I feel like I haven’t posted here in a very long time – it’s been really really busy in my life as a Jung Suwon warrior, and that’s the way I like it! Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim says that keeping busy keeps us young in body, mind, and spirit, and I do feel that!
Even during the hot summer months it gets cool at night here in the Bay area, and so I like to make summery, yet warming dishes for dinner, that are also substantial enough to feed hungry Jung suwon warriors!
My mother’s stuffed cabbage rolls come to mind, and I just made them a couple of days ago. It’s been hard to re-create her recipes, because she only took a little bit of this and some of that, and in addition, she never even knew what gluten-free was! And of course I am always trying to incorporate Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s teachings into the way I cook, with the best ingredients and only the best of thoughts in my mind.
Great teacher that she is Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has been encouraging me to be creative, and find new ways to make tasty food, that nourishes and heals and tastes good at the same time! So, here we go:
To make this version of stuffed cabbage, I use Nappa cabbage, and carefully separate the leaves off the head, and then quickly put them into almost boiling water just long enough to make the leaves pliable, without breaking. I used to try to just boil the whole head and then peel off the leaves, but that never worked for me. Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim compares the cabbage to a fist: just like each finger, each leaf in itself, is weak and cannot survive on its own, but together with all the other leaves, it makes a strong head of cabbage (or, all the fingers together, make a strong fist!) ! Have you ever tried to break a full head of cabbage? See? In our case, it’s good that we can peel off each leaf!
For the sauce, if I have leftover spaghetti sauce, it’s perfect. But if not, I make a quick tomato sauce from scratch, like this:
Saute, in olive oil, a chopped up onion, and some minced garlic, I would use a couple of table spoons, and add chopped fresh tomatoes. I only use fresh tomatoes for my sauces, but I am sure canned would work well too.
I would also add some chopped mushrooms and parsley and saute for a bit and then add a little good quality red wine (I don’t ever use cooking wine, they add a bunch of stuff to it). If the sauce is too thick at this point, I add some good quality all natural spaghetti sauce from a jar, or if I have some broth, I add that.
For the filling, I saute mushrooms, garlic and chopped onions and add some pre-cooked ground beef, and some cooked rice, add some chopped parsley and fresh marjoram, and loosely fill the cabbage leaves with this. Put filling on one side of leaf, then roll up and put seam side on bottom and put in roasting pan. When finished, put your tomato sauce over it, and finish in pre-heated oven (350) for 20 minutes to half hour. If you like, you could sprinkle some cheese on it before serving!
Now, “dig it in!” as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim likes to say, after giving thanks to God for a most delicious meal!