Savoy Cabbage and Mushroom Packets
With its mild character and lovely frilly leaves, Savoy is the king of cabbages. Here the leaves are wrapped around mixed mushrooms, forming individual packets. Combine your favorite mushrooms or use just one kind, but to complement the flavors in this dish, choose strong-tasting varieties such as porcini, shiitake or portobello.
- Bring large saucepan of water to a boil. Fill large bowl with ice water. Cut out core from each cabbage and break off large outer leaves to use for packets; you should have 20. Add leaves to boiling water and cook 1 minute. With tongs, transfer to ice water to stop cooking. Keep water at a boil. Drain leaves, reserving ice water, then pat dry with paper towels. Stack on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to make packets.
- Trim root and half of white part of each scallion. Cut each trimmed scallion lengthwise in half to make 20 "ties." Add to boiling water and cook 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to ice water. Drain again, pat dry with paper towels and refrigerate.
- In large skillet or wok, heat oil over high heat. Add mushrooms and toss quickly to wilt. Add shallots, garlic and thyme; season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to colander set over medium bowl to catch liquid; reserve liquid.
- Preheat oven to 300F. To assemble, lay cabbage leaves flat on work surface. Place large spoonful of mushroom mixture in center of each leaf and pull outer edges inward to form a purse-style packet. Secure with scallion ties.
- Arrange packets in baking dish, pour reserved mushroom liquid on top and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Packets can be assembled in baking dish up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerated, but don't add mushroom liquid. Just before serving, heat the liquid in the microwave or on the stovetop, pour over the packets and bake as directed.