Food can evoke so many feelings, emotions, senses, and memories.

I’ve been missing my Nan, terribly. It must be the time of year. She loved fall and winter and all the holidays that those seasons hold. Nan was a master baker and an amazing chef.

One dish that I would call Nan’s signature dish, would be her cabbage rolls. She was known for them and people would ask her for them. She would send them in the mail to me, on occasion.

She taught us to break them open and put cottage cheese and sprinkle that green canned cheese on top. Yum.

I decided to channel sweet Nan yesterday. I made cabbage rolls. I put my own flair on them by adding escabeche (pickled carrots, onions, jalapeños with oregano) and trading the canned cheese for freshly shredded Parmigiano Reggiano.

The recipe:

1 small to medium head of green cabbage, outer leaves pulled off, stem cut off. Put whole head in a large pot of salted water. With lid on, boil until soft, but still sturdy.

For the filling:

Dice on small to medium onion and one green bell pepper. Put in a medium skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cooking until onion and peppers are soft. Add 3 cloves minced garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper. Add 1 pound of ground beef (I used 93/7 angus). Cook and crumble until the beef is finely crumbled. Add 1 tablespoon Worcestershire (make sure it’s gluten free)sauce and 1-2 tablespoons Bragg’s Amino Acids and black pepper. Add 2 cups cooked, white rice. Stir together, adding Worcestershire and Bragg’s to taste.

Gently pull leaves off cabbage head. Put about 1/4 cup of beef mixture into each cabbage leaf and fold in sides then roll. Place in 9×13 baking dish.

For the sauce:

Large can (38 ounces) tomato sauce

Small can tomato juice (8 ounces)

1 cup escabeche chopped.

Pour over cabbage rolls. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

Garnish with salt, pepper, cottage cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano.


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