Cook’s Corner

Savory sauce distinguishes German stuffed cabbage


Sleuth’s Corner

Q. I used to have a recipe from the “Today” show for a very good pound cake made with brown sugar. I hope someone else still has it.

Claire Miller

Main Dish

Kohlrouladen (German Cabbage Rolls)

Rather than boiling, cabbage leaves can also be softened by freezing and thawing. Serve cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes or noodles and the pan sauce.

1 large head cabbage

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 white onion, diced small

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 anchovies, minced

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon Maggi seasoning

1 teaspoon marjoram leaves

5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into matchstick pieces

2 cups unsalted beef stock

1 cup dark beer

2 bay leaves

Put a big pot of salted water on to boil. Using a small paring knife, cut the core out of the cabbage, and pull off 12 large leaves. Place them in the boiling water to cook until softened; set aside to drain.

Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic and anchovies until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix ground meats, bread crumbs, eggs, pepper, salt, Maggi and marjoram. And cooled onion mixture, and mix to incorporate.

Lay each cabbage leaf out on a cutting board. Place about 1/2 cup meat filling on each and roll up like a burrito. Place rolls in a casserole large enough to hold them in a single layer along with the sauce.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. To make sauce, brown bacon over medium heat in a saucepan. Drain off fat. Add stock, beer and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, and pour over cabbage rolls. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake 1 hour. Remove foil, and bake 30 minutes more. Makes 12 rolls.

Per serving: 233 calories (52 percent from fat), 13.2 g fat (4.6 g saturated, 5.8 g monounsaturated), 86 mg cholesterol, 18 g protein, 9.3 g carbohydrates, 2.2 g fiber, 690 mg sodium.

Bar Cookies

Alma’s Nut Cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups chopped pecans

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Grease an 11-by-15-inch rimmed baking pan.

Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and extracts. Slowly beat in flour until incorporated.

With greased or rubber-gloved hands, spread dough evenly in prepared pan. Brush with egg white mixture and spread with nuts, pressing them in.

Bake 1 1/2 hours, until lightly browned. Cut with knife while still warm. Let cool and remove from pan. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen 2-inch-square bars.

Per serving: 118 calories (62 percent from fat), 8.3 g fat (3.1 g saturated, 3.3 g monounsaturated), 16 mg cholesterol, 1.2 g protein, 10.2 g carbohydrates, .6 g fiber, 54 mg sodium.

Main Dish

Crispy Beef Tacos

8 corn tortillas

Vegetable oil spray

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 pound 90 percent lean ground beef

1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon tomato paste, preferably sun-dried

1/4 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 (8-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

2 cups shredded lettuce

1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese

1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, seeded if desired and sliced

1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave on high 30 seconds, until pliable. Discard towels. Spray tortillas with oil, and fold them over the edge of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until crisp and firm, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Cook onion and garlic a few minutes, until soft. Add beef, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, and brown. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tomato paste, pepper flakes, oregano, cumin and tomato sauce. Cook 5 minutes, until mixture is thick. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro and green onions.

To serve, put a couple of tablespoons of the meat mixture in each taco shell. Top with lettuce, cheese, jalapeño and sour cream. Makes 4 servings.

Source: Adapted from “Recipe Rehab: 80 Delicious Recipes That Slash the Fat, Not the Flavor” (HarperWave, $21.99).

Per serving: 378 calories (34 percent from fat), 14.6 g fat (4.9 g saturated, 6.8 g monounsaturated), 61 mg cholesterol, 27 g protein, 35.8 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 363 mg sodium.

Q. I hope you can track down a favorite recipe I lost for meat-stuffed cabbage leaves called kohlruladen. I haven’t had any luck finding it online.

Heather Snyder , Seattle

A twist on the spelling and I found what you’ve been looking for. Kohlrouladen, with a “u,” is from northern Germany, according to Jeremy Nolen, a chef at the noted Philadelphia restaurant Brauhaus Scmitz who blogs at Most of us are more acquainted with Eastern European cabbage rolls cooked in a sweet tomato sauce. Kohlrouladen features a savory beef broth for a quite different flavor.

Cookies for troops

Show your appreciation to a soldier this Memorial Day (May 27) by sending a taste of home overseas. Nieman-Massey Vanilla provided these tips for packaging homemade cookies and bars so they arrive fresh and unbroken:

Let them cool thoroughly and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Place a layer of crinkled wax paper in a metal cookie tin so it fully covers the bottom. Layer carefully, filling in crevices with air-popped popcorn to absorb moisture. Cover with additional wax paper, and put the lid on the tin. Wrap the tin in plastic wrap to keep air out.

Check or visit a local U.S. Armed Services Center for mailing addresses and additional shipping instructions.

Good candidates for shipping are brownies and bar cookies such as the recipe here for Alma’s Nut Cookies, contributed by reader Sue McDaniel of Fort Valley, Ga. She sent the recipe for Linda Michel of Perry, Ga., who asked for a pecan cookie by that name. McDaniel attributes the original recipe to Alma Dayton of Perry.

Taco rehab

Here’s a great tip from chef Daniel Green from Recipe Rehab, the ABC show from Everyday Health on which celebrity chefs go head-to-head to transform a calorie-laden dish submitted by viewers into a healthier version:

Make your own taco shells by simply baking corn tortillas draped over the edges of a pan. You wind up with less fat, sodium and preservatives along with a shell that doesn’t crack as easily when you stuff it.

Adapted from the show’s new cookbook, Recipe Rehab: 80 Delicious Recipes That Slash the Fat, Not the Flavor (HarperWave, $21.99), the taco recipe here also does away with packaged taco mix for seasonings.

Send questions and responses to or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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