To Cook Or Not To Cook...

isa

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I'd like to make stuffed cabbages. I've looked over several recipes and some suggest cooking the meat and veggies before stuffing the cabbage, other seem to think that everything should be raw and cooked once the leaves are stuffed.


I'd like to have some opinions on this. What method would be best? I am enclined to use the raw method, not wanting to overcook everything.

Thanks for the help


Sisi
 
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The chef at the German restaurant I work at cooks off the filling, then stuffs the cabbage leaves with the cooked filling. This dish has become known to those of us who have a clue as "cabbage tacos". I prefer to stuff the cabbage with raw filling. Do, however, take a small bit of the stuffing and cook it before making your cabbage rolls so you can adjust flavorings and seasonings.
 
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We've made a cabbage filling with oxtails. The oxtails were cooked off, then the stuffing was made. We also lightly blanched the cabbage off and then cut out the hard ribs. The cabbage rolls were then braised.
So, I guess it depends on the filling.
 

pete

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Staff member
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I have to agree with CookM. I really depends on what you will be stuffing the cabbage with.
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
At this point I am thinking about a beef and veal stuffing with cooked rice, onions and mushrooms. I've never made stuffed cabbage before so if any of you have other suggestions don't hesitate to share them.


Thanks for the help!


Sisi
 
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I use cookM's method for making a version of dolmathes with cabbage in avgolemono sauce. Braising them slowly assures fully cooked meat and rice.
 
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I've found with rice for the oxtails that you have to overseason the whole mix. Rice seems to need more salt than usual, and of course if you are brasing it...it'll get *diluted* (Osmosis, the word I learned in cooking school). So don't be afraid to season it. I also make sure there is some acid somewhere, somehow. Hope that helps. Remember to cut out the hard ribs, too.
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Thanks for all your help. I really appreciated it.


CookM I shall follow your instructions regarding the seasoning but I wonder why you say I need a acid somewhere in that? I intent to cooked the stuffes cabbage in a tomato sauce will that be all right for a acid?


Thanks for all the help!

Sisi
 
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Oh, a tomato sauce? Well, you certainly got the acid. I said it needed some acid, just a touch, to liven things up. With our oxtails, we found it could be really bland--the rice, oxtails, cabbage, braising...it needed something to liven it up. We put a bit of lemon zest in the filling. You know, how they put gremolata on stewed meats. Just that little twist can really change things.
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
CookM,

I never really cared for gremolata. My osso bucco recipe, no tomatoes braised in white wine, always call for some. I never made it because I don't really like lemon but now that I understand the idea behind it I will make it in the future.


Thanks!


Sisi
 
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I've made cabbage rolls with tomato sauce and saurkraut of all things between the layers of cabbages (pork/beef rice filling)
Dolmathes I add lemon zest and pine nuts sometimes currants to the lamb rice mix but I use grape leaves.
 
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