Tag Archives: Henrietta Poses

Henny’s Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

Henny’s Stuffed Cabbage

The night we opened Frog in 1973, my mother prepared her delicious sweet and sour stuffed cabbage rolls as Frog’s debut special. Over the years they have become a staple on our Rosh Hashanah menu, but there is no reason to restrict these wonderful morsels to that holiday. One roll makes for a nice first course; two or three for a filling entrée. Sometimes we make thumb-sized versions and serve them as hors d’oeuvres.

do ahead Stuffed cabbage is best when made at least one day ahead and reheated before serving. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to one month. Defrost and reheat in a 325º oven.

Cabbage Rolls
1⁄3 cup cooked white rice
1 large head green cabbage
6 gingersnaps
1⁄2 cup water
1 pound ground beef
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1⁄2 cup ketchup

Sauce
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup sauerkraut
15-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
6 gingersnaps, crumbled
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
1⁄2 cup ketchup

1 Cut out the core of the cabbage and place in a pot. Nearly cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until leaves can be parted easily, about 5 minutes. Remove cabbage, drain and peel off softer leaves. If inner leaves are still stiff, return to water and repeat. Pat leaves dry.
2 Make the filling: crumble gingersnaps in water to form a paste. In a bowl, combine paste, rice, beef, salt, brown sugar and ketchup.
3 To form the cabbage rolls, lay a leaf flat on a clean surface. Place about 3 tablespoons of mixture in the center of each leaf. Fold the two sides over the filling and then roll tightly and set aside, seam side down. Repeat with remaining ingredients, reserving the smaller leaves for the sauce.
4 Preheat oven to 350º. Chop reserved small cabbage leaves and set aside. Rinse sauerkraut well, squeeze out water and set aside. Gently squeeze tomatoes to remove some juice, then tear tomatoes apart.
5 To make the sauce, heat oil in a deep sauté pan and add onion. Cook until onion begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Chop reserved cabbage, add to pan and continue cooking until nicely browned, about 5-10 minutes more. Mix in sauerkraut, tomatoes, brown sugar, gingersnaps, salt and pepper. Continue cooking slowly for 15 minutes, adding water if it gets too thick.
6 To assemble, spoon half of the sauce into a baking dish. Place cabbage rolls in a single layer, seam side down. Cover with remaining sauce. Make a ribbon of ketchup across the top of the rolls. Cover with foil.
7 Bake for at least 2 hours. Remove foil after 1 hour and add as much as 1⁄2 cup water if cabbage appears too dry.
8 Serve hot or hold for one day and reheat in a 325º oven.
serves 6-8


After the core is removed, the whole cabbage head is briefly cooked in boiling war to soften leaves so that you can separate them from the head and roll. If removing  individual leaves becomes difficult, just return the head to boiling water again to further loosen leaves. Once removed from the head, if they are not soft enough to roll you can return them to the water to further soften.

It is important to pat dry the leaves. Dry leaves are easier to roll. Also, residue water could thin down the sauce.

Slowly saute onions until lightly browned and caramelized to bring out their maximum sweetness. Take care not to burn.


Cabbage leftover from the whole head — leaves too small to roll — get chopped and added to onions to be used in sauce.

Continue cooking until cabbage lightly browns.

The cabbage leaves will run the gamut from large outer leaves to smaller inner leaves. To make more uniform rolls you can use two small leaves together to make a larger roll. Try to keep the stuffing together and don’t worry too much of you have formed a perfect roll. As my mother used to say, “It all gets mixed up in the stomach.” If you want to make all smaller rolls, cut large leaves in half.

Here’s a very helpful tip: The outer leaves are best for making large cabbage rolls, but outer leaves tend to have very sturdy ribs that are difficult to soften without overcooking the leaves. To solve this problem, turn the leaves so that the inner side is face down and the outer side — now face up — exposes the sturdy rib. With a sharp knife, make a series of slits in the rib without cutting all the way through. Turn the leaf over and toll. The slits now make that much easier

Place a generous amount of sauce in over-proof baking dish.

Place cabbage rolls over sauce, top with move sauce and a ribbon of ketchup.

Cover with foil and bake for the initial two hours. Then remove foil, add some water if sauce appears  too thick and bake uncovered for an additional hour.

The finished product.

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A Mother’s Day Tribute

My  mother died on March 23, 2010.  She was a remarkable women. Here are three “notes” from At Home that that illustrate ways my mother influenced my understanding of home entertaining plus her recipe for Stuffed Cabbage.

‘Tis not the Food; ‘Tis the Appetite
In 1954 in our new home in the Crestwood section of Yonkers, my mother commissioned murals painted on her kitchen and pantry walls based upon illustrations in James Beard’s Fireside Cookbook. One of those illustrations is included in this book’s dedication. Another mural’s caption would daily remind me that “’Tis not the food but ’tis the appetite that makes eating a delight.”

