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A few days ago I was in the mood for a special dish that my Mother made on special occasions, especially Eastertime. My yen continued and so one Sunday afternoon I made Galumpkis. This is a Polish dish, and sometimes you will find it in many of the Slavic countries, most probably called something else, but it is Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Everyone has a certain way to prepare it but I prefer the sweet and tangy tomato sauce that is presented in my recipe. You may think at first glance that it takes too long to prepare but, if you think about it, when you are expecting company, it is an ideal course because you can prepare it ahead of time and while it simmers you have time to spend with your guests. It is also a great take along dish for a unit party or potluck get together. Once you try it, you’ll make it over and over again – and start your own “special occasions.”

Galumpkis – Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients (for 8 rolls):

8 cabbage leaves (larger the better)

1 tsp. salt

1 cup cooked white rice

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

2 Tbsp. milk

2 tsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. onion, finely diced

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. garlic, minced

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 lb. ground chuck

1 tsp. parsley flakes

¼ tsp. dried thyme leaves

2 Tbsp. cooking oil (I prefer extra light olive oil)

Method:

Cook the rice. While it is cooking, bring another large pot of water to boil and boil the cabbage leaves for about 3 minutes; drain the water and place the leaves on a large wooden board or workplace, being careful because they will be hot. Cut off about 1” of the hard white center part of the leaves so they will roll easier.

In a large bowl, combine rice, egg, milk, onion, ground beef, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place about 1/4 cup of this meat mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf, and roll up, tucking in the ends. Use less meat mixture if the cabbage leaves are small. (I use toothpicks to ensure that it all stays together; just remember to remove them before eating.)

In a small bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire Sauce and parsley. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Place the cabbage rolls in a single layer on high heat for 2 minutes; turn and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes. They should not be brown.

Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls and continue to cook on high until just bubbling.

Cover and cook on a low heat for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, checking and distributing the sauce a couple of times while cooking.

Note: I used Success White Rice and boiled for 15 minutes and then drained and measured 1 cup. You can use the remainder of the rice during the week for another meal such as Chinese Stir-fry over Rice.