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Stuffed Whole Cabbage
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Core cabbage. In a large sauce pan or stock pot cover cabbage with water and season with salt and cook til tender. Approx. 20 25 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid. Cool cabbage. Combine rice, chicken, ham, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside. Cut a piece of cheesecloth big enough to hold cabbage and dampen it. Lay it out flat and lay cabbage on the cheesecloth. With the cored out part up, start from outer layer and pull each leaf down and separate, being careful to make sure the cabbage remains whole. Starting at the center, fill spaces between leaves with rice and meat mixture. Gently return the cabbage back to its round shape. (It will be loose.) When all leaves are stuffed pull up opposite sides of the cheesecloth and tie tightly. Pull up opposides of other two sides of cheesecloth and tie tightly. Twist the cabbage so the cheesecloth is tightly bound. Tie the top of the knot with twine to hold it. Return to pan with 1 cup of reserved broth, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. While this is cooking make cheese sauce. In a small saucepan melt 2 T butter or margarine. Blend in 2 T flour, 1/4 tsp salt and a dash of pepper. Add 1 1/4 cups milk and cook stirring constantly til mixture is thickened and bubbly. STir in 1/2 cup shredded sharp American Cheese. Heat til cheese is melted. Remove cabbage from pot and drain. Put cabbage on a plate and untie the cheesecloth and lay cheesecloth out. Put another plate over the top and turn it over so the core part of the cabbage is on the bottom. You should have a smooth top. Remove Cheesecloth and cut into wedges and serve with cheese sauce. Variation: Substitute corned beef for the chicken.
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