Happy 2011, friends! OK, first I would like to apologize for being M.I.A. for a while now. The end of 2010 proved to be a bit stressful, and unfortunately blogging had to be put on hold for a bit there. It’s amazing how a mysterious flea infestation and moody pre-teens can really bring you down! And seriously…since when is pre-teen a thing?!?! Either you are a teenager or you are not…you can’t mess with the system, tell everyone you are a pre-teen at the age of 11 and start acting all emo because you watched the Twilight movie and now think all boys should be that brooding…seriously! Ok…hang on…Mike just told me they are called tweens now…what the hell is a tween!?! Oh I’m so screwed when we have kids!
But it’s a new year! I’m starting winter term at Portland State tomorrow with some great classes and have tons of goodies planned for this year. I also recently joined the board of directors for Friends of Portland Community Gardens and will be working with Portland Parks & Rec to help get funding for and coordinate the expansion of community garden plots throughout the city. I’m working with a great bunch of folks who really believe that growing food goes hand in hand with growing communities. I can’t wait to work with them all and hopefully learn some gardening skills along the way too. There are a lot of great things in store for 2011!
On that note, I have to say I started this year off right! Mike and I had dinner with some friends on New Years Eve, and it gave me an opportunity to experiment with super tasty new recipes that I’ve been meaning to try for a while now, including lamb stuffed cabbage rolls!
I had dinner at Broder in SE Portland about a month ago and had these for the first time. They were amazing and I decided that I had to try and recreate them. Unfortunately none of my pictures came out well, but the one shown looks just about right. Ideally you would eat them in a bowl of beef broth with a spoon. they are the perfect bite of happy on a cold winter night!
Lamb Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
12 large leaves of cabbage
1 lb lamb (pasture raised of course)
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 cups beef broth
1.)Combine ground lamb, rice and all seasonings in a bowl and set aside
2.) Separate cabbage leaves from the head of cabbage by cutting out the core and placing the whole head of cabbage in boiling water for a couple minutes. Remove the cabbage from the water and carefully peel off the leaves. You will get to a point where the leaves are uncooked and you should place the head back in the water to loosen some more leaves. It is a process but was the best way I found to remove the leaves intact. If they are tearing, try boiling them a bit more. And be careful not to burn yourself…use a big spoon to remove the cabbage from the water.
3.) Place 2 tablespoons of meat mixture in a cabbage leaf and roll firmly, tucking in the sides after the first roll.
4.) Poke each roll a couple times with a fork or sharp knife to create tiny holes and place them in your slow cooker as you roll them.
5.) Cover rolls with the beef broth
6.) Cook on low setting for 8 hours or high for 5 hours
7.) Serve in bowls with some of the broth.