Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cooking Floyd: Dark Days Challenge: Jan. Week 5

Cabbage Rolls and No-Knead Rolls

Most people do their deep housecleaning in the spring when they can open the windows and air out the house or in the fall before they have to close the house up.  In the spring we're busy with tilling, seeds, transplants, and chicks and everything that goes along with that.  In the fall I'm still in the midst of preservation frenzy, and then the holidays happen.  Now that the xmas decorations have been packed away I'm getting a start on that deep house cleaning.  Today's project is scrubbing down the kitchen cabinets and appliances inside and out and degreasing the range hood.  Who doesn't love doing that?  So there will be no cooking going on today.  At least not by me.  I've got the crock pot loaded!

This was the first year we grew cabbage and while I like sauerkraut, Michael doesn't care for it.  So all our cabbage was either eaten fresh or made into stuffed cabbage rolls.  These particular rolls were stuffed with Bright's sausage (see local sources tab).  They do contain some rice but when I made them I didn't know I'd be participating in the DDC.  Go here to learn how to make cabbage rolls.

This morning I poured a little of our tomato sauce in the bottom of the crock pot, added a dozen rolls straight from the freezer, and then covered them with more sauce.
I clapped the lid on and set the crockpot on low.  My crock pot is probably considered vintage now (hell, I'm considered vintage now).  I got it in the late '70's and it has two settings: low and high.  Today's crock pots or slow cookers come with multiple settings and keypads and streamlined space age design.  I've also heard people complain that the new slow cookers cook too fast even on the lowest setting.  I'm sure that's a food safety issue.  The danger zone for foods is between 40F and 140F so I'm sure the current slow cookers don't have a cooking temperature below 140F.  That would explain the "How to Hack Your Slow Cooker" videos and articles out there.  But anyway, the cabbage rolls are on their journey to becoming tender, tomatoey, goodness.

To go with the cabbage rolls I shaped easy-peasy no-knead bread rolls (see local sources tab for flour) and left them to rise.  A few days ago Michael made a batch of dough into which he tossed a handful of salt herbs which made a fragrant, herby loaf.  Go here to learn about no-knead bread.  Go here to learn about salt herbs.

No-knead dough improves with age so I'm hoping for a bit of tang along with the herb flavor in the rolls.  I wet my hands and pulled off lumps of dough a little larger than a golf ball.

The rolls were set in a warm, draft-free spot and allowed to rise uncovered for about 20 minutes.  The risen rolls got floured and slashed, then baked in a steamy 450F oven on a stone for about 30 minutes.

There's still chard growing in the garden and beet greens ready for picking on the winter salad shelf, a bit of kohlrabi from River Stone Farm in the fridge.  I think that will become a chopped salad sprinkled with some pumpkin seeds and dressed with a vinaigrette made from the sun-dried tomato mustard.


  1. I'd never thought of freezing cabbage rolls--definitely keeping that in mind for next year! Love the no-knead rolls too. Hope you're staying warm this week!

  2. Rebecca - What a great way to cook your cabbage rolls. They look wonderful. It was neat to read about the salt herbs too. Sincerely, Emily