Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pork stuffed cabbage

I am NOT in a good mood today. Why? Don't bother me with questions. If you are clapping, stop clapping. If you are talking, stop talking. Basically, if you are doing something that displeases me, stop doing it. But especially questions: please do not ask me any questions until I turn the green light on.

Alright, I needed to get that off my chest. Now I can talk about these dumplings. Don't make me launch into the list of spices. Fine, never mind. I seasoned the pork filling with a combination of crushed seeds, pods, and dried herbs: coriander, fennel, caraway, chili, sage, oregano, and something else I cannot remember. Not too much of this stuff, just some.

I began by sauteing small dice onion and small dice bacon in a big pan. To that I added minced garlic and then the ground pork. I browned the pork, salted and peppered it, and deglazed the pan with some vegetable stock.


Once I'd cooked the pork, I removed it and plunked it into the food processor along with one egg and some bread crumbs. Pulse plulse pulse I went until my filling was smooth and easy to form into balls.

Ok, if you have never used cabbage leaves in this manner, listen up. You need to carefully peel them off the head with a rolling motion, like removing panty-hose (both men and women should know something about that). Basically, don't just yank the leaves off. You want to avoid tearing them as much as possible. If you find it easier, go ahead and cut them off at the base. Eventually, you will probably remove the heaviest ribs anyway.

Once you've got your cabbage leaves, put them into a big pot with a little bit of water, and steam them with the lid on until they become somewhat limp and/or pliable. If they are turgid and crunchy, it will be harder to form your dumplings. As for actually forming the dumplings, you don't need to be Einstein. Put a wad of filling onto a leaf; fold the leaf around the wad and pin the sucker shut.


I suppose you want to know about the accompanying tomato-lentil stew? I suppose you also want a million dollars. It's just some stew I made with French lentils and one 15 oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes. There are some other things involved, but I'm really too annoyed at the moment to get into it. Sorry. In the meantime, just crack open a can of Progresso or something. You'll be fine.

photographs courtesy of Francesca Chabrier

1 comment:

Margui said...

:-D Thank you dear! Now I know what to do when I find a pork and a cabbage walking on my way. Sorry you are not happy today - whats up?