Friday, 10 May 2013

Stuffed Kale Rolls

NAME: _Stuffed Kale Rolls

24 large Black Kale (Kavolo Nero) leaves
12 smaller Black Kale leaves
250gm beef mince
4 small brown onions
8 cloves of garlic
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
Bunch of fresh oregano leaves
Bunch of fresh mint leaves
100g Crumbly Fetta cheese
100g Drained salt pickled sauerkraut
1 cup Basmati rice
Olive Oil

This dish is prepared in several stages. The mince can be prepared a day in advance, and in fact I generally make about 3 times the amount of mince and freeze the rest for other dishes. I'll deal with each stage separately to make it easier.

Finely chop 2 small onions and two peeled cloves of garlic, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped onions and garlic, fry until onion goes slightly glassy, and add the mince. Chop oregano and mint leaves until you have about quarter of a cupful of each, add that to the mince, stir through and allow the flavour to permeate, then add three quarters of a tin of chopped tomatoes and the tablespoon of tomato paste, plus a cup of water. Add two more cloves of garlic, minced. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for around 45 minutes, adding water if it becomes too dry. (But you do want it relatively dry.) Set aside to cool.

Chop about a quarter of a cup of mint leaves, and in a bowl stir together the mince, the mint leaves, the sauerkraut, an extra teaspoon of salt, and the cupful of uncooked Basmati rice. Cube or crumble the fetta and fold into the mixture. Set aside

Finely chop the remaining two onions and peel and finely slice the other four garlic cloves. Fry in a saucepan (perhaps the same one as the mince was cooked in) in about a tablespoonful of olive oil, until the onion becomes golden with occasional brown bits. Add the remaining tin and a quarter of tomatoes, about three cups of water, salt, and about a quarter cupful of chopped oregano leaves. Simmer for around 30 minutes.

FINALLY, The Rolls:
Take the 24 large kale leaves and shave the thick spine down to the same level as the leaf. Boil a large saucepan of well salted water, and put the leaves in stalk end first, then slowly press down into the water. Leaves should turn bright green when blanched, and be softened but not so soft as to tear. At this point, empty the boiling water and flood the leaves in cold water to stop the cooking process.

With the stem end towards you and spine side down, place a tablespoonful of the filling mixture in the centre of each leaf, fold the sides in, the bottom up, and then roll to the tip, forming a parcel with the filling inside.

Roughly tear the remaining kale leaves and put about half on the bottom of a large saucepan, probably the same one as was used to blanch the larger leaves, then arrange the rolls in a layer so that they wedge each other so they will stay closed, then add the sauce. lay the remaining kale leaves on top, and if the liquid from the sauce hasn't covered the rolls, add a bit more water until the rolls are covered to a depth of about a centimetre.

Put a lid on the saucepan, bring contents to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

Discard the covering leaves when done, remove the rolls from the sauce, arrange on a plate, and spoon some sauce over. Serve hot or cold.

This was an experiment, because I like dolmade and cabbage rolls, and I LOVE kale and especially Black Kale. You could leave out the sauerkraut and perhaps use very finely shredded cabbage, but I liked it the way it was.


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