I am lucky to live where I live. Lots of people from all over the world. For someone like me that loves food, i get to try a lot of things. One of my neighbors is from the Dominican Republic. She is in the process of learning English. She practices with me, and I practice my Spanish on her. From her broken English, you would never guess that in her previous life, she has a law degree and worked as a natural disaster specialist and then for the last decade or two, she worked as a private I (eye?). When she gets talking about that, she gets very excited. I learned she is a good shoot, and in her opinion, women are just as bad as the men when it comes to cheating. Most of her cases were following suspected cheating spouses. Now she's a feisty old granny trying to learn English. Anyway, she taught me how to make these babies. Apparently, there are very similar recipes from Poland and other places.
Niño Envuelto is essentially a cabbage wrapped rice cake.
3 cups cooked rice
1 cabbage (leaves separated, and gently boiled in water and a little salt until tender)
1/2 pound ground beef
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 small red onion
1 green pepper
pinch of oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Tabasco
ground black pepper
1. Halve the green pepper and remove the seends. Chop into tiny pieces. Do the same with the onion. Combine peppers, onion, ground beef, oregano, black pepper, and salt.
2. In a pan, heat a little oil. Cook, while stirring, the beef mixture. Add the tomato paste and 2 Tablespoons of water. Simmer at medium heat until water evaporates. Take off heat. Mix in rice.
3. Put 2-4 Tablespoons of mixture in center of leaf. Wrap tightly. Secure with toothpick if necessary.
4. At this point you can cover with a tomato sauce of your choosing and bake in oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. These were sauteed in a little oil and served as is without any sauce.