Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chinese New Year Stuffed Cabage with Strawberry Carrot Sauce

Happy Chinese New Year! Instead of crashing my roommates' 2.5-year anniversary dinner, I made these monstrosities. This was a new and exciting kind of failure, though. Instead of having an idea for a meal and not being able to pull it off, I totally pulled it off, the conception just turned out to be flawed. So the stuffed cabbage is good, and the sauce is good, but they're not great together. Reason: the sauce is a smoothie. Also, I learned that tarragon should be used sparingly.

makes approx. 4-6 servings

1 c. red lentils
3/4 c. short grain brown rice
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
6 red potatoes, cubed
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cabbage, pulled apart
red wine vinegar
1/2 lb. frozen strawberries
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
3 small carrots, peeled and chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
ground black pepper

1. Cook rice and lentils in two pots.
2. Cut stuff up. Once lentils are done, drain and refill the pot with hot water. Toss in eggplant and potato, cook on high for a while.
3. Fry the onion with oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once eggplant and potato is somewhat tender, drain and add to the pan. Refill the pot again and bring to a boil. Toss in carrots, parsnip, and all cabbage leaves that didn't make the cut as bowls.
4. Drizzle red wine vinegar into the pan and add a couple shakes of all the seasonings. Get it going on medium-high.
5. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and line with cabbage leaves.
6. Once rice is done, mix with lentils and contents of pan. Dole out into the cabbage leaves and stick in the oven for 15 min.
7. Drain the remaining pot and add parsnip, carrot, and cabbage pieces to blender with thawed strawberries. Squeeze in lemon juice, grind black pepper on top, and blend until smooth.

Once it's all set, take a taste of the sauce. It's too sweet for application on the stuffed cabbages, so fill up a glass as dessert. Fold the cabbage leaves in half and eat like cute little sandwiches.

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