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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Have you ever had one of those cravings that just will not let you be? Yep, me too. Which is why this week I made my hunny suffer through eating Stuffed Cabbage Rolls... which there really wasn't much suffering involved (he had seconds!). It is definitely not something I choose to eat often, only about once every 3 years or so. And don't get me wrong, I really DO like it, except when you live way out West, with limited amount of fresh produce. Peeling tight fitting cabbage leaves has never been one of my strong points in the kitchen.

Oh yes, that's a meaty sauce on TOP too!

1lb lean Ground Beef
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 White Mushrooms, chopped
1 Carrot, shredded
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 cup Cooked Brown Rice
3 tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Ground Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Pepper Corns
1 head Green Cabbage (loose fitting leaves if possible)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Garlic, minced
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, diced
15oz can Tomato Sauce
1 tsp Oregano, dried
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

1) Start off by browning the beef with the mushrooms, red pepper, carrot and garlic in a large skillet. Drain well, but reserve the skillet.

2) In large bowl, whisk together the egg and mustard until creamy. Add in the meat mixture along with the rice, salt and pepper and stir to incorporate.

3) Preheat oven to 375. Generously spray casserole dish with Pam Olive Oil spray.

4) Fill large pot with water and cabbage head (little trick I learned) then place on stove over medium heat. Do not get the water boiling though! A little heat will help to loosen the tight fitting leaves. If you were lucky enough to have bought the right kind, just skip this. Gently pull off leaves, one at a time until you get 8 leaves. Now, raise the heat up a bit to a low simmer and let the leaves soak (a couple at a time) in the water until they are limp.

5) Using tongs, remove one leaf and let drain back into the pot (make sure to replace it by sliding a fresh leaf under the one already in the pot), then lay it out on a cutting board or any flat surface. Fill with 1/4-1/2 cup of meat mixture.
Gently roll up like a burrito, holding it together with a toothpick slid through the rib. Place, seam side down, in casserole. Continue until all leaves have been filled, reserving any meat mixture left over.

6) Return heat to skillet and add olive oil, garlic, tomato sauce, meat mixture and diced grape tomatoes, stir. Add in oregano, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper and stir. Cook about 10 minutes on a simmer, stirring frequently so as not to burn the sauce.  Pour over top of the cabbage rolls. Cover casserole dish with tented foil and bake 40 minutes until bubbly.

7) Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese, serve.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chicken with Peach Bourbon Sauce

A couple of weeks ago, my hunny and I had a little trip to Bastrop, Tx to witness his granddaughter graduate. I tell myself that was the reason for going, but in reality it was the thought of a real grocery store, a Walmart, Target and of course Specs... the liquor warehouse. We also made a stop at this cute tourist trap that sold local peaches and pecans. We had been planning on stopping there for a while just had never gotten around to it.

I found this great little jar of Peach & Jalapeno preserves that I bought for my honey since he loves spicy foods. It was a flavor combination I thought would make a great sauce for grilling. Instead, I cooked it down into this wonderful baked chicken that fell apart when I used tongs to get it out of the pot. DELISH! I also used a Hot and Spicy pre bottled BBQ sauce to add to the kick. Unfortunately, the sugars in the preserves over powered the spicy. So if you want it hot, make sure to add some more peppers!

This serves 2-3 people. The original recipe I found calls for a lot more chicken than what I had so I cut it down.

6 boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs
1 tb Butter
1 tbsp Olive Oil
3 tbsp Minced Garlic
1 cup Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon
6oz Bar B Que Sauce
4 oz Peach Preserves
1/2 cup Water
1 tbsp Worechestershire Sauce

Oven to 300

1) Melt butter with oil in heavy pot. Lay thighs in butter and let brown on both sides; remove to platter.

2) Add garlic to the pot and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes and add the bourbon. Stir, scaping the bottom for a couple of minutes to let the liquid reduce down. Pour in BBQ Sauce, peach preserves, water and worechestershire sauce, whisk to incorporate.

Return chicken to pot, draining juices off platter, cover and place in oven.

3) Bake 1 1/2 hours.

4) Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.