Archive | January, 2013

Pigs in a Blanket

26 Jan

Gołąbki…Cabbage Rolls…Pigs in a Blanket…

golabkiMy family always called them pigs in a blanket. Probably about 10 years straight I would go to grandmas house to make this traditional polish dish. She had this process down to a science and would make at least a roaster stuffed full every time. We would spend all day chopping, mixing, rolling, waiting, then packaging up enough to send plenty home to each of her kids and grand kids. Don’t worry, I’ve decreased the recipe quite a bit so you won’t need to go buy 6 heads of cabbage.

Ingredients:
1 large head of cabbage, cored
1 Hungarian wax pepper, seeded and chopped into large pieces
a few cloves (6 or so?) of peeled garlic
1 medium onion chopped and sauteed
1 cup cooked rice (we normally prepared this the day before to save time)
1/2 cup quick barley
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoning salt
Pigs in a Blanket
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce

Preparation:
Fill a pot (large enough to hold the head of cabbage) with enough water to cover the cabbage and cook over medium heat covered. You want to cook the cabbage until it is starting to get translucent and flexible. The cabbage will continue to cook after being rolled so be sure not to overcook it. The outer leaves will loosen first. Once flexible and removed from the head, remove the leaves from the pot and allow to cool. Continue this step until the leaves get too small to roll. The smallest leaves from the center of the cabbage should be chopped and 1/2 should be laid in the bottom of the roasting pan or baking dish along with the garlic cloves and peppers. Once cool, carefully trim the large veins of the cabbage leaves.

Mix the beef, pork, onions, rice, barley, and seasonings together in a large bowl.

In another large bowl combine the tomato ingredients.

Assembly
Lay the cabbage leaf on a flat surface. Get enough meat (generally about 1/2 a cup for a larger leaf) and form into an oblong log. Place the log near the top of the leaf where the vein used to be. Fold in the edges of the cabbage leaf in and roll the rest of the leaf around the log. Place the roll, bottom side (or opening side) down in your roasting pan or baking dish.  Continue this step until all of the cabbage and meat has been used.

Poor the tomato mixture over the top of the pigs and top with any extra cabbage, garlic, Hungarian peppers, salt and pepper.

If you are layering the cabbage rolls, separate the layers with the extra cabbage, garlic, Hungarian peppers, salt and pepper.

My grandma always used a roaster because she was cooking so many. We’d put the roaster at about 350 for the first 2 hours or so, then turn it down to 200 for about 2 hours longer.

I didn’t have a roaster so I lined them up in my slow cooker. I set it on high for the first 3 hours then on low for the last 1 hour.

It’s a time consuming dish, but it’s worth it!
ENJOY!

Chicken Meatballs and Spaghetti

12 Jan

Chicken & Spinach Meatballs

Chicken Meatballs Recipe

2 lbs ground chicken
1 small grated onion
1 package of chopped frozen spinach (thawed)
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
Pinch of italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

Place your spinach in the center of a clean dish towel and squeeze out any excess liquid over the sink. (The spinach is a great way to help our chicken not dry out but if there is too much liquid from the spinach, the meatballs will not stay together)

Combine the grated onion, drained spinach, ground chicken, mustard, and seasonings. Roll into balls a little larger than golf ball size. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes on 375 degrees or until cooked through.

Serve along side marinara sauce as an appetizer

OR

Serve with wheat pasta as a healthy main course.

Wheat Pasta Recipe:

3 eggs
1 cup of all purpose white flour
1 cup wheat flour
plus extra for flouring the board
pinch of salt

Feel free to use all wheat flour to make your pasta. I found using all wheat to be a little too grainy for my taste.

On a large cutting board make a well in the flour. Add in the eggs and salt and begin to wisk in a little bit of flour a little at a time. Once the dough becomes too difficult to stir in flour with a fork, begin to kneed with your hands until there are no lumps. Roll into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes

Pasta Press:
After letting the dough rest I divided the dough into four  small sections. Set the machine on the largest setting and feed the dough through. My pasta press starts on one and goes through six. I fed the dough through twice each setting at stopped at 5. After that I ran the dough through the spaghetti setting.

Rolling the Dough by Hand:
Be sure to flour your surface well so the pasta doesn’t stick. Roll the dough out until you can see your hand through the dough. Gently fold the dough over until it is a manageable size then thinly slice the dough with your knife.

From there you can lay the pasta out and allow it to dry or you can cook it immediately. Cook the pasta in generously salted, boiling water for about 3-5 minutes. (The pasta will cook at different times depending on the thickness of the pasta so you may need to add more time.)