6/19/12

Tea Cup Pigs



Before you go away saying, "Oh, Mr. Cat, that is not Cooky, it's 'Kooky'", let me explain. You are going to love it.

You know it's hard to innovate a new food recipe, but you've come to expect cutting edge new ideas from Cooky Cat; and, he won't disappoint. (If you go to Paris you won't find the likes of this item at Le Comptoir or any of those Joël Robuchon dives.)

Presenting Gołąbki [ɡoˈwompki] for the 21st Century. That old country, down on the farm sure to please Pigs in a Blanket. You know, Cabbage rolls filled with ground meats, rice/grain, and your choice of spicing.

Sidebar: You might be thinking that Cooky Cat tends to be a little, ahem, "Ham Fisted" in his approach to food. Let's just leave that to another item when he takes on pigs feet.

The twist is to form the Cabbage packets inside grandma's old tea cup. The kind that flares out slightly at the rim.

RECIPE:

Blanch cored head of Cabbage soften. Separate the leaves. Let cool, set aside. Before using pare off the thick portion of the ribs. 

Prepare a melange of sauteed sliced Mushrooms and Onions in a tomato/red wine sauce. Season and spice to taste. Some dried woodsy Mushrooms would be nice. Set aside. "Melange", you ask? Look it up!

Place one large or 2 small Cabbage leaves carefully inside the tea cup, leaving enough overhang to fold over filling.

For the filling: Ground meat(s) (beef and pork 50/50; veal too, if you can stand to think about how veal is raised). Beef and lamb, fantastic. Par boiled long grain white rice (30/70 ratio rice/meat / even maybe a little more Rice to taste). Some finely chopped sauteed Onion/Shallot with a little Garlic. Season to taste. Parsley, maybe a little Thyme. Some dried currents for a little sparkle, if you like.

Place filling in teacup lined with Cabbage leaves. Close overhanging leaves to seal.

Select Portobello Mushroom caps large enough to cradle each Cabbage bundle with some room to spare.

In a high side baking dish pour some of the Mushroom-Tomato sauce, and nicely arrange the Portobello Mushroom caps inner side up . (Nicely, as opposed to tossing them in from a distance like you usually do!) Then place the Cabbage packets inverted (folds down) on top of each Mushroom cap. Add the remaining sauce. Cover, as Ms. Nigella Lawson would say, languorously.

Be sure the sauce is thin enough to provide enough liquid to thoroughly braise the Cabbage packets and reduce down to a medium thick sauce.

When all that is cooked, remove the Mushroom cap/Cabbage packets, leaving the Mushroom sauce in the pan. Reduce sauce if necessary.

You can serve the teacup pigs slathered with sauce right away. But, here's a Lucky Strike Extra: Pipe mashed Yukon Gold potatoes (butter and roasted garlic, please) around the packets on the free edge of the Portobello Mushroom caps. Spoon the Mushroom sauce onto a warmed plate, then place the Tea Cup Pigs on top of that. Ready to serve. (A drizzle of fine chopped parsley won't hurt either.)

The only question left open is what, if anything, to plop on top as a panache, so to speak. To give it that Cooky Cat caché and elan. How about a small bundle of asparagus heads tied together with a few long swags of garlic chives? We'll leave that one to your imagination and creativity. Who knows, you could engineer the thing to reach several inches high above the plate. (If you are the trendy type, that is.)

Be ready to bask in waves of love and appreciation.

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