Wednesday, February 25, 2009
For those of you following the meal plan, you may be thinking, "What!? Cabbage soup? The meal plan says Philly Mac n Cheese." I know. I'm losing it. This morning I took the meat out of the freezer to thaw for this soup. I double checked all of the ingredients. And then, right before I began cooking, I looked at the meal plan and realized that I was supposed to make something else. Oops. So, everything is getting pushed back one day to make room for this delicious Stuffed Cabbage Soup.
A while back, a friend suggested that I make stuffed cabbage for this blog. I've never actually made stuffed cabbage before, but it sounds wonderful. When I read this recipe, the wheels started turning. I could still acheive the flavor of stuffed cabbage, but skip the labor intensive "stuffing" step. I got this recipe from another food blog. Would you believe that when I got the amazing idea to start a meal planning and cooking blog back in October, I had never looked at another cooking blog? It's true. I'd seen "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" once or twice because there is a link on another blog that I read. But, beyond this one famous cooking blog, I thought that my idea was pretty original. Now that I'm a food blogger, I realize that I was living under a rock as far as the food blogging community is concerned. There are countless cooking blogs. Countless. Now that I've discovered the world of cooking blogs, I turn to my fellow food bloggers from time to time for inspiration, tips, the occasional funny story, and of course, recipes. This recipe came from My Tasty Treasures by Donna, another cooking and baking blog that I love to read when I catch a chance. She is FUNNY! She got the recipe from Rachael Ray.
Here we go! The recipe calls for 1-1/2 lbs. of meatloaf mix. That's a mixture of beef, veal, and pork. I have a whole freezer full of beef, so I just used straight up ground beef.
Brown the meat with the spices: Paprika, coriander, ground allspice, salt, and pepper. You'll throw in the bay leaf later. This recipe calls for smoked paprika. I only had regular. I even asked the stock boy to help me find the smoked version. No luck.
Next, I added the onion, minced garlic, diced carrot, and bay leaf. Cook and stir until the veggies are tender.
It wouldn't be stuffed cabbage soup without the cabbage. You need a 3/4 lb. head of Savoy cabbage. I had this head of cabbage stashed in my garage refrigerator. Somehow it froze. Bummer. Lucky for me, it still worked out. Although, slicing through that frozen cabbage was a little tricky.
Toss the thinly sliced cabbage into the pot and cook and stir while it wilts.
And now for the next three ingredients: a quart of chicken stock, 28 oz. of diced tomatoes, and 1 cup of tomato juice.What's that in the background, you might ask. That's my messy "in" box and the arm of a glow worm that made his way downstairs after naptime. Welcome to my kitchen. Anyway, add these ingredients(minus the lovey and mass of preschool papers, coupons, and bills) to the pot and give it a good stir. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Let's go ahead and begin cooking the rice. I heated my saucepan over medium high heat with about 2 tablespoons of oil. Dumped in the rice and heated it up a little. Added 2 cups of chicken stock. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat and cover. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
While the soup simmers and the rice cooks, I chopped my parsley and dill.
Add the herbs to the soup.
Now you're ready to serve it up. You can dish up the soup and put a scoop of rice on top to serve it up pretty OR...
go ahead and dump the rice on into the soup and stir it together.
Stuffed Cabbage Stoup.. ALA Rachael Ray
4 tablespoons EVOO , divided
1 cup raw white rice
1 quart plus 2 cups chicken stock, divided
1 ½ pounds ground meatloaf mix
½ teaspoon allspice
1 ½ teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, thinly sliced, and chopped
¾ lb head Savoy cabbage thinly sliced
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
Handful flat leaf parsley chopped
3 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
For rice: Heat a saucepot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the rice and toss to coat in oil. Add 2 cups chicken stock,bring to a simmer, cover and cook 16 to 18 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Heat a deep pot over medium high heat. Ad the remaining EVOO, once hot add meat and begin to brown. 2 to 3 minutes. Season meat with allspice, coriander, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Add bay leaf, onions, garlic, and carrots. Cook veggies 2 to 3 minutes to begin to soften them, then add cabbage and wilt it down a bit. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and remaining stock and cover the pot. Raise the heat to igh and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Once your rice is cooked, add to the soup and continue to simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in your parsely and dill, adjust salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
*if you're new to Rachael Ray, as am I, you may be interested in the following translations:
Stoup = "Thinner than a stew, but thicker than a soup"
EVOO = oil