Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holubchi (Cabbage Rolls)

There are so many ways to make this Slavic dish. This is my Moms'. The Cabbage rolls are meant to be made small, just slightly larger than your thumb.

***PLEASE NOTE*** You will need to prepare cabbage a few days ahead, as it needs to be blanched, frozen,then thawed before making the rolls.

1 head green cabbage
1 can tomato soup
salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, chopped
1 c. pearl or sushi rice
Seasoning salt
few slices of bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled (optional)
small amount of sauerkraut (optional)

Remove core of cabbage. In large pot of boiling water, blanch cabbage. Taking leaves apart carefully as they blanch. DO NOT COOK THROUGH. Remove leaves as they soften, immediately plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. When all leaves have been blanched, and put into water, pat dry, put into plastic bags, then freeze for 2-3 days.

Thaw cabbage, then cut out the rib of each leaf (this makes the cabbage rolls softer). Meanwhile, wash rice thoroughly and cook as per package instructions ***do not fully cook rice, it needs to remain a bit hard***. Drain rice. Fry the onions. Add most of the onions (reserve some to be put between the layers of cabbage rolls), cooked bacon, salt & pepper to rice, mix well.

Cut each cabbage leaf into a rough triangle, the longest side being just slightly larger than your thumb. In the centre of each leaf, place a small amount of the rice mixture. Roll up, folding ends in as you go.

Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place a layer of rolls into the casserole dish, sprinkle with seasoning salt. Pour some of the tomato soup over top, add a bit of drained sauerkraut if you like. Repeat with the rest of the layers. Before baking, add some water to almost the top of the cabbage rolls, then add some fried onion and a bit of butter. Bake at 350F for about 1hr. covered, test after 1 hr, add more water if required. Cook until cabbage rolls are soft, and rice is done.

***the cooking time varies for some reason, it shouldn't be done in less than an hour, but could take up to 2.5 hours.


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