Strew stewed tomatoes over potato-stuffed purses

September 07, 1994|By Universal Press Syndicate

The flavors of the potatoes, cabbage and stewed tomatoes are as rustic as the presentation of Stewed Tomatoes with Potato Peasant Purses. The purses can be made in advance, then warmed just before serving. A sprinkling of grated Cheddar cheese on top is a perfect complement to this dish. These purses go nicely with grilled English-style sausages (from "Tomatoes: A Country Garden Cookbook" by Jesse Cool, Collins Publishers, $19.95)

Stewed Tomatoes

Serves 3

1 medium yellow onion

1 small red or yellow bell pepper

1 stalk celery

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

5 to 7 sprigs fresh parsley

1/4 to 1/2 cup light brown sugar

juice of 1 to 2 lemons

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

PEASANT PURSES

6 large cabbage leaves, preferably savoy

1 medium yellow onion finely chopped

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter ( 1/3 cup)

1/2 cup English peas (use frozen in a pinch)

2 tablespoons water

3 cups mashed potatoes

2 eggs, lightly beaten

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

12 green chives

Chop the onion, bell pepper and celery into 1/2 -inch pieces. In a large stainless steel pot, saute the vegetables in the oil over medium heat until translucent. Peel, seed and slice tomatoes. Add tomatoes and parsley to the vegetables and cook covered over low heat 20 minutes. Remove parsley sprigs. Season with 1/4 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes longer and taste for seasoning. Add more sugar or salt, to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.

In a 2-quart pot of boiling water, blanch the cabbage leaves until wilted; drain and cool. In a saute pan over medium heat, sweat the onion in butter. Add peas and water, cover for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cover. Cool slightly.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, blanch the mashed potatoes with eggs. Stir in the onion and pea mixture. Salt and pepper generously.

Flatten a cabbage leaf, cutting out any unpliable stem. Place a generous 1/2 cup of potato mixture in the center of the leaf. Pull the leaves together, forming a pouch and tie with 2 chives. Just before serving, reheat pouches for about 15 minutes in a steamer. Place each pouch on a plate covered with the warm stewed tomatoes.

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