My Bar Mitzvah
My two primary memories of my bar mitzvah are that my knees literally shook as I recited my havtorah and that the party afterward in my parents’ home was for family and friends of my parents. Setting a nice table and cooking well were always important to my mother. It was at her table that I first understood the nature of hospitality. But it was on my first day of Jewish adulthood that I learned that parties—even your own—are for other people.

Henny’s Girls
In 1979 my father died of a stroke on The Fountain’s golf course in Lake Worth, Florida; his ashes are scattered there. My mother, 10 years his junior, had years ahead of her and a new life to build. Her first summer as a widow, she journeyed to Williamstown, Massachusetts, with friends Nora and Beatie for a month in the Berkshires. Just before they left, my mother wondered if they were going to return next year to Williamstown, and if so, if she should buy a home rather than rent. By the next day, she owned a small Victorian fixer-upper next door to the Williams Inn. Every spring through fall for the next decade, she operated A House on Main Street, a small bed and breakfast. Later, tired of making bran muffins and ready for a change, she sold the inn. The following spring, she set up her warm-weather residence in Philadelphia, where other than me and my small family, she knew no one. Ever resourceful, my mother joined a group planning a Paris trip. (My mother is probably one of the few people who’s gone to Paris to meet Philadelphians.) It was at the trip’s reunion that she scanned the group, made up primarily of younger-than-her single women, and announced that every Sunday evening—a time she perceived as most lonely for singles—her table would be set for anyone who wanted to come. Thus was founded a group of wonderful women, self-named “Henny’s Girls,” whose common point of reference is my mother. My mother has enriched their lives with good food, like her stuffed cabbage and charred eggplant dip (see page 79) and lively conversation. They have, in turn, enriched her life with affection and devotion. Most recently, back in Lake Worth, she is working on establishing a chapter of Henny’s Girls South.

Henny’s Stuffed Cabbage
The night we opened Frog in 1973, my mother prepared her delicious sweet and sour stuffed cabbage rolls as Frog’s debut special. Over the years they have become a staple on our Rosh Hashanah menu, but there is no reason to restrict these wonderful morsels to that holiday. One roll makes for a nice first course; two or three for a filling entrée. Sometimes we make thumb-sized versions and serve them as hors d’oeuvres.
do ahead Stuffed cabbage is best when made at least one day ahead and reheated before serving. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to one month. Defrost and reheat in a 325º oven.

Cabbage Rolls
1⁄3 cup cooked white rice
1 large head green cabbage
6 gingersnaps
1⁄2 cup water
1 pound ground beef
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1⁄2 cup ketchup

Sauce
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup sauerkraut
15-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
6 gingersnaps, crumbled
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
1⁄2 cup ketchup

1 Cut out the core of the cabbage and place in a pot. Nearly cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until leaves can be parted easily, about 5 minutes. Remove cabbage, drain and peel off softer leaves. If inner leaves are still stiff, return to water and repeat. Pat leaves dry.
2 Make the filling: crumble gingersnaps in water to form a paste. In a bowl, combine paste, rice, beef, salt, brown sugar and ketchup.
3 To form the cabbage rolls, lay a leaf flat on a clean surface. Place about 3 tablespoons of mixture in the center of each leaf. Fold the two sides over the filling and then roll tightly and set aside, seam side down. Repeat with remaining ingredients, reserving the smaller leaves for the sauce.
4 Preheat oven to 350º. Chop reserved small cabbage leaves and set aside. Rinse sauerkraut well, squeeze out water and set aside. Gently squeeze tomatoes to remove some juice, then tear tomatoes apart.
5 To make the sauce, heat oil in a deep sauté pan and add onion. Cook until onion begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Chop reserved cabbage, add to pan and continue cooking until nicely browned, about 5-10 minutes more. Mix in sauerkraut, tomatoes, brown sugar, gingersnaps, salt and pepper. Continue cooking slowly for 15 minutes, adding water if it gets too thick.
6 To assemble, spoon half of the sauce into a baking dish. Place cabbage rolls in a single layer, seam side down. Cover with remaining sauce. Make a ribbon of ketchup across the top of the rolls. Cover with foil.
7 Bake for at least 2 hours. Remove foil after 1 hour and add as much as 1⁄2 cup water if cabbage appears too dry.
8 Serve hot or hold for one day and reheat in a 325º oven.
serves 6-8


After the core is removed, the whole cabbage head is briefly cooked in boiling war to soften leaves so that you can separate them from the head and roll. If removing  individual leaves becomes difficult, just return the head to boiling water again to further loosen leaves. Once removed from the head, if they are not soft enough to roll you can return them to the water to further soften.

It is important to pat dry the leaves. Dry leaves are easier to roll. Also, residue water could thin down the sauce.

Slowly saute onions until lightly browned and caramelized to bring out their maximum sweetness. Take care not to burn.


Cabbage leftover from the whole head — leaves too small to roll — get chopped and added to onions to be used in sauce.

Continue cooking until cabbage lightly browns.

