Monday, October 12, 2009

Food Network Finally Hits one outta the park.

I used to be a HUGE fan of the food network, but well, it's gotten kind of - I don't know, um icky. I've really lost faith in their chef choices lately. I mean Ellie Kreiger gives me the creeps - no body - I mean NO BODY smiles that much! And the chick that does the cooking for a week shtick - puh-lease! Even the old standbys don't do it for me any more Emeril is looking pretty apoplectic and Giada's big head is well bigger and her food doesn't match! Paula Dean's food is starting to become too repetitive - butta butta butta - oh and a dash of mayo to go with. Sorry Paula, now I love me some butta but there is a limit ya know. Guy Fieri - nope, I won't even go there - blechk.

Admittedly I don't watch much anymore because it was getting stale so I may be missing some new and fresh stuff. Actually I guess I HAVE because I watched Anne Burrell on "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" the other day. She's a little bit out there and that was good. I liked her style and the way she was kinda just talking to herself and cooking away. I truly believed it when she tasted the dish and did a little happy dance cause it was so good - unlike the Giada Cranberry Granita Debacle.

**See Giada cringe at her own recipe!

Anyway I happened upon Anne cooking Butternut Squash Soup - one of my all time fav winter warming meals! Well, it looked interesting enough that I decided to watch the entire show - and boy am I glad I did!

The other recipe featured on the show as Braised Cabbage Stuffed with Pork. I had actually missed the beginning bit and came in right when she was rolling the cabbage leaves...she made it look SO easy! Once finished and put together this dish looked like something that I HAD to try.

I went out and bought all the ingredients - which for some weird reason I had not one thing in the recipe in the house. Well, M took me shopping and while we were driving I mentioned maybe serving orzo with the cabbage and M just looked at me like I had made up the word. So, I explained what orzo was and he made a quantum leap - Risotto, me likey - ya I guess I shouldn't have described the orzo as looking like rice! I'll leave the risotto story for another post though...Anyway I gathered up all the bits and pieces and went home to gleefully cook all day.

Now the recipe is listed as easy and it really wasn't tough, but there were a lot of steps so it was way more time consuming than the 30 minutes of the show! Gee wish I had a souse chef to do all my grunt work!

Don't make the same mistake I made with the sauce veggies - I should have processed them a little longer to achieve a real paste, mine was kind of a little chunky - didn't alter the flavor but it kept the sauce from being as smooth as I would have liked. One other thing I changed - I HATE LOATH DESPISE Rosemary - and it called for a lot in the stuffing. Nope sorry that bit got skipped, I replaced it with more Thyme and a little more red pepper flakes than they called for. The flavor was superb if I do say so myself. Oh, word to the wise - cook more cabbage than you think you'll need. The fakin' stuff disintegrated while I was preparing the other ingredients - and no I did not over cook it. It just kinda tore into small pieces all by itself (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!).

Another pitfall? Pan size, make sure you have a big enough skillet to accommodate all those yummy bundles. I was a little tight on space and my giant skillet didn't have a cover so I just skipped the cover and simmer 15 minutes and just simmered the whole thing for 30 minutes or so.

Let me tell you, I have never had stuffed cabbage before so it was a total and very pleasant surprise when I tasted them. Oh, my YUM YUM YUM!

This is a real keeper and a great meal for a very blustery fall day (ya 46 degrees on Oct 10 global warming my a'nt fanny).

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