Oh dearie me.....what have I been doing and where have I been? I have an adorable little granddaughter that I am almost full time baby sitting for which leaves me little and sometimes no time to be creative! But I have still been working away on small pieces here and there and I may well do another blog very shortly to show my work off. In the meantime I am busy trying to promote myself on the various social networks when I am not babysitting!....So recently it was my twins birthday and they have a favourite food dish called stuffed cabbage aka whoopsies. It is Polish in origin....but my Italian mum was taught it from a Polish lady to make for my Polish dad. Mum used to make it on special occasions along with the help of my older sister. I often watched on and sometimes did help with the rolling up of the cabbages once the stuffing was put in but I rarely did any of the preparation work. As some of you may know mum and dad are no longer with us and in the short time we haven't had mum, my sister has made this dish a couple of times but this time I felt I really wanted to create it for my twins birthday all by myself. Well it was successful and I posted a picture of it on facebook and there were one or two enquiries for the recipe. So what follows is the recipe for them....for myself so I don't forget how to create it and hopefully a future reference for my children in case there comes a time they want to try the recipe out for themselves.
For this recipe I used 2 boil in the bag rice @ 62.5 grams and a packet of Express microwave rice or you can just use more quantities of the boil in the bag type
White cabbage large as you can get
half a smoke sausage (Mattesons)
1 pepperami sausage
2 slices of bacon
1 large onion
olive oil for frying
oxo cubes or bovril cubes or bisto
salt and pepper
Pop your whole white cabbage in a pot big enough that when you pour cold water into it that it will cover the cabbage or near enough cover it.....what you are doing is to try and boil the cabbage leaves to loosen it off the cabbage. Once the water has come to the boil in your cabbage pot you can start the preparations for the stuffing. If necessary rotate your cabbage to make sure all of it is getting boiled and top up the pot with boiled water from the kettle to keep the cabbage leaves covered.
Boil your rice as per instructions and/or microwave the express packet
Next chop your onion, bacon, pepperami and smoked sausage (all quantities can be increased if making more than 12 whoopsies). Gently fry the onion until soft, not brown or burnt and add the bacon, smoked sausage and pepperami, continue to fry until bacon is cooked. Add fennel seeds and a bay leaf. You can crush the bay leaf if you use the dried version. You should be able to smell the fennel seed in the cooking but you don't want it to be over powering.
Next get a large mixing bowl. Into the mixing bowl put in your raw mince and add the cooked rice and the mixture of onion, sausage and bacon. At this point you need to add a good sprinkling of the vinegar to the mixture as you are mixing raw mince to cooked food also add your salt and pepper and either one or two oxo or bovril cubes or bisto for colouring. Mix all these ingredients up together. There needs to be an even mix of rice to mince in the bowl peppered with all your other ingredients.
Beat an egg and add to the mixture.
Hopefully by this time your cabbage may be ready to give up its leaves one at a time. Take a fork and gently tease the edge of a cabbage leaf away from the rest of the cabbage. You want to take the leaf off whole. You may need to use a knife to separate the leaf at the base of the cabbage by cutting away the leaf at the base. Place the loosened cabbage leaf onto a plate and continue to allow the cabbage to boil a few minutes more in between removing each leaf until you have maybe 4 of leaves to start working with. Allow the cabbage to continue to boil will you start to stuff the first few cabbage leaves. Using a large spoon, scoop the mixture into the base of the leaf and roll it into a parcel....it should be the size of a clenched fist and then place the parcel into a flat casserole dish. Continue to do this until all the mixture is used up and there are no longer leaves of cabbage large enough to make parcels with. Worst case scenario if you still have mixture left but not big enough leaves to wrap them with then use two leaves by overlapping them.
Once you have used all the mixture up cover the whoopsies with extra cabbage leaves to help prevent burning, also cover with kitchen foil and place in the oven for one hour at 200 degrees celcius/gas mark 6.
Once cooked ....enjoy :)