Jan 4, 2012

Unstuffed Cabbage Soup

I can't say that I ever had stuffed cabbage rolls...if I did, I don't remember because my family never really used cabbage, except to make coleslaw, and we always had sauerkraut on New Years. But, I have heard a LOT of people talk about it, and they seemed to like it. So, when I came across a recipe on allrecipes.com, I decided to at least try it and make a pot full of what would taste like stuffed cabbage, but be a warm soup.

The recipe below was typed as I made it but I actually cut the amounts in half because I was making it for just me, like my grandmother always taught me, "recipes are nothing more than a good guideline...make it what you want, and with what you have..."
(cabbage boiled for 15 mins, patties about to be dropped in)

Unstuffed Cabbage
1/2 of a large head of cabbage
1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce + 12 oz of water 
1 liter Schweppes Black Cherry ginger ale
1 lbs ground mild Italian sausage
Various herbs & spices (explained below)
1 egg

Salt and pepper to taste. Cut cabbage into 1-inch wide strips and put in a 5 quart stock pot or Dutch oven. Add ginger ale and chili sauce, cover, and bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add Italian seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and garlic pepper into meat. Amount depends on what you want it to taste like. Mix well with egg. Form into patties and add to the pot.

Simmer, covered 2 hours. Taste for seasoning and serve. Makes 8 servings.

It made the apartment smell FANTASTIC all afternoon while it simmered. I occasionally stirred it, and added some ground black pepper. And yes, I did use my instant thermometer to make sure that the patties reached 170F. So, overall, I liked it. I have enough of it left that I'll probably be eating it for a few days. A couple of neighbors caught the aroma when they were walking by and I had opened my door for a second, so they begged me to give them some of it.

I'm glad I used my Italian cooking background on seasoning this recipe, because I love the tastes...and I always keep grandma's quote in mind. So, I used what I had on hand. Hence the black cherry ginger ale, ground sausage, and herbs.

The only other thing that I think I'll do next time, is make them into small meatballs instead of patties. Though, the patties make a good sandwich if you use a slotted spoon to take them out of the pot, and wrap them in a tortilla, with a slice of muenster cheese....

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