LESSON OBJECTIVES AND OUTLINE FOR TEACHERS
I. LESSON OBJECTIVES
A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by preparing the stuffed cabbage; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:
- Season and mix together a meat mixture.
- Peel and chop an onion.
- Measure and combine ingredients.
- Unwrap the cabbage leaves from the head.
- Slice out the tough center rib of cabbage leaf in a “V” shape.
- Form elongated meatballs from meat mixture.
- Properly wrap the balls in the cabbage leaves.
- Make the sweet and sour sauce.
- Cook the cabbage in the sauce.
- Prepare gingersnap cookie mix.
- Finish making gingersnap cookies by adding wet ingredients.
- Form and bake gingersnap cookies.
B. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of the historical and geographical origins of this dish by eventually completing the final Sample Test.
II. KITCHEN ORGANIZATION: TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
1. Although the recipe includes in the steps listed, the procedure for microwaving or boiling the head of cabbage, a considerable amount of time is saved if the head is cooked and cooled ahead of time so that it can be worked with immediately when needed.
2. The recipe for pareve gingersnaps is included because most of the commercial varieties available contain whey, a dairy ingredient. To save additional time, if necessary, the cookies can be made ahead and stored in an airtight tin for a few weeks, or frozen for long term storage. However, they are very quick, easy, and fun to make and the taste makes the effort worthwhile.
3. If the students are to sample the finished stuffed cabbage, a finished batch must be made ahead of time and can then be frozen in a foil tray, defrosted, and heated through, covered in the oven while the class proceeds.
4. One group of students can be preparing the gingersnap cookies while another works on the sauce, another works on the fried onion, and another works on the cabbage.
1. If you are doing the cabbage ahead, microwave on high power for 15 to 18 minutes to make sure that the head is cooked through to the center so that you will not encounter tough inner leaves at the last minute.
2. A faster way to make drop cookies than by dropping off a teaspoon is to load the dough into a pastry bag with a large, plain, round tip and squeeze small dollops of the dough onto the cookie sheet at regular intervals.
III. FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A. Depending upon the geographic backgrounds of their parents, the students may have different names for this dish. Discuss some of the names they are familiar with and try to establish what countries and towns their ancestors came from to contrast different names with differing geographic locations. A pre-World War II map of Eastern Europe may make the geography a little more concrete.
MATERIALS LIST FOR STUFFED CABBAGE
- 2 lbs. ground meat (veal & beef mixture)
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 cup rice
- 2 eggs
- garlic powder
- matzoh meal
- olive oil
- black pepper
- Heinz chili sauce
- 1 can cranberry sauce
- gingersnap cookies
- pre-made stuffed cabbage
- large plastic bucket
- long-tined fork
- frying pan
- 6-qt. pot and lid
- large mixing spoon
- food processor
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- can opener
- ground coriander
- baking powder
- ground ginger
- ground cinnamon
- baking soda
- ground cloves
- all-purpose flour
- pareve margarine
- light unsulphured molasses
- 2 eggs
- non-stick coating spray
- wire whisk
- mixing bowl
- 2 cookie sheets
- pastry bag (optional)
- cooling racks (optional)
FOR THE STUDENTS:
“For many Ashkenazic Jews, stuffed cabbage in sweet-and-sour sauce is essential for Sukkot. It is just one of the many dishes that were developed in the shtetls of Eastern and Central Europe to transform an ordinarily mundane ingredient, such as cabbage, into a rich-tasting delicacy. At the same time, precious meat was stretched to serve a few more.
“This dish probably became traditional for Sukkot because cabbage is plentiful during the harvest season, and also ‘stuffed foods’ are customarily eaten on the holiday to symbolize abundance.
