Mediterranean Cabbage Rolls

A little while ago, I tried mediterranean food for the first time. To my surprise, I absolutely loved it. It is a style of food that holds so much flavor, many spices and green salad leaves are also popular in their cultural dishes. 

Once eating it a few times in various restaurants; I decided to try one of my favorite dishes at home. It came out just as delicious. Both my husband and I enjoyed it a lot and he even requested for me to make it again the following week : - ) shows how good it really was.

1 large cabbage 
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup couscous or bulgar wheat
1 onion (chopped)
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp all spice
pinch nutmeg
pinch cinnamon
3/4 cup chicken broth
12 - 16 oz ground turkey or lamb ( I prefer turkey)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
 2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest (which is: finely grated skin of lemon)
3 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325F
Prepare your couscous according to package directions or by simply boiling 1/2 cup water and salt and then add in 1/2 cup couscous, mix and turn off fire immediately. set aside.

Boil water in a big pot. Trim the bottom of  your cabbage and separate all the leaves.Try hard not to let them tear. (Savoy cabbage is a bit easier to use, as the leaves aren't so stuck together, however I have used the regular kind and it works fine. You just need a bit of patience when it comes to separating it.) Add the largest leaves to the boiling water, cover, reduce your heat to medium-high and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Get another pot and put in some oil,  add in your onions salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon; cook, stirring until onions are softened. Now transfer this mixture to the bowl with the coucous and set aside.
Now add in your raw meat,parsley and 1 lightly beaten egg.Gently knead the mixture with your hands until well blended.Whatever cabbage you have remaining, chop up and and line the bottom of a pyrex with it ( to avoid it burning at the bottom)By this time you should have two things set aside. Your cooked cabbage leaves and your raw meat mixture.

Now take your meat mixture a tablespoon at a time and put it in the center of your cabbage and roll it up really tightly. Securing the edges by folding in the sides and roll up to form a bundle. Lay the cabbage rolls seam-side down in the pan. Combine the wine, broth, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a small bowl and pour over the cabbage rolls. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes  - 2 hours or until cabbage is soft and meat inside is thoroughly cooked.

Pour the remaining juice from the pan into a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat Separately whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 egg yolk in a small bowl. Whisk in the cooking liquid into the lemon-yolk mixture, then pour the now entire sauce back into the pan. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly to not burn, be careful not to cook with too high of a heat  or the egg will curdle. Serve the rolls with the sauce lightly drizzled on top.

This dish tastes excellent with a pasta salad, green salad or couscous
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless


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