Another dish that is prepared for Christmas Eve is Cabbage rolls or Holubtsi. The recipe that I prepare is how my Mom prepared them for this meatless supper. My grandmother would not have used butter as her meal was dairy less and meatless. Some still follow this tradition of what would now be considered a vegan diet.
Cut out the core of the cabbage so that it steams and is easier to pull of the leaves without the leaves tearing. You can also freeze the whole cabbage and when unthawed the leaves are also pliable and easy to remove, but this means having the cabbage thawed before you make the cabbage rolls. I prefer to steam the leaves.
Place the head of cabbage into a pot to steam with the core down.
Use two forks to carefully remove the pliable leaves. Being careful not to burn yourself!
The stack of leaves ready to be rolled.
The steamed leaves are cooling before being rolled. Yes, the house has a pungent aroma!
Cut out the hard spine of the leave or cut down the spine so that you can still roll the leave.. The larger leaves you can cut out four pieces to roll. The leaves become smaller as you come to the end. I make small rolls without tucking in the ends.
Place a tablespoon of cooked rice in the leaf and roll! Place the seam down into a prepared pan. The enamel roaster that are used for larger group, are usually layered with the outer covering leaves of the cabbage. My aunt uses tinfoil to cover her enamel roaster. Yes, she still does roasters of cabbage rolls at the age of ninety five.
The sauce for the casserole is a can of good quality tomato soup, pour over the rolls and grate frozen butter on top, wrap in tin foil and freeze until ready to bake at 350 for one hour or until the cabbage leaves are cooked.