Last week I mention I've been busting out some traditional autumn recipes in my kitchen. One of my favorite is 'kaalikääryleet', or cabbage rolls.
When you wrap spiced up ground beef/pork, cooked rice and chopped cabbage into a cabbage leaf, drizzle the rolls with light syrup and cook for couple hours you have a perfect meal in just one or two rolls. And if you serve them with lingonberries, and take the sweetness of the syrupy cabbage, savory of the meat, and tangy from the berries ~ your taste buds are having a feast!
Couple things I've done differently than the traditional recipe: I added herbs (basil, oregano, thyme) to the meat, as well as a dash of cayenne pepper to give it a bit of a kick at the end. The recipe says white cabbage, but other varieties works as well. Or you can get a bit Mediterranean tastes if you use lamb, feta cheese and mint in the filling.
I've also made a vegetarian version with variety of chopped mushrooms, you get gluten free version by using organic rice marked 'gluten free', lactose free by using stock instead of cream ~ don't let the recipe intimidate you, use it as guideline and then let your imagination free. These rolls are easy to freeze, so make more than you need, once you're at it.
And if you happen to have a lot of cabbage left over after you are done with the rolls, you can use it for example for a wok, or make less work intensive cabbage casserole, another great dish that you can freeze for later date as well.
I'm a chef and a pastry chef, and I love food. Preparing a meal for someone is a show of love; for your craft, for the ingredients, and for the ones eating.
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