Archive for ‘Cabbage’

May 6, 2012

Almost Effortless | Summer Picnic Slaw

This weekend’s weather made me gear back up in the garden, get back in the kitchen and get my groove back.  Warm weather is all about ease: barely putting a pot on the stove, most things cooked over the grill.  Who needs a mess when the back garden begs you to come and play?  A quick ten minutes of chopping and a quick simmer is all it takes to throw this big-enough-to-serve-a-crowd slaw together.

Summer Picnic Slaw for Friends, serves 6

1/2 c rice wine vinegar

1 T whole cumin seeds

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February 13, 2012

Sharing History | Stuffed Cabbage

This is hardly even a post about cooking.

It’s a post about what what to do when you want to help.  When things happen in life and I feel like I want to hug and cry and help,  I cook.

And often, because I feel such a connection with meals, the thing to be cooked just comes to me.  This time it was the humble stuffed cabbage.

When I was little, stuffed cabbage was a comforting dish that my mom would make on Sundays.  When I was newly married and a fish out of water in New Jersey, it was the dish my mother-in-law and I connected over at Paul’s Diner in Mountain Lakes.  Turns out, she loved it, just like I did.  She grew up with her mother making them, as well as serendipitously being at a diner on the rare day the kitchen made them.  In Texas we don’t have much of a diner culture, but I really grew to love this aspect of New Jersey.

As she explained it, every diner had its own schedule of when things were made and you kind of needed to be a regular to figure it all out.  We happened to be there on a Monday, during lunch and we both decided saw and decided immediately that we’d have the cabbage.  She grew up with cabbage rolls being served with copious amounts of mashed potatoes.

This was not something my mother did. 

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October 5, 2011

Local Foods Week | Rabbit

 

Sometimes dinner is completely off the grid.  Tonight’s rabbit was an example of that.  Not purchased at a store or farmer’s market, simply gifted to me from generous friends who have local farmer friends.  The dinners, over two nights, could not have embodied the essence of local more than that.

Spot the backyard bunny. No, this was not dinner.

For the squeamish, let me tell you that a beautifully raised, local rabbit might strike you as tasting a whole lot like turkey.  For the more adventurous, it is light, meaty and absolutely delicious.  It is a protein entirely worth hunting down (albeit grocery shopping or the actual in-the-woods kind) to find responsibly-raised meat.

I wasn’t home last night and Hades took it upon himself to braise our rabbit with leeks and carrots and some decidedly non-local French vermouth.  He served it with warm red cabbage, beet and apple salad and a butternut puree.

I cannot begin to express my bitter disappointment at not being home for this meal.

Freakishly, there were leftovers. 

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February 3, 2011

Icepocalypse: The Dinner | Italian Sausages with White Beans

Everyone had been told to batten down the hatches, so we did.  Buying a whopping two days worth of dinners and lunches at once.  Persephone is a daily grocery shopper.  It is somewhat a product of my Europhile nature, as well as, and perhaps more importantly,  a morning activity with Cherub.  The life of a SAHG (stay at home goddess) is nothing, if not glamorous.  Besides, who knows what I will want to cook for dinner?  I just can’t muster a week’s menu.  I applaud those who can, but…  Oh!  Excuse me, this was a major digression.  Perhaps it’s the lack of adult conversation as well.  Ahem.  Moving on.

There are few things that seem to go better together with a fennel spiced sausage than some simple creamy white beans.  Not the kind from a can; the kind that take a couple of hours on very low heat, simmering with olive oil, garlic, carrots, bay, thyme.  Polenta comes in a very close second for me.  Those beans, paired with sausages braised with onions and served on top of a bit of cabbage with fried capers, make for a bowl of sustenance good enough to fend off any nasty old ice storm.  And the leftovers are perfect for tea the next day.

White Beans with Italian Sausages and Cabbage, serves three, with leftovers

For the beans:

1 16 oz bag of dried white beans, (Cannellini or Great Northern)

1 slice of bacon, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely diced

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January 23, 2011

Braised Brisket Part Deux | Beef Siomai, Daikon Salad

A trip to an Asian market is so heavenly.  Those markets are filled to the brim with flavor and inspiration.  My favorite Japanese shop is Tensuke Market.  It’s where I get my yuzu and some of the most delicious soy sauce ever.  It’s where you can pick up really fresh sushi, and carefully crafted bento boxes.  It’s also where I found the shumai wrappers for today’s Philippine siomai.

The Japanese don’t typically fill shumai with beef, but it’s common in the Philippines.  So with a little nod to a couple of different cultures, I wound up with a really tasty appetizer that’s a snap to assemble and serve thanks to the leftover brisket.

Beef Siomai, makes 28

3/4 pound leftover braised brisket, very finely chopped

2 inch piece of ginger, finely grated

2 green onions, finely sliced

1 heaping t of miso paste

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January 19, 2011

Globetrotter | Braised Brisket

Sometimes, the heavens align to make my cooking for the week a little easier.  Enter the brisket.  Such a great cut and so flexible.

Sidenote: I’m in serious trouble if Zeus is reading this post, because in the country I was raised, brisket can be prepared one way only.  Small exceptions are made one day out of the year – March 17th – when it is acceptable to consume corned beef.

A brisket is a great, inexpensive cut of meat that’s superbly tender if it’s been given some low and slow cooking (just like bbq, y’all).  And if you cook a really big piece of meat one day, you are left with the lovely proposition of leftovers.

Tonight, this simply-braised brisket was served in generous slabs lacquered with the cooking liquids.  Partnering it was a silken parsnip and potato puree and the world’s greatest (hyperbole, perhaps) spiced purple cabbage.  A bit like a dinner in Alsace.

The excess brisket will be the base of two more days of worldly deliciousness.  Look later this week for recipes in which the leftovers will be dressed up in tight Mexican Mariachi pants and a big hat and then subsequently looking demure in a separate Philippine dish.  Globetrotting indeed.

Simple Long-Braised Brisket

1 – 3 pound  brisket

1/2 onion, chopped

2 carrots, scrubbed and cut in thirds

6 cloves garlic (I used some garlic confit that was in the fridge – you don’t have to, of course)

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December 27, 2010

Christmas Menu | A Recap

Christmas was a Cronus and Rhea’s and it was marvelous.

Twice-Stuffed Roast Goose with Truffles and Pan Gravy, Stuffing of Sausage, Stuffing of Onions, Apples and Prunes

Braised Spiced Red Cabbage

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Yorkshire Pudding with Carrots and Broccoli

Pear Salad with Stilton and Walnuts

Dense Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt with Raspberry Puree, made by the lovely Amphitrite

A bit later today, I’ll post a quick,  light supper recipe using the leftovers.

If you want any more details about the menu or recipes, just let me know.

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