Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Culinary con-Fusion

I used to cook all the time, but lately I haven't much at all. My current concoction is simmering in my crockpot (no photos, sorry) and will probably result in the revocation of my international food visa.

Vegetarian Panang Gołąbki

napa cabbage (or other Asian cabbage)
half a tube of Gimme Lean sausage style
half a tube of Gimme Lean beef style
3/4 C. basmati or jasmine rice
2 cans of diced tomatoes in juice
about 11 oz. of coconut milk
panang curry paste*

Boil a large pot of water. Wilt the cabbage leaves in the boiling water until they are limp and pliable. You might want to trim off part of the bottom of the leaves.

Cook the rice about halfway.

Mix the cooked rice, the meat-like substances**, some pressed garlic, some grated ginger and about 2 Tbs of the curry paste until it's well-combined.

Take a handful of this mixture and form it into an ellipsoid. Place it at the bottom of a cabbage leaf and roll it up, tucking in the sides as you go. The goal is to run out of filling and cabbage leaves at about the same time.

Place the filled cabbage rolls in either the crockpot or an oven safe dish. Cover with the tomatoes and the coconut milk; add another small spoonful of the curry paste to the sauce. Simmer in the crockpot for an hour or two or else bake in a 350F oven for an hour or so.

*If you have the time and the access to good ingredients, you can make your own (see recipe in Cracking the Coconut). If you live in Ithaca, you should shop at Win-Li. As I live in the provinces and can not buy shallots and have to grow my own frickin' lemongrass, I used store-bought curry paste; it came in a can about the size of a cat food can.

**Carnivores should use beef or whatever meat mix you'd use for meatballs or meatloaf. Adjust cooking time for appropriate food safety.

(Who knows what I'll think of next? Sesame Kluski?)