Thanks to restaurants that insist on giving you way too much to eat on their entrees, I had a whole 8oz. pork chop in a doggie bag looking for a new recipe. A quick peek in the fridge offered some leftover broccoli and the vegetable bin had fresh cabbage, celery, green onion, and carrots. Eureka! Could dinner be far behind. . .
A Little of This and a Little of That Goes a Long WaySeparating the pork meat from the bone and fat, I chopped it all up just short of mincing and set it aside. Carefully removed eight outer leaves from the cabbage (see below) and got some rice started in a small saucepan. While rice was cooking and cabbage leaves were softened in the microwave, I finely chopped and sauteed the following vegetables in a heavy skillet over medium heat:
1 medium carrot
1 stalk celery & leaves
2 green onions
1/4 cup cabbage
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)
When pine nuts began to brown, the mix was removed from the heat and the following herb and spices were stirred in:
1/8 teaspoon ground fennel
1/8 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon Chervil leaves
Big pinch of chipotle pepper
To soften large cabbage leaves: Most recipes suggest you blanch the cabbage head in boiling water to remove outer leaves as they become pliable. I have found it's just as easy to hold the head under the hot water faucet and gently remove the leaves. Then, they can be further softened in the microwave placing the cabbage leaves in a large glass bowl with 1 teaspoon of salted water and microwaved on high for 45 seconds. Set aside to cool and pat dry. If really thick, cut out the hard rib from each leaf.
Mix rice with sauteed vegetables and divide according to number of cabbage leaves you've prepared. Place a cabbage leaf in front of you, large end next to your body. Fill each center of leaf with 2 tablespoons of filling, roll up leaf, tucking in ends, and place seam side down in skillet. Add enough chicken stock with 1/2 cup white wine to bring liquid to just the top edge of cabbage rolls. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer till all liquid is absorbed.