Kosher Kitchen

Stuffing our dishes for holiday season’s climax


The holidays culminate next week with the joy of Simchat Torah. Before we settle down to the long year ahead and the approaching dark winter days, we celebrate with dancing and singing and, for adults, a little schnapps and more dancing in the streets. 

Like all our holidays, this one has its own special foods, sometimes shaped like the Torah and often stuffed, as we carry through the tradition of eating stuffed foods throughout Sukkot. 

At SImchat Torah we also celebrate the sweetness of this time of year, so we add sweetness to often savory dishes like meat filled cabbages and cheese filled blintzes. 

Enjoy the ending of this year’s string of holidays and remember that we began and we end with two joyous celebrations. Chag Sameach!

Stuffed Cabbage Your Way: Meat or Veggie (Meat, Pareve)

Sauce ingredients: 

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large onions, finely diced

2 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 can (3 ounces) tomato paste

2 large cans (28 ounces each) chopped or ground tomatoes

Juice of 1 to 2 lemons, to taste

1/2 to 1 cup dark brown sugar, to taste

1/3 tsp, black pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp. salt, to taste

OPTIONAL: 1 to 2 cups raisins, chopped apricots or prunes

Meat filling ingredients:

2 large onions, diced

2 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup canola oil

2 pounds chopped chuck or regular hamburger mat

2 cups cooked, cooled rice, white or brown

Lentil/Mushroom filling ingredients:

1 cup basmati, jasmine or brown or white rice

1 cup green or brown lentils

1 onion, finely diced

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 pound mushrooms, your choice, shitake and white button work well, chopped

1 to 2 tsp. salt

1/2 to 1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. paprika, smoked or plain

1 to 2 tbsp. soft bread crumbs, if needed

1 Very large head of cabbage or 2 smaller ones

Bring a large pot, 2/3 filled with water, to a rolling boil and add 1 tsp. of salt.

While the water is heating, carefully cut out the core of the cabbage, making sure to cut deep enough and wide enough to release most of the leaves from the core. Carefully submerge the head of cabbage into the water and let boil for 4 minutes. Remove with tongs or two forks and place in a colander. Let cool and carefully remove as many whole leaves as will easily come off. Place them on a plate. When the leaves become uncooked and hard, place the cabbage back in the water for 4 minutes. Repeat until all the leaves are partially cooked and on the plate. Do not use the smallest leaves. You will use them later. Set aside to cool.


Heat a large soup pot and add the oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Make a hole in the middle of the pot and add the tomato paste. Heat, undisturbed until the edges begin to brown. Then mix into the onion. Add the cans of tomatoes and mix well. Add the sugar, to taste and the lemon juice, tasting to adjust to a sweet/sour flavor as desired. Add one cup of water and mix well. Cover and simmer on low heat.


Heat a large skillet and add the oil. When shimmery, add the diced onions and garlic and cook until lightly golden, 10-15 minutes. Add the meat, break up any large clumps until the meat is crumbled, and cook until no pink remains. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to directions until there is still a hard center in a test piece of rice, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and mix in with the meat. Cover the pan and let cool.


Place the lentils, rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Heat a skillet and add the canola oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden, 10-15 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to reabsorb their liquid and turn golden. Add the rice mixture and mix well. Add the salt, pepper, paprika to taste. If there is a lot of liquid, add the breadcrumbs and mix well. Add the beaten eggs and mix quickly to avoid cooking the eggs too quickly. Set aside to cool.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a large Dutch oven. Set aside. 

Take a leaf of cabbage and place a scoop of filling in the middle, bring up the bottom, fold one side over, bring down the top and roll over to the other edge. Repeat with all the cabbage leaves. When the leaves get smaller, I often use two to make one roll. You should have at least 12 to 18 rolls.

Spread 1 to 2 cups of the sauce in the Dutch oven. 

Place the cabbage rolls seam side down in the sauce. Place rolls close to each other, crowding them in to keep them from unrolling as they cook. Make a second and third layer as needed. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the rolls. If the cabbage rolls are higher than the sauce, add some water to cover. Cover the oven and cook for 2 to 3 hours. Check often and add more water, if needed. Serves 6+.

Easy Cheese Blintzes (Dairy)

Crepes ingredients:

2 extra-large eggs

1 cup water

1 cup flour

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted, more for pan

Filling ingredients:

1 pound farmer’s cheese

1 pound brick-style cream cheese, softened

4  to 5 tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 extra-large eggs


Place the eggs, water and flour in a blender, and blend until smooth. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Place a strainer over a bowl and pour the butter through the strainer into the bowl. Pour the batter through the same strainer and mix gently. Let rest for 30 minutes. Batter should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thick, add some water.

Heat a 7-inch skillet, preferably a non-stick one, and put a drop of butter in the pan. Using a small ladle, pour some batter into the pan. Swirl the pan and pour the excess back into the bowl. Crepes are done when the edges begin to lift away from the sides of the pan. Flip the crepe onto a clean dish towel and let cool. Continue as above with the rest of the batter, adding water if the batter thickens too much. Makes about 15-29 crepes.

Place the softened cream cheese and the Farmers’ cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar and mix, scraping often, until the mixture is creamy and blended. Add the vanilla and the eggs and mix, scraping often, until smooth and creamy.

Place a crepe on a plate, add a spoonful of filling in the middle and fold up the bottom, fold in one side, the top and the remaining side.

Heat a large skillet and add some butter. Add the blintzes, seam side down and cook until golden. Makes about 15-18 blintzes.