Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays! Recipe: Scrumptious (and EASY) Polish Golabki / Stuffed Cabbage in the Crock Pot

Heydy Hi There!

Wow.  Time sure flies, doesn't it?  I turned my back for 5 minutes and look at that - it's Christmas already!

I get weekly stats from - someplace?!  I dunno! - anyway, I get a weekly email that tells me how many "hits" this blog receives and - given the surge in page-views during the holidays - I can only assume that *somebody* is looking for recipe ideas!

And I have been really-really bad about adding new recipes to the blog.  OTOH, I haven't really come up with anything particularly Exciting and New, either.  In fact I, myself, relied on this very blog for our Thanksgiving Repast (love-love-LOVE Pioneer Woman's turkey brine - Ahhh-mazing!)

(And now I'm thinking "How cool would it be" for me to figure out how to link to a "printer-friendly" recipe hoo-haw..?  Yeah. Pretty cool, but......)

Okay, well, not gonna get all rambly today, but I DO want to post a new and exciting and ridiculously easy recipe that got RAVE reviews from the Spousal Unit.

I'd read some post on Facebook where somebody said something about having Cabbage Rolls on Christmas Eve.  Then somebody else replied that Cabbage Rolls for dinner was, like, their annual Christmas Tradition.

I guess we could try a new Christmas Tradition, right?

"Ohhhh Gooooooogle?!!!"

Here is where I started:  Cabbage Rolls II Recipe.

Image Credit: 

And here is what I ended up with:

QT's Golabki / Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in the Crock Pot
Yield: Appx a dozen cabbage rolls which should feed 3-4 people
(Although Hubbie scarfed-down 5 in one sitting!)

For the Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 large-ish head of green cabbage - cored and lightly steamed
  • 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
  • 1/2 package Uncle Ben's Ready Rice - Butter and Garlic Flavor* 
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (including juice)
  • 1 egg
  • appx 1/4-1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 envelope Lipton "Recipe Secrets" Onion Mushroom Soup
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

*I used the whole package (2 cups) of rice for the first batch.  It was waaaay too ricey!  1 cup should be plenty.  Oh, and you don't HAVE to use Uncle Ben's, specifically (I did - because I'm lazy and I had it on-hand!).  Any rice will do (Ooh - Rice-A-Roni, maybe?!) - just make sure it's cooked before you make the stuffing!

For the Sauce:
  • 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 TBS Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (or use regular brown sugar)
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 TBS red wine vinegar

Cut the core out of the bottom of the cabbage and steam for appx 5 minutes.  Or you can attempt to remove the outer leaves and place them in boiling water for appx 2 minutes.  Basically, you want the leaves to be limp enough to wrap around the filling without tearing or breaking open.  I chose to steam the whole head - and it worked great.

Chop a medium onion (or use dried, chopped onion if you prefer).  

Dump everything - except the cabbage and sauce ingredients - into a large bowl and mix well.  I find it's best to use your hands, but you may find that's too gross!  Anyway, mix thoroughly.  Then scoop appx 1/4-1/3 cup of meat-rice mixture into each of your cabbage leaves.  Roll the cabbage leaves from the bottom, fold in the sides, and continue rolling 'til the stuffing is completely encased, burrito-like, in the cabbage leaf.  Put the roll directly into the crock pot (with the seam-side down).  Repeat til you have one layer of cabbage rolls in the bottom of your crock-pot.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt (I used garlic sea-salt).

Keep making cabbage rolls and add a second layer in your crock pot.  Sprinkle with salt again...

Mix up all the sauce ingredients in a smaller bowl, or saucepan if you prefer (I didn't find it necessary to heat it - the sugar blended into the sauce just fine on it's own).  Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls in the crock pot.  Cover and cook - Low for 8-9 hours or High for 5-6 hours

This is one of those recipes you can play around with.  Add or subtract ingredients as you see fit. But I think I'd definitely stick with Extra-Lean Ground Beef (otherwise, it'll be too greasy and gross).   I think the "key" to this recipe's success is the tangy-sweet tomato-y sauce so I wouldn't change much, there.  I doubled the sauce from the original recipe and that seemed like just the right amount.

Definitely a delicious meal that Hubbie raved on-and-on (and-on!) about.  Hubs is half-polish and I learned that Cabbage Rolls are also known as Pigs-in-a-blanket or Golabki (in Polish).  Turns out his mom and grandmother made this when he was a kid and - I'll be damned - turns out this recipe tastes almost exactly the same!

So Yay Me - and Yay for new Christmas Eve Traditions!

Hope ya'all are having a simply stupendous Holiday!  I am - and I may even have a few more recipes to post (Heyyyy!)



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