Monday, November 06, 2006

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Kåldolmar



Here's a Swedish classic dish for you! It's called Kåldolmar - "kål" means cabbage, and you'll recognize the other part of the word, "dolmar", as related to "dolmades", the greek dish. This is essentially a meat filling wrapped up in cabbage leaves, then fried or baked. It's also traditionally drizzled with a bit of golden syrup, to give that sweet-salty taste that is very common in Swedish food.

It's usually served with boiled potatoes, a simple gravy and lingonberries. Allow quite a bit of time to prepare this - boiling the cabbage and loosening the leaves does take longer than you'd think. Other than that, it's a breeze - especially since I make this in the oven rather than in a frying pan.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Kåldolmar
Serves 4, generously

1 medium head of cabbage
2 dl (about 3/4 cup) boiled rice
300 g ground meat, I use half pork and half beef
salt
white pepper
100 ml milk
butter
1-2 tbsp golden syrup

Cut around the stem of the cabbage, and boil the entire head in salted water. Loosen the leaves as they soften - one at a time, and be careful. Put on a plate to cool off, and cut off the toughest stem part, so that the leaves are easier to roll up.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Mix the meat with the rice, season with salt and white pepper, and add the milk. You should end up with a fairly loose batter, but not too runny. (If it *is* too runny, try adding a spoonful of breadcrumbs.)

Fill the leaves with about 1 tbsp of filling, and roll up tightly to form a neat package. Place in an oven-proof dish, seam down. Scatter over a few pats of butter, drizzle with golden syrup, and bake for about 40 minuter.

When it's ready, remove dish from oven. Pour off any liquids into a small saucepan, add water, and bring to boil. Add a bit of liquid stock (or a cube) and soy sauce, and use cornstarch to thicken if it's too liquid.

Serve with boiled potatoes and lingonberries.

Recipe in Swedish:
Kåldolmar

23 comments:

Maria said...

Tyckte jag läste att du skulle kalla dem Cabbage roll-ups, men du kanske tyckte Cathy´s förslag var bättre?
Goda som sjutton ser de ut iaf
Mvh Maria

Gustad said...

lingonberries, interesting

krista said...

I also use half beef half pork for stuffed cabbage, I think it gives it more flavor.

Rachael said...

This sounds SO good to me.

I wish I could get lingonberries they seem like the perfect garnish...

Anne said...

Maria - det här lät mer deskriptivt, hoppas jag! (Ja, och så hade jag glömt mitt eget förslag..)

Gustad & Rachael - a substitute would be mashed up cranberries with a bit of lemon, that's fairly close. But any IKEA should have it :)

Krista, I completely agree!

Crystal said...

The history of this dish: After losing the Battle of Poltava in 1709 Charles XII of Sweden fled to the city of Bender, in Moldavia, then controlled by the Ottoman Empire. There he spent two years in exile, trying to convince the Ottoman Empire to help him defeat the Russians. Charles returned to Sweden and he was followed by some of his Ottoman creditors whom he had borrowed money from to finance his wars. The Ottoman creditors lived in Stockholm between 1716 and 1732, and during this time it is most likely that the dolma was introduced in Sweden.

Anonymous said...

You'll have to excuse me, I'm from the United States. I was looking for a recipe for Kåldolmar and I came to like yours, but I have no knowledge of Swedish lingo. What are lingonberries and what is golden syrup? :) Maybe some time I may figure out more about Swedish food and language. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Anne said...

Crystal, thanks for the history! :)

Anonymous, google is your friend! :) Golden syrup might not be available in the US - you could substitute runny honey, it won't be exactly the same (golden syrup is more like liquid caramel) but close enough. Lingonberries - I took a picture of fresh lingonberries a little while ago, here. Think of them as slightly tarter and smaller cranberries. We usually eat them as a raw-prep jam, just stirred with sugar until they fall apart, or as a more proper jam. If you have an IKEA close, they'll have it. If not, substitute cranberries (fresh, then) boiled with a little bit of lemon. That's close enough. Or just omit :)

Eszter said...

