Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage

1 head cabbage

3 Tbs. olive oil

8 oz. ham cut in ¼ in. cubes

6 cloves garlic, diced

1 onion

5 ½ cups chicken stock

1 1/3 cups cornmeal

½ Tbs. hot paprika

½ Tbs. sweet paprika

6 oz. tomato paste

1 tsp parsley for garnish

1 sweet pepper cut into rings and seeded

Salt & pepper to taste

Sour cream

Remove the core from the cabbage. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the cabbage head. Watch the cabbage and remove the outer leaves with tongs as they become tender (it takes about 3-4 minutes per leaf).  Remove the thick ribs from the leaves and set them aside.  Repeat until you have 12-15 leaves.  Remove the remaining cabbage head, cut into thin slices and set aside.  Using a 4 qt. sauce pan, cook the ham in the olive oil until slightly browned.  Add the garlic and onion and cook until golden.  Add 2 ½ cups of the stock and bring to a boil.  Whisk in the cornmeal, hot paprika, salt and pepper. Place a cabbage leaf on a flat work surface and place ¼ cup of the filling in its center. Fold the top of the cabbage leaf over the stuffing then fold in half crosswise.  This should fully encase the stuffing.  Roll the leaf into a tight cone shape and set aside.  When all the leaves are filled, spread the sliced cabbage  in the bottom of an 8 qt sauce pan.  Sprinkle with sweet paprika.  In a bowl, whisk together the tomato paste and the remaining stock.  Pour this over the stuffed cabbage leaves, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer approx. 45 minutes or until tender.  Transfer the stuffed cabbage leaves to a serving platter, strain the sauce (removing the sliced cabbage) and spoon the sauce over the stuffed leaves, garnish with parsley, sliced pepper rings and sour cream.  Sprinkle with additional paprika.  Adapted from Saveur #159, October 2013

Cabbage and Potato Gratin

Salt

1 large savoy or green cabbage

1 pound potatoes, such as russets, sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled

2 cups milk

½ cup crème fraîche

Ground black pepper

4 ounces Gruyère, grated

1/4 cup grated Parmesan,

2 teaspoons chopped sage

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add quartered cabbage and potato slices. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil gently for 5 minutes. Drain and use tongs to transfer cabbage quarters to a colander set over a bowl or in the sink. Allow cabbage to cool in colander until you can handle the wedges. Core the wedges, then cut them in half lengthwise. Finally, slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons. Return to colander and drain for another 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl with the potatoes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or gratin. Cut one of the garlic cloves in half and rub the dish with the cut surface. Then slice up all the garlic and toss with cabbage and potatoes. In a bowl, whisk together milk, crème fraîche, about 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Pour into bowl with cabbage and potatoes, add cheeses and sage, and gently toss together. Scrape into baking dish. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until top is golden brown. During the first 45 minutes, press the vegetables down into the liquid in the baking dish every 10 to 15 minutes, using the back of a large spoon. The gratin will still be bubbling when you remove it from the oven, and you will see liquid in the baking dish. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before serving, until liquid is reabsorbed. If liquid remains in dish, serve with a slotted spoon.  Adapted from The New York Times

World’s Best Braised Green Cabbage

  • 1 medium head green cabbage
  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into ¼-inch rounds
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chicken stock or water
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly oil a large gratin or baking dish (9×13 inch works well).  Peel any ragged outer leaves off cabbage.  Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges.Arrange the wedges in the baking dish in a single layer; they may overlap some but not too much.  If all the cabbage doesn’t fit, remove a wedge and use for something else.  Scatter in the onion and carrot.  Drizzle over the oil and the stock or water.  Season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.  Cover tightly with foil and slide into the middle of the oven to braise until the vegetables are completely tender, about 2 hours.  Turn the cabbage wedges with tongs after an hour.  Don’t worry if the wedges want to fall apart as you turn them; just do your best to keep them intact.  If the dish is drying out at all, add a few tablespoons of water.  Once the cabbage is completely tender, remove the foil, increase oven heat to 400 degrees and roast the vegetables until they begin to brown, another 15 minutes or so.  Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with a little more coarse salt.  The cabbage is excellent the next day, too, either at room temperature or warmed in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

From All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking by Molly Stevens.

Winter Slaw

  • 1 small to medium cabbage
  • 3 med carrots
  • ½ celeriac (optional)
  • 3 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. buttermilk
  • ½ Tbs. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Halve and core cabbage.  Shred as finely as possible.  Grate carrots and celeriac, if used.  Mix remaining ingredients until smooth in the bottom of your salad bowl, add vegetables, toss and serve.

Warm Red Cabbage Salad

  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • 2 tsp. walnut oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 small red cabbage
  • 1 crisp red apple
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 oz. goat cheese, broken into large pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp. marjoram, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix walnut pieces with walnut oil, some salt and freshly-ground pepper,  Toast them in oven for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to smell nutty.  Let them cool.  Quarter the cabbage, core, and slice thinly crosswise.  Cut the apple into sixths, core, then slice thinly crosswise.  Put the garlic, vinegar, and oil in a wide saute pan over medium-high heat.  As soon as they are hot, add onion and saute for 30 seconds.  Add cabbage and continue to cook, stirring, for approximately 2 minutes, until just wilted.  Season with salt, plenty of pepper, and more vinegar, if necessary, to sharpen the flavors.  Add the goat cheese, apple, herbs, and walnuts.  Toss briefly and serve.