The cabbage leaves will run the gamut from large outer leaves to smaller inner leaves. To make more uniform rolls you can use two small leaves together to make a larger roll. Try to keep the stuffing together and don’t worry too much of you have formed a perfect roll. As my mother used to say, “It all gets mixed up in the stomach.” If you want to make all smaller rolls, cut large leaves in half.

Here’s a very helpful tip: The outer leaves are best for making large cabbage rolls, but outer leaves tend to have very sturdy ribs that are difficult to soften without overcooking the leaves. To solve this problem, turn the leaves so that the inner side is face down and the outer side — now face up — exposes the sturdy rib. With a sharp knife, make a series of slits in the rib without cutting all the way through. Turn the leaf over and toll. The slits now make that much easier

Place a generous amount of sauce in over-proof baking dish.

Place cabbage rolls over sauce, top with move sauce and a ribbon of ketchup.

Cover with foil and bake for the initial two hours. Then remove foil, add some water if sauce appears  too thick and bake uncovered for an additional hour.

The finished product.

Next: Don’t Try This At Home: Behind the Scenes at the Dad Vail Regatta.

Thank you for visiting.

Steve
Your Home Entertaining Coach

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Filed under Memories, My Life, Recipes, Tips

Henrietta Poses 1916-2010

At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining is dedicated to my mother who died yesterday.

My mother was a force of nature in disguise. There are people who when they walk into a room neither add nor subtract. Some people walk into a room and suck out the air. My mother’s entrance into a room always brought a breathe of fresh air – opinionated air, vaguely provocative air, ever interested and interesting air.

Born in Jersey City and bred in Hobocken, as a teenager she moved to Montreal to live with relatives when her parents candy store/ice cream fountain failed during the depression. I often wondered how this uprooting from the safety of mom and dad affected her. It is something she did not talk about at length. My mother was not given to introspection. She just dealt with it as she dealt with all the ups and downs of life and death.

Here is some oft-repeated wisdom according to Henny:
“Many of the things I worried about never happened.”
“Nothing is ever as good as it seems or as bad as it seems.”
“And this too shall pass.”

A women ahead of her times, she aspired to be more than a “housewife” but convention conspired against her. Then, when my mother, still in her early sixties, lost my father, she discovered her true and independent self and began writing a new and fulfilling chapter of her life. On the last day of a summer vacation in Williamstown, Massachusetts she bought a ramshackle Victorian house and with her ever-good taste, careful eye and thirst for bargains, transformed it into the House on Main Street, a small bed and breakfast next door to the Williams Inn. She ran her B & B from Aprils to Octobers for a decade. There she welcomed spring-time families of Williams College students, summer theater-lovers attending the renowned Williamstown Theater Festival and, in the fall, wandering Berkshire leaf-lovers.

The balance of her months she spent in Lake Worth, Florida where she had moved from Harrison, NY with my father in the 1970’s. Ever the community organizer, she formed the Fountain Residents’ Club as a source of connectedness for transplants and snowbirds alike in a new community far from home.

When my mother decided she had served the last of her great bran muffins, Philadelphia replaced Williamstown as her “summer residence.”  It was in Philadelphia that she discovered “Henny’s Girls” or rather “Henny’s Girls” discovered her. She opened the door to her apartment to a remarkable collection of younger women who for years knew that her table was set for them every Sunday evening when Henny was “in residence.” It was in Henny’s Girls that she found a family of daughters for herself and in Henny that this family of daughters found a model of a women who they might become.

This Tuesday a week ago, as she lay in her hospice bed surrounded by family, my mother recounted how she and I once went to a therapist together. We did not have an easy or simple relationship. The therapist asked her if she would rather be admired or loved. My mother expressed a preference for admiration. At the end of the day and the end of her life, she was both admired and loved.

The following is from At Home:

Dedication

My Mother’s Kitchen

This book is dedicated to my mother, Henny Poses. It was in my mother’s
kitchen and at her table that I learned that entertaining is a gift that you give
to others. The illustration below, by Alice and Martin Provensen, was my first
cooking lesson. It’s from the original Fireside Cookbook by James Beard, pub-
lished in 1949. My mother had a local artist copy it onto a large wall in her
kitchen. It reads: “Four persons are wanted to make a salad. A spendthrift for
oil. A miser for vinegar. A counselor for salt. And a madman to stir it all up.”
At 93, my mother still entertains regularly. While her menus may be less
ambitious than in the past, her welcome is no less warm.

I had that illustration — from a first edition of the Beard book — framed along with the dedication. I presented it to my mother on October 16th at a dinner in the Free Library’s Rare Book Room. The dinner was for family and friends prior to At Home’s launch later that evening in the auditorium. It was a lovely evening — especially for my 93-year-old mother — who took great pride in her son.

I mourn the passing of my toughest critic, my biggest supporter and my home entertaining coach.

Henny Poses   August 15, 1916 – March 23, 2010

Thank you for visiting.

Steve
Your Home Entertaining Coach

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