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Posts Tagged ‘cabbage’

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Taken while the eggs were a-poaching!

I’m a fan of Nigel Slater–his cooking and his writing.

He’s an everyday cook whose latest book–the third of the series–is a diary of his year in the kitchen.

Keep a daily record of what you cook over twelve months and at the end you have a book!

It is also of the moment–and thereby seasonal–the way I like to cook.

In fact I have no choice–the markets here are seasonal. You won’t find asparagus until March. Last Saturday was the second time the little white torpedoes called endive have shown up.

This idea of his–thick slices of green or white cabbage–the tight leaf variety–infused with a simple marinade and cooked in the oven on a high-ish heat–can serve as “the main item” on a lunch or dinner plate.

They are a meaty eat–best to use a serrated steak knife.

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These heavy round cannon ball cabbages can be a bit inhibiting. Here are two types; either work well, but I favor the slightly looser leafed variety–the one on the right; it allows the sauce mix to penetrate more easily.

for 2

1 medium green/white cabbage

2 garlic cloves–peeled and pulped with a little salt

2 tbls lemon juice

2 tbls olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

4 tbls grated parmesan–or more, if desired

oven at 200c/400f

Remove the damaged outer leaves of the cabbage.

With great care, holding the cabbage firmly on its side, slice it in inch-thick slices.

Try to keep the same thickness as you slice–bit of a challenge.

Cover a shallow oven tray with foil and lightly brush it with oil.

Arrange the cabbage slices on it.

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Put the garlic, oil, lemon juice and pepper into a jar with a tight lid, secure the top and shake it all about.

Brush the slices generously with this sauce.

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Cook in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes (they should be tender).

Take the tray out of the oven and with a fish slice carefully turn over the slices.

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Spread a tablespoon of parmesan on each…

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then pop the tray back in the oven for 15 minutes.

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I served them with poached eggs on the side.

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The two cheese version–my alternative topping  of crumbled goats cheese on top of the parmesan, got the DING from Meredith!

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(Braised fennel on the side)

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I found this in my old paste-in foolscap notebook and have been meaning to try it for a while.

Cabbage has been on my mind since leaving Strasbourg–and pork for that matter!

An example of this brightly colored variety of red cabbage was waiting patiently in the fridge for my return.

So lunch yesterday was a pork chop on a bed of red cabbage.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion–sliced fine

red cabbage–shredded not too fine

2 sticks of celery–sliced fine

1 apple–peeled, quartered, cored and chopped into chunks

10 juniper berries–crushed

Juice of a lemon

Juice of an orange

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

salt

  • In a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients, sauté the onion gently in the oil until it is soft–about 5 minutes.
  • Add the shredded cabbage, the celery and apple and turn these over with the onion and oil.
  • Cook this mix for another 5 minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt.
  • Pour over the two juices, the vinegar and the juniper berries.
  • Add a good pinch of salt.
  • Turn it all over carefully to distribute the liquids.
  • Cover the pan and continue cooking for about 20 minutes–the time depends on the toughness of the cabbage–it should be nicely tender to the bite.
The cabbage and apple married well with the pork.
I’ll write up the simple pork recipe tomorrow.
Next time–red cabbage with a slow cooked fillet of salmon.

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An autumn/winter soup this–with a big presence.

Adapted from Leslie Forbes’ lovely book  A Table in Tuscany.

In the early eighties she had the bright idea of eating her way round Tuscany’s restaurants and watering holes–an arduous task to set oneself.

This soup–one of the best bean soups in Tuscanyshe credits to the restaurant of the Fattoria dei Barbi near Montalcino and the unnamed English cook, married to an Italian, thus providing the important advantage of a Tuscan mother-in-law!  This is 25 years ago mind–things have a habit of changing.

The book remains a gem (used copies available on Amazon for a penny!).

2 carrots--chopped small

2 sticks of celery–chopped small

2 leeks–cleaned and chopped small

6 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 tinned tomatoes–chopped up with their liquid

A sprig of fresh thyme

1 large garlic clove–pulped

Half a green cabbage–stem removed and shredded

The other half of the cabbage shredded thinly–this for a topping (see below)

1 tablespoon olive oil

About 800 gms/24 oz of cooked white beans [canned or bottled or dried, soaked and cooked]–drained but their liquid retained

1 pint/500ml stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sweat the celery, leeks and carrots until they are tender–about twenty minutes.
  • Mix in the tomatoes, garlic and thyme and let them cook on for five minutes.
  • Add the cabbage, season with salt & pepper and cook on for ten minutes.
  • Purée three-quarters of the beans in a mixer with a little of their liquid.
  • Add the bean water and the bean purée and stir it all together.
  • Cook this thick mix for an hour–stirring it regularly to stop it sticking and burning.
  • Add a little of the stock each time you stir it.
  • This is meant to be a thick soup–up to you how loose to make it–just be careful not to dilute the depth of taste.
  • While the soup cooks on sauté the rest of the cabbage to serve as a topping when you present the soup.

  • Keep tasting the soup as you go (you may find yourself doing that anyway!).
  • Serve with a drizzle of good quality olive oil.

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A simple but delicious soup this, that cooks for a while– deepening the taste.

The recipe is adapted from Carolyn Mcrum’s wonderful  The Soup Book published in 1978.

She writes: “Soup-making is one of the most pleasurable of culinary processes, but it takes time, and that it why it is so little enjoyed in a hurried age. My hope is to persuade people that the soup you make yourself is infinitely superior to soup from a packet or tin, and that making soup is a comforting activity, surpassed only by the activity of eating it”.

For 4

1 cabbage—a Savoy or one of the other “beautiful faced” varieties, rather than the tightly formed White or Green cabbage

Red Drumhead cabbages

2 medium onions—chopped small

1 garlic clove—chopped small

1 rasher (slice) of bacon—chopped small

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ½ pints/1 ¼ litres—vegetable stock—I use organic stock cubes

Salt and pepper

Grated parmesan cheese to finish

  1. Blanch the cabbage whole for two minutes in lightly salted boiling water—this keeps the cabbage together in the water. Set it aside to cool, before chopping it up.
  2. Soften the onions, garlic and bacon very gently in the oil for at least 10 minutes—this is the taste engine of the soup and needs time for the magic to work.
  3. Add the chopped cabbage and the stock and season well.
  4. Cook at a gentle simmer for at least an hour and a half.
  5. Check the seasoning and serve hot with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese worked in.

The wonderful aroma—though not everyone would call it that—fills the house for hours!

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