Serves four to six.

From The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison with Edward Espe Brown.

We’ve made a variation on this salad by eliminating the apple and starting the whole process by cooking a few strips of bacon in the pan before sautéing the onion.  We add the vinegar at the end.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ small celeriac, chopped fine
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 leek, chopped fine
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup grated cheddar or jack cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Bake potatoes at 350 degrees until tender to a fork.  Meanwhile, sauté leek, onion and garlic in 1 Tbs. butter until soft.  Add celeriac and cabbage and cook until cabbage wilts.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  When ready, cut potatoes in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl, being careful not to break the skins.  Set skins aside.  Mash potato with butter and buttermilk, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add sautéed vegetables and fill potato skins with mixture.  Top with grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts.

Serves 4 as main dish or 8 as side dish.

Tuscan White Bean and Cabbage Soup

  • 1 ½ tsp. olive oil
  • 4 c. finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 14-oz. cans chicken broth
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 15-oz. can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 c. orzo or other tiny pasta
  • salt, pepper and spices to taste
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add cabbage and garlic and cook, stirring, until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 3 minutes.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes and beans.  Bring the soup to a simmer and stir in the pasta.  Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and spices.  Serve each bowl topped with 1 Tbs. of Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 dinner servings.

Szechwan Noodles with Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb udon noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 head cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 spring onion or green onions

Whisk water, peanut butter, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, chili flakes, sweet chili sauce and minced garlic in medium bowl to blend (sauce will be thick; add more water if too thick). Break noodles in half and cook in large pot of boiling water until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain. Rinse noodles under cold water and cool. Transfer noodles to very large bowl. Toss with sesame oil to coat. Shred cabbage; cut red pepper, carrots and onions into matchstick-size strips. Add veggies to noodles and mix. Toss with peanut sauce to coat. Optional garnish with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, etc.

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

  • 2 lb. green cabbage
  • 4-5 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 lb. thinly julienned ham
  • 1 Tbs. chopped garlic
  • 1 c. thinly sliced onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 c. hot chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. flour (optional)
  • 1/4 c. sour cream (optional)

Core cabbage, but keep it whole.  Blanch for 6 minutes or steam for 10-12 minutes (see note at end).   Cool slightly.  Remove the 12 best-shaped, largest leaves.  Trim ribs so that they are the same thickness as the leaves and can be easily bent.  Finely shred the rest of the cabbage.   Melt 3 Tbs. of the butter in a sauté pan and cook celery, carrots, chopped onions and 1 cup of shredded cabbage for 10 minutes, until wilted but not brown.  Add ham and garlic; cook five more minutes.  Place in a bowl and let cool.

Meanwhile, in the same pan, melt 1 Tbs. butter and sauté remaining shredded cabbage and sliced onions for 5 minutes.  Strew them in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Beat the egg and combine with the vegetable and ham mixture, the crumbs, and rosemary.  Season with pepper (salt is usually unnecessary because the ham is salty).

Place a heaping tablespoon (or more) of filling on each leaf.  Fold over the ribbed end of the leaf, then fold over the two sides and roll up.  Place in baking dish, the flap side down.  When all leaves are stuffed, pour the hot broth over them.  Cover loosely with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 40 minutes, basting occasionally.  Serve with just the pan juices or make a light sauce: melt 1 Tbs. butter in sauté pan, stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes; pour in the pan liquids; bring to a boil, then simmer to thicken lightly; stir in sour cream and reheat without boiling.

You can replace the ham with ground beef that has been lightly sautéed and drained of fat.  Do not sauté with vegetables.

NOTE: I froze the cabbage whole a few days prior to making this dish.  Remove from freezer in the morning and by evening the leaves will peel off as if they had been blanched.  The center of the cabbage can turn brown however, so I used less in the stuffing.

From The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash.  Tip on freezing from New Recipes from Moosewood.

Spiced Short Ribs with Cabbage

  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 3 Lbs lean short ribs
  • 1 Tbs dry mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp crushed oregano
  • 1/8 tsp crushed sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • ¼ cup sliced celery or celeriac
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ – 1 head cabbage cut into wedges

Add short ribs to hot oil in a heavy skillet with a tight fitting lid.  Cover and brown meat on all sides.  Pour off excess fat.  Add a mixture of mustard, salt, pepper, oregano, and sage then bay leaf, onion, celery or celeriac and a mixture of water and vinegar.  Cover and cook slowly about 1 ½ hours or until meat is almost tender.  Add cabbage wedges, cover and cook about 25 minutes or until tender.  Add more liquid if necessary during cooking.  Serve ribs on a heated platter and surround with wedges of cabbage.

Serves 4.