23 January 2015

The Cabbaging

People will occasionally ask what’s my favorite type of food. Afterwards, no one likes my response. I believe, my polite inquisitors would be far happier with a nationalistic answer of Italian or Thai or would possibly accept a categorical answer like cheese. I’ve yet to meet the person willing to accept my prima facie response of “food stuffed in other food”

I don’t know what’s so hard believe about this. Egg rolls, pierogi, sandwiches, ravioli, tacos/burritos, dumplings, pie (PIE! people, pie) and today’s dinner, stuffed cabbage leaves, just to name a few.

Take Cabbage: It’s so ready to be filled with other ingredients plus it’s good, in season (inexpensive) and you can find it at the PSU Market in Napa, purple, green and my favorite kind to stuff, Savoy. Stuffed cabbage leaves can be filled with anything, ground beef, pork or lamb, mushrooms, sauerkraut, chopped up bacon – it’s the ultimate what’s on hand dish. Today, I filled the blanched leaves with ground turkey, rye bread crumbs, grated onion, rice and about the only 3 items I would say are necessary – caraway, garlic and paprika.

I always make more than I need, because what’s the point of making one stuffed cabbage leaf? I give the extras away and lest you think my gift of stinky cabbage filled with sundry ingredients is spurned, people crave them. Stuffed cabbage leaves end up being the single most requested dish people ask that I teach them: Because they’re good, because they’re just the type of recipe that our parents would have skipped and grabbed the box of mac and cheese instead. One friend ended up being such a natural, she was able to roll the leaves with one hand, a skill she claims she acquired quite innocently.

You should try this at home. Pick up your ingredients at the PSU Market between 9-2 while the chilly weather lasts.

Pickled [stuff] would be in second place, followed closely by sour cream. No shame in the bronze here, sour cream.