Outstreched arm

Friday, September 30, 2005

Bizarro Stuffed Cabbage

This is a recipe for the opposite of stuffed cabbage. Huh? Well, you know how Bizarro, Superman's "polar opposite", wasn't black, didn't live under water, and didn't have two noses and one ear? I don't want to go too deeply into the "theory" of what makes a thing the "precise opposite" of something else - not in a recipe, anyway (but if we ever meet at a party, do ask.) Suffice to say that opposites only work within defined contexts, and in this case, the context is that of some cabbage-and-ground-meat dish.

I took my idea from "unstuffed cabbage", a recipe that makes a moderately difficult dish - rolling those things and making sure they don't fall apart or end up bone-dry, oh boy! - into a fairly simply one. Now, since in addition to this I'm also vegetarian and use meat substitutes, I believe I can call this dish the opposite of stuffed cabbage. Let's start - you'll need:

6 oz Smart Ground or other fake ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup rice, uncooked
1/2 onion, finely chopped,
salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Mix these by hand, in a bowl, and do your best to form meatballs about 2" in diameter. They won't want to stay together, but that's fine. This is not a fancy meal anyway. When you're done, wash your hands and get these out:

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup tomato juice
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tbsp raisins (yup, raisins)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp sugar (or Splenda)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp salt

Heat a little bit of oil in a large pot and add the cabbage. Throw in the salt and simmer, covered, over medium heat, for 10 minutes. Add everything else, including the meatballs, and simmer on medium-low for about an hour. You may have to add a little bit of water - 1/4 cup or so - two or three times if the sauce gets reduced too much. Don't burn the cabbage, but you shouldn't end up with any "soup" by the end of the hour either.

This will serve 2 treehuggers. Enjoy.

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