بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
While there are myriad of hearty Algerian dishes to prepare, during the colder months I opt more for dishes from my native Hungary. My ancestors survived for thousands of years on the harsh Euro-Asian steppe on hearty rich dishes that they cooked from hunted wild game. I think there's something spiritual and comforting about cooking and baking foods that your ancestors loved and thrived, and sharing these adventurous culinary stories with my children.
At this time of year, cabbage is bountiful here in Algeria and I'm sure in most countries in the northern hemisphere. And while many people may frowing at the thought of cabbage. It's actually a cheap cruciferous vegetable, which gives you a huge nutritional bang for your buck. This humble food has always been a staple fall and winter food for the poor and in cold climates people of all classes.
Ever wondered what to do with it? I asked on Facebook and you all had some really great ideas!
Today’s dish is something I make regularly. I love the slightly sweet and slightly taste of cabbage rolls, of course I do I'm Hungarian. I'm pretty sure Hungary has more recipes for cabbage than any other country in the world. And yes! I'm using the superlative on this one! And stuffed cabbage is one of the most popular classics in Hungary and all of Eastern Europe. It's a dish that has immigrated to almost all parts of the world. And you know when we talk about traditional dishes, the one question that comes to mind is ...
I remember my mother and grandmother preparing stuffed cabbage. Boiling and trimming the leaves. Mixing the filling. Rolling the leaves. And slow cooking the delicate rolls for hours. While it was delicious, it was also real time-consuming.While the result is well worth the effort, sometimes, well most of the time I'm not up for the extra effort. So one way to save time and also warm up the house is making a casserole that comes from the Hungarian city that is now a part of Romania called Kolozsvár. This casserole is hearty fare that I learned from my grandmother. It'll warm you to the bone on cold nights. I love the smell of this casserole in the oven. The aroma fills the house and seems to put everyone in a good mood. This cabbage roll casserole can be made in a fraction of the time, but tastes just as good as the real thing .
Along with the traditional flavors in this dish, I find myself whenever I prepare Hungarian dishes talking to my children about my homeland, its traditions and the fond memories of my childhood. Also a place where we create new traditions as a multi-cultural Muslim family.
The traditional Kolozsvári rakott káposzta that my grandmother taught uses sauerkraut instead of fresh green cabbage and ground pork, and would topped with sour cream then garnish with thin slices of spicy Hungarian sausage called kolbasz. While sauerkraut is the traditional, old-fashioned and actually THE original probiotic food not everyone in my family appreciates its super tangy flavor. And of course, the use of pork is strictly forbidden in the Islamic dietary laws - so I've changed the recipe slightly better to suit the taste of my family.
So here's a recipe for a comforting and hearty almost effortless halal casserole. And even better yet, it’s gluten free, high in protein and full of fiber!
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