Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Moroccan-style Cabbage Rolls + Saffron Couscous

This dish is what I made for my last big hurrah dinner the night before class started. A last supper, if you will. Wine was poured, scotch was drank, friends came over, inappropriate jokes were made. You know, the usual stuff.

Growing up eating a lot of Lebanese food, this recipe incorporates many of those flavors I learned from my grandmother (whose grandfather is actually Moroccan!). I'd recommend making this on a Sunday so you can reserve lots of leftovers for those weeknights when you don't have time to cook. There's about an hour of prep, and an hour in the oven, so plan accordingly. Here is the video I followed to make the saffron couscous, adding a can of chick peas at the end. I'd love to cook with that guy one day! Enjoy!

Moroccan-style Cabbage Rolls
Print it here!
1 whole drumhead or savoy cabbage
1 1/2 pounds minced lamb (may use ground beef)
5 cloves garlic, mashed
2 medium onions
1 cup long grain rice
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger
salt and pepper
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1-2 tsp Harissa paste
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tbs peppercorns
1 cup red wine
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes, mashed

Peel the layers off the cabbage and boil in groups of 4-5, or as many as comfortably fit in a large pot. Boil for 2-3 minutes, remove from pot and set aside. When cool to the touch, lay out on towels and dry off. Chop the heart of the cabbage, and add this to the mince with the onion, garlic, rice, currants, paprika, parsley, cinnamon, ginger, salt and pepper. Combine well. Make into golf ball size balls, then roll into small sausage shape. Dry cabbage leaves well. Make one roll at a time by placing a sausage at the thick edge of a leaf then carefully roll it up, and seal the edges. In a baking tray, fry bacon, add harissa paste, peppercorns, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and splash in the red wine. Place the cabbage rolls on top of this, pour over tomato puree until it is half-way up the dish, add water to heighten the level if necessary and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Serve with steamed cous cous.