Thursday, May 31, 2007
Stuffed cabbage, otherwise known as cabbage rolls, galumpkis, pigs in a blanket, holubtsi, or whatever you called them in your country of origin or family. According to Wikipedia, cabbage rolls are part of the traditional cuisine of many Central European, Eastern European, and Balkan countries.
Honestly, these were not on my culinary radar until last summer when I first met my boyfriend Brian's family. His darling great-aunt makes these for him every time he visits, and in keeping with tradition brought some over when we arrived. I love anything with cabbage and her stuffed cabbage is really good.
I know, I know, I am nuts for even trying to research, make and write about an heirloom family recipe, but I just had to try. The good news is Brian loved it and for my first attempt proclaimed "even if it was the 10th try it would be good!" That's high enough praise for me.
What about everyone else? Did you grow up eating stuffed cabbage or another family recipe? How have your labor of love recipe re-creation attempts gone?
Here are just a few great posts from other bloggers on cabbage rolls:
Kalyn's Kitchen Cabbage Round-Up
Elise's Pork Stuffed Cabbage Rolls from Simply Recipes
A lighter version of the classic from Cooking with Sean (and Joey)
Töltött Káposzta (Stuffed Cabbage) from Danielle of Habeas Brulee
(makes 2 large casserole dishes, about 30 rolls)
3 large heads of cabbage
3 lbs ground beef (80% lean)
3 large eggs
1 c uncooked white rice
1 large onion, finely minced
Salt and pepper
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c water
Salt and pepper
Core heads of cabbage and carefully peel off whole leaves (this is maddening and reminiscent of those annoying people who try to open gifts without ripping the paper). Plunge leaves into boiling water until soft enough to roll. Cut out hard white core at the bottom of each leaf to make rolling easier.
Meanwhile, mix beef, rice, eggs, onion and salt (more than you think you'll need) and pepper.
Place whole leaves (the slightly ripped ones work great) on the bottom of 2 large casserole dishes. Next, take a mound of the beef mixture and mold it into a fat little log and place it at the bottom of each leaf. Roll it up like and egg roll or a burrito. Lay down in rows on top of cabbage leaves in the casserole dish. Continue rolling until all meat mixture or cabbage leaves are used, or dishes are full.
At the same time, simmer all sauce ingredients until boiling and slightly reduced. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Pour about half the sauce over the rolls and cover tightly with foil. Save the other half of the sauce for later. Bake covered dishes at 350 for about 1.5 hours or until bubbling, sauce has reduced and they are cooked through.
Let stand for 5-10 minutes, then serve, spooning sauce over top of rolls (unless you are Brian and hate tomato sauce). :)
The extra sauce is for re-heating or in case they dry out while cooking.