Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I made an Eastern European feast!

A week or so ago, I decided to declare this my “Winter of Cabbage” (as opposed to 2008’s “Winter of Kale” and 2007’s “Winter of Root Vegetables” – I like having a theme). Cabbage is not something I’d ever bought or cooked, or really eaten that much of, but it’s always seemed healthy and earthy in a hard core kind of way. So, I bought a green cabbage at the Food Coop and my winter of cabbage was ready to go. I meant to post on my first cabbage dish, which was cabbage with lentils and potatoes on rice, a recipe from the NY Times Health section, but I didn’t get around to it. Regardless, it was very tasty and my Winter of Cabbage was off and running. Alena and I were going to continue the trend last week but we had a cabbage misunderstanding (we each thought the other would contribute cabbage to our dinner) and we ended up with none.

So, at the farmer’s market this weekend, I got myself a good looking green cabbage and I was back on the cabbage wagon. Also at the farmer’s market, I stopped by the Flying Pigs Farm stand, because they have the most delicious pork and VERY good eggs. On Saturday they had a good selection of meats, and I vascillated between the chorizo and the kielbasa, but went with the kielbasa, embracing my Polish roots. Sunday night, I decided to have a true Eastern European meal of kielbasa and cabbage. The kielbasa cooking instructions come from my mom, and the cabbage recipe comes from the Chez Panisse Vegetables cookbook via the blog Orangette.

Kielbasa first:

Before cooking, I consulted my mom, who I trust with meat related things because 1. Her grandfather was a butcher and her father worked in the store growing up and he had very strong opinions about the right way to cook meat, and 2. She has a good sense of safety and would not steer me wrong in terms of proper meat handling techniques.

Anyway, her instructions were: Fill a large pot with water and place the kielbasa in it. (You start the sausage in cold water). There should be several inches of water covering the sausage. Turn the heat onto medium-high. It should take about an hour from when the water starts boiling for the sausage to cook. You don’t want it to be a heavy boil, just a nice steady simmer. Aim for an internal temperature of about 160F (this was one of the first times I used my meat thermometer for meat!). If there is fat on the top of the water, skim it off with a spoon. After about an hour, you can cut into it and see how it’s doing. Enjoy!

(Mine actually took longer than an hour, but that is because I did not have the heat on high enough at the beginning so it took forever to get to a boil)
Very easy! And now for the cabbage:

Sautéed Green Cabbage with Apples and Red Onions
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables, Serves 6 to 8 (I halved the recipe when I made it but these are the original measurements)

Olive oil
1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 medium green
cabbage, quartered, cored, and very thinly sliced
1 large crisp, sweet apple, such as Golden Delicious, cored and very thinly sliced
(I used a Winesap, which can be kind of tart, but totally tasted good)
Apple cider vinegar
(I didn’t have any cider vinegar so instead I broke out my sherry vinegar, which Mark Bittman highly recommends for everything. Very tasty!)

Chopped and ready to go!

In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat a little oil and sauté onions until translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the apples, and sauté one minute, or until everything is sizzling. Add the cabbage, the salt and pepper, a dash of vinegar, and a little water.


Cabbage close up!

Stir over high heat just long enough to barely soften and cook the cabbage, a few minutes (This took longer than a few minutes for me, probably about 10). It should retain a little crunch but lose the raw flavor of uncooked cabbage. Adjust seasoning (I added a good amount of salt, pepper, and vinegar), and serve.

Delicious warm or at room temperature.

The Feast!

No comments:

Post a Comment