Learning To Not Waste. - Learning To Cook Blog at Allrecipes.com - 289948

Learning To Cook

Learning To Not Waste. 
Nov. 17, 2012 7:12 pm 
Updated: Nov. 18, 2012 11:09 am
I was looking out over my garden the other day. It was, and still is, in a sad state. The beds haven't been put to bed yet, and the stakes and trellises need to be put in the barn. But amidst all the decay and detritus I saw some dark green. Some of it wasn't weeds either! When I harvested cabbage a couple of months ago, I left the stalks in the ground. Lo and behold, they were growing quite well. Some of them had produced several tiny heads on multiple stalks. The leaves were fairly large, and a beautiful, dark green. I had savoy, Copenhagen Market, and some variety of purple cabbage. As I was rooting around in the garden, I also found some walking onions and some Swiss chard. I had given up on the Swiss chard as it didn't grow at all since early Spring. I had never heard of anyone using cabbage leaves like this, but I figured that it really can't be much different than using the head. What to make?

Well, the first day I decided to make Holupchi, or Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls. I didn't have a recipe, but I do have 53 years of eating Holupchi for Easter and Christmas under my belt. I mean that literally, too! So I blanched the biggest leaves in boiling water and then dunked them into an ice bath. For a filling I took about a total of a pound and a half of ground beef, veal and pork (browned and defatted), about three cups of cooked basmati rice, and half a large, sweet onion chopped and sweated, and one 14 ounce can of diced tomato. I seasoned it to taste and then made the cabbage rolls with it. I remember sauce on the holupchi. So I sliced the remaining onion the long way, and thin. This got sweated again in some olive oil and the I added a large can of crushed tomato. Then I decided to use sweet spices for flavoring. I used one scant teaspoon of allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground clove and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. I decided, against tradition, to add a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper flakes. I had a lot of left over filling. I put it in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, sprinkled chopped cabbage on it, put the cabbage rolls on top of that and then spread the sauce over that. I baked it at 350 F for about an hour. My kids want me to make this more often!

I still had (and have) a lot of cabbage leaves left, but not big enough to make rolls. I saw a recipe for German Cabbage Borscht, but it looked boring. Since I am wanting to learn to make stock, I thought why not make part of the stock I need myself, and then  add in store bought stock? I decided to make a pot of beef and barley soup with cabbage. I will try to remember what I put in it in the future, but it was a real success for a first time. I used about 1 1/2 pounds of beef short ribs and a pound of stew meat to start the stock. I browned the meat and then added one chopped up sweet onion and about 2 cups of a good Italian red wine, then covered the meat with water and simmered for 2 hours. I removed the bones and connective tissue from the meat and cubed the meat and added back to the soup. I tasted it at that point and though I had done very well.

By the time the soup was ready to serve, my girls were starving. They had just gotten home from swim practice. I think I managed to impress them with cabbage twice in one week!

I don't mean to, but I guess I am patting myself on the back. I'd better not do that too often. It gets boring.
Nov. 17, 2012 7:42 pm
Wonderful blog,made me hungry reading it.Glad your stock turned out.I love cabbage rolls also.Thanks for posting this enjoyed it.
Nov. 17, 2012 8:53 pm
manella, thank you for your kind comments!
Nov. 18, 2012 6:19 am
I have some horse radish left in there too. I grew it two years ago and haven't been able to eradicate it since! Thanks for your comments!
Nov. 18, 2012 9:00 am
That is one thing about a garden, it can always have a surprise for you. Way to go getting cabbage on the table twice in one week. Horseradish is like mint. Once put in the wrong spot, there FOREVER! Speaking of which, I should get outside and start ripping out peppermint yet again! BTW that soup sounded delicious!
Nov. 18, 2012 10:19 am
Thanks Cat! It was really good. I blame the short ribs! My favorite cut of beef.
Nov. 18, 2012 10:35 am
I noticed just the other day there are probably 16 or so cabbage plants still out in the garden. I was trying to wait and see if they would get any bigger. I saw some shoots in the store that looks just like mine and they were selling them. I also have 3 pretty healthy plants of celery out there. The husband mowed everything down after we pulled most of the plants up. I'm a bit upset, the celery is doing better than it did before it was mowed down. We had thought it was a lost cause. Glad you found some good eats left out there.
Nov. 18, 2012 11:09 am
Cook and a half, I wish my celery had done something this year. I did get plants, and one of them bolted and produced lovely seed. Sadly, the stalks were narrow and very bitter. They were not useable. I should have tried cutting them back and mulching over them for the Winter. Maybe the Spring would be kind to me. Too late since I pulled them all up and composted them. :(
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Doc Simonson

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St. Peter, Minnesota, USA

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Jan. 2009

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About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
My favorite things to cook
Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
My cooking triumphs
Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
My cooking tragedies
There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
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