Old-fashioned cabbage wraps (Krautwickel)

choux farci 3-1auf Deutsch

Cooking has always been `occupational therapy` to me: an occupation, or an escape, that I rely on when I need to back out from whatever reality bites me. Chopping, cutting, steaming, stirring – keeping my hands busy in the kitchen helps me to think things through. So unsurprisingly, I have prepared many, many meals during these last weeks, for my husband and I had to make up our minds whether or not to make a big step. And finally, we decided to move to Paris this summer.

With the decision still ripening in my head, I opened some imaginary drawers, burrowing into my inner archives. Scenes from the past came to mind, most of them well filed and long forgotten. Good times, not so good times, moments of joy, love, laughter, and a few tears, too – snippets of my life that give me an idea of where I come from, who I am, where I belong. Mostly, I would dig out all these memories standing in the kitchen, holding a wooden spoon in my hand, stirring a caramel, crumbing some escalopes, kneading a dough. More and more I started to crave the dishes from “back then”, as if the memory had been infused with tastes that were now even-handedly unearthed.

So while I was facing a life in France, my cooking has germanized these days, leading to Schnitzel (escalopes) and Käsekuchen (cheese cake), Bratwurst (sausages) and Krautwickel (stuffed cabbage), and so on. Can it get any more German? As a child, I would expressly disapprove Krautwickel, so I was most astonished I wanted it now. Maybe it is also thanks to my friend Oksana, whose famous Ukranian version I love so much. It comes with nutty buckwheat, so I used it, too- it makes the stuffing lighter and less “meaty”. I baked them in a muffin tin which ensures evenly shaped wraps, effortlessly.

With all the steps involved – you´ll need to blanch the cabbage leaves, prepare the stuffing, assemble the wraps -,  making Krautwickel takes a bit of time,  but it was also  one of the culinary undertakings that helped me to see things clearly. Sometimes it´s simply good to go back to your roots, I guess, to find out what´s the next step on your way. And now I´m up for our French adventure!

choux farci 2-1
Krautwickel, meat and buckwheat stuffed cabbage wraps (for 20-24 little wraps):
1 head Savoy cabbage
500 g ground beef or lamb
100 g buckwheat
1 carrot, finely cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
50 g breadcrumbs
50 g pine nuts
3 eggs
100 ml cream
1 tbsp fennel seeds
½ tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
handful chopped parsley

Wash cabbage leaves and excise the thickest part of the stalk from each leaf. Blanch leaves in batches in hot boiling water, about 2-3 minutes. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

Cook buckwheat until tender. In my case, that´s cooking it 10 minutes in boiling water, then remove from the heat and allow to sit in the water for another 15 minutes (instructions can vary, see package). Discard water and set aside.

Finely chop and dice shallot, carrot, and garlic. Heat olive oil in a medium sized frying pan, fry shallot until translucent (2-3 minutes), add garlic, carrot, pine nuts and fennel seeds and fry for another 5 minutes or so, until pine nuts are slightly browned and fennel seeds are roasted. Add breadcrumbs and continue to fry for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix ground beef with eggs and cream, season (generously) with salt, add pepper and cumin. Add buckwheat , shallot-garlic-etc-mixture, and parsley and mix well.

Preheat the oven 200°C.

Layer a 12 hole muffin tin (lightly greased with olive oil) with 1 blanched cabbage leaf per hole. Add 1-2 tbsp stuffing and seal by closing the overlapping edges and / or a second cabbage leaf. The stuffing yields 20-24 cabbage „ muffins“, so unless you have 2 tins you will have to bake them in two batches.

Bake for 20-25 minutes., unmould carefully and serve immediately.

ranunkeln-1


 Krautwickel

choux farci-1
Kochen ist meine `Beschäftigungstherapie`: Eine Beschäftigung, auf die ich mich zurückziehen kann, wenn ich meine Gedanken sortieren muss. Schnippeln, schneiden, rühren, rösten – all das hilft mir, mich zu ordnen. In den letzten Wochen habe ich eine ganze Menge gekocht. Es ging um einen richtig großen Schritt, und nun sind die Würfel gefallen: Wir ziehen nach Paris!

