Friday, November 27, 2009

Embuelto/Tuna Cabbage Wraps

Embuelto for me is grandmother food. It's something my grandmother would slave over and it looks really good and also tastes fantastic. She only makes this for special occasions and she's pretty OC about taking the hard parts of the cabbage, positioning the wraps just so it'll absorb the most tomato sauce as possible. Today I made embuelto for dinner, only I made it with tuna. I got inspired after seeing this version in a local cooking show. Allan also requested for this, so...

First,(and the most excruciating part for me) you have to prepare the cabbage. Cut the cabbage from the core so you get the entire leaf intact. Get only the biggest leaves and for the inner ones, take off the entire rib and make it the second layer of the cabbage wrap. Make sure that for the big leaves, you have to peel and thin out the heavy ribs, like peeling the hard part of a broccoli. Tedious work. next you dice a carrot and a couple of potatoes. Soak those in water.

Drain a couple of cans of tuna. For one medium head of cabbage, two cans is enough. If you're using more than a pound of cabbage, maybe you can use one can more.

Next step is to blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water and wilt them. Just wilt the leaves and DO NOT make it mushy. After a few seconds in the boiling water, take the leaves out and plunge in ice water to stop the cooking process. After that, sautee the carrots and potatoes then add the tuna. Season with salt and pepper.

After that, take the mix out of the pan and start stuffing the cabbage. One or one and a half tablespoons would be enough per wrap. Seal with a toothpick, or if you're old-school, use twine. Set aside.

After making the wraps, the next step is to make the sauce. Sautee garlic and onions and if you have any leftover stuffing, add that with some tomato sauce, bay leaves and salt and pepper.

Then, after boiling it once, take about a half cup of sauce and set it aside. You'll need it to cover the wraps in a little bit.

Put the wraps back in and cover with the sauce. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve! It'll work with rice and even better, with some good al dente pasta. This recipe will serve 3-4.

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