Monday, March 16, 2009
Recipe: Tempeh Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Yesterday morning, I overheard my partner talking to his mother on the telephone and lamenting the fact that I won't ever again be making the corned beef and cabbage I used to make for St. Patrick's Day prior to becoming a vegetarian in late 2007.
Listening to their conversation, though, I began thinking about dishes I have not made since becoming a vegetarian. One of those dishes is stuffed cabbage rolls. So, last night I decided to vegetarian-ize my mother's basic recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls by substituting the ground beef for "ground" tempeh, and replacing the strips of bacon on top of the cabbage rolls with dollops of sour cream. The end result? Flavorful cabbage rolls that rival the original recipe.
Tempeh Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Makes approximately 4 servings
1 large cabbage head
1 package tempeh
16 ounces tomato sauce, diluted with 16 ounces water (I used two 8 oz cans of tomato sauce)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup cooked white rice (I used jasmine)
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
Using a knife, carefully cut (3-5 inches deep) around the core of the head of cabbage. (If you can remove the entire core from the cabbage head, then go for it.) Place the cabbage head in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, until the outer leaves have softened.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a skillet under medium heat. While the oil is warming up, break up the tempeh using your fingers into finely "ground" pieces. Drizzle approximately 1/4 cup of soy sauce over the "ground" tempeh and saute the tempeh in the skillet, about 5 minutes. Remove the tempeh from the skillet and set it aside.
Add the chopped onions and garlic into the skillet and cook until the onions become soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the "ground" tempeh back into the skillet and stir in the cooked rice, about 1/3 of the tomato sauce-water mixture, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the beaten egg. Remove everything from the skillet into a bowl or plate.
Remove the cabbage from the boiling water. Take a cabbage leaf and add 1 tablespoon (a heaping) of the tempeh-rice filling onto the leaf. Tuck the sides of the leaf over the filling, roll the leaf, and place the leaf in a baking dish with the seam side down.
Repeat until you have about 10-12 rolled leaves. (Use a knife to cut away any rough leaf stem parts before rolling.) Pour the remaining tomato sauce-water mixture over the top of the rolled leaves. Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven for about 30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.