My heritage is not 100% Italian...I'm half-Italian and half-Polish. I was perusing the cookbook collection last week and found 'Polish Cookery'. I've had it for a some time, though honestly, had never really done much more than flip through it. Over the years, all I remember attempting in Polish cuisine was galumki (galumpki, galobki, et al...). That's stuffed cabbage for those who don't know...some (thanks, Tim!) even call it 'pigs in a blanket.'
The inspiration was the head of cabbage in the fridge that I knew I should do something with before it spoiled. The mental grocery checklist in my head ticked off the remaining ingredients (meat, rice, tomatoes). Yup...had them all. With a weekend off, it was a go. I don't remember if it was all that time-consuming when mom used to make it or my last go at it. After Sunday, I can tell you that you just have a lot going on at once, with 3 burners fired up in prep. But absolutely worth it. It's not difficult.
Mom always made it with ground beef and white rice. I switched it out with ground turkey and brown rice. I don't know how authentic mine was this time around, but it tasted fantastic and after spending time in the kitchen, isn't the what the end result should be?
Galumpki (adapted from mom)
1 lb ground turkey
half small white onion
half bell pepper
1 cup brown rice
1 head cabbage
1 can tomato soup
1 tbsp olive oil
Chop both the onion and bell pepper and saute in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Brown ground turkey and season as you like. I kept it simple with black pepper and a touch of salt. Slice the bottom core off the head of cabbage and carefully peel off the leaves. Keep them as whole as possible. I steamed them for a few minutes. Prepare the rice as directed. When onions, peppers, turkey and rice are ready, mix together. Season again as you like. I sprinkled the mix with Magic Dust ( my sister sent me a container of this a couple of years ago for Christmas and I use it on everything. It's addictive and utterly indispensable in my kitchen.) Combine well and grab a cabbage leaf. Spoon a couple of tablespoons into the center of the leaf. Carefully roll cabbage leaf closed and place seam-down in a deep skillet where you've added the can of tomato soup thinned with about half a can of water. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves. Place them as close to each other as possible. Spoon the tomato soup atop the rolls and bring to a slow simmer. I let them cook for about 20 minutes, basting them with soup every 5 minutes or so.
As I said...authentic?...I don't know...but I was more than pleased...