Cabbage Rolls, Holopchi is one of the Traditional dishes for Christmas Eve Dinner
Christmas is fast approaching and I am reducing the work list I have written for the Christmas Eve dinner. As I prepare for this feast, I also marvel at how skilled my Mom was in preparing and carrying out this festive meal. I 'learned' the following recipe as a child by observing my mother making holopchi before Christmas and at other times. She seldom had need of recipes and cooked by look, feel and touch.
I started early in the morning by steaming a head of cabbage on a steaming rack in a large stock pot. The core of the cabbage was first cut out with a sharp knife to make it easier to steam.
The wilted leaves are cut at the core then carefully pulled off the head of cabbage and set aside to cool.
Since my Mom liked her cabbage rolls to be small, the leaf is cut in half. The heavy centre vein of the leaf is cut away with a sharp knife. This dense vein can also be cut down so that the whole leaf can be used for one roll if it is a small leaf.
I use my rice steamer and cook 2 cups of rice.
I added 2 Tbsp to the cooked rice. You can also add chopped caramelized onions for additional flavour. My sister does, but I don't.
Place a spoonful of the rice filling on the prepared leaf which has been trimmed on the edges to make a straight line. Roll gently.
Place the roll into a prepared casserole that has been first sprayed or greased and then lined with cabbage leaves or tin foil.
My Mom always lined her roaster pans with cabbage leaves where my Aunt lines the pan with tin foil. The tin foil needs to be well greased. Fill the casserole dish with the cabbage rolls.
For the sauce, pour 1 can of tomato soup over the cabbage rolls and dot with butter on top.
Bake at 325 for 60 to 90 minutes or until the cabbage rolls are soft when pierced with a knife.
When I first started to make cabbage rolls, because I used a smaller sized casserole dish, I found it easier to cook the cabbage rolls to perfection in the microwave on Auto Cook vegetables and then kept the casserole warm in the oven as I prepared the rest of meal for Christmas Eve.