Now this is really very interesting since one of our national dishes, stuffed cabbage or töltött káposzta in Hungarian is a cousin to your kåldolmar with its quite obvious Turkish descent (Hungary being occupied by the Turks for 150 years). The dish itself is quite different as for its taste, it follows the paprika trail that must have somehow get lost on the long way to Scandinavia. Here's a very short and simplified recipe just to give you an idea: http://www.fsz.bme.hu/hungary/cuisine/foods/stuffed_cabbage.html.

Anonymous said...

I have been meaning to make this for a really long time, thanks for providing such a down-to-earth recipe! They look wonderful!

Kaldolmar was one of my favorites growing up, up until my mom got lazy/busy and transformed them into kalpudding. Which is tasty too but without the pizazz of the dolmas!

Sirap/golden syrup is available along with the lingonberries at IKEA, actually. At least where I shop, in East Palo Alto, CA.

Anne said...

Eszter - that really is interesting! :)

Lotta K - oooh, I didn't know that Ikea had that, too. Good to know! A lot of people usually ask, and at least I can try sending them there. And the recipe really was easy - the only fiddly part is getting the cabbage leaves separated, and there's really no way to get around that that I can think of.

Julie said...

Stuffed cabbage has always been a favorite but I am intrigued by this version. Ours is usually in a tomato based sauce. I love the idea of the sweet and salty. I am definitely going to try this.

bulent said...

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary the word "dolma" comes from Turkish which means literally something stuffed.

Anonymous said...

jag älskar den här rätten, länge sen jag åt det :(... Tack för receptet ska definitivt prova de här :)

Carl H said...

Swedish "sirap" is "treacle" in English.

Anne said...

Carl H - I thought treacle was closer to our dark syrup, and not very much like the lighter version.

Carl H said...

Treacle comes in both versions. Dark and golden, because it is the same as the Swedish sirap. Golden sirup is just a form of golden treacle (ljus sirap).

Susan said...

Using my grandmother's recipe, who was from Galicia, I prepare the cabbage rolls with beef and rice.
Place them in large oven proof pot, pour enough water in to go halfway up. Cover with 2 cans tomato puree, or 1 puree, 1 crushed. The seasoning is fresh lemon juice, honey, and a can of jellied cranberry sauce. It comes out sweet and sour. Fabulous.

dining sets said...

Cabbage rolls. Sounds new to me. I never heard that kind of food before. I wonder how it tastes. It looks delicious. I think I am going to give it a try.

large wall mirrors Gal said...

Thanks for this cabbage recipe Anne. You gave me an idea on cooking cabbage differently. I will surely try this. ~~ Wall Mirrors

décor mirrors Gal said...

I have tried this last weekend and my family loved it. ~ Wall Mirrors

aporia82 said...

Dolma means 'stuffed' in Turkish, the word and the food passed from Ottomans to Greeks, so dolmar comes from Turkish, not the greek word dolmades. If you read the history of how the food passed from Ottomans to the Sweds you'll see it better.

lala said...

My grandmother was from Sundsvall, Sweden before she emigrated to the USA in 1910 at age 15. She was a wonderful loving grandmother. I LOST her verbatim recipe...she told me from her mouth to my ears exactly (and showed me) how to make Kaldolmars. The only difference is she used a teaspoon or so of fresh ground Allspice. She would put a small scoop of Allspice in a towel and carefully hammer in into a ground edible powder. Do people in Sweden use Allspice? I feel so lost without my Grandma Pantzar, she died in 1979. Please respond,Anna, my grandma was Anna Pantzar. My email is bacino2552@gmail.com -i am unable to load the window email on your site. OH those Kaldolmar were so good. We do have lingonberries in Rockford Illinois. Many Swedes settled here in late 1900's, God bless them all. theresa