Really Simple Rice Cooker Cabbage Rolls using leftover Clamato
I really hate finicky recipes requiring lots of dexterity and hours of labour and boiling and baking – like making cabbage rolls or perogies, so I came up with this really simple rice cooker version of cabbage rolls that taste like you’ve been cooking all day. I made these in my huge 16 cup rice cooker that has a soup setting on it, however there is no reason you could not make a smaller quantity in a smaller rice cooker. Just know that the volume will expand quite a bit during cooking so don’t overfill your rice cooker. It’s also a great way to use up 1/2 bottles or jars of sauerkraut, tomatoes, Clamato, Tomato juice or Spaghetti sauce.
This recipe makes about 28 variously sized cabbage rolls and feeds 6 to 8 generously.
Time: Preparation: 30 minutes, Cooking: 1 hour and 40 minutes.
1/2 of a (1l) jar of sauerkraut, rinsed in a colander and drained
1 small cabbage
1 small onion, finely diced
1 lb extra lean ground pork, chicken or turkey
1 cup white rice, uncooked
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
1/2 of a (796 ml) can of tomatoes (whole, diced or crushed)
1/2 of a small (945ml) bottle of Clamato or Tomato juice or 1 cup leftover spaghetti sauce thinned with water to make 2 cups or 1 can of cream of tomato soup and one can water.
1 T. Brown sugar (optional, but my fabulous cook Mother-In-Law always used it)
Cut about 1/3 of the core out of the bottom of the cabbage with a paring knife. Don’t worry about getting the whole thing out as it’s just a start.
Microwave it (whole) in a microwave-safe lidded casserole for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, put rinsed sauerkraut in bottom of rice cooker bowl
In a large bowl, mix meat, egg, rice, onion, salt and pepper until well mixed.
When the cabbage is finished microwaving, put it into the same colander and immerse into cold water so that you can handle it without burning your hands.
After it has cooled a bit, start pulling off the leaves, one by one. They do not have to be perfect cabbage leaves, as holes and tears in them will not matter. Reserve the mini leaves at the centre.
Put 1 T. of meat mixture into the small leaves and 2 T. of the meat mixture into the large leaves. It will seem like not enough stuffing, but the rice will really expand so it’s actually plenty.
After all the meat is distributed, roll up the leaves quite loosely. It really doesn’t matter if they are pretty or not, just roll them as best you can and layer them in the rice cooker on top of the sauerkraut. You should end up with about 3 layers or so. Put any of the leftover mini leaves right on top.
Use a blender or hand blender to liquefy the tomatoes, if using whole ones. Mix the pureed tomatoes with the Clamato juice (or alternatives) and pour all over the rolled cabbage leaves in the rice cooker.You should have quite a bit of liquid, coming half way up the top layer of rolls. If you don’t have enough liquid, add a bit of water to the rice cooker.
Plug in the rice cooker – I like to put mine near a window which has been opened a crack because the rice cooker will produce quite a bit of steam.
Set it on the soup setting for 60 minutes.
After 60 minutes, re-set it to the soup setting for a further 40 minutes
Check for doneness by inserting a knife tip. The finished cabbage rolls should be very tender.
Enjoy with a green salad and perhaps a roasted beet salad.
A vegetarian version can easily be made by substituting 1 cup of rinsed quinoa for the rice and 1 1/2 cups of mixed chopped mushrooms, including some soaked and chopped dry ones if you have them.