July 06, 2011

Stuffed Cabbage (Golubtsi)

Usually I don't bring recipes from another blogs, but this time it's exception. I'm talking about stuffed cabbage, exclusively comforting food. I found this recipe in another blog. Actually I would like to present my blogger-colleague on East coast, who spends a lot of time blogging about food and restaurants. She is also from Russia and her name is Olga Berman. Enjoy the recipe. It's really good with garden tomatoes and fresh cabbage.

Russian Stuffed Cabbage (Golubtsi)

2 heads of cabbage, or one large cabbage
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 carrots, peeled, shredded
1 onion, shredded
2 garlic cloves, shredded {Note: I shredded all the carrots, onion and garlic cloves in a food processor. If you want to have more texture and have more time, you can chop/dice them instead.}
salt & pepper
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cups Basmati rice, cooked halfway through
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
28 ounces crushed tomatoes {Note: I used crushed tomatoes that came with basil and other spices, but recommend you buy just plain tomatoes and add in your own spices. Also, I ended up adding a bit of sugar to mine.}
28 ounces water or vegetable broth or cabbage cooking water
optional: sour cream, cheese, parsley, salsa

1. Using your largest soup pot, bring enough water to boil that will cover your cabbage. Remove the core from the cabbage (be incredibly careful) and add the cabbage to the water for 5 minutes. You want the leaves to soften up.
2. Remove the cabbage from the water (again, be incredibly careful not to spill boiling water on yourself) and let it drain and cool. {I used the awesome over the sink colander I have from freelancing for Robyn.}
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet. Add carrots, onions, garlic and salt & pepper and saute for about 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool and add rice, ground beef and parsley. Mix well. {Note: at this point it'd be great to make a mini meatball and fry it up to check if your seasoning is dead on. Or you can just hope for the best and let your guests add more salt if they want.}
4. Carefully peel back the cabbage leaves and place them side by side. Creating an assembly line is the best when it comes to making this recipe. If you have helpers, that'd be even better! Using an ice cream scoop, add about 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture to each cabbage leaf (it all depends on how large the cabbage leaves are).
5. Roll them up like burritos.
6. Add your crushed tomatoes and the same amount of water to a large soup pot and bring to a simmer. Carefully add stuffed cabbage leaves (I ended up making 22) to the tomatoes. Bring back to a simmer, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes.
7. Make sure to test one of the stuffed cabbage leaves to make sure the ground beef is cooked all the way through. Serve with sour cream and parsley. Or/and shredded cheese and salsa.
As this recipe makes quite a bit, feel free to freeze some or give it away to friends.

July 04, 2011

Salty Cheese Blinzes (Налистники с сыром)

Pareve batter: 2 cups water, 2 eggs, 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon corn oil, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
Filling: 1 1/4 pound of farmer cheese, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper, 1 egg.

Make wrapper batter:
In a blender blend wrapper batter ingredients and let stand 30 minutes. Add baking soda in a last minutes before frying.

In an 8-inch skillet, preferable non-stick, melt a butter over moderately high heat. Pour in enough batter (approximately 1/4 cup) to just coat the bottom of skillet, swirling, and cook, undisturbed, until top is set and bottom in golden (do not turn wrapper over).
Transfer wrapper to paper towels in one layer, golden side up. Make more wrappers with remaining butter and batter.

Make filling:
In a food processor, blend cheese, salt, pepper, egg and flour.

Put 2 tablespoons filling in center of each wrapper and fold opposite sides of wrapper over filling until sides barely touch. Fold in ends to completely enclose filling, forming packets. Make more blintzes with remaining filling and wrappers. Fry blintzes until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.