We recently had the pleasure of dinner hosting Father Maciej, a visiting priest to our parish in New York for the month of July. Fr. Maciej is from the Polish city area where my husband and I taught English as a Second Language many, many years ago.
Fr. Maciej, while originally from Poland, is currently studying and serving the church in Spain, far from his homeland and his favorite Polish food, gołąbki. (pronounced: go- wump - key) In my usual unthinking exuberance, I offered to cook the dish for Father, even though I had never made gołąbki before.
I searched the internet for something that sounded familiar to what my mother used to prepare, but found so many variations, I had to make an emergency call to my sister. She graciously gave me our Aunt Florence's recipe which I will share at the end of this post.
A tip from my sister, use Napa cabbage. You will need 3 heads. Brown Rice
I unintentionally created a heart shape in the pot after scooping out the rice. My cousin, Christine Lajewski always sees that as a sign from above that, "You are loved."
A Turkey Variation*
I don't eat beef and am careful about my carbohydrate intake, so I tried a variation for myself at the same time with ground turkey, less rice and added veggies.
Rolled and Almost Ready
Covered with the
Yes. This is the secret sauce topping.
I wasn't quite sure how this western New York version would measure up to what Fr. Maciej was fondly remembering from home.
(Do they use Campbell's soup in Poland?)
My Photographic Homage to
Campbell's Soup Cans, which is sometimes referred to as 32 Campbell's Soup Cans, is a work of art produced in 1962 by Andy Warhol.
Final Layer - BACON!
Jim Gaffigan would be pleased. To quote my favorite comedian, " Do you want to know how good bacon is? To improve other food, they wrap it in bacon!"
Fr. Maciej loved the gołąbki, took the remaining ones back to the rectory and polished them all off the next day!
Our Family's Gołąbki Recipe:
2 pounds of ground beef
1 can of Campbell's French Onion soup
2 cups of rice
a small amount of bread crumbs
a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper to taste
Steam the cabbage for about 5 - 10 minutes until pliable.
Line the bottom of a baking dish with a few cabbage leaves.
Scoop about 1/4 cup of the meat filling into each cabbage leaf and wrap.
Cover each cabbage bundle with about a teaspsoon of undiluted
Campbell's tomato soup (one can is enough for the recipe)
Cover the bundles with raw bacon strips.
Add a little bit of water to the bottom of the baking dish. Bake, covered with foil for 2 hours at 350 degrees. Remove foil for the last 20 minutes of baking.
Smacznego! (Polish for Bon appetit!)
*My Beef-less Version: I simply replaced the ground beef with ground turkey, used a little less rice, eliminated the bread crumbs, used dried onion in place of the french onion soup and added some diced carrots, celery and a few pinches of poultry seasoning.
To see an assembling video, check out the following link for Martha Stewart's Golumpki. (This is the English spelling of the dish and Martha, as such, pronounces it that way.) :