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Stuffed cabbage is one of my favorite Ashkenazi dishes, but it takes FOREVER to make. The leaves need to be boiled, then drained, then trimmed. Then the meat filling needs to be mixed. Then the filling needs to be rolled up into each cabbage leaf, and then it all needs to slowly cook. By the time it’s all done, I’m not just hungry, I’m super duper hungry!I was on the phone kvetching about how long the process takes with my friend Beth, and she suggested I make Unstuffed Cabbage. A friend had served it to her once for dinner. She didn’t have the recipe, but she gave me the basic concept… make a bed of cabbage, make the filling into meatballs, cover it with sauce and cook. This idea was intriguing, so I went for it! Here’s what I came up with.For the meatballs, I used a combination of ground beef and ground chicken. This allowed us to enjoy the flavor of the beef with a reduction in fat and calories. You can substitute ground beef only or ground chicken only if you prefer. If you use chicken, be sure to make it dark meat chicken, which will give you some extra flavor. Note that if you use ground chicken only, the meatballs will be quite sticky when you’re trying to form them, and you may need more matzo meal to help them hold together. Keep a wet towel handy!Normally stuffed cabbage has rice in the filling, but I left it out of this dish because we’re watching our carb intake. It is very filling without the rice, making it a healthy comfort food option. It’s perfect for the colder months of the year, a warming and wonderful one pot meal. It’s also kosher for Passover– bonus!Now, before you try this recipe, you should know that it’s not a Polish-style sweet and sour sauce (emphasis on the sweet). I prefer my stuffed cabbage on the savory side. If you’re looking for a more sweet and sour dish, try these: Sweet and Sour Meatballs. However, if you like savory meatballs, you will totally dig this dish! Guaranteed.Update: I recently posted a recipe for traditional Stuffed Cabbage Leaves, click here to read.Continue here for this recipe.
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