Monday, June 30, 2008

Picadillo Purple Cabbage Rolls & Rosemary Garlic Roasted Purple Potatoes and Baby Beets

CSA items used in these recipes: Purple Cabbage, Purple Potatoes, Baby Beets, Carrots, Tomato, Garlic















Finally another post!  I made these dishes for dinner on Saturday.

Many years ago my good friend, Mirtha, taught me how to make Cuban Picadillo.  I love all her Cuban dishes, but picadillo has always been my favorite.  Picadillo is often served with yellow rice and black beans or sealed in pastry to make deep fried picadillo empanadas.  Since I had a lovely purple cabbage I decided to stuff the cabbage leaves with picadillo and make cabbage rolls. 

I believe Cuban picadillo typically includes potatoes, but Mirtha substitutes apples which provide a sweet contrast to the salty Spanish olives.  I used an apple as well and also added diced carrots.  

I needed a side dish so I decided to stick with the purple theme since there were also purple potatoes in this week's CSA.   I decided to roast the potatoes and since I didn't have many, I supplemented them with the remaining baby beets from a couple of weeks ago.  I tossed the potatoes and beets with olive oil, fresh CSA garlic and minced rosemary from my garden and roasted them in the oven.  The purple potatoes were good roasted.  They were slightly crispy and creamy and smooth on the inside.

Once again, dinner was a hit!  Tim made the comment the picadillo would be a good sloppy joe substitute.  I might try serving it on a bun sometime with a good melting cheese.

If you don't wish to make cabbage rolls, you can serve the picadillo alongside the rice rather than mixing it in or try making empanadas.

RECIPE: Picadillo Purple Cabbage Rolls
Serves 4-6

1.25 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 apple, diced
1 medium carrot, diced (I used 3 young carrots)
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. dried oregano (or 4 t. chopped fresh oregano)
1/4 c. raisins
1/3 c. green olives (Any green olives are fine - spanish pimiento-stuffed, cracked green olives, etc.  I used some small green olives with thyme that I bought at the Middle Eastern grocery.)
2 T. brine from green olives
1 small can tomato sauce
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. water
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 package yellow rice mix, cooked according to package instructions to yield about 3 cups of cooked rice (or use your imagination and make your own rice. I used long grain and wild rice since I did not have saffron rice.)

12-16 large purple cabbage leaves for stuffing

Press ground beef between paper towels to remove excess moisture.  This will make browning easier.  Heat large skillet (I used a chicken fryer) over medium high to high heat.  Crumble ground beef and add to heated skillet.  Continue cooking until beef begins to brown and some bits are caramelized.  (It's okay if the beef appears dry.  Cooking it until it caramelizes will result in more flavor.)

Add onion, apple and carrots to the pan and sauté until the onions are soft.  Add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the bay leaves, cumin and oregano, raisins, olives, olive brine, 1/2 the can of tomato sauce and the chopped tomatoes.  Cooking, stirring occasionally for five minutes.  Add the cooked rice to the pan and stir to combine.Taste Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.  Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, while preparing the cabbage leaves for stuffing.  

To prepare cabbage leaves for stuffing, cook for 5 minutes in a vegetable steamer or place 1 cup of water in the bottom of a plastic mixing bowl, set a plastic colander inside the mixing bowl, placing the cabbage leaves in the colander and covering the top of the colander with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

To stuff the cabbage leaves, place small amount of picadillo near the stem end of a leaf, fold over once, fold in each side and fold to close.  Place the rolls in a skillet.  Mix the other half of the can of tomato sauce with the water and pour over the cabbage rolls.  Place a lid on the skillet and heat over medium heat.  Steam cabbage rolls for five minutes and serve.

RECIPE: Rosemary Garlic Roasted Purple Potatoes & Baby Beets
Serves 2-3

2 cups small purple potatoes, quartered
1 cup baby beets, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. minced rosemary
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. ground pepper
1 t. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 500º.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  In a large bowl, toss the potatoes and beets with the garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread potatoes and beets evenly on the baking sheet.  Cook for 10 minutes and turn with a spatula.  Cook another 5-10 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.  Serve.