Monday, December 29, 2008

Grandma's Galumpkis

Neither side of my family is of Eastern European descent, but since the Irish have contributed little to the culinary world, we seem to cling like overly-mashed potato to the foods of other cultures. My grandmother and aunt have an obsession with making galumpkis that not only encouraged me to eat my first galumpki this year, but also had me making two different recipes to see if I could make the perfect cabbage-wrapped meat dumpling. (They are a perfect meal for John, who has successfully cut bread from his diet.)

The first recipe was my grandma's standard galumpki recipe, which I copied from the browned page of an old cookbook. These galumpkis are very good, but they just seem to be missing something. Of course, I have nothing to compare them to, so this is based upon my imagination. I also tried Tyler Florence's recipe, which differed from my grandmother's in that some of the "meat mix" ingredients were sauteed before rolling them in the cabbage leaves. It also had a different approach to the sauce, using crushed tomatoes instead of tomato soup. I turned to my crock pot both times, rather than the oven.

I think it is my extreme fondness for Asian potstickers that has me trying to tweak these Polish recipes. I want the sauce to be sweet and vinegary, and I want there to be some sausage flavor in my dumpling. Otherwise, I find them a bit...bland. I realize that I am straying from the foundation of the galumpki here, but these flavors will be my goal when I attempt to make these for the third time. OR, maybe I should try to make steamed, cabbage-wrapped Asian dumplings? (On that subject, the frozen vegetable and chicken potstickers from Stop & Shop are really very good!)

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