Stuffed cabbage in a pastry case

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N Main elements
675 grams Green cabbage; (1 1/2 lb)
4 tablespoons Olive oil
50 grams Finely chopped onion; (2oz)
50 grams Currants; (2oz)
75 grams Dried apricots; sliced (3oz)
1 \N 175 gram lon grain rice; (6oz)
2 \N Heaped tablespoons; (3 x 15 ml) ground
\N \N ; almonds
1 \N 350 gram pac frozen puff pastry; (12oz)
1 \N Medium-size egg
1 \N Sachet of saffron powder
\N \N Salt and pepper; to taste
1 \N 450 gram car natural yogurt; (1lb)
50 \N G; (2-4 oz) melted, (50 to 100)
\N \N ; butter
\N \N Hot paprika or harissa sauce; to taste

TO GARNISH

Cut out the central core of the cabbage and carefully detach the leaves.

Blanch them 4 or 5 at a time in boiling water for 2 minutes then plunge into cold water.

Keep 8 fl oz (240ml) of the cabbage water.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan and cook the onion until it is soft and staring to colour.

Add the currants, apricots and rice, stir well, then pour in the reserved cabbage water.

Cover the pan and cook without stirring until the water level has disappeared beneath the surface of the rice.

Turn off the heat, cover tightly with a folded tea towel and the lid, then leave to steam for 15 minutes undisturbed.

Meanwhile, cut the tough rib out of each cabbage leaf, going no further than half-way up each leaf. Dry each leaf thoroughly.

Fluff up the rice, mix in the almonds and the mint, (uses half as much dried mint if you have no fresh) and season to taste.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200øC/400 øF. Roll the pastry out to an oblong of about 18 inches x 12 inches (50cm x 30cm).

Mix the egg with the saffron.

Stuff the cabbage leaves by putting a tablespoon of the mixture into the centre of each.

Fold in the sides of the leaf and then roll the parcels up tightly. Sit the parcels on their seams so they do not unroll. Pile the stuffed cabbage rolls upside-down (with the seams uppermost) in a smaller oblong in the centre of the pastry. The pile should be about three layers high and must not be as flat and as wide as the bottom one. This is simply done by swapping different shapes around to get a balance.

Fold the pastry over, folding and tucking the edges back over the top like a parcel, as in the diagram. Trim off any obvious excess, then seal the joins very well with a little moisture and pressure. The finished package should be about 8 x 5 x 5 inches (20 x 12½ x 12.5cm).

Turn the parcel over and onto abaking tray then use the tip of a sharp-pointed knife to cut a pattern in the pastry.

Parallel lines or diamonds made by intersecting diagonals look best.

Cut two small air vents right through the pastry, then paint the whole thing with the saffron-egg glaze.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, to ensure the pastry base is cooked through.

Slice the roll with a very sharp knife.

Top with generous blobs of chilled natural yogurt, then bathe each with hot, melted butter which you have mixed with either hot paprika or a dab or two of harissa sauce, or some other hot sauce.

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