a couple green onions, finely chopped, or sautéed yellow onion
a handful of cooked rice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (optional)
salt and pepper or Vegata (a seasoning blend common in eastern european cooking), to taste
2-3 cups tomato sauce, divided
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1Cut the core out of the cabbage and freeze it for at least a few hours; set in warm water to thaw and separate the leaves. (This tip came in this morning during the show!) Otherwise, simmer the head in a pot of boiling water, peeling off the layers of leaves as they become pliable, or remove them while the cabbage is raw and boil for a few minutes in a large pot of water, until they’re pliable. Cut out the ribs with a sharp knife, making a long V.
3In a medium bowl, combine the meat, onions, rice, dill, salt and pepper or Vegata and about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce, mixing with your hands just until blended. Stir the sugar into the rest of the tomato sauce.
5Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce over the bottom of a baking dish or enamel coated cast iron pot. To assemble the cabbage rolls, take a handful (about 1/4 cup) of filling and squeeze it into a sort of long oval in your fist. Place in a cabbage leaf, fold in the sides and roll up. Place seam side down in the dish or pot. Continue with the rest of the leaves and filling, fitting them snugly in the baking dish; you can start a second layer if you run out of room. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over top. Cover and bake at 350?F for an hour, or simmer on the stovetop for half an hour, or until the cabbage rolls are firm and cooked through. (They can also be cooked in the slow cooker, set on low for 4-6 hours. Serves 6.