I'm starting to really like this challenge, I must say. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of my cabbage rolls. However, seeing that I'm going mushroom hunting tomorrow morning, I paid a visit at the marketplace this morning instead of the usual Saturday and incidentally one of my favourite growers had several different kinds of BEAUTIFUL peppers - dark green, light green, white, yellow, reddish, sweet, hot, long-and-thin, thick-and-wrinkly - you name it and he had it. So I bought about three pounds of a nice mix, about two pounds of tomatoes and two equally beautiful cabbages.
Here I will note that there are - at least here - generally three kinds of white cabbage - the early variety that grows in spring and summer, the autumn variety that is ball-shaped and is suited more for sauerkraut making or anything where you don't need whole leaves, and finally the rather flat variety from which leaves separate easily. Of course, all three can be used for cabbage rolls, but the latter is preferable and most practical. I will take the pictures this weekend.
Also, let's not forget that it's not just white cabbage that can be made into cabbage rolls. Of what we would call cabbage, there are at least three more options. Fermented leaves from whole fermented cabbages are traditional from Balkans up north (one of our Serbian members once posted a beautiful photo of these sarmi baked in a clay pot). Savoy cabbage is also stunning in this way - e.g. the basic Polish gołąbki stuffing of ground meat, butter-fried onions, milk-soaked bread and some of those ''hunter's'' spice mixtures (they would contain e.g. marjoram, caraway, black pepper, coriander, allspice, juniper, bay leaf), baked with water or stock is great. And at least in the Polish part of Silesia they also have a recipe for red cabbage rolls stuffed with sausage and all kinds of good things. This is just scratching the surface. I will be making one or two more variations on this beautiful melody of cabbage rolls.
Then of course, there are soups. And here I'll be patriotic, but I think when it comes to sauerkraut soups, there are two true greats - the famous Russian shchi and the relatively unknown Slovak kapustnica. And I dare challenge you shchi, I think our soup is better! The main ingredients are pork (and all kinds of it - on-the-bone, smoked or fresh, sausage, offal - even lungs sometimes), sauerkraut and the juice, a wealth of wild mushrooms and prunes (although there are versions without them, I'm a firm believer in adding prunes to kapustnica). And I'll be definitely making this, I'll try to make the best kapustnica ever.
And so much more, so much more! I can't wait!
Edited by Slayertplsko - 10/4/13 at 11:46am