These Cabbage Rolls – Holubtsi has its roots in the Ukrainian dishes of my family using traditional inexpensive ingredients.
Well Thanksgiving has come and gone.
It blew in with some fierce west winds over the rockies and took out the power in my town for most of the day.
I tossed around the idea of BBQing the turkey.
Deep frying it was not really an option in 95 km an hour winds. Burning down the neighbourhood is not on my list of things to do, at least not for Thanksgiving. Thats more along the lines of Halloween night fun! Or an April Fools Day stunt gone bad.
Plus, I am a die hard stuffing fan so I made the executive decision…….we would eat out … postpone supper until the next day. Besides, really for myself, one of the best parts of the day is the wonderful aroma of roasted turkey filling the house!
I took advantage of the delay to get the holubtsi done early.
Being the good Ukrainian girl that I am, it is not a proper holiday meal without cabbage rolls. Nice tiny 2 bite ones, made with sour cabbage for that extra level of flavour!
Recently I have been baking them 2 ways, one the traditional way, with tomato soup but took the idea from the Nalysnyky I love so much and started cooking them with dill and cream.
They are so nice, and a great change from the traditional way I am used to them. They have a creamy texture and the dill flavour really comes through and the cream cuts the sourness of the cabbage.
- 1 head of cabbage
- 2-3 cups of vinegar
- 3 cups of Minute rice or any long grain white rice you prefer
- 1 lb. of bacon (chopped)
- 1 large white onion (chopped)
- ¼ cup of butter or margarine
- Pepper to taste
- Remove the core from the cabbage using a sharp knife.
- Place the cabbage cored side down in a large pot, add the 2 cups of vinegar and enough water to cover the cabbage.
- Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat.
- Once the cabbage leaves start to separate from the head, carefully using tongs, remove the leaves. Once all the leave are separated from the head allow to cool.
- In a pot make the rice according to package directions.
- Once rice is done move it to a large mixing bowl and add the butter and pepper.
- Meanwhile in a skillet fry the bacon and onion until cooked through but not crunchy.
- Once the bacon and onions are cooked pour over the rice, drippings included. Stir well to combine thoroughly.
- Take a cabbage leaf and split it down the center removing the tough rib part.
- If the leaves are large, slice the half of the cabbage leaf in half again.
- Place a large teaspoon of the filling at one end of the leaf and roll up tucking in the sides.
- Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
- Layer the cabbage rolls in a greased casserole dish.
- You can dot with butter, cover with foil and bake in a 325*F over for 1 ½ hours.
- The way we make them is using 1 can of tomato soup mixed with a half can of water and poured over the casserole.
- Bake for the same amount of time but place foil under the dish as it will cook over!
- And most recently I have been baking them with 1½ cups of whipping cream, with a tsp of fresh chopped dill and 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Combine and pour over the cabbage rolls.
- Cover with foil. Bake for 1½ hours.
If you are freezing your cabbage rolls you can do it a few different ways :
#1: line a cookie sheet with foil and spray lightly with Pam. Place a the cabbage rolls onto the cookie sheet and pop in the freezer. Once the rolls are frozen place in a ziplock freezer bag.
#2: layer the cabbage rolls into a freezer safe container, preferably one that can go straight into the oven. Cover with plastic wrap then with foil.
Of course, that is just a small part of my Thanksgiving feast!
We haven’t talked about the stuffing, perogies, homemade cranberry sauce or the awesome turkey pot pies created from what was left of my 15 pound bird!
But that, of course, is another post.