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Old 07-31-2019, 04:44 PM   #1
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Stuffed cabbage technique question.

Is there a best way to :
1) select and ideal cabbage for making stuffed cabbage?
2) Removing the leaves of the cabbage ?

Ive been making stuffed cabbage for years, and I always find it to be a pain in my cabbage, so to speak!!

I always look for cabbages with larger leaves, that dont appear to have any folds in them. No holes, slits or any other inferior qualities.

Many times after getting the first few outer leaves off, I find many cabbages to have increased number if interlocking folds to the leaves beneath them, making it difficult to remove the leaves without tearing them. On occasion Il see a small defect on the surface, and not think its a big deal, until I see that it extends from leaf to leaf to leaf ...

Therefore, I always buy at least 2 cabbages, cause Im never quite sure how many good leaves Im going to get out of them.

This brings me to question #2. Its been suggested to me to pour hot water over the outer leaves which will make them easier to remove. I ve also heard about tossing the cabbage in the freezer then defrosting, which would also soften the leaves , make them more pliable and therefore easier to remove. And then there is removing the leaves under running water, as the water will fill in the inter-leaf space and hydraulically separate the leaves enough to make removing them easier.

So any answers or suggestions to the above issues would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Your humble and lovable Larry

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Old 07-31-2019, 04:58 PM   #2
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Well, you are to all appearances, both of those things.


I'm making cabbage just now. I chopped mine up, I'm cooking it on the stove. So much for help...
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:10 PM   #3
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I don't like cabbage much (except for coleslaw), so I've only made them once - a freezer meal for my FIL - and he said they were just like his wife's The recipe I used said to core and simmer the whole cabbage in water before removing the leaves and stuffing them. It worked great.
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:14 PM   #4
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SO puts the whole head into boiling water, cuts around the core then cuts off one or two leaves at a time. Seems to work well.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:03 PM   #5
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I learned the freezer method from Jacques and Julia.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:13 PM   #6
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I've never made stuffed cabbage, but as I recall, my mother would boil the head of cabbage to soften the leaves before removing them. Same as Andy's SO.


There is very little that my mother made that I would want to make, but I have fond memories of stuffed cabbage. I should give it a go this winter.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:27 PM   #7
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I have used the method where you core the cabbage and then simmer it briefly in a small amount of water with the open side in the water. It worked quite well, but I found the cabbage and leaves were very hot to work with. The reason I was told not cool it down first was so it doesn't take as long, if you need to simmer a bit more after the first leaves have been taken off.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:45 PM   #8
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My daughter is coming home from Maryland for the first time since she's moved out ( about 2 1/2 months ago) and its her favorite dish, so she asked if I could make it for her. I usually only make it 2 or 3 times a year so I always forget the issues I have until I start making it. So im trying to prepare for the next time ( knowing me, ill forget and repost the same question)
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:15 PM   #9
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I use the same method as Andy's SO. As the leaves soften, I remove the cabbage to a cutting board and use a knife and work fork to peal leaves away until they start getting stiff. Cabbage goes back into the pot and simmers until another round of leaves can be removed. At some point they get too small to use for rolls. I either chop it up and add to the baking dish with the cabbage rolls or save it for fried cabbage and noodles.

Have a nice visit with your daughter.
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Old 08-01-2019, 05:23 AM   #10
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I only make a few cabbage rolls at a time and use the remaining head of cabbage for salad.

I cut the bottom half-inch or so off of the cabbage and peel the leaves from the bottom up in the order that nature placed them on the cabbage. Next, I trim out a V-shaped notch in the base of each leaf to remove the toughest part of the cabbage stem. Then I soak them in boiling water for a few minutes until they become pliable. It's actually more work to explain than it is to remove and prepare 6 or 8 large leaves.

Larry,

What do you use for a filling?

I'm thinking barley might be a good option.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:53 AM   #11
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My way of stuffing that sucker is easy !


http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ml#post1600396
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:30 AM   #12
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There are different kind of cabbages. Some are hard and almost white, those are good for sauerkraut. There some very soft, leaves appear to be loose and it's lot more greener then the other one. Get the softest cabbage you can find. Cut the core out. Put in boiling water, or freezer for couple of days. A hole in a leaf is not a problem, you will just have to find the way to wrap the lea in such a way that the hole is closed.
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Old 08-01-2019, 05:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
I only make a few cabbage rolls at a time and use the remaining head of cabbage for salad.

I cut the bottom half-inch or so off of the cabbage and peel the leaves from the bottom up in the order that nature placed them on the cabbage. Next, I trim out a V-shaped notch in the base of each leaf to remove the toughest part of the cabbage stem. Then I soak them in boiling water for a few minutes until they become pliable. It's actually more work to explain than it is to remove and prepare 6 or 8 large leaves.

Larry,

What do you use for a filling?

I'm thinking barley might be a good option.

Thats usually how I do it, sometimes with success , and sometimes with aggravation. I always buy a back up cabbage to assure I get enough leaves.

I actually make a vegetarian version or a non vegetarian recipe ( I think its from the Ratner's Restaurant Cookbook ( Ratners no longer exists, used to be lower east side in NYC). I use a chopped meat substitute in place of the beef. In addition, the recipe calls for grated onion, rice S&P and an egg. The sauce is a browned onion, canned tomatoes, S&P. Honey and Lemon added towards the end of the cooking process.

ITs actually very good. My daughters plane was delayed about an hour due to weather in and around Baltimore. Just landed, and should be home in about 1/2 hour ( depending on NY rush hour traffic) .


Lucky, that stuffed cabbage looks impressive !!
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
I learned the freezer method from Jacques and Julia.
I was taught this method, too. My maternal Grandma made cabbage rolls in the winter (never stuffed cabbage...been meaning to try it, but cabbage is on the no-no list for the Elders). Anyway, I remember my Grandma burying the head of cabbage in the snow the night before and then running it under water to peel off the leaves. She didn't have much freezer space.
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Old 08-03-2019, 05:24 PM   #15
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When we were growing collard greens and had an abundance that needed to get used (try giving them away where we live, nope), I keep up with the idea of using them instead of cabbage for rolls. Our favorite is stuffed with dirty rice, with a Cajun tomato sauce. Blanch them for 2-3 minutes, shock, cut out the hard wide part of the skin, bring the center together, overlapping a bit, then roll just like you would a piece of cabbage.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
SO puts the whole head into boiling water, cuts around the core then cuts off one or two leaves at a time. Seems to work well.
That's how I do it. I plop the whole thing into a large pot of boiling water and just cut the leaves loose as they begin to slightly soften. Then I lay the leaves in an over-the-sink strainer and just leave them there until I've got almost the whole head cut down.

I've got to make cabbage rolls sometime soon. Cabbage rolls and mashed 'taters. One of my favorite meals.
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