Beef & Feta Cabbage Rolls

Recently my husband requested Cabbage Rolls with Feta and ground beef; I couldn’t find a good recipe, so I came up with this.  It’s a wee bit of work, but well worth the time!  You could mix up the components the day before if you wanted, to save time on the day.  It’s worthy of being a guest menu, especially when served with a robust red wine.  As a side dish you could serve green beans or another steamed vegetable.

Cabbage RollsBeef & Feta Cabbage Rolls

500 gr. ground beef

1-2 packages Feta cheese, diced

cumin, salt, pepper to taste

lemon juice

1 onion, chopped

5-6 fresh mushrooms, sliced

2-3 C. rice, boiled

Saute the onions and mushrooms, adding the meat and browning.  Spice to taste, then toss in the Feta to melt into the mixture.  Set aside to cool, stirring in the rice whenever it is ready.

Savoy Cabbage

1 head Savoy Cabbage

You can prepare the cabbage one of two ways:  Either blanch the entire head in a large pot of boiling water, or do as I did:  Carefully separate the individual leaves, wash them, and “shave” down the thick spines to make them more flexible once softened.  Quickly microwave the leaves in batches (30 seconds to 1 minute on full power); this will make them pliable to roll.  Let them cool down a bit before handling.

250 gr. Grated cheese of your choice (Parmesan, Gruyére, etc.) to sprinkle on top just before baking

~1/2 – 1 C. Bread crumbs to sprinkle on top for an extra crunch (optional)

 

This next recipe is a basic white sauce; you can either use this or your own recipe, or mix up a batch of Make-Ahead Sauce.

BECHAMEL SAUCE (White Sauce)

6 Tbs. Butter

8 Tbs. Flour

4 C. (1 L) milk

Salt & white pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat.  Stir in the flour & cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until it has lost the floury aroma.  Do not allow to brown.  Add the milk gradually, stirring to dissolve any lumps that have formed.  Heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce boils & becomes thick.  Spice to taste.

 

To Assemble:

Taking each leave, spoon in a bit of the meat mixture in the centre and roll the leave around it, laying the leaf seam-side down in a casserole dish.  Repeat until the casserole dish is full; any leftover meat can either be saved for a later meal or spread out atop the cabbage rolls.  Pour in the prepared White Sauce, and then top with the grated cheese. Place in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) for ~45-60 minutes, or until the cheese / bread crumb topping browns nicely.

Serve with a dry red wine.

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New Book Release: Redemption, the Northing Trilogy, Book 2

Redemption CoverAnnouncing the release of my second book, Redemption!  At the moment both books are available on Kindle, and coming soon in paperback.  If you enjoy 18th century fiction a la Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer, I think you’ll love these two books!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing them; before writing the third book in this series, however, I’ll be finishing two other manuscripts, in vastly different genres.  So keep your eye out for more news!

The reason for the brief interlude between the releases of The Price of Freedom and Redemption is that the second was nearly complete when I released the first one; POF had been done for a few months by the time I actually had time to sit down and go through the publication process for the first time properly; don’t think either book was rushed, as I’m meticulous with the nuts and bolts, and I would like to think quality, though that is up to the reader to assess, not me!

To read a snippet of the book and find out more, please check out my “Publications” page, and let me know what you think – I’d love to hear from you!

Make-Ahead Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)

Bechamel Sauce - White Sauce

This is a recipe I keep on hand; it’s easy to make and use, and will save a lot of time when making a more complex meal.  You can also add a bit of this paste to any liquidy meal you need to thicken.

Make-Ahead Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)

2 C. dried milk (powdered)

1 C. all purpose flour

2 tsp. salt

1 C. butter, margarine, or oil

Combine dry milk, flour and salt. Mix well. With a pastry blender, cut in butter, margarine or oil until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Put in an airtight container, store in refrigerator and use within 2 months.

To make white sauce:

Combine ½ C. white sauce mix, 1 C. (or more, to required thickness after the flour has had cooking-time to swell) cool water or milk, cook over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Season as desired.