Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage Stoup

I originally heard about this recipe watching Rachel Ray one weekend. This is one of those recipes that have a zillion ingredients. Normally, I won't even mess with a dish like this. Of course, I didn't go out and buy an additional 5 or 6 spices and items I never use. Being the substitution queen I am, I made due with what I had and it turned out pretty darned good. The second time I made this, my boys had their normal posse over and they were all hungry as teenage boys always are. The second the word cabbage left my lips, they all had a horrified look on their face and were putting their dollars together for a Little Caesars pizza run. WHOA! I knew my kids would eat it so I made every one of those boys try it. Lo and behold, the whole pot was gone. This will feed a pretty good bunch of hungry people or six teenage boys.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 cups instant rice
  • 2 boxes of chicken stock *depending on how “soupy” you want your soup determines how much you’ll use
  • 1 lb. each of sausage and hamburger meat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
  • 2 teaspoons dried cilantro (fresh if you have it is better)
  • 1 palm full of paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste (black is fine if you don't keep white)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, coarse chopped
  • 3 or more spoonfuls of minced garlic in a jar (= 3 cloves of garlic)
  • 1 bag of matchstick carrots
  • 1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Watkins dill weed (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of onion powder
  • Serve with garlic toast.
In a small saucepan, boil 1-1/2 cups chicken broth. Add in equal parts instant rice. Cover and set to the side.

In a big soup pot, with your stove set to medium high heat, add a light coat of extra-virgin olive oil and brown the meat. Flavor the meat with allspice, cilantro, paprika, salt and pepper. Once the meat is cooked, leave what little grease is in the pot there. Throw in the bay leaves, onions, garlic, cabbage and carrots. Turn the veggies and meat and let the cabbage wilt and the carrots soften. (around 10 minutes or so) 

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and enough stock so that you have some juice, but remember to keep this on the thick side! *it’s easier to add extra if needed! Turn up the heat a little, put a lid on the pot and let it boil for around 10 minutes. Dump the rice in and mix it up, continuing to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in dill weed and onion powder. Taste the broth to determine if you need any more salt and pepper. (A special thanks to my favorite kitchen partner Andy, who taught me to judge what needs to be added by tasting the broth!!!)

I highly recommend letting this sit on the stove for an additional 30 minutes with the heat off so that the the flavor gets absorbed into everything.

One more note--it’s even better the next day! 

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