Thursday, March 19, 2009

Holishke (Stuffed Cabbage)--Forging ethnic meals of leftovers

We had NY strip steaks the other night. There was a bit leftover, along with some brown rice from a meal earlier in the week. I had also purchased some cabbage this weekend--for what I'm uncertain. Then there were the baby zucchini for which I intended soup. Now what to do with these displaced elements?

Stuffed cabbage (aka Holishke). But I made a north African take on the traditional Jewish recipe, by adding the two fresh herbs that we needed to eat (cilantro and mint), and by not at all following any type of recipe...making it up as I went along (as usual).

1. Dice 1 cup each of meat and vegetables (here I use leftover NY strip, zucchini, and cabbage); a clove of garlic; and 1/4 cup each of mint and cilantro.

2. Wash and blanch the largest outer leaves of the cabbage--about six--in hot water and set aside on a cookie sheet or tray

3. Sautee garlic and vegetables together in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft. Then add meat.

4. Let sautee mixture cool for about 10 minutes.

5. In a bowl with beaten egg, add cooked rice (I used leftover brown rice) and then the meat and vegetables after they've cooled. Toss in whatever fresh herbs (we had mint and cilantro which gave the dish a Med/N. African flavor).

6. Meanwhile, heat up tomato sauce. We only had canned diced tomatoes to which I added a very handy basil paste (much better than dried basil) and seasoned it. Simmer for about 25 minutes.

7. Place about 2 tbsp of the rice mixture on a blanched cabbage leaf and fold inward like a burrito along the spine.

8. Place rolled cabbage leaves, foldside down, on bed of the tomato sauce.

9. Top with remaining sauce and bake covered in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

10. Enjoy it with a 1998 BV Reserve Tapestry (or whatever else you have in the wine "cellar").

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