Join me on a birthday journey where I make some golumpki and gnocchi. I'm pretty fucking drunk right so I don't know how this is going to go, but I have pictures fucking galore that I took for you guys. The recipes may come tomorrow when I sober up, but for tonight, just enjoy the slide show with a little commentary.
First, let's start with the golumpki, which is a polish stuffed cabbage.
Took two cabbage from my local market and began to blanch them so I could use it to wrap my filling. Here's cabbage #1.
So I cored the stem (eat the core if you guys ever do this, its very sweet tasting and probably the best part of a cabbage) and put it in a pot to blanch the leafs which make them more pliable and easier to work with.
Here's the leafs opening up as the blanching process comes to an end. Once completely blanched, we remove the cabbage from the pot and let cool so we can handle it. You'll know the blanch is complete when the cabbage starts to "blossom" and spread out a little bit.
Here's the cabbage removed from the blanch water and cooling so I can handle it. Fucker was hot, burned at least two of my fingers getting it in the bowl, but I was pretty drunk at the point so it's okay I guess.
So while the leafs cool, we're going to get our filling ready. I bought some 85/15 ground beef which we're going to mix with some sea salt, paprika, fresh ground pepper corns, two eggs, and two yellow onion.
If anyone recognizes the cutting board, I did a pizza thread not too long ago. I'm that dude.
Oh, and I forgot, we're also going to get some fresh parsley in there also!
Let's crush that fucking peppercorn up. Love working with my mortar and pestle.
The floral scent that comes off freshly crushed pepper is fucking amazing. I'll recommend to anyone to use a mortar and pestle for crushing their spices up.
Choppin' some yellow onion up! Starting to smell like happy in the kitchen.
We're going to saute the onion in a pan with some olive oil for a couple minutes to bring out the flavor a little bit. Into the pan it goes. Going to put a little salt and crushed pepper in there also.
Oh yeah... those are starting to come along nicely. Now that they're properly sauteed, we're going to transfer them to our mixing bowl and start adding the other ingredients.
Mmm, doesn't that just look fucking delicious all on its own...
So to the onions, we're going to add our ground beef, two eggs, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of sea salt, 1 tsp of our ground peppercorn, and 1 tsp of garlic powder. Ideally, I would have used fresh garlic and sauteed it with the onion, but I was, and still am, drunk as fuck and wasn't thinking. Oh well, next time.
Get that son of a bitch all mixed up with that onion/
Almost forgot the parsley! Let's throw that in there and get it mixed up too.
Cabbage should just about be cooled by now, let's start peeling that stuff back and getting our wraps ready. Don't worry if some fall apart on you, that's fine. With two cabbage, you have more than enough wraps to work with. Save the ones that fall apart because we're going to coat the bottom of our pan with them later on.
Now that our cabbage is pulled apart (disregard the foil in the background, those are the baked potatoes that we're going to use for the gnocchi later on), we're going to prep them for the wraps; a tedious, yet necessary process.
As you can see from this picture, the point of the knife is directly on the stem. We want to shave it a little bit so it's not as thick. Shaving down the stem will allow us to roll the cabbage leaf easier. On the left you'll see I cut off part of the lead to make it more symmetrical and easier to roll. Do not be afraid to cut your leafs so the size or shape that you want or need them to be.
Here you can see the difference in shaving off part of that stem. It makes the leaf much more mailable so we can wrap our filling much easier.
Before we get to our filling, let's coat the bottom of our pan with all those disgarded leafs that didn't make the cut. This isn't technically necessary with a glass pan like I'm using, but if you're using a metal pan it's more traditional to do so, so the golumpki doesn't stick to the bottom.
Now to the filling!
Get a spoonful of the meat mixture we developed earlier and stick it near the center of your leaf. Make sure to pack it tight as you wrap it. I hope you know what I mean by that, because it's hard as fuck to explain in pictures.
Oh fuck yeah, perfection... This is what you want your wraps to look like.
Now we got an entire pan full of wraps! I was able to get about 25 in total. I ran our of wraps just as I finished my filling, it worked out perfectly. Don't be afraid to stack them on top of one another, it's all good.
So golumpki calls for a tomato sauce topping. I grabbed a can of tomato paste and got to mixing. If I weren't so drunk, I would have made a sauce out of the tomatoes I have in the fridge, but at this point I'm about 3 drinks from blackout mode; maybe I should have eaten today, but fuck it, we're cooking and drinking and its my birthday so fuck you.
Pic of my bottom self booze that I topped off tonight. I'm sure this will get someone's knickers in a bunch.
Anyway, back to the sauce. I mixed in 2 cups of boiling water to the paste so actually make the sauce. Also added in a little salt, pepper and oregano. The traditional recipe doesn't call for any of that, but I prefer the additional flavors to my sauce, and you might too. Play around with it and find a sauce you like.
So we're going to cover this bad boy with foil and let it cook in the oven at 350F for 2 hours. Which is perfect because it allows me to begin working on the Gnocchi which I have -never- made before.
Here goes nothing.
