Date: 2009-12-16 05:06 am (UTC)
liara_shadowsong: (steve/tony)
I have some suggestions for the cabbage roll recipe, actually, based loosely upon a family recipe. (Three quarters of my ancestry is from Poland and Czechoslovakia, and I've made my grandma's holubky recipe with my dad a bunch of times.)

Cabbage rolls actually tend to taste better if you use tomato sauce rather than condensed soup - homemade is best, but most not-too-chunky pasta sauces work nicely also. I'd personally suggest a canned sauce such as Hunt's (yes, I'm suggesting a particular brand, because I've used that one specifically and I know it works well, but feel free to substitute in your favorite).

Steaming the cabbage leaves works better than outright boiling them. I mean, what the recipe suggests sounds halfway between steaming and boiling - err toward steaming so they don't get overcooked and completely fall apart. You also don't have to use only the biggest leaves; if you want to make a bigger batch of stuffed cabbage, you can use most of the cabbage aside from the very innermost leaves near the core, just lay the leaf down flat and slice off the excess of the thick part of the spine after steaming it but before filling so it'll roll smoothly.

You can use uncooked rice as long as you keep a little bit of water in the pot to keep things from drying up and don't drain out any extra moisture that accumulates (use a lid on the pot!) - and you'll have to cook it longer if you do that, just keep an eye out for when the meat and rice are both cooked through.

Put the innermost cabbage leaves that are too small to use for the actual rolls on the bottom of the pot to keep everything from burning! And for crying out loud, don't use onion flakes if you can get ahold of a fresh onion, unless you can't stand to cut the onion (that's my absolute least favorite part of the whole process admittedly); use between an eighth and a quarter of a medium vidalia onion or similar per pound of meat, and be sure to cut it finely.

*re-reads recipe* Toothpicks to keep them from unrolling is good. OMG do not use a freaking frying pan, that won't be deep enough even if you're only making less than a dozen with a standard recipe. You know that medium-size saucepan you use for making hardboiled eggs? Use that unless you're planning on making a lot, in which case dig out the big soup pot. Even if there is extra space at the top of the pot, that's better than using a frying pan unless what you call a frying pan is a hell of a lot taller than what I call a frying pan. Make sure to cover them completely with sauce, also. Add water if needed, add more sauce if needed. Also, you can add some kielbasa sausage (or an approximate beef equivalent if you don't eat pork) to the pot as well; it tastes quite good served with cabbage rolls.

...Yep, I think that's all I have to say right now. Happy cooking!
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