clever Stuffed CABBAGE roll CUPS

Stuffing cabbage leaves never excited me...
until messy rolls flipped into lovely parcels.

If you've never seen this method before...
you're in for the same treat I was.

A few weeks ago...I found myself appreciating a little TV action...
from our Canadian based Home Style Steven and Chris show.
That particular day...the creative ‘foodie‘, Jennifer Low,
was demonstrating a very notable how-to method.

Just as she was divulging the efficient way of stuffing cabbage rolls...
I was noticing how I was excitedly at the edge of my chair with anticipation.
Alright, maybe not quite the edge...
but close enough and puppy ‘Sushi’ felt the same ;o)

Basically, Jennifer explained that instead of making
the usual mess of filling and rolling the cabbage leaves...
why not make use of the very versatile muffin pan.
This felt like very familiar terrain...
especially since my eureka moment last August.

Go HERE to find out how to easily roast GARLIC.

Finding myself absolutely enamoured with what I was seeing...
I could only wonder how many more would be served by this idea.
How could I not share this fabulously clever how-to method with my friends?

Last weekend, when I went for my weekly market outing...
where I was received with a glorious Autumn day.

Ahh...my favourite Season had certainly taken hold.


At the top of my list was to be on the look out for my cruciferous friends.
Not, shortly after a few steps, there they were...

a fabulous bounty of sweet Savoy cabbages.
The florals from the regular cabbages was quite impressive as well.

The first thing I did when I got home was  
show off the beautiful Savoy as a table centerpiece.

It was so gorgeous that I actually contemplated (only for a few seconds)
about not depleting it from its decorative leaves.
I just couldn't stop staring at her distinctive curves.

They were so delicate, yet showed a strength not to be reckoned with.
Alright, yes...I suppose she reminded me of someone ;o)...any guesses?

It was a little strange how I was reacting to a cruciferous after all.
Just as I was staring...luckily a whisper passed me by 
"Claudia...get a life will ya"!
Very quickly, my good sensible qualities came back.
It was time to get cooking.

Stuffed CABBAGE roll CUPS
PREPARATION...How to Method for 12 cabbage cups
You’ll need: a 12 cup muffin pan, 2 baking cookie sheets and parchment paper.

Also think AHEAD of a selected filling and sauce:
. about 3 cups (750ml) of FILLING will be needed
 . about 2 cups (500ml) of SAUCE will be needed

Get the PRINTER version HERE


. 1 big head of 'Savoy' cabbage

. 3 cups (750ml) worth of cooked filling of choice
    Suggestion: caramelized onions, red peppers, eggplant, ham.  
Added some cooked, red quinoa with chopped sun-dried tomato made in a mushroom based stock.  Complemented by some Gorgonzola and Mozzarella cheese.

. 2 cups (500ml) worth of sauce topping of choice
    Note: This sauce was simply some plain yogurt and a homemade red pepper sauce blended together.  Then, lightly warmed up.

1. Prepare the head of cabbage for blanching: pull away the larger decorative leaves.  Cut the bottom stem part where the leaves were extracted so that it'll be easier to pull the remaining leaves after being boiled.
2. Pour the water half way in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Add the full head of cabbage (stem down) without its decorative leaves.  Cover the pot and turn down the heat to simmer for about 12-14 minutes.   Drain the hot water and refill the pot with cold running water to cool down the cabbage.  Drain it again by turning the cabbage upside down and grabbing the core with the cup of your hand.  
3. Prepare a plate to place the leaves which you will carefully peel off the stem.  Remember to keep cutting the bottom core when the leaves don’t come off easily.  Note: Most leaves will come off in full...however, if they tear a little,  it won’t matter much to the finished product.
4. With a kitchen scissor cut the thick ‘rib’ stem from the center of each leaf.  Carefully place each leaf into the cups without pressing in too much.  Starting from the tray’s center outwards is easier.  Overlap pieces of cabbage to avoid gaps in lining.  

5. Fill each cup level with your chosen filling by using about an ice-scream scoop full...about 1/4 cup/60ml will be sufficient.
6. Once the cups are filled, press down the overlapping leaf flaps to cover the filling properly. 

7. Place muffin tray on a first baking sheet.  Cover the cabbage tray completely with a sheet of parchment paper.  Place a second baking sheet over top by pressing down on the parchment.
. BAKE for 30 minutes in a pre-heated 400F/200C/Gas6 oven by placing the tray on the middle rack.

. Right before the cabbage cups are ready to come out of the oven...start heating your chosen sauce (about 2 cups / 500ml) that will be spooned over your stuffed cabbage roll cups and ready to serve.
. Take the tray out of oven and leave it rest for 10 minutes.  After which you’ll get ready to unmould the cups.  Hold both baking sheets that have sandwiched the muffin tray and flip over.  Remove muffin tray in order to easily release the cabbage rolls.  Serve immediately with warm sauce. 

other tips...Freezing and Re-heating:
. Cool the un-moulded cups to room temperature then set on a tray that fits your freezer shelf.  Once frozen just barely hard to the touch...place them in single layers in an airtight sealable plastic bag or container.
. When ready to re-heat...the oven should be preheated to 400F/180C/Gas6 and before you place the frozen cabbages rolls into the cups...make sure to put 1 tsp. (5ml) water into each cup ahead of time.
. Again, this time...cover with parchment paper...bake for 40 minutes, or until heated.  If only re-heating a few cabbage rolls...you'll need to adjust down the baking time.

Voila...supper was made in no time at all.

Thanks to leftovers and a great new method to stuff cabbage leaves...
no more messes of tucking and
rolling leaves in my kitchen.

Flavourful wishes and happy test kitchen,

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

Other meal preparations that may be of interest:
- MILLET stuffed Bell PEPPER cups
- SHEPHERD's PIE aka PATE CHINOIS {Mediterranean style shepherd's pie}