I love the mixed textures of stuffed cabbage. The almost crunchy texture of the lightly boiled cabbage leaf leading into the tender, flavorful meat inside. At first I was intimidated that the leaves would fall apart, the meat would fall out and I’d have a big goopy mess on my hands. The key is to not boil the cabbage leaves too long and to not overstuff them before cooking. My recipe is very untraditional and changes depending upon what I have on hand, so don’t be afraid to switch it up. I also prefer a savory stuffing versus sweet (no raisins in my dish).
Here’s the how to: Remove about 10 of the larger outer leaves from a head of cabbage and boil for about 8-10 minutes (leaves should be pliable but not too soft). Let cool in glass bowl. Meanwhile make a meatball mixture (whatever your traditional mixture is). A nice touch is to add about 1/4 cup of uncooked rice. Once the cabbage leaves have cooled, stuff each leaf with about a tablespoon (more for larger leaves) of meatball mixture that has been rolled into a log. Fold in sides then roll to close. You can use a toothpick to secure. Repeat until all leaves are used. (You can freeze leftover meat mixture.) Then place stuffed cabbage leaves in a saute pan, add about 1 cup of tomato sauce, season with salt, pepper, sazon and cover. Cook on low for about 45 minutes. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!