Vegetarian Suppers by Deborah Madison
1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 oz dried mushrooms
2 TB olive oil
2 onions, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
4 TB chopped parsley
4 TB chopped dill
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, more or less
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 whole head savoy cabbage, 12 leaves separated and removed whole
1 TB olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 TB tomato paste
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup wine, red or white
1 28 oz can of tomatoes
1-2 TB brown sugar, to taste
1-2 TB red wine vinegar to taste
2 TB olive oil
flour, for dredging
For the rolls:
In a medium bowl, combine bulgur and dried mushrooms. Pour 1 cup hot water over and let sit until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prep your veg.
Heat 1 TB oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions. Saute just until onions begin to turn brown in spots, about 3-4 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms and walnuts. Let cook until mushrooms throw off their liquid and re-absorb it, about 10 minutes. Add tamari/soy and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
In a food processor, combine bulgur mixture, sauteed veg mixture, herbs, egg, cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Pulse until mixture resembles ground meat.
In the same large skillet, heat 1 TB oil over medium heat. Add bulgur mixture and pat down into a smooth layer, as much a possible. You're cooking the egg and browning your "meat". Saute a few minutes, until mixture is cooked and browned. Set aside.
Steam cabbage leaves a few minutes, to make pliable. Try not to overcook them or they will have that characteristic cabbage-y smell. Yuck.
Fill the center of each leaf with about 2 TB filling. Roll up carefully, trying not to tear the leaf, and dredge in flour. Set rolls aside.
For the sauce:
In a sauce pot, heat 1 TB oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and tomato paste and mix together. Cook until onion is slightly brown, about 10 minutes. Add allspice, canned tomatoes with juices, wine and brown sugar. Let simmer about 15-20 minutes to meld flavors.
Meanwhile, heat 2 TB oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add rolls, with the seams face down, to the pan. Let cook until slightly brown, about 4-5 minutes per side. Back to the tomato sauce, right before serving, stir in the vinegar to taste. To plate, place a few spoonfuls of sauce down and place rolls on top.
Makes 12 rolls, enough for 4-6 people.