"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cabbage Recipes– Salad and cooked

Cabbage never gets its due as a vegetable.  It is sort of always stored in the back of the refrigerator, the outer leaves getting yellowish, and you pull it out when there is nothing else.  I do just the opposite, and I love to make it in salads or cooked.

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SALADS

I have a variety of coleslaw recipes – I suppose everyone does, for cabbage is a great medium for just about every possible sauce. In no particular order.  Actually they should be called “Cabbage Salad”, for most of them drift very far off the coleslaw charts:

Curried Cabbage Salad

This is a delicious mix of curry, sweet chutney, raisins, almonds, and cabbage.  It has texture, a variety of tastes, crunchiness, and a bit of spice.  Love it!

* 1/2 lg. head cabbage, chopped moderately.  There are many schools of thought on the cutting of cabbage.  There are those who halve the cabbage, and cut the thinnest of slices, then chop them.  Others who simply cut into moderate size chunks and then do a real Chinese chopping job with a large knife, getting very small pieces.  Others do whatever, slicing, chopping, mixing.  I don’t like the salad with any whole cabbage leaves, so I tend to be careful to avoid that; but I am not to fussy about the fineness.  On this one, because there are so many ingredients, I prefer a medium chop, but really this is up to you.

* 1 medium onion, chopped moderately

* 3-4 lg. Tbsp. mayonnaise

* 2-3 lg. Tbsp. Sour Cream (you can substitute whole milk yoghurt, but the sour cream adds to the creaminess of the texture)

* 1-2 Tbsp. curry powder (any store-bought will do.  I prefer Madras-style because it is spicier

* 3 Tbsp. sweet mango chutney.  I would avoid the varieties available in the supermarket, and try to get products from India or Pathak Brand which used to be produced in India, but now in the US and very good.  You can’t find it much any more, but Airplane Brand sweet mango chutney was tops.

* 1/2 cup raisins

* 1/2 cup salted, roasted almonds

- Chop the mango, as above

- In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients except the cabbage, mix well, adjust for salt and pepper

- Add the cabbage, mix well, served slightly chilled.

Chinese-style Cabbage Salad

* 1/2 head cabbage

* 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil

* 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger

* 2-3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

* 1 Tbsp. soy sauce

* 1 tsp. sesame oil

* 1 Tbsp. honey

* 3-4 shakes hot pepper flakes

* 10 grindings fresh black pepper

- Chop the cabbage finely, as above, reserve

- Mix all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl

- Add the cabbage, chill, and serve

German style Cabbage Salad

This recipe is borrowed in part from an Alsatian sauerkraut recipe which I have posted before.  The taste comes from the many seeds – celery, carroway, anise, dill, coriander, anise.  I like to pound the spices just a bit to release the flavor, but not to powder them.  I lived for many years in India and got very used to the delight of biting down on a whole spice in curries.

* 1/2 head cabbage, chopped moderately

* 1 tsp. (more or less…Sorry, I don’t ever measure, so this is approximate.  The key to all my recipes is to start with what I have, then taste) of carroway, anise, fennel, dill, celery, and coriander seeds, lightly pounded

* 1 tsp. ground cumin

* 1 medium onion, chopped

* 3-4 Tbsp. mayonnaise

* 2 Tbsp. sour cream or whole milk yoghurt

* 1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

* 2 tsp. sugar

* 2 tsp. minced garlic

- Chop the cabbage and onion, reserve

- Mix all the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix well

- Add cabbage and onion, mix well, adjust for salt, chill and serve (NOTE: the longer you chill the salad the better it is.  I usually make it in the morning and let it sit in the fridge for the day.  Also that way, your taste test is more accurate.  If you find that some spice is too little, then add more, but this time, pound it seriously and add for more instant flavor.

Country Style Coleslaw

This was suggested to me by my mother’s caregiver, an African American who said is was from “my culture”.  If so, it has bled over into classic American cooking, and it is the coleslaw I have been trying to reproduce for years – the key, sweet relish and mustard!

* 1/2 head tight cabbage, chopped as finely as possible

* 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s)

* 2 Tsp. mustard (she used Gulden’s; I stuck with Maille – doesn’t seem to matter)

* 2-3 Tbsp. sweet relish

- Mix all the ingredients except the chopped cabbage in a large mixing bowl

- Add the cabbage, mix well, adjust for salt and pepper

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COOKED

Kiev German Cabbage

This I had for the first time in a German restaurant in Podol, the old city of Kiev, and loved it immediately:

* 1/2 green cabbage, chopped moderately

* 1/2 red cabbage, chopped

* 1 lg. onion, chopped

* 1 lg. green or other very tart apple

* 3-4 strips bacon

* 2 tsp. each of: carroway, celery seeds, pounded lightly

* 12 whole peppercorns

* 5-6 whole cloves

* 2 Tbsp. brown sugar

* 4-5 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

* 1/2 cup white wine

- Fry the bacon, remove, chop into 2” pieces; leave the bacon fat in the skillet

- Add the cabbage, onion, and apple to the fat, and sautee for about 10 minutes over high heat

- Add the spices, sugar, vinegar, white wine and cook for an additional 30 minutes or so until the cabbage is soft, and most of the liquid has evaporated

- Adjust for taste

- Serve

Honey Clove Glaze Cabbage

* 1 lg. head of cabbage, quartered

* 10 cloves

* 10 whole peppercorns

* 2 cups (perhaps a bit more) sherry, perhaps mixed with bourbon

* 1/4 cup olive oil

* 1/2 cup honey

* ground pepper, salt

- Boil the cabbage in water, honey and sherry, with just enough liquid to cover the cabbage, with all the spices and olive oil

- When the cabbage is done – soft, easy to poke through – remove and place on a large serving plate, with one edge tilted up so that the remaining liquid will drain and can be added back to the main liquid which is reducing.  Place this on a warming tray or in an oven to keep hot

- Reduce the liquid down to about 1/4 cup.  As above, as the liquid accumulates in the serving dish, drain it into the main liquid.  When you pour the reduction over the cabbage, the cabbage should be moist, but with no accumulated liquid.

- Pour the reduction over the cabbage, mix lightly, serve

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