Unstuffing cabbage rolls makes a savory casserole _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Shortcut or Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Three times around New Year’s Day, someone told me they were making, or had just finished making, cabbage rolls. I’ve been thinking about cabbage rolls ever since. If you’re like me, I run out of holidays before I finish cooking all the holiday things I like.

When I saw a display of fresh cabbages at the grocery, I decided to make the rolls. I generally cook the traditional meat and rice balls tucked inside a cabbage leaf, but this time, I opted for the quick unstuffed or shortcut cabbage rolls; in other words, a casserole.

The ground beef is cooked with onions, bell pepper, celery and the cabbage. A light tomato sauce is stirred into the meat mixture along with cooked rice. You have all the flavors of cabbage rolls, just not that unique meatball inside a cabbage leaf that’s been gently cooked in tomato sauce.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.