Gibsonia woman shares Lithuanian heritage through favorite family dish
Kugelis and Balandeliai/Halupki are Lithuanian heritage recipes that Donna Urbanec, a resident of Gibsonia, is so proud to share.
Her grandparents, Vincas Kapucinskas and Magdelina Romanauskas Kapucinskas came to the United States through Ellis Island and insisted that their eight children all learned how to cook — especially these two recipes.
Kugelis is a potato pudding that is similar to mashed potatoes.
Balandeliai/Halupki is stuffed cabbage that uses ground beef, ground pork and ground veal.
There are many variations to these recipes, but this is how it was passed down to Donna by her father. Donna and her husband, Ken, have been married for 35 years.
(serves 6 to 8)
6-8 Idaho potatoes (finely grated)
1 onion (finest grate)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-2 tablespoon Crisco or oil to coat deep pan, can use a roaster
Coat the pan and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to heat, but not smoking.
Grate the potatoes and onion, add the eggs, baking powder and salt. Add the bacon (optional). Remove the pan from the oven, add the mixture, but be careful not to splash. Add the milk and slightly incorporate, but do not beat. Cook for approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours, time varies depending on the size of the pan and amount of the the mixture used. It will be done when your fork comes out fairly dry.
Tip: This recipe accompanies a roast well, with either gravy on top or sour cream.
(makes 12 to 18 rolls)
1 large head of cabbage
1 onion finely chopped
4 celery stems, chopped
½ green pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 tablespoons water
1 bag instant rice
1 large tomato soup
1 ½ pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground veal
Remove the core from the cabbage and place the whole head in a large pot filled with salted, boiling water. Cover and cook to soften, until leaves pull off individually. When leaves are cool, cut away the thick center stem from each leaf. Chop the remaining leaves that are very small.
Saute the chopped onion, celery and green pepper, using the butter and water in a large skillet until tender. In a large bowl, mix cooked rice, cooled onion mixture, meat and salt to taste. Don’t overmix or the meat will become tough. Place one-half cup of meat on each cabbage leaf. Roll the leaf. Place the completed rolls in a Dutch oven in neat rows and pack together fairly tight. Place the remaining chopped cabbage on top of the rolls.
Add the tomato soup and approximately one-half can of water. Cover and cook for 2 hours or until tender. Freezes well.