6 cups medium grain cooked white rice (from 2 cups uncooked rice)
2 medium cabbages
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground turkey
2 large eggs
6 medium carrots, grated (4 for meat mix, 2 for “Podliva” sauce)
2 cups of your favorite mushroom marinara sauce
¼ cup white vinegar
1 T butter
1 T sour cream
1 tsp Mrs. Dash, or your favorite salt-free seasoning
Cooking Rice and Cabbage:
1. Rinse 2 cups white rice and cook in 3½ cups water with 2 T olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Or do the same thing in a rice maker.
2. Fill ⅔ of large soup pot with water. Bring to a boil. Add 1/2 T salt and 4 T vinegar.
3. Peal and discard the top two leaves from each cabbage. Use a knife to cut out the core of each cabbage (see picture). Put first cabbage in water, cork down, for about 5 minutes, then rotate and continue cooking another 5-6 min. You will pull off leaves as they begin to soften.
The leaves will cook faster if they are pulled apart. Remove the leaves to a platter to cool when they are done. You know they are done when they are soft and yellowish and larger leaves will turn a dull green. Repeat with the second cabbage, adding more water if needed.
Stuffing/ Meat Mixture Prep:
1. Mix ground meats and rice together in a large bowl.
2. Grate and saute 4 carrots in approximately 3 T oil and 1 T butter over med/high heat. Once they are soft, add 1 cup of mushroom marinara sauce and saute another minute.
3. Add carrot mixture to rice and meat. Add 2 eggs and 1 T salt. Mix well.
Cutting & Stuffing Cooked Leaves:
1. Small Leaves: slice off the raised surface of the tough center stem just to flatten the leaf and make it easier to roll. Fill each cabbage leaf with about 2 T meat mixture. Place the filling over the stem/ bottom portion. Roll like a burrito and stuff both ends in with fingers.
2. Large leaves: cut the leaves in half down the center removing the tough stem portion- you will end up with 2 leaves. Place 2 T meat mixture at the top of each leaf (or as much as you can fit – leaf sizes vary). Roll the leaf into a cone shape with the thicker part of the leaf at the base and stuff the wide part into the top. As you stuff your cabbage, arrange them either in the same pot you used to cook the cabbage.
How to make Podliva (Sauce):
1. Heat 2 T of olive oil. Saute remaining 2 grated carrots with 1 tsp of Mrs. Dash. Stir until soft. Add 1 T sour cream and 1 cup of mushroom marinara sauce. Saute another minute and remove from heat.
2. Pour Podliva over the holubtsi and add enough reserved water to almost cover holubtsi (2½ to 3 cups).
3. Bring to a light boil, then cover and simmer 40 minutes over medium heat.