Grandma Katz was my wife's Grandmother who arrived as a young girl at Ellis Island in 1902 from a tiny village near the Hungarian/Romanian border. She was a self taught cook who ran kitchens in the Catskills Resorts for most of her life. Rumor has it she was short tempered, quick with a knife, and a bottle of Barack Palinka (Apricot Brandy) close at hand to keep her fortified. The best time to make this recipe is when the cabbage is fresh from the garden...what some people would call "spring cabbage". Most folks think of Hungarian dishes as heavy winter fare, but there is nothing more sublime than the flaky buttery goodness of strudel. This dish turns what many think as only a desert to a savory first course or a great appetizer with a glass of Hungarian wine from the Eger or Balaton region or a Furmint from Tokaji. —Bubba Mac
2 strudels, 6 - 8 first course portions
smoke paprika....use a good Spanish or Hungarian version
freshly ground black pepper
Package Strudel or Filo dough
sticks of melted butter, 3/8 lb
fresh fine bread crumbs
In This Recipe
Shred cabbage fine and toss with salt. Leave in a colander to allow salt to leach water out of cabbage.
While cabbage wilts, peel, halve and slice onions finely and cook them in 1 Tb of olive oil. Cook low and slow until sweet and carmelized. Remove onions from skillet and set aside.
Squeeze water from cabbage. Add cabbage to skillet with remaining 4 Tb of olive oil and cook until wilted and just starting to brown. Return onions to skillet, 2 Tp of Smoked Paprika, black pepper to taste and cook another 5 minutes to combine flavors.
Set aside and allow to cool while you prepare the strudel dough.
Each strudel is made with 3 sheets of dough. Place one sheet of dough on damp towel, keeping the others covered to prevent drying. Brush dough generously with butter and sprinkle with few TB of breadcrumbs. Repeat process with 2nd and 3rd sheet of dough.
Spread half of the cabbage/onion mixture the length of the dough and about 2 inches wide, leaving a 1 1/2 inch space on each side. Using the towel as a guide, roll the strudel lengthwise tucking the edges as you go. The shape of the strudel should be a rectangular package...not a roll.
Transfer the strudel seam side down to a buttered baking pan and prepare the second strudel. Brush top with remaining melted butter.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover with foil, but remove foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Slice into bite size pieces as appetizers or larger pieces as a first course.