I recently became the owner of a wonderfully subversive cook book described here as "La cuisine décalée, comme un théâtre" and the bit about theatrics I couldn't agree more with. The pictures are divine - just look at the cover. One of my favorites: a close-up of two bejeweled hands, nails lacquered in burgundy, kneading dough. Anyway, the point is I've been looking for any excuse to use a recipe from this cook book because it is so "me". There was an interesting recipe
for stuffed cabbage and I basically created an occasion to make it (dinner party for no apparent reason). The filling is not the usual pork, but lamb which I always love, and mixed in you find walnuts, grated apple and onion, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. No eggs, no bread crumbs which made me wonder if the filling wouldn't be too dense, but to my surprise it was far from being the case.
So step one is remove all the leaves from the cabbage and blanch them in boiling salted water so that you can roll them without them cracking.
The filling comes together quickly with the help of my handy food processor (I have to keep justifying this large purchase, but honestly I don't know what I would do without it - probably grate all my fingers off while making a batch of carottes râpées...) For 500g of ground lamb you need two small onions and two small apples.
Then some toasted walnuts: if you don't have a nut cracker you can use any old empty bottle you have lying around to smash open the shells, only be careful because they fly everywhere!
Then just mix all that together with lots of salt, pepper, and a pinch of cinnamon. Place a blanched leave on the board, fill with a large spoonful of the filling and roll.
Place each roll tightly into a baking dish, pour over about a cup of cream and some fresh or jarred chanterelles mushrooms (or any mushrooms, really) and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 F. A lovely sauce forms in the dish that goes well with thick-cut pasta, which is what I served with these.