Saturday, January 23, 2016

#168 Malfoof: Middle Eastern Stuffed Cabbage

I was first introduced to this dish about 5 years ago, and finally, I got to make it! 
It is tedious, but it pays off in the end! A super delicious meal, it's easy to over eat! The preparation involves removing the core of the cabbage, blanching it to make the leaves pliable, and prevent it from tearing...then seasoning the ground meat and then wrapping it with the prepared cabbage. 

It is important to remove the thicker portion of the cabbage leaf,  shown in the picture above, before using it to wrap the meat mixture.

Traditionally, this dish calls for rice. Since I am avoiding white rice, I used buckwheat groats for my Malfoof. 
Buckwheat groats are not grains, but when cooked, tastes like rice almost. It needs to be cooked first before mixing with the meat, because it will take forever to soften if you mix it raw..pictured below are uncooked and cooked buckwheat groats. But if you are using rice, then uncooked rice must be mixed with the meat before wrapping it with the cabbage.

Then it's wrapping time!

Wrapping the meat is actually easy, I folded the upper portion first, then the sides.. and then rolled it.

My rolls were tight, because I didn't want it to break apart while cooking.

I arranged the stuffed cabbage in a baking dish, making sure that there's no loose gap..

After an hour in the oven, we were enjoying this delicious dish! We ate it with Greek Yogurt.

  • 2 organic cabbage heads
  • 1 head organic garlic, peeled
  • 1 pack Costco Organic Grass-Fed ground beef (1.34 lbs.)
  • 1 cup uncooked rice or cooked buckwheat groats
  • 2 teaspoons all spice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup water (more if needed)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Core cabbage.
  3. In a big pot, add cabbage and water,  this is to measure the amount of water needed to submerge whole cabbage, remove cabbage before bringing it to boil.
  4. Add whole, cored cabbage in boiling water. Lower the heat to low. Remove once cabbage leaves are soft, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to cook it! Plunge it in cold water to halt the cooking process.
  5. Once cooled, using a knife, remove the thick portion of the leaf.
  6. In a large bowl, mix, the uncooked rice or cooked buckwheat groats, all spice, nutmeg, salt, pepper.
  7. Using your oiled hands, form mixture into golf sized balls, roll and wrap it with prepared cabbage leaves.  (See pics above for illustration)
  8. Arrange the stuffed cabbage rolls tightly in a baking dish. Add water and oil. Sprinkle peeled whole garlic on top.
  9. Place a non-plastic salad plate on top to make sure the stuffed cabbage does not float. Cover with foil.
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add more water if needed, it is important that  water covers the cabbage to keep the stuffing moist. Enjoy warm with Greek Yogurt and lemon. Salt and pepper to taste.

I will be making this again soon!! :)

If you enjoyed this post, follow this blog as we will be posting 197 more recipes! 197 recipes to discover, learn to cook, take pictures and post here to complete the goal of 365! 
Will I finish this big task? Check back often to see my progress! xo Van

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