I don't grow cabbages due, in part at least, to the white cabbage butterfly problem (mentioned in the previous post) severely limiting my brassica growing options. However even without cabbage butterflies, i'm not convinced i would grow cabbages - i think i would stick to the mini-version (the Brussels Sprout), which i much prefer. On the odd occasion that i buy a cabbage, a large portion gets eaten raw - generally i find this the best way to enjoy both cabbages and cauliflower, as they make a nice crunchy (and healthy) snack food. However, today's recipe is one reason i will sometimes put cabbage on the shopping list - comfort food for cold weather.
I've been doing a bit of "retro" cooking lately. Recipes from books published last century (!!) that these days seem perhaps a little stodgy, but still have their pleasures. Today's recipe is heavy on the dairy, with plenty of butter, cheese and sour cream, so not recommended for anyone watching their cholesterol. However it is also real comfort food, hearty and warming and delicious. I first made it in as a student in 1992, when i came across the Vegetarian Adventure cookbook, and i've been making it a couple of times a year ever since then. It was always a favourite of the flatmates, even those without vegetarian tendencies. I view this recipe as one of the best reasons for cooking cabbage, but i do have to plan ahead, since i don't usually have either cabbage or sour cream in my refrigerator.
I should try what a friend of mine does sometimes - she also has a copy of the "Vegetarian Adventure' and enjoys making this dish. She tells me she sometimes makes it with silverbeet, and omits the cabbage entirely. I always have silverbeet in the garden, but since i have to plan ahead for this dish anyway, and buy sour cream, i always get the required cabbage as well.
Any leftovers are delicious reheated or eaten cold for lunch the next day.
CREAMY SWEDISH CABBAGE ROLL
From 'The Vegetarian Adventure Cookbook' by Rowan Bishop and Sue Carruthers
Serves 4 to 5 people
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
350 g finely shredded cabbage (prepared weight)
3 silverbeet leaves (optional), de-stalked and finely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons white or wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/2 cup whole kernel corn
1 tsp chilli paste or horseradish sauce
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
60 g (4 tablespoons) butter or margarine
Melt the butter measure of the first filling in a medium saucepan, then gently saute the cabbage, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes. Add the chopped silverbeet leaves and saute for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat.
Mix together the sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add to the cabbage mixture, mix well and set aside.
In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for the second filling. Set aside. Drain off any clear liquid which appears.
To make the pastry, place the flours, salt and baking powder in another bowl. Rub or cut the butter (or process) into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk and mix in - you should have a soft but not sticky dough.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius.
Knead the dough 2-3 times on a floured board, the roll out onto a sheet of baking paper (or reusable baking sheet) on an oven tray, so that a 30 cm x 30 cm square is formed.
Now spread the cabbage mixture evenly over the scone pastry, leaving about 3cm around 3 of the edges.. Brush these strips lightly with milk or water to help seal.
Spread the corn/cheddar mixture over the cabbage.
Starting from the end without a 3 cm strip, roll up as you would a swiss roll, pressing the side edges firmly together to prevent the mixture escaping, and ensuring that the roll lies seam down.
Bake at 190 degrees Celcius for 35 to 40 minutes.