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Old 12-02-2006, 02:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitmondol
I just can not imagine how you can separate those leaves raw!
Couldn't do it with the tight, crisp cabbages here for sure.
When I make stuffed cabbage I have to cut the core out, then boil the whole had until the leaves become pliable, then it's easy to separate them.
You blanche them too, so why not do it beforehand to make it easier?
With careful handling, it's possible. As for boiling the whole cabbage, I have no ready answer, except that it's always done this way here perhaps because the cabbage is softer. I would agree with you to do this method if your cabbage is tight and crisp.
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:55 PM   #22
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cabbage prep for Sarma/cabbage rolls

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitmondol
I just can not imagine how you can separate those leaves raw!
Couldn't do it with the tight, crisp cabbages here for sure.
When I make stuffed cabbage I have to cut the core out, then boil the whole had until the leaves become pliable, then it's easy to separate them.
You blanche them too, so why not do it beforehand to make it easier?
I know this is an old post, but just have to share what my son-in-law's mom , Milka does. She sours the heads i.e. ferments them with the use of corn in the brine. She was a top chef in the former Yugo and that is what they all do! Works like a charm.

There is a jarred product of these rolled ready to use cabbage leaves, Zergut Brand also available in many Balkan and even Middle Eastern Markets. They work great just like the jars of grape leaves only larger jars.

For sarma we use lamb and beef leaf with rice etc. and always Vegeta. Laid on a bed of home made sauerkraut with smoked pork ribs or double smoked German Bacon. Schaller & Webber is good.
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:46 PM   #23
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Another way to soften your leaves is to put the whole head of cabbage in the freezer until frozen. However! You have to take it out about a day before you are ready to use it....(I put mine in a bowl in the refrigerator) until it has thawed. Then the leaves are already soft.
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:56 AM   #24
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Thanks

Oh, do I thank you for taking the time to share these ideas. i am always reluctant to make the cabbage rolls as I know I have time with the leaves. They are truly so good when I finally make them. As they say every little bit helps and I definitely appreciate your thoughts. I think cabbage is supposed to be good for the stomach problems. We all have some trouble with that. I think because we eat too much. Who knows?
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:10 AM   #25
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I'd never seen this recipe before now. It looks really good. Definitely a switch on my traditional cabbage rolls. Thanks Boufa.
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:12 AM   #26
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Oops, I meant to add that to soften the leaves what we usually do is to cut out the core and place the whole cabbage in a pot. Then boil the kettle and pour the boiling water directly into the hole from the core. It softens the leaves from the inside out and they peel off easily. You can also boil the water on the stove and add some vinegar to the mixture to "sour" the leaves.
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:29 PM   #27
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Sour Heads for Sarma (Radoja Kiseli Kupus)

These sour heads cabbage leaves give a wonderful flavour to sarma/cabbage rolls.

SOUR HEADS (Radoja Kiseli Kupus)

NOTE: This method is recommended since the entire process was
observed by the writer.

5O gallon wooden barrel
45 to 50 heads firm cabbage heads
5 to 6 pounds salt
1 quart cider or distilled vinegar,
optional 1/2# dried corn kernels, (Milka does it with the corn)

Purchase cabbage after the first light frost which ensures crisp,
ripened, tasty cabbage. Select only very firm heads for sour heads.
Soft heads are not suitable since they are likely to rot during
fermentation.

First Step:
Rinse and clean out barrel. Used wine barrel is excellent since it
is "seasoned." Place where cabbage will be kept. Set on wooden slats
to ensure good circulation of air all around the barrel.

Second Step:
Prepare cabbage heads by discarding outer leaves which may be soiled
or imperfect. Green leaves arc suitable, but be sure the entire head
is solid. Core out center leaving a cavity in center of each head.
This step is very important as cabbage must be solid and no
imperfections in leaves. Cut off any dark spots or wounds.

Third Step:
Place dried corn kernels (popcorn kernels are permissible) in bottom
of clean barrel. Place two handsful of salt over corn and begin
layering heads as follows: Fill cavity in each head with salt
(approx. 1 tablespoon) and place carefully in barrel with cavity
side up. ConŽtinue this process until barrel is filled to the top.
If heads are small to medium size, the 50-gallon barrel will hold 45
to 55 heads.

Fourth Step:
Mix vinegar with approximately 2 gallons lukewarm water and pour
over heads in barrel. Continue adding pails of water until heads are
almost covered. Do not be concerned if top layer of heads is not
completely immersed. It will be immersed in fermenting juices as
weeks go by and cabbage "settles."

Fifth Step:
Cover with clean dish cloth or sturdy muslin. Press a clean unpaint-
ed board - cut to fit round barrel opening - over top and weigh it
down with a clean, heavy stone. Cover all with large sheet of
plasŽtic or canvas.
Extra Notes:

Keep barrel containing heads in a cool, dry place. Basement or
garage connected to home (avoid freezing) or a cool pantry would be
suitable. Sour heads should be ready/or use in 4 to 6 weeks.

Milka makes hers in a large plastic container.
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Old 07-07-2007, 05:45 PM   #28
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I think I may have posted something like this before....but, I use "sour salt"/(citric acid), and/or lemons, and sugar, brown or/and white, and raisins. This makes a wonderful sweet and sour sauce of the tomato juice that I use to simmer the stuffed cabbage in.
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