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Poland meets Harpole’s yet again!

Years ago we accepted an invitation to host a foreign exchange student. Our family was divided on the decision but decided to go ahead with it. Our student was from Poland. She arrived in Eugene and new very little English. The English she did know was from listening to American Music.

We weren’t prepared for some of the things that transpired over a year nor were we prepared for her eating habits. She LOVED Heinz Ketchup. In her country they rationed it out at the McDonald’s, they put it on everything, and I’m not talking just a dab here and there, slather is more accurate. Her favorite lunch was four slices of white bread, with butter and ketchup. She would eat this everyday. The other love was tomato soup, only Campbells, and Golbaki, which brings me to the subject of today’s blog.

During her stay here I tried recipes that were her grandma’s but never tried the Golbaki recipe till yesterday. For those of you who don’t know what Golbaki is, it is cabbage rolls.

Being on the South Beach diet I figured it was SBD friendly with a few adjustments. I used a basic meatloaf recipe with the omission of the bread crumbs and added 1/2 cup of rice instead. Lots of ketchup. The meat combo was sausage and ground chuck, but to make it a tad more SB friendly I chopped up prosciutto and crisped it up in a pan and added that for flavor and the salt factor in the recipe. Once all ingredients were put together I made the rolls, placed them in the baking dish and covered them with.. You guessed it, Campbells Tomato soup, sweetened with a Tsp. of Brown Sugar.

The assembly and the cooking time take a good part of a day but the results were quite good. Even Chris who is not a cabbage fan said they were quite good. It is definitely a keeper, will not make it on my weekly rotation, but definitely do again.

( I halfed the recipe and got a dozen Golbaki out of it)

1 large head of cabbage, center core removed
1 lb each of ground beef, ground pork (I used just the ground beef)
2 cups cooked white rice ( I used brown)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup salt pork
1 cup ketchup
2 cans of Campbells Tomato soup 1 1/2 soup cans of water
1 tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper (I omited salt due to the proscuitto)
1/4 tsp each of celery salt, sweet basil, nutmeg and worcestershire sauce
1/2 stick butter or margerine

Parboil cabbage in a large pot, removing leafs as they fall off into the water and are tender. Cook till all leaves are tender, but not ripping apart; usually 1

Run under cold water and drain. Cut the thick membrane off back of each leaf. While cabbage is cooking sauté onion in butter or marg. until lightly browned. Put all the uncooked meat into a large mixing bowl. Add the sautéed onions. In same pan, brown the salt pork, then using a slotted spoon, add salt pork to meat.

Next add dry seasonings, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup, along with the cooked rice. Mix thoroughly; Lay out leaves and depending upon their size, place 2-3 Tbs. of meat mixture on the wider side. Roll leaf up and over meat, tuck in sides of leaf, and continue to roll. Place rolls, seam down into a greased roasting pan. Continue rolling remainder cabbage rolls.

Mix together the tomato soup, water and brown sugar and pour evenly over all the rolls. If your roaster doesn’t have a lid, cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake at 325° F. degrees for 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Thank you Natalia and Grandmother


About heylaydee

An average cook, an enthusiasm for experimenting and trying new things, is the reason for this blog. That and I found myself in the “empty nest” syndrome and needed an outlet. So I picked up the camera that was collecting dust, got out the pile of recipes, contacted friends and family for their favorites and starting cooking again. What could be better than a glass of wine, a hot stove, and creativity? Come along for the ride. I will be blogging about food, family, and anything else that inspires me.

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