Das Leben in Frankreich vor Augen habe ich `deutscher` gekocht denn je: Schnitzel und Käsekuchen, Bratwurst und Krautwickel, und so weiter , und so fort. Deutscher geht es kaum! Als Kind hätte ich Krautwickel nicht angerührt, deswegen hat es mich schon erstaunt, daß ich gerade darauf kam. Vielleicht hat die ukrainische Version meiner Freundin Oksana den Ausschlag gegeben, die mir so gut schmeckt: Sie verwendet Buchweizen für die Füllung, die dadurch leichter und weniger fleischlastig ist. Diesen Trick habe ich mir von ihr ausgeborgt.

Es ist zwar ein bißchen Arbeit, bis die Krautwickel fertig sind, aber es lohnt sich – nicht nur, wenn man sich dadurch einer Entscheidung entgegenkocht. Man kann es sich  bei allem Aufwand am Ende einfach machen und die Krautwickel in einem Muffinblech backen, damit sie alle gleich groß und schön geformt sind.  – Und nun bin ich bereit für das französische Abenteuer!
choux farci 6-1
Krautwickel (20-24 Stück):
1 Wirsing
500 g Rinderhackfleisch (oder Lamm)
100 g Buchweizen
1 Karotte, fein gewürfelt
2 fein gehackte Knoblauchzehen
1 fein gehackte Schalotte
50 g Semmelbrösel
50 g Pinienkerne
3 Eier
100 ml Sahne
1 EL Fenchelsamen
½ TL gemahlener Kreuzkümmel
Salz und Pfeffer
eine Handvoll gehackte Petersilie

Wirsingblätter waschen und den dicksten Teil des Strunks keilförmig herausschneiden. Portionsweise in sprudelnd kochendem Wasser je 2-3 Minuten blanchieren. Abschrecken.

Buchweizen 10 min in kochendem Wasser garen, vom Herd nehmen und weitere 15 Minuten im Wasser quellen lassen – bzw. je nach Packungsangabe. Dann Wasser abschütten.

Schalotte, Karotte und Knoblauch fein würfeln. Olivenöl in einer mittelgroßen Pfanne erhitzen, Schalotte bei mittlerer bis starker Hitze glasig werden lassen (2-3 min), Knoblauch, Karotten Pinienkerne und Fenchelsamen zugeben und etwa 5 Minuten weiterbraten, bis die Pinienkerne leicht gebräunt und die Fenchelsamen etwas geröstet sind. Semmelbrösel hinzufügen und weitere 2-3 Minuten rösten. Etwas abkühlen lassen.

In einer großen Schüssel Hackfleisch mit den Eiern und der Sahne mischen, großzügig salzen und mit etwas Pfeffer und Kreuzkümmel würzen. Mit dem Buchweizen und der angebratenen Schalotten-Knoblauch-etc.-Mischung und Petersilie vermengen.

Ofen auf 200°C vorheizen.

Ein (oder gleich zwei, soweit vorhanden) 12er Muffinblech mit etwas Olivenöl fetten und mit je einem Wirsingblatt pro Vertiefung auslegen, die Ränder können und sollen ruhig überhängen. 1-2 Esslöffel Fleischfüllung auf jedes Blatt geben und den Krautwickel dann verschließen, gegebenenfalls mit einem zweiten Wirsingblatt, falls das erste zu klein ist. Die Füllung ist ausreichend für 20-14 Kraut“muffins“, also sind eventuell zwei Backtouren erforderlich.

20-25 Minuten backen, vorsichtig aus den Förmchen heben und sofort servieren.

32 thoughts on “Old-fashioned cabbage wraps (Krautwickel)

  1. Krautwickel – das hat meine Oma immer an einem Samstag im Monat für die ganze Familie gemacht! Ihre Version war aber etwas einfacher, in Tomaten gekocht, mit Hackfleisch & Reis innen, und nur mit Salz & Pfeffer gewürzt. Trotzdem wunderbar und etwas, an das ich gerne zurückdenke.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful post. Good luck with your move to Paris and what an opportunity to live in this great city. I love your stuffed cabbage recipe. I make them a little different from yours but I like the idea of adding buckwheat and the different spices.

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  3. This looks absolutely amazing! I love those gorgeous bright colours, and I love your creativity as well! Do you think you could ship some to me by any chance?😉

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    1. Of course I will save you some wraps, nice guests are always most welcome! All I need is full name and address for the shipping, please?🙂
      And thanks so much for stopping by!

