I have a confession, I am a cookbook junkie...I'm completely addicted. I have dozens..so many that the shelf they all sit on is slowly dipping in the middle from all of the weight. But, I can't bear to part with any of them. You just never know when you might need to pull one out for inspiration; or need that special recipe you cook once a year out of Southern Sideboards lovingly inherited from your husband's Mamaw.
One of my favorites (and largest) cookbooks was given to me at one of my bridal showers, 18 years ago. I didn't receive it from my mom, or mother-in-law. Nor from one of my aunts, or even a grandmother...it was from my dad. See my dad loves to cook. We didn't really know this growing up, with him being so busy providing for our family and doing all those stereotypical things dads do. But as life eased up, and there was more time to enjoy hobbies and passions, my dad suddenly became the gourmet in the family. And let me tell you this man can cook! Like...restaurant quality, make up your own recipes, roll your own sushi kind of cooking. So, it shouldn't have been a surprise all those years ago when he gave me this:
and as you can see
it has been well used and loved over the years. Now you know any cookbook that has the word encyclopedia in it is going to be HUGE..and this one does not disappoint. It has such wonderful classic recipes in it, and I have made many of them. One I had not tried before, caught my eye the other day. It looked delicious, perfect for winter and seemed to fit into the frugal category..it did not disappoint. So follow along as I make
Cabbage Bundles with Paprika Cream Sauce
and then check out what it cost me to make this meal that serves 6-8, you won't believe it!
Cabbage Bundles in Paprika Cream Sauce-adapted from The Family Circle Encyclopedia of Cooking
1 head green cabbage (3 to 3/12 pounds) (.42)
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (4 slices) (free) (this is where those bread crumbs I made and froze come in handy)
1 tsp salt (PI)
½ tsp garlic powder (PI)
1 tsp black pepper (PI)
½ cup cold water (free)
1 lb. ground chuck ($1.69) (on sale at Kroger)
2 eggs (.16)
1 cup cooked rice (.50)
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine (.25)
1 medium-size onion, chopped (.15)
2 carrots, sliced (.15)
1 Tbs. paprika (PI)
1 Tsp. salt (PI)
1 can beef broth (.69)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce (.25) (purchased 15 oz cans on sale at Kroger, .49 each, reserved other half for another meal)
1 Tbs. all-purpose four (PI)
1 container (8 ounces) regular or light sour cream, at room temperature (.50)
fresh dill, parsley or thyme for garnish (.10)
Prepare 1 cup of rice according to package directions.
In a large Dutch oven or stockpot heat to boiling enough water to cover cabbage. Trim off any damaged outer leaves from cabbage. Stick a large fork deep into core.
Lower the cabbage into boiling water, holding on to fork. With a small sharp knife, loose and removed 10-12 outer leaves as they become soft and pliable; drain water out of cabbage, and discard water from pot. Chop remaining cabbage coarsely.
In medium size-mixing bowl combine bread crumbs, salt and water. Add beef, eggs and rice, mix well. Place about a ¼ cup meat mixture on each leaf
Fold sides of leaf over stuffing; roll up from thick end of leaf.
Heat butter in the same Dutch oven used to steam cabbage or in a large skillet with lid. Add onion sautéing until tender. Stir in carrots and chopped cabbage stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in paprika, salt, broth and tomato sauce.
Arrange stuffed cabbage bundles, seam-side down and close together, over cabbage mixture. Cover. Cook over low-heat for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting occasionally with tomato sauce.
Carefully remove cabbage bundles to serving dish and keep warm. Stir flour into sour cream; add to Dutch oven. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring constantly; boil for one minute. Layer cabbage mixture over cabbage bundles.
Garnish with fresh dill, parsley or thyme.
Total Cost: $4.86
Less than $5 for a meal that serves 6-8 people! I was very impressed. Believe it or not, this was even better the next day when we had the rest for lunch. Don't let all the steps in this recipe scare you off, give it a try I think you'll like it as much as we did.