I love puns. But a pun about the country of Hungary on a food blog…I just cannot bring myself to do it. Just know that I thought about it.
Sorry I’ve got no map of Hungary for you. But you should know where it is anyway, right? Hungarian cuisine is similar to Croatian, at least in part. Both are known for soups–especially goulash, and though I chose to make stuffed cabbage rolls for Hungary, 97% of Croatian women over 25 eat cabbage rolls on a regular basis (Wikipedia-proven, naturally).
Believe it or not, our temperatures have been dipping below freezing. It snowed here for the better part of two hours yesterday. Goulash just sounded appropriate for our weather.
It started well. I love sights like this:
It ended like this:
Paprika is goulash’s shining star. Goulash is so similar to chili, though, that it was tempting for me to add cumin, oodles of chili powder, and even cocoa powder. But I resisted. My goulash was made with a solid amount of onions, paprika, noodles, and vegetarian beef-flavored textured vegetable protein. Looks like ground beef in the photo, though, right?
I thought the goulash was decent, but I much preferred the stuffed cabbage rolls over it. Maybe that’s just because it seemed like so much more work was put into the cabbage rolls.
First things first, I had to peel leaves and boil them. I boiled them for about five minutes, until they were soft enough to roll. Since cabbage rolls are typically stuffed with ground pork or ground beef, I had to be a bit creative with my stuffing. I used onion, salt, pepper, the beef-like TVP used in the goulash, a brown/wild rice mix, and a chia egg (chia seeds soaked in water for five minutes as a binding agent).
Roll those leaves like burritos. Tuck the sides.
I prepared a bed of onions, shredded cabbage, and sauerkraut for the cabbage rolls.
The rolls were added.
Cover the bed of shreds with a water and tomato paste mixture.
These simmered (covered) forevvvveeeerrrr. Or like two hours before the rice started to cook. And then they were ready.
I do love me some cabbage.
I think I’m Hungary again. Shame on me.