Stuffed Cabbage July 29 2016
Growing up, the rule was you got to eat whatever you want on your birthday. What did I always want - my Syrian grandmother (Sittoo) to make me ‘stuffed cabbage’ (or mulfoof). While sadly Sittoo is not with us anymore, Chris has taken on the task – modifying our family recipe to make it easy-peasy while still mighty tasty.
Let me tell you a little bit about my Syrian grandmother. Sittoo, as we called her, was an excellent cook, as are my amazing cavalcade of aunts and cousins. She could make even the simplest of salad dressings taste good.
One of my favorite meals – to this day – is stuffed cabbage, but it was one of Sit’s least favorite to make. “Rolling the boiling cabbage leaves burns my fingers, Inay (‘apple of her eye’)”, she’d say… as she was painstakingly rolling each one for me to eat.
Fast forward to today – Chris cooks with the same love and care, but found a work-around that I think would make my Sittoo proud and keep her fingers safe. He calls his creation, “Unstuffed Stuffed Cabbage” or “Stuffed Cabbage Lasagna”. I just call it YUMMY!
What You'll Need:
- 1 medium head of Green Cabbage
- 2 to 2 ½ of Ground Beef or Ground Lamb
- 3 cups of white or brown rice – uncooked
- 1 can Tomato Puree
- 1 can Diced Tomatoes (we prefer the “no salt added”)
- 1 can Tomato Sauce (we prefer the “no salt added”)
- 1 can Tomato Paste
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Garlic Powder to taste
- Onion Powder to taste
What You'll Do:
- This is a ‘full stove top’ kind of meal – you’ll see why!
- Grab a large pot and start your sauce – add in the diced tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasonings. Cover and set to medium to cook.
- In a medium sauce pan, cook your white or brown rice – as directed on the package
- Take a large skillet and cook the ground meat. Add seasonings and cook nearly through.
- When the meat and rice are cooked, put into the large pot with the sauce, and let simmer.
- And, for stove top burner number 4, take a large stock pot and fill halfway with water. Set water to boil.
- Chop the cabbage away from the core, keeping the leaves big. Throw away the core.
- Once water is boiling, add a little salt and then the cabbage.
- Cover the pot with a lid and let boil until cabbage leaves are cooked through.
- To test if your cabbage is cooked through, take a fork and pierce the leaves. If the fork goes through easily, you are done.
- In a strainer in the sink, drain your cabbage and let cool slightly.
- Set your oven to 325.
- Take a rectangular glass or metal pan - you are about to begin your ‘lasagna’ making.
- Spray the pan with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- On the bottom of the pan, put a layer of cabbage leaves. On top, put a layer of the sauce-meat-rice combination. Continue layering until you have 4 or 5 layers, ending with cabbage. (Chris usually fills two pans worth – one pan for me; one for him)
- Cover the pan(s) with foil and put in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
- When it comes out, you can cut and serve it like lasagna.