Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Smell Won't Kill You; You'll Only Wish it Had...

I like to think that when guests arrive in my home, the wonderful aromas of home cooking release all sorts of pleasant "feel good" chemicals in their brains.

An older gentleman down the hall from me has even commented to me on more than one occasion that he loves to stand just outside my door because the smells emanating from within remind him of his mother and her cooking :)

It is for this reason that I dread making a delicacy that my family enjoys so much.  No matter what you do and no matter HOW GOOD the finished product tastes, there is no way to mask the offensive odors produced by cooking stuffed cabbage.  Which is in part why when I do undertake the task, I make enough for a small army to last for several months.  Yesterday was "the day".....  I'm attaching the recipe for all you gluttons for punishment brave souls.  The end result is DELICIOUS.  Make sure you do it on a day when the weather is nice enough to open all the windows and you have plenty of scented candles on hand.


                             Stuffed Cabbage (I double this recipe - it freezes very well)

  1               head  cabbage


  1 1/2           lbs.  ground beef -- seasoned to taste
     3/4           cup  raw rice
  1                     egg


  1 1/2           cups  ketchup
  2               cups  ginger ale

Freeze cabbage head in plastic bag for 2-3 days.  Defrost 24 hours. Core and pour boiling water over the inside.  The leaves will fall off.  Check leaves.

Fill cabbage leaves.

Stack in pot with boiling sauce.

Cover pot and cook for 2 hours.


Jron said...

No raisins?

Ezzie said...

No raisins - good. :)

Nice - I like easy recipes!

G6 said...

You know, this recipe was written with my reader Brunhilda in mind.

Interesting that the first two commenters on this post are MEN!

That's great!

Brunhilda said...

Are you assuming I'm female? Or am I assuming from your comment that you're assuming I'm female?

Anyway, thanks for the recipe. This is definitely one of the easiest stuffed cabbage recipes I've ever seen.

In regard to the aroma... Have you tried baking apples? Or even just putting some vanilla sugar in the oven?

G6 said...

Brunhilda -
I never assume....

efrex said...

Eh, I've never been a big fan of stuffed cabbage; if I'm going to start wrapping rice in leaves, I'll make dolmades instead (hey, you spend six years working in Astoria, some Greek/ Italian influence is gonna work its way into you...)

My most appreciated stuffed cabbage reference is in one of Mel Brooks's "2000 year old man" routines* where he explains how his diet has to be extremely limited. After detailing how every major food group is horrible for him (meat: cholesterol; fish: iodine'll give you a goiter; fowl: "fowl is foul;" fruits & vegetables give gas, etc.), he explains that all he can have is "cool mountain water, five degrees below room temperature" (this was obviously before the bugs-in-the-water issue). Incredulous, Carl Reiner asks "That's all you live on?"

"Well, that and stuffed cabbage."

"Is that allowable on your diet?"

"Who cares?! I love it! What, you think for a little mountain water I'm gonna keep myself alive?"


* Okay, kids, if you haven't heard of Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks's "2000 year old man" sketches, hie thyself over to Google and educate yerselves a bit. AND STOP MAKING ME FEEL OLD!

FBB said...

If you make enough sauce you could bake them covered in the oven, and probably cut down on the smell.

Why's a yekkish girl making stuffed cabbage????

Anonymous said...

Why freeze, defrost, and scald the cabbage? Is that necessary for texture, or is it just a means of checking for insects?

G6 said...

Sometimes I skip the scalding.
The freezing and defrosting is one method (there are others... which definitely involve scalding) of making the leaves "limp" and more manageable during rolling.
I would not omit this step unless you substitute another method.

G6 said...

Greunkern and rauchfleisch aren't particularly well suited for vorspeis ;)

cuzzin buzzin said...

I thought it was Rollfleisch.
And you are quite creative, i am sure you can come up with a new and interesting Forshpeis (what's with the "v"?)employing roll/rauch fleisch!

And sorry, fried eggplants in olive oil makes ME gag every morning when the Southbeachers make their gala egg concoction, but the WORST ODOR EVER is cooking brussell sprouts. I look around for a gas leak when they are on the stove. Thank goodness those veggies have bugs, no loss to the eating community.

G6 said...

cuzzin -
Shame on you: Click here for RAUCHfleisch....
and here for vorspeise (in German a 'v' is pronounced like an 'f'')
{and you call yourself a yekke... sheesh....}

cuzzin buzzin said...

wikipedia is not a credible source.

didn't you read the recent article about an Irish college student who tested the system?

perhaps a very zealous yekkie posted those entries.

someone who grew up calling it vorshpeis and not forshpeis...

G6 said...

Cuzzin -
Do you really want to do this? Because we can you know, on both counts ..... ;)

Leora said...

I love stuffed cabbage. Yum.

Baked Lecho Dodi said...

An older gentleman down the hall...he loves to stand just outside my door because the smells emanating from within remind him of his mother and her cooking :)

I hope he is invited in for a sample.

cuzzin buzzin said...

I've been away from the motherland too long... I concede to the purist who married a full breed, unlike myself...

Something Different said...

Ginger ale in stuffed cabbage? You're kiddin me, right?

G6 said...

Baked Lecho Dodi -
Never... but I do occasionally leave a bowl out on my doorstep.

Something Different - in the sauce. Very serious. I never kid about cooking.

ProfK said...

G6, you can cut down on the freezing time if you core and separate the leaves before freezing. Takes longer for the whole head to get to the right limp texture than if you freeze individually separated leaves. Eliminates the scalding also.

Anonymous said...

Did you guys call stuffed cabbage, "Chalopches"? Obviously not German, but I have an excuse, one set of grandparents from Germany and the other set from Austria :-)