Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook
Another adventure with Dorie
Recipe Included: STUFFED CABBAGE
Article by Linda Kissam
You have to want to be in the kitchen with a world renowned chef who gleefully confesses to burning down her parents’ kitchen at age 12, that she couldn’t cook when she got married, and that she was fired from a restaurant job for putting her own creative touches on some cookies she was baking. It’s the whole adversity makes you better declaration gone wild in the kitchen. I love it. Meet author, chef, woman extraordinaire Dorie Greenspan.
So, we fast forward to today to some 13 (and counting) cookbooks, five James Beard awards and my attendance at one of her latest book signings later for her newest book Everyday Dorie. Seeing Dorie in action once again, tasting her food, and hearing her passion for all things cooking, makes me smile first, and second want to share her with my readers one more time (at least).
Her latest book is overflowing with smart, eatable, easy to make recipes. It covers the whole gamut of what you might want to cook in the kitchen from – literally – soups to nuts.
My favorite recipes in the book are the Stuffed Cabbage (pg. 154), the Double Stuffed Deviled Eggs with Crab (pg. 26), the Bean and Tortilla Soup (pg. 60) and the Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (pg. 246.). There’s lots of flashy surprises that make me want to keep exploring and cooking from cover to cover, but the best surprise of all is how down to earth, yet updated her recipes are. There’s no weird stuff in here. It’s all guest and family presentable. I am pretty sure no matter what you decide to make, there will be no “eye rolls” going on from those at your table.
This is recognizable food that just plain tastes good.
Here’s some interesting facts about Dorie – taken from attending her book signing last week and from her website.
- She gave up working on her doctorate in gerontology to bake cookies in a restaurant basement. She was fired from this gig for being too creative. Go figure. There’s hope for all of us.
- She is the “On Dessert” columnist for The New York Times Magazine
- Her 13th cookbook, Everyday Dorie was born on October 23, 2018. It’s a Scorpio … like its mom
- She has five James Beard Awards (one for journalism; one for her book, Baking with Julia; one for Baking From My Home to Yours; one for Dorie’s Cookies; and one for being voted into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America).
- She’s been on The New York Times Bestseller List … twice (once for Around My French Table and once for Baking Chez Moi).
- She lives in three places: New York City, Westbrook, CT and Paris, France and yes, she considers myself extraordinarily lucky
- (My Favorite) “I am not a fussy cook. I am always going for the taste”
Sign up to get a monthly recap of her favorite recipes, posts and news from around the web sent right to your inbox. https://doriegreenspan.com/
Finally, enjoy my favorite recipe from the book. It’s a special treat courtesy of Dorie, ‘cause that’s just the kind of generous girl she is.
STUFFED CABBAGE is excerpted from Everyday Dorie © 2018 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
If you’ve never made stuffed cabbage, I urge you to stop everything and do it now. Earthy and rustic, stuffed cabbage is beloved in many cultures, revered in Europe and known to cause arguments among cooks who are convinced that their recipe is superior to all others. My version, which mixes beef, pork, rice and my mother-in-law’s long-secret addition, ketchup, is idiosyncratic but one I’d argue for. Passionately. I make my stuffed cabbage in bundles, the way I had it when I was growing up. It’s a nod to childhood memories, but I do it this way partly because I enjoy the arts-and-crafts nature of the project. That it makes the dish easier to serve and more attractive is a bonus. For me, the sauce, both pungent and a little sweet, is the prize: It’s built on tomatoes, sweetened with apple juice and spiked with vinegar. The cabbage packets are layered between the sauce and a cushion of grated apples, shredded onions and cabbage and braised for 3 hours — the aromas draw everyone into the kitchen.
For the cabbage bundles
1 large head green cabbage — regular or Savoy
1½ pounds (680 grams) ground chuck
½ pound (227 grams) sausage meat — sweet, hot or a combination (or an equal amount of ground chuck)
1 medium onion, finely chopped, rinsed and patted dry
2 shallots, finely chopped, rinsed and patted dry
2 garlic cloves, germ removed (see page 320) and finely chopped
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup (100 grams) basmati or other long-grain rice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup (60 ml) ketchup
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
For the sauce and add-ins
Two 28-ounce (794-gram) cans whole tomatoes, with their juice
⅓ cup (80 ml) unsweetened apple juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 onion, sliced, rinsed and patted dry
1 apple, grated
WORKING AHEAD I like to make this a day ahead if I can. An overnight in the fridge gives you the chance to easily spoon off and discard any fat, and it gives all the flavors a chance to deepen.
- TO MAKE THE CABBAGE ROLLS: Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, pull off and discard any tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Turn the cabbage upside down and, working carefully with a heavy knife, cut out the core. I usually have to do this in increments — cutting out a divot and then going back in to cut away more. Pull off the outer 18 or so leaves (the largest on the head). Drop a couple of leaves at a time into the boiling water and leave them there for a minute or two, just until they’re softened. Shake off the excess water as you remove the leaves from the pot and then pat them dry.
- Working with one leaf at a time, spread it out on a cutting board, with the outer part — the side where the thick center rib sticks up — facing up. Using a paring knife or a strong vegetable peeler, cut or shave down the thick rib so that it’s (kind of) even with the leaf and, most important, flexible — don’t worry about being precise. Set the trimmed leaves aside; they’re the ones you’ll stuff. Thinly slice the remaining cabbage — think thick-cut coleslaw — and set aside for the sauce.
- Put the ground chuck and sausage in a bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and mix together as though you were making meatballs — be thorough, but try not to knead or work the stuffing too much.
- To construct the bundles, lay a cabbage leaf inner (cup) side up on a work surface. Shape about ¼ cup of the stuffing into a little log. Place the log horizontally across the cabbage, keeping it within the bottom third of the leaf, and lift the bottom of the leaf up and against the meat — or over it, if you have enough leaf. Fold the two sides over the log and then start rolling the log up in the leaf until you get to the top. (Imagine that you’re making a burrito and the cabbage leaf is the tortilla.) Make the roll as compact as you can and secure the seam with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining leaves and stuffing.
- TO MAKE THE SAUCE AND COOK THE BUNDLES: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F.
- Open the cans of tomatoes and, using kitchen scissors and working in the cans, snip the tomatoes into small pieces (alternatively, you can break them up with your hands). Pour the tomatoes and juice into a large bowl and stir in the apple juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt and cayenne. In another bowl, toss together the sliced onion, grated apple and reserved sliced cabbage.
- Pour one third of the sauce into a large Dutch oven or a large ovenproof sauté pan with a lid. Cover with half of the apple mixture and top with half of the cabbage bundles. Repeat with half of the remaining apple mixture and the rest of the cabbage bundles. Finish with a layer of the remaining sauce and apple mixture. Cover with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit snugly inside the pot and against the ingredients (or seal the top of the pot with aluminum foil). Cover with the lid and slide the pot into the oven.
- Let the stuffed cabbage cook undisturbed for 3 hours. Taste the sauce, which will be thin, and add more sugar, vinegar, salt or cayenne if you think it needs it. Then test a cabbage bundle to make certain that the rice is tender. If it isn’t — unlikely, but . . . return the pot to the oven until it is.
- The stuffed cabbage can be served now or cooled, refrigerated and reheated when you’re ready — I think the flavors get even better after an overnight rest.
STORING: You can keep leftover cabbage bundles and sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The stuffed cabbage can be frozen for up to 2 months packed in an airtight container. If frozen, gently thaw before reheating in a covered pot.
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Photos with credit line Everyday Dorie excerpted from Everyday Dorie © 2018 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
All other photos by Allan Kissam