So earlier in the day I made 3 baked russet potatoes, which was my downfall of the evening which you will see in later pictures; holy fuck I think I have enough Gnocchi to last me a month.
Peeled off the skins and put the potatoes in a bowl to mash up.
Whole Milk Ricotta?
1lb for $4? Fuck I love Sprouts.
We're also going to add some fresh Rosemary to the potato-ricotta mix to give it a floral aroma.
Chives too? Why the fuck not.
That's the rosemary on the cutting board all ready to go.
Oh man, this is starting to smell really fucking good.
Time for the eggs.
Did I mention the eggs?
Yeah... we're adding 2 eggs to this.
Now that the eggs are all mixed in, it's time to add the flour.
This is where things start to go horribly, horribly wrong.
Just shifting flour, you know... normal stuff...
The mix is still moist and sticky...
Better add some more flour.
Wait, it's STILL too sticky.
Some more flour.
Holy fuck, still? What the hell is happening?
Oh god what the actual fuck???
I think it took around 10 FUCKING CUPS of flour to turn it onto an actual dough. Long god damn story short, DO NOT USE 3 POTATOES FOR A SMALL BATCH. Nobody warned me about this shit. Use 1 potato, 2 max. If you use 3 potatoes like my dumb ass did, you're going to end up with 4 fucking pounds of dough which took me nearly a half hour to get in the right consistency. I have literally 3 1/2 lb of dough now sitting in my fridge; I'm going to be eating Gnocchi for the rest of the month.
That's a lot of mother fucking dough. I used 1/4 of that, and 1/2 of THAT, and another 1/2 OF THAT 1/2 to get what I wanted to use tonight.
Well whatever... let's get to rolling. I hand rolled out some long strands of the potato dough and I'm going to cut up into bite sized pieces.
Look at all that fucking dough I still have left over. God damn it...,
Ugh, dough aside... here's the bite sized pieces that I cut up. Pressed them down in the middle to make them... I don't know... visually appealing? Shit I'm 1 more drink away from saying fuck it and going to McDonalds for a double double. But... I know it will all be worth it, just need to cook up this fucking gnocchi and I'll be golden.
Alright, let's get to boiling these mother fuckers.
Water in pot, check.
Medium high heat, check.
Salt in water, check.
Here's like... a broader view of my work station. I don't know what I was doing. I still don't know what I'm doing. Next picture is of me cooking the gnocchi... I think....
Yeah, there we go. So I put some olive oil in the water too. Those things cook quick. Had to work fast to get it on the other skillet so I can pan fry them.
Here they are transferred into the pan getting nice and golden. Smells pretty damn fantastic, can't wait to eat them.
My golumpki should be just about done. Timed this so they'd both finish at the same time.
Well the gnocchi is almost done... time to get some lemon zest on there.
Piece of shit, I fucking hate you. If I were sober I'd kick your ass.
Pretty much done. Let's just garnish this with a little fresh basil and get you into a bowl.
Jesus fuck, what a catastrophe of a work station. Let's just get this shit over with, I'm too god damn drunk. Finish off the Gnocchi with a little grated parmesan and we'll call it done.
Now to get the golumpki out of the oven.
Well the Golumpki is done, let's find out how it looks. Smells pretty awesome at this point.
Mother fucker dripping all over my stove. Ugh, I'm thirst.
So here's the final plate. I just grabbed whatever I could find fast because I was hungry as fuck.
Golumpki: 10/10, tasted amazing
Gnocchi: 7/10; needed more salt, think I was too drunk to make
It was a fun birthday.
As I end my post, I will shamelessly plug the /ck/ cooking competition set to possibly happen in March. When I'm sober, I'm actually a pretty damn cook, and I encourage everyone here to sign up. I'll kick all your asses. See you on the battlefield.
Fuck I am jealous, how do you take such good pictures? Your lighting is uniformly good and there's no sign of camera shake (and you're obviously not using a tripod). I can't photograph anything in my kitchen without a getting a blurry yellow colored unappetizing pic.
Don't know what to tell you bud, they're just pics I take with my phone. I don't put any effort into it except for finding an angle where my shadow isn't overlapping what I'm trying to get a picture of.
Good lighting - bright and preferably white (high wattage fluorescent bulb). OP probably shot during the day and you should as well. Open your windows and open your lights if natural light isn't enough. And if it's in the evening, it might help to tape some white paper over a lamp or flashlight and shine that on your food too. You're never gonna get anything decent with your phone from dim incandescent light bulbs.
Phone wise, experiment with the white balance and exposure level (don't just depend on automatic mode). Never use the flash. And you're probably getting blurry pics if the setting is in some sort of night mode and you can't keep absolutely still.
Dawned upon me this morning I didn't show you a picture of the golumpki halved, so here it is.
Huh, you baked it and came tomato all over it. Me mum always simmers/braises the batch in a high covered pot. The sauce is prepared in a separate pot as an option to the dish because gołąbki are great on their own. Especially on the second day, fried or baked.
thats odd, a recipe i read a while ago had a ratio of approximately 1:3 flour to potato by weight. could be the taters were too wet or something
anyway good looking meal opa, happy birthday