Friday, July 1

Cabbage Rolls

I grew up eating cabbage rolls, perogies, and kolbasa and I love them. There's a very strong Ukrainian influence in Winnipeg and while few of us seem to actually be Ukrainian most of us have adopted their delicious cuisine! We're honorary Ukrainians who have all been to see the folk dancing and know someones grandmother who makes the best, most authentic perogies. My (not Ukrainian at all) family has been making their own for generations and I'm a bit ashamed to say I never have. So I took steps to rectify this yesterday and made my own holopchi! They turned out quite well, it was a lovely and nostalgic dinner. They are a bit fiddly though, which maybe is part of the fun? I thought it was fun at least, and I hope you will too!

I had already made the filling, that is to say we had leftover kålpudding, which is a Swedish dish that I think is roughly the same as cabbage roll filling. Here is the link to the recipe, it's translated from the original Swedish.

recipe after the break!

Cabbage Rolls

1 head cabbage
500 g crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbs brown sugar
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 diced onion
1 1/2 cup water
3 cups cold Kålpudding

  • fill a pot large enough to hold the cabbage head with water, add 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil.
  • Remove the bottom of the cabbage by cutting a pyramid shape into it.
  • Grease a square baking dish and set the oven to 200C/400F. 
  • Place the cabbage in the boiling water, boil 5 minutes then remove from the water (carefully! I spilt hot water everywhere). Remove the softened outer leaves and place the head back in the water for another 7 minutes (these leaves are harder).
  • Cut the hard vein out of the cabbage (not all the way up) and pul the cut edges together so there won't be a crack when you roll it. Place about 3 tbs of the kålpudding in the middle of the leaf at the stem end which should be closest to you. Fold the right side of the of the leaf over to the middle to seal that end and the roll from the stem away from yourself. Tuck in the left end (mostly by gently stuffing it in, perhaps there's a better way but I don't know it).  Repeat until you're out of leaves, placing the finished rolls in the greased pan. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage leaves. 
  • For the tomato sauce: combine the crushed tomatoes, the diced onion, 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper, brown sugar and vinegar and mix well. Pour it over the cabbage rolls in the pan and place them in the oven.
  • Bake for 1 hour, then cover with foil for 25 minutes. Remove the foil for another 5 minutes and then they should be done. They may need more water periodically, mine did need the whole 1 1/2 cups. They shouldn't be dry! Serve with sour cream.

We ate our cabbage rolls with some fried lamb sausage and heaps of sour cream, delicious! I can almost hear my great grandmother telling me to eat more...

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