Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ga-What Now?

You can wax philosophical comparing all the different pronunciations of Americanized Polish food. Peh-ro-gis. Pee-your-gis. P'ro-gis for pierogies, the dumplings filled with everything from prunes to potatoes. Then there's the guh-wump-ki. Ga-lump-ki. Ho-lub-ki for golumpki, the cabbage rolls of ground beef or pork stewed in broth or tomato sauce.

Growing up half Polish, I made and ate pierogies every Christmas Eve since I could hold a fork (for pressing the edges together, of course). My grandmother used to make golumpki in the Crock-pot and although it looked funny it tasted amazing. Alas, I never appreciated borscht (WITHOUT beets) until I was an adult. When I spooned that amazing egg-y, salty broth in my mouth with a bite of kielbasa I almost cried with regret. "Where have you been all my life??" My mom's borscht is the best - I must get her recipe (which used to be her mom's, I think). (In fact, borscht is an excellent way to reuse that water you have after cooking kielbasa. Hooray for waste not, want not reusing!)

Golumpki is also one of those recipes that is great for 3T cooking, when you're just throwing things together. Say you have a head of local cabbage, frozen ground beef, and a jar of tomato sauce in the pantry - ta da, you have a golumpki dinner! The other night that's exactly what I did.

The big blue pot used to go inside my Crock-pot, but I'm pretty sure the fuse is shot. I'm afraid to use it. However, for recipes like golumpki, you can use the pot in the oven. It worked very well! 

I'm ashamed to admit I had to consult a recipe, but I shouldn't have to next time. I made about one and a half dozen cabbage rolls that fed me for a good week and a half, eating either two or three rolls for lunch. They're incredibly filling and really quite yummy.

The fun part about this golumpki is that instead of rice, which I didn't have, I used quinoa. I thought it might be kind of weird but it was actually wonderful. I wouldn't say I like it better than rice because rice is more absorbent but it was delicious. I'm so looking forward to having my last two rolls for lunch tomorrow!

And when it all boils down, you really can't pronounce the names with a mouthful of food anyways!

Happy munching!