This one is going to be short and sweet.
Times are tough, right? But you don’t need me to remind you of all that is transpiring in the world right now. We all know that things are cruddy in general. So instead of going on a spiel about the barren wasteland of the grocery store, I will spare you all those details. I have a little story about my dad instead.
My dad did three types of meals spectacularly: breakfasts, stews, and breads. I mean, there was a time when he made some stuff that I wouldn’t care to eat again, but he did make some beautiful chicken n dumplin’s with the fluffiest, cloud like dumplings ever. I found myself thinking about his stews and such last night in the wake of his death anniversary, which is a vast improvement to the blubbering I did the year before. I thought, “You know what? I am going to make this.”
But I don’t have leftover chicken and I certainly don’t have any chicken broth or stock on hand. Oh yeah, barren stores and such. Ugh.
I do, however, have canned chicken breast, and I do have chicken flavored stuff like bullion cubes… I can do this.
With that, I share with you:
Hard Times Chicken n Dumplins
This is a quick little recipe of comfort. It uses mostly pantry items and is a good way to fill yourself up. I hope you enjoyed this little recipe.
As you may or may not know...
I am a cabbage roll junkie... But sometimes I just don't want to spend an hour trying to get the cabbage leaves peeled without tearing them and it is this huge, long winded process that I thought I wanted to cut down. It was also in the middle of the summer that I decided to go balls to the wall and make soup. Foolhardy? Absolutely. Worth it? Absolutely. I was really craving golabki, I eat the stuff nearly all year round if I can get away with it... but didn't want to wrap stuff or peel the leaves as I said, and this really is the faster way to get these flavors.
I don't have some fantastic story about how this came to be. I know it isn't an original idea, I did see something similar on YouTube by a woman named Noreen, but that was some years ago. I wanted to come up with my own idea and even maybe a little bit of goulash flavorage or stuffed pepper to add to the dish.
So there are a few things, one of which doesn't need to be pointed out at all but I am going to own up to it anyways... It doesn't look perfect. There, I said it. But looks can certainly be deceiving, right? The fact of the matter is, I did not want to change the integrity of the meat. In the original dish, the meat is placed in the cabbage raw and cooked inside... searing off the meatballs would have completely changed the flavor profile, and I have seen it done the same way for Italian Wedding Soup where the meatballs were not seared. Now, this doesn't mean to say it would make it disgusting, it just wouldn't be the correct flavor profile. If you want to sear your meatballs for presentation, by all means, I am just saying that this way is closer to the original flavor.
Second thing is that regardless of whether you make them as rolls or soup, this dish tends to get greasy from the fat that comes off of the meat. This is one soup where i don't mind it so much, but if you want to get rid of the fat, let it cool completely and then skim it off when it is solid, but leave some for flavor. Or you can boil your meatballs in water and reduce the amount of fat, but again, it would change the flavor profile.
I promise you that this will make you very happy if you are a cabbage roll fanatic like myself. The flavors are rich and hearty, and your belly will be nice and padded by the time you eat what you've served to yourself.
Prep time shouldn't take more than 30 minutes tops between the chopping and the making of the meatballs, cook time is about an hour but is more of a set and forget type of thing (You really only have to get up three times to stir). It serves at least 10 people
This was just a quick one!
I know this was just a quick blog post, but I wanted to get something up so you all didn't think I forgot any of you. My husband just had his surgery not too long ago and I am finding it a struggle to cook for one person since I am a nurturer and like to make people happy with food. Things will even out eventually.
Until then, my friends, I just hope you enjoy the recipes I am able to bring. I have a few that I need to redo from my old blog and such, plus three or four more things already made that I completely forgot about. You'll see :)
Until then... Happy eating, happy belly, my foodies.
When I was a little girl, my mom tried to make cabbage rolls because she wanted us to try new things. I remember watching her prepare them in a completely different manner than I do, but only because she didn't know how to do it from scratch. She used ground beef and minute rice she didn't cook, egg to bind, maybe salt and pepper, then wrapped in the cabbage leaves and poured some off brand of spaghetti sauce over them before baking, as opposed to the way I do it. Needless to say, we were a bit young to understand cabbage rolls and it wasn't very popular in our household. Mom got discouraged and never tried it again.
I was running my old blog and was looking for ideas on what to do for a post, and then I fell asleep while watching Martha Stewart. The episode I woke up to was the one where she was making cabbage rolls, and I thought back to my childhood when mom was trying to get us to eat them. So thus, I went looking for a good recipe through my family, as opposed to online, because I really wanted to pay homage to my mom and my great aunts. My grandmother ended up handing me a cookbook that had a receipt in it, and I opened it up... It was right on the page with cabbage rolls! Thanks, Grandma! It was funny because she didn't put the receipt there knowing that I wanted to do this.
I brought the cook book home, and then I took the recipe there, the methods I saw Martha doing with blanching the whole head of cabbage and peeling leaves, added seasonings I thought would work besides just paprika and parsley, and cooked it on the stove instead of in the oven (another method I saw Martha use). If you cannot tell, her shows are my guilty pleasure. Don't hate.
What ended up happening was beautiful. Not only did I make something that I used to loathe and really liked it, but I bonded with my mother over it, as well as my grandmother. It just goes to show that food isn't just about sustenance, but also the joy that it can bring and the memories. The best part of having done these that first time was the look of enjoyment on my mom's face, she ended up liking my version so much that sometimes she would go and buy the ingredients and say, "Hint, hint."
Fair warning to those of you who have never made these before, they are a labor of love. You have a lot of prep work to do just to get them from point A, to point B, but it is completely worth it in the end. Golabki (Pronounced Golumki) are made different by people in Poland, as well as those of us in the US who love to make it. The recipe I saw on a youtube channel ran by an infamous former talk show host, well... She used mushrooms in hers. I wrinkled my nose but to each their own (besides, I am allergic).
Either way you look at it, these are high on the list of comfort foods to eat and enjoyed by many.
I hope you enjoyed this reblog as much as I did with making it. Please do enjoy this comfort food, it is one of the tastiest things if you like cabbage!
The Eccentric Foodie
Cooking bacon in the oven is the easiest way.
These are various recipes that either I created, or I found and adjusted to what I thought would be awesome or even healthier.