“Depending on the locale where they or their ancestors once lived, Jews have given stuffed cabbage many different appellations. Some of the more popular Ashkenazic ones include holishkes, holopches, praakes, and galuptzi. Sephardic Jews make a very similar type of stuffed cabbage, occasionally, using ground lamb instead of beef. Those from Turkey and nearby areas generally call the dish dolmas de col or yaprakis de kol. Middle Eastern Jews spice it differently, and sometimes call it sarmas or mishi malfouf.
“As with many other Jewish recipes that have been carried around the world, stuffed cabbage has innumerable variations.”13
- 1 lb. ground veal
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 2 T. matzoh meal
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 t. salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 jar Heinz chili sauce
- 1 can jellied cranberry sauce
- 14 Gingersnap cookies (See recipe that follows.)
- 1 large head of cabbage
1. Mix together veal and beef in a large bowl with a long-tined fork. Add rice, eggs, garlic powder, matzoh meal, salt and black pepper and continue mixing until well-distributed. (Note: The fork is used to mix because handling the meat too much will compress it and make the meatballs tough.)
mixture and stir in with fork. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Place cabbage with core on the bottom in a microwaveable glass bowl and fill the bowl with 1/2-inch of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and cook on high in microwave oven for about 10–15 minutes, depending on how large the cabbage is. (Note: this step could also be done by placing the cabbage whole into a pot of boiling water and boiling until tender. The microwave just gets the job done faster!) Undo the wrap carefully so the steam escapes without burning you. Drain the cabbage in a colander and run cold water over it to speed the cooling process. Let it stand until it is cool enough to handle.
4. Meanwhile, empty the jar of chili sauce into a 6-qt. pot. Put a little water in the jar, re-close, and shake to get out all the remaining sauce. Empty this into the pot. Open the cranberry sauce and carefully slide the contents of the can into the pot also. Fill the can with water and pour into the pot. Drop in the gingersnaps.
5. Take a large spoon and stir the contents of the pot, breaking up the cranberry sauce and ginger-snaps while cooking on a moderate heat.
6. With a small sharp knife, cut the core out of the cabbage and remove any tough outer leaves. Spread these leaves over the sauce once it starts to bubble and is well mixed. The stuffed cabbage will be placed on top of these so that the bottom ones will not stick to the bottom of the pot.
7. Carefully remove each leaf from the head of cabbage, trying not to break or tear and stack neatly. (If the cabbage is not cooked enough, the leaves are very difficult to remove this way because they are too brittle. If this is the case, put back into the microwave as before and cook a little longer.) Continue until you have removed all the leaves that are large enough to stuff.
10. Continue in this fashion until you run out of leaves or meat filling. Use center of cabbage and any extra leaves for another dish. (Cabbage borscht perhaps!)
11. Cook, covered on low heat for an hour. Then uncover and cook on low heat for another hour. Serve hot.
12. This is best made a day ahead to give the flavors a chance to merge, and also may be frozen and reheated.
PAREVE GINGERSNAP COOKIES14
- 1 c. sugar
- 4 t. ground coriander
- 3-1/2 t. baking powder
- 3 t. ground ginger
- 2 t. ground cinnamon
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. ground cloves
- 4 c. all-purpose flour
mixture is completely uniform.
- 1/2 stick (4 T.) unsalted margarine, melted and cooled
- 2/3 c. light unsulphured molasses
- 2 eggs, beaten just until well mixed
- 1/2 batch (2-1/2 c.) Ginger-Cookie Mix (see above)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease two large cookie sheets.
2. Mix the margarine and the molasses thoroughly in a bowl, then mix in the beaten eggs. Stir in the mix, blending the dough just until the dry ingredients are well dampened.
3. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until their centers are springy when pressed lightly with a finger.
cool, store them airtight. Makes about 4 dozen 2-1/2-inch cookies.
13Text from Gloria Kaufer Greene, The Jewish Holiday Cookbook: An International Collection of Recipes and Customs (Published in the United States by Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1985), p. 111.
14Recipe from Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie, Better Than Store-Bought (New York, New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1979), pp. 245-246.