Friday, 27 February 2009

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls with Cheese, Wild Rice & Mushroom Sauce

In spite of the long, detailed instructions, these aren't particularly difficult or time-consuming to put together. That is, you should start them in plenty of time - at least two hours before you plan to eat - but the actual amount of work is fairly minimal. You could, if you wished, cook the wild rice in the morning before you go to work, then have the dinner finished in not much more than an hour once you come come home.

3 to 4 servings
1 hour, not including cooking the wild rice.
15 minutes prep time

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls with Cheese, Wild Rice and Mushroom Sauce
Get Started:
1 cup raw wild rice
3 cups of water
pinch of salt

Put this in your rice cooker, and turn it on. Do this at least an hour before assembling the cabbage rolls. Two cups of the cooked rice will go into the cabbage rolls; the remainder can be reheated and serve as a bed for cabbage rolls. Or you can do something else with it altogether, if you prefer.

Also, if for reasons of fiscal prudence you wish to use 1/3 cup wild rice to 2/3 cup barley or brown rice instead of all wild rice, you can do that too. The end result will not be quite so luxurious, but then that would be the point, wouldn't it?

Make the Cabbage Rolls:
6 large cabbage leaves, savoy for preference
250 grams ricotta cheese (1 cup, about)
150 grams feta cheese
2 cups cooked wild rice
2 extra large eggs
1/4 cup minced fresh chives,
OR 2 tablespoons dried chives
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon savory
1 clove of garlic
200 grams button mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter

Put a large pot of water on to boil.

Remove the 6 best, largest leaves from the outside of a large cabbage. (You're on your own with the rest of the thing - check the index.)

Once the water comes to a boil, put the chosen and selected cabbage leaves into it, one or two at a time, and push them under. Let them cook for 2 or 3 minutes until soft and pliable. Remove them to a strainer in the sink, and run them under cold water to stop them from cooking any further. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves. Drain them well.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix the ricotta, the chopped feta cheese, the cooked but cooled wild rice, the eggs and the seasonings, not including the garlic.

Peel and mince the garlic. Clean and chop the mushrooms. Heat the butter in a medium sized skillet until hot and foaming. Add the mushrooms and sauté them until soft and slightly browned. Add the garlic, and stir for a minute or two more, until the garlic is strongly fragrant. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the cheese mixture, and stir well. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Shave down the thick part of the stems of the prepared cabbage leaves, so that they are thin enough to roll nicely. Put 1/6th of the cheese mixture in the middle of each leaf, and fold up the stem side of the leaf to cover it. Fold in the two sides, then roll over the remaining side. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, in a shallow casserole. Make sure the bottom of the casserole is wet - they shouldn't be sitting in any appreciable amount of water, but you don't want them to dry out and scorch. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake the cabbage rolls for 45 minutes.

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls with Cheese, Wild Rice and Mushroom Sauce
Make the Mushroom Sauce:
500 grams to 600 grams button mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
a little shot of Worcestershire sauce
3 cups milk

Clean and slice the mushrooms. Peel and mince the garlic. Start making the sauce about 15 minutes before the cabbage rolls are done.

Heat the butter in the skillet, and when it is hot and foaming add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic, and sprinkle them with the flour and salt. Mix well, until the flour disappears into the butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Slowly stir in the milk, a little at a time, until evenly absorbed. You may wish to stop and scrape down your spoon, to help avoid lumps. Once all the milk is in, continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Reduce the heat to very low until you are ready to pour it over the cabbage rolls and serve them.

In fact, I put in a teaspoon of mustard instead of the Worcestershire sauce, but on reflection I think the Worcestershire sauce would be better.

Last year at this time I made Cape Breton Scones.


Joanne said...

Mmmm so much cheese! Looks so yummy.

Ferdzy said...

Hard to go wrong with cheese!

Mellina Huitema said...

Just made these. They were pretty good. I think maybe they would have been better though if they were baked in the sauce instead of just topping them with the sauce.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ferdzy. I'll come clean and own up to snipping just the cabbage roll portion of the recipe as they sound like a pretty decent vegetarian version, with the added bonus of cheese!

Ferdzy said...

Hope you enjoy them, amateur! Don't see why they wouldn't be good with just a little tomato sauce.

Brenna said...

I just made these last week after stumbling across your blog, and they were amazing! I will be posting about them on my blog tomorrow, and have included a link back to your recipe on it. I hope that is ok! Love love love your blog!

Brenna from BC