Cabbage rolls bring back memories for me and I am not completely sure why. Ever have one of those dishes that left a impression on you but you can’t remember the events? This is one of them. I am fairly sure my grandmother made them for me once. I tend to remember everything she cooked as being there on the weekends with her and grandpa were some of my fondest memories. Taylor ham, Johnny and Hanges (the best hot dog joint in NJ), Carvel ice cream and trips in the car to magical places like Gingerbread Forest (now called the Fairy Tale Forest but long closed).
All I do know is when I make some of these dishes like the cabbage rolls, I feel warm and fuzzy inside and I crave to sit with her. Everything you need is tucked right inside this cabbage leaf; veggies, rice, meat and a nice sauce to simmer in. What more could you want?
You will need:
- 1 large head of Napa cabbage, round
- 2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce
- 3 large red/ orange and yellow peppers(or 12 minis)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cups of cooked white rice (brown is OK too)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
First thing I do is get my rice on. The rule is 2 cups of water to 1 cup rice and I think that is plenty for this dish. Boil, then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
Next chop, chop and chop. I always get everything ready first, as you know. So start with getting your peppers diced. I used the tiny gourmet peppers. They are easy to use and seem to be less expensive then the big peppers these days. I am still pondering that as these little beauties are organic and packed with flavor.
Add the rice right into the pan with the peppers and onions. Reduce any water out of the pan that came with the rice. Set aside. In a large stock pot or crock pot, add in one jar of the tomato sauce with the fresh basil.
Stir well and add about 1 cup of tomato sauce.
Serve with your choice of veggies or just with a nice crusty garlic bread. I made some sauteed kale and a crusty garlic bread. Top with some Parmesan cheese and devour. Enjoy!