Saturday, June 11, 2016

 We have been having cold weather here in south Florida (today it's warm again....yay!) with lows in the low forties and highs in the high fifties/low sixties.  I was craving childhood comfort food.  It isn't always easy for me to share recipes as a lot of what I make isn't from a written recipe.  A recipe is just a framework.  If one tries to understand the basic structure, there is much room for the individual cook's creativity.  This was our Saturday evening dinner.  It's basically how my grandmother and my mother made theirs.

Stuffed Cabbage/Golabki
1 medium head of cabbage
1/3 lb salt pork
1 large onion finely diced
1/2lb ground chuck
1/2lb ground pork
1 1/2 cups cooked long grain rice (after cooking;not 1 1/2 cups dried rice)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 can tomato soup or tomato sauce
How to Make this Recipe:
Cook rice until just tender, do not overcook; set aside to cool
Core cabbage and put in large stockpot of boiling water
carefully remove individual leaves as they cook and separate from head, drain and set on large platter
continue to remove leaves and cook cabbage until all leaves are tender
cut rib from center of each leaf
sautee' onion and salt pork (finely diced)
combine ground meat, rice, seasonings, egg and half of onion/salt pork mix; add half can of soup/sauce
Using largest leaves first, place meat filling in each leaf, roll up, tucking in sides as you go
If you have more meat than leaves, roll into little porcupine meatballs
Chop up any leftover leaves that are too small to stuff and put in bottom of baking dish/roasting pan/crockpot
Gently layer stuffed cabbage bundles in pan
Top with baby meatballs if you have them
Sprinkle with the rest of the cooked onion salt pork mixture
Top with the rest of the tomato sauce.
Pour over the rest of the tomato sauce (you can use as much or as little tomato sauce as you wish.  My mother never used any, but I like a small amount.  My friend Chris, pours a large amount of tomato juice over her cabbage rolls and then bakes them in a covered roasting pan).  You can bake them or cook them slowly in a covered pot on top of the stove.  I usually do mine in the oven, but this time, because we're in the trailer, I used the crockpot.  If baking, about an hour and a half at 325 degrees.  I did mine in the crockpot for 45 minutes on high then 2 hours on low.  On the stove top, cook on fairly low heat covered so that the cabbage rolls steam and the filling cooks thoroughly.

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