Foodie In Training

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Braised Cabbage- cold weather comfort food

I read a lot of food blogs daily. I always seem to stumble upon more great food sites that give me ideas and tons of recipes to try. Amateur Gourmet (written by Adam Roberts) is one of my favorites and I've tried many of the recipes from the blog (like this, this one here, and oh yea..this one too).

A few weeks ago I read a post where the Amateur Gourmet made braised cabbage. It sounded so good and so cozy and comfort food-y that I had to try it. And it was so good that I made it again and tweaked it a bit to make it more "Foodie In Training" and less "Amateur Gourmet".

I also wanted to attempt the recipe because at Mulvins (the local farm stand in Sandusky), they have beautiful cabbages about the size of a small child. I swear, they are seriously about twice the size of your run-of-the-mill grocery store cabbage. Anytime I can try a new recipe AND buy locally..it's all systems go for this gal!

So, did I mention that this recipe is also super easy? It takes a bit of time in the oven, but other than that it's some chopping of vegetables and that's about it. Adam from Amateur Gourmet got this recipe from Molly Steven's "All About Braising" cookbook so my first attempt I followed his adaptation of the recipe:

Preheat the oven to 325
Oil a 9 x 13 baking dish (I just drizzled a bit olive oil into the baking dish)
Cut green cabbage (about 2 lbs.)* into 8 wedges
Lay wedges in dish
scatter one thickly sliced yellow onion over the top along with a carrot (I used 2 smaller carrots) cut into 1/4 inch rounds
drizzle 1/4 olive oil over the top and 1/4 cup chicken stock or water
season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
cover tightly with foil and in the oven it goes for 1 hour.
after an hour, remove cover and flip wedges and recover for another hour
Once cabbage is tender, remove foil and boost heat up to 400 degrees for about 15 minutes (or until top is browned and crispy.
Season lightly with salt and it's ready to serve!!
*Erin used about a 4 lb. cabbage..seriously it was huge

My first time making it I decided to add two cloves of garlic (I'm beginning to think I can't make a dish with adding a little bit of garlic..it make EVERYTHING good). I unpeeled it, but left the garlic whole more for flavor than texture or bite.

My second time making the braised cabbage it was a windy, blustery day- just perfect for a warm and comforting meal. THIS time I decided to turn up the volume and add some different ingredients. I had some fennel in the fridge, so I coarsely chopped the bulb and scattered that on top of the cabbage. I also didn't have any yellow onion so I coarsely chopped half a medium red onion and scattered that on top as well. The addition of the fennel was key, the flavor was great and it worked really well with the cabbage. And the red onion also was really nice because it turned a bit sweet and was a nice compliment to the spice from the red pepper flakes.

The dish has been a hit both times so I recommend you try it. It's great when it's bitterly cold out with a bowl of hot soup, but I think it would be good in any weather. Happy braising!

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