Monday, November 23, 2009

Stuffed Swiss chard

There is a traditional Russian dish of white cabbage leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice. As I looked at the colorful bunches of Swiss chard at the Farmers Market, I realized that the same technique would work with them, so I got a bunch.

Stuffed Swiss chard
Makes 8

8 large Swiss chard leaves (make sure that they are whole and not torn), stems trimmed
1.5 lb ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt, pepper
2 Tbsp oil (additional)
2 cups beef stock

Boil water in a large stockpot. Add the chard, cook about 2 minutes to soften. Refresh in ice water, drain carefully; set to a side.

Make the stuffing:
Heat the oil in a medium pan, add onions, cook, stirring, until soft and transparent. Add garlic, cook for 2 more minutes to soften. Let cool. Mix the ground beef, rice, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. You can cook and taste a small piece to check the seasoning (I did).

Stuff and cook the leaves:
Place a leaf on a flat surface, with the more colorful upper side facing down. Put a small handful of stuffing on the leaf, closer to the stem side. Roll up the leaf, tucking in the sides, to make a closed envelope. Repeat with remaining leaves and stuffing.

In a large straight-sided sautee pan heat 2 Tbsp of oil over medium heat. Place the chard envelopes in the pan with the seam side facing down, and sear to seal. Turn over and sear the other side. Turn again (carefully, they are fragile!). Reduce heat to low, pour the stock over them, cover and simmer for about an hour, untill the stuffing is fully cooked. Transfer the stuffed leaves to plates, spoon the cooking liquid over them.

Here they are served with cauliflower and fried bacon chunks, of course. The Charcuterie book is becoming my new addiction, and the easiest and the most basic recipe for home-cured bacon is a winner. I now add wonderful, dense and meaty homemade bacon to everything.


Michael Walsh said...

I'm glad to see you are curing your own bacon. It really is easy. finding raw pork belly is most likey the difficult part. Are you using the Ruhlman and Polcyn book?

I like to adjust the salt/sugar ratio a little sweeter but add red pepper flakes and thyme to balance that out.

Around here the chocolate/bacon flavor combo is very popular. I was thinking of curing bacon with coco powder, or coco nibs for bacon infused with chocolate take on the pairing. I've not done it yet.

amarillo said...

That's the book, and I've been following the basic recipe so far. The second slab of bacon is in the smoker right now. I'll try rosemary and thyme next.

Finding pork belly is easy in the Bay Area, Chinese grocery stores always have it. The meat counter guy seemed very happy to hear that I'll be making bacon, and to sell me three large chunks.

This chocolate/bacon combination sounds like fun. How will you serve it? Fried for breakfast?