Next weekend, we’ll be live-blogging Christmas Cookies (we make 6-8 varietals of cookies annually that are given away to friends and family)… but this weekend was reserved for Dave’s big birthday.
It’s been insane planning and attempting to keep it a surprise. Tonight, I finally got a chance to hang out where I do my best (the kitchen… because my CraftHovel ™ has yet to be built), and make Dave a birthday dinner (when a chef marries a baker, these things happen).
Dave’s 2009 Birthday Dinner
Cabbage Rolls #2 (based off this recipe and modified slightly by me)
1 medium head cabbage (3 pounds)
1 pound fresh-ground italian sausage
1 can (15 ounces) cream of tomato soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup instant rice (this is the only reason I have instant rice in my house)
1 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Remove 12 large leaves for rolls; set aside remaining cabbage. Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut to enclose filling.
- In a small bowl, combine the sausage, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, onion, rice, italian seasoning, salt, dill and cayenne. Place about 1/3 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides, beginning from the cut end. Roll up completely to enclose filling. Place each roll in a 9×13 glass casserole dish (I call this my “lasagna pan”, and I think it’s actually bigger than 9×13 and definitely has higher sides. However, I don’t think I know its technical name).
- Chop the remaining cabbage and arrange in casserole dish.
- Combine the tomatoes, sugar and remaining tomato sauce; pour over the rolls and chopped cabbage.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 1-1/2 hours or until tender and meat thermometer reads 160°.