Cabbage rolls are a fantastic meal to prepare when you are entertaining. You can make them ahead of time, have the kitchen all cleaned up and have more time to enjoy visiting.
Prepare the Cabbage:
Put the head of cabbage into the freezer and freeze overnight.
Take the cabbage from the freezer.
Either use a large pot or you can use the sink and fill with hot water.
Soak the cabbage in the hot water. You will need a small knife to cut the leaves from the cabbage core. The leaves will peel off easily.
Put the peeled leaves into a holding bowl where the water can drain off. Be sure to trim off the hard part of the vein as it is tough for eating.
Separate all the cabbage leaves. When the cabbage gets closer to the center and the leaves become too small for rolling, just use a knife to slice up the remaining cabbage
and you can just freeze any small pieces to use for another time.
Cook the rice ahead of time so it is room temperature when you make the filling.
Cut up the onion in large chunks and peel the garlic and place into a blender with a small amount of water and puree. Transfer pureed onion and garlic to a large saucepan and add the tomato puree, water, basil, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Place the ground beef into a large mixing bowl along with the minced onion, eggs, cooked rice, paprika,garlic powder and salt & pepper, stir together with a wooden spoon then use your hands to really combine well. Make little golf ball sized meatballs from the filling.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Assemble the cabbage rolls:
Put a meatball stuffing at the end of the cabbage leaf. The amount of the size of the ball will vary with the size of the leaf.
Roll up the cabbage, tucking in the sides as you roll.
Place the cabbage roll into the roasting pot. Continue with this process until you have used all the cabbage. Place the cabbage rolls into an oven proof dish.
Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a thick layer of the sauce, place rolls on top and then the remaining sauce over the rolls.
Place into the preheated oven and bake for 2 hours.
Remove from oven when done and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Delicious served with sour cream.