Kale cabbage Rolls (pork and vegetarian recipes)

I love cabbage rolls. One of my favorite recipes growing up was this pork-napa cabbage roll with gooey cheese and this orange-paprika cream sauce. It was divine. And yes, I used the word divine. Judge me, I dare you.

Now I have an obsession with using kale because I grew up in California. And during the summer, I would experiment a lot with these cabbage rolls stuffed with panade and pork, panade being a bread-milk-egg mixture the Italians use to make their meatballs super soft and tender. I just loved the texture that the filling would have from me doing that. So I have my classic pork based kale rolls as the first listed recipe, and the vegan alternative, a little personal challenge I set for myself, listed beneath that one, just so that you vegans or non-meat eaters out there can enjoy the festivities!

Both recipes make 24 small cabbage rolls:
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 an onion; diced
4 strips thick cut bacon; sliced
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon cumin
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
lacinato kale
vegetable stock or mirepoix

 

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For the kale, remove the stems. Blanch the leaves in water for 1 minute and shock in cold water. If desired, you can mince the stems and cook those with the onions for the roll filling. The stems of any vegetable are high in fiber and nutrient count, so they’re a welcomed addition in most recipes!

 

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Wilt down the onions with bacon, spices, and kale stems. In another bowl, mix together the bread, egg, milk, and ground pork. Add in the onion-bacon mixture to the bowl and mix together. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the pork filling in each kale leaf and wrap.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a shallow baking tray with parchment paper and oil. Place the rolls along the bottom of the tray and pour the vegetable stock on top of it. Bake for 1 hour. Alternatively, line the bottom of the tray with mirepoix and then place the rolls on top. Pour water over the pan, just enough to submerge the rolls and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Vegan alternative:

Vegan
Vegan: Does not contain meat, eggs, fish, dairy, or any other animal derivatives.

1/2 an onion; diced
2 large portobello mushrooms or 4 small portobello caps
1 tablespoon almond milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons thyme
lacinato kale
vegetable stock or mirepoix

For the kale, remove the stems. Blanch the leaves in water for 1 minute and shock in cold water. If desired, you can mince the stems and cook those with the onions for the roll filling. The stems of any vegetable are high in fiber and nutrient count, so they’re a welcomed addition in most recipes!

 

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Puree the mushrooms. Wilt down onions (and minced kale stem) with the spices. Add in the mushrooms and stir continuously until the mixture is cooked off and thickened. Allow to cool. Create the vegetarian panade mixture using the milk, crumbs, and flour. Fold the panade into the mushroom mixture. Wrap about 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the blanched leaves.

 

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Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a shallow baking tray with parchment paper and oil. Place the rolls along the bottom of the tray and pour the vegetable stock on top of it. Bake for 45 minutes. Alternatively, line the bottom of the tray with mirepoix and top with the rolls. Pour enough water to submerge the rolls and bake for 1 hour.

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