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    1. Das freut mich aber, daß es Dir genauso geht! Und schwäbische Küche ist bei uns auch hoch im Kurs (mein Mann ist ja Schwabe)! Schönes Wochenende!

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  4. Je ne jamais essayer cette recette et pourtant elle pareil si appétissante ! Tes photos son sublimes. Tu va vivre à Paris que pour l’été ou vous déménager pour de bon? Quelle belle aventure !

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    1. Dear Mimi, I´m glad you like it. You´re right,the rolls are little project to prepare, but the steps are all very easy to make! I always jump at the first ranunculas, they´re heralds of spring!

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  5. Such exciting news, Sabine! I so happy for you both! I’m sure this new chapter of your life will bring you happiness and joy and I wish you both all the best!
    Your cabbage wraps look and sound wonderful. I think I can eat a thousand! 😜
    And the orange ranunculus are so pretty!
    Looking forward to following you from your Parisian kitchen! Yay!!! 😍

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  6. I agree with you about kitchen work. It’s grounding. Paris!!!! Lovely. What a beautiful dish you made! I’m excited for your french adventure and a little german/french cooking. The french have a version of this dish too. But wow. look at that! So beautiful. Brilliant use of a muffin tin. I MUST make this. It looks amazing.

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    1. Thought you´d agree on kitchen work from reading your posts, Amanda. The French btw call the dish chou farci. As of the muffin tin: Sometimes laziness pays off, it could´t be easier to assemble the wraps!

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  7. Sabine, congratulations on your big move! That’s fantastic and exciting and terrifying and a pain – I hope you have movers..
    I had a massive German cooking marathon when we moved to California and wept when I found a German bakery (although there is really fantastic bread in the Bay Area) & a shop which sold Persil and other things that smelled of home. Sometimes it is just about something familiar, to confirm one’s roots and where one feels at home. Now look how much Californian, French, Italian and British things I am cooking apart from the odd German dish – the Heimweh accumulates with every place one has lived or felt close to.
    About the cabbage wraps, fantastic recipe, I so need to try yours. Mama (mine, of course) has her own recipe, but interestingly cabbage wraps are called Kohlrouladen in our house and Krautwickel are different and made with Sauerkraut. Both excellent for inducing heartfelt longing for my Mum’s cooking, luckily I’ll get that next weekend. Nicole

    P.S. I found pink sugared almonds at our Italian shop.

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    1. Nicole, somehow I´m very relieved to hear that you (and Ginger, see her comment!) had German Heimweh cooking sessions, too. Although I´m a bit concerned of mine coming in advance! I´m still here! I can imagine I will react the same way you did when finding produce in der Fremde… we´ll see! Anyway changing perspectives, in this case living abroad as foreigners, will be an experience I´m not really familiar with, but I´m so exited to make.So far, I´ve only lived a few month in Switzerland as a student while in medical school – doesn´t really count. It´s great, it´s a bit scary – but hey, it´s Paris!! PS: cool, you found the almonds! Save a few for the pink tart😉

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  8. What exciting times you have awaiting you…Paris! You little cabbage wraps are so cleverly done. I just made my grandmother’s version which are cooked with tomatoes recently. Now I can’t wait to make your delicious sounding version.

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    1. Tomatoes sound great, Karen, I will try this next time! It´s always good to have a tasty variation up one´s sleeve. Thanks so much for telling me that!

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  9. Hi!
    Your cabbage wraps look delicious, comforting and the pictures are great too. I love the plates as well. Have a look at my blog for some recipes as well, I have a bit of a nordic twist to most of them.

    xxx Hanna

    http://xoamys.com/

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    1. Hanna, thank you for your nice words, I´m so glad you like what you saw. Of course I´ll have a look at your blog, exiting to learn about the nordic twist in your recipes! Have a lovely day, Sabine.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good luck with moving to Paris, Sabine! Such cabbage rolls are popular in Russia, with buckwheat as well or with rice. I posted stuffed cabbage rolls few days back , too!😀 Have you seen that?

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      1. sounds great – I´ve learned that tomatoes, as in your recipe with the tomato paste, are often added to the filling, or as a sauce – how delicious! I´ll do that too next time…!

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