Chef Jeff’s Zesty Tomato Cabbage Bonnets

Chef Jeff Igel is Program Director of Culinary Outreach at Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton and is a monthly contributor to our “Ask Chef Jeff” column. “Chef Jeff” has spent his entire career in the restaurant and hospitality industry, serving in many capacities. To read more from Chef Jeff, click here.

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1 medium cabbage
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tablespoon garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
1 Tablespoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon oregano leaves, dried
½ teaspoon basil leaves, dried
3 cups long grain rice, cooked
1 quart tomato juice, prepared
¼ cup (or to taste) hot sauce

Poach the cabbage leaves in very hot water until just tender. Shock in cool water to arrest the cooking process.

Brown the ground pork, ground beef and onions in a hot skillet. Drain the grease if it is excessive. Add the garlic, pepper, seasoned salt, oregano, and basil, and allow the flavors to marry. Stir in the rice. This should produce a highly seasoned filling for your cabbage bonnets.

Carefully roll the cabbage leaves around a generous amount of the filling. Place each little bonnet in a baking dish.

Pour the tomato juice and the hot sauce over the cabbage bonnets. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Serve immediately from the oven.

Serves 6

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