Tag Archives: cabbage

Colcannon: You had me at potatoes.

Somewhere in my patchwork ancestry there lives a little Irish. How much? I don’t really know. Probably a little slice. It’s enough to give me pale, tan-resistant skin, an affinity for the smell of rain, a tiny hint of red in my hair, and an undying love for potatoes. I don’t know very much about the cuisine of Ireland. I am sure it involves more than potatoes. Yes? Maybe one day I’ll visit and find out first-hand. In the meantime, I’ll stick with potatoes. One of the Irish dishes I’ve always enjoyed is colcannon. It’s easy to make, comforting and delicious, as potatoes almost always are.

This version has more greens than your garden-variety colcannon, which added some great texture and flavor (and a few more vitamins!). The thing about greens is they cook down so much you can eat a lot of them and not really notice, especially in a wonderful conglomeration like this. This is the third recipe I’ve made out of my new cookbook, The Book of Greens, and it’s my favorite one yet. Lest you think this book is all about healthy rabbit food and vegetarian recipes, feast your eyes on the yummy shot of my skillet full of butter, bacon and sopressata. Oh yeah, baby. Life is all about balance.

Colcannon
(from The Book of Greens, by Jenn Louis)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
4 oz. sopressata or bacon, coarsely chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (I used a little of both)
8 oz. green or Savoy cabbage (I used 1/2 small head of green cabbage)
8 oz. Russian kale without stems, cut into 1/4 inch ribbons (I used one big bunch. You could also use other varieties of kale or chard)
1 cup milk
A few gratings of nutmeg
Salt & pepper
1 3/4 pounds russet potatoes (how much is this? I used 5 medium-ish potatoes. When in doubt, I always throw in another one, but that’s just me)

Preheat the broiler.

In a large skillet or sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onion and sopressata and/or bacon and stir to combine.

Adding this mixture to just about anything is pretty much guaranteed to make it delicious.

Add the cabbage and kale and cook until both are tender, 6-8 minutes. Add the milk and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are soft but not browned, about 15 minutes.

While the greens are cooking, peel the potatoes and cut into cubes. Put the potatoes in a saucepan, add cold water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the kale and cabbage mixture and gently mix on low speed until the potatoes are mashed and evenly mixed with the greens (you could also use an old-fashioned potato masher for this instead of a mixer if you are so inclined). Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the mixture in a baking dish and place under the broiler until lightly browned on top, about 5 minutes. Remove from broiler and serve immediately.

Serves 4 as a side dish. Double recipe if eating as a main dish. <<< My plan for next time.

Colcannon and pork loin. Truthfully, I could lose the pig and double the colcannon. So good.

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Rustic Potato Leek Soup with Garlic Kale Breadcrumbs

I know, I know. It’s freaking 80 degrees and I’m making soup. So sue me. I like soup.

Moreover, soup is a great way to use up some of the vegetables that are literally taking over my kitchen. They won’t fit in the fridge. They are overflowing. My weekly farm boxes have been generous, wonderful, delicious. But…plentiful. Plentiful to the point of having to work to eat it all. We went out to eat once or twice this week so I was falling behind on the vegetable consumption project. I’m trying to be creative so we eat more than just gigantic salads every night but there has been salad. A lot of salad. So. Soup. I’m breaking up the salad and rice bowl parade with soup.

This is similar to potato soups I’ve made before but the yummy kicker on this one is the crunchy pile of – stick with me here – kale breadcrumbs! Crazy, right? They were delicious. Garlicky, crunchy, salty. They were the perfect complement to the soup. And who knows? The leftovers may find themselves gracing a salad too.

Rustic potato leek soup with crunchy kale breadcrumbs.

Rustic potato leek soup with crunchy kale breadcrumbs.

6 red potatoes, diced
2-4 leeks (mine weren’t very big so I used 4) – reserve a little thumb sized chunk of leek to blend with the breadcrumbs
2 cups cabbage, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick butter
Salt & pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dill
1 bunch kale (I used red russian kale, but any variety will do)
1-2 large clove garlic
1/4 cup parmesan
2 slices sourdough bread
Sea salt (I used infused sriracha sea salt from lordsofsalt.com for an extra kick but any coarse sea salt will work just fine.)

Cover potatoes and cabbage with water in a soup pot. Add a big pinch of salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat a bit and cook until tender. Drain off most of the water. Using a potato masher mash potato mixture (a little or a lot depending on the texture you like – I left mine pretty chunky but if you prefer it really smooth, put it in a blender and puree and then return to the pot. Add broth, cream and seasonings to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.

While potatoes are cooking, sauté leeks in a pan with the butter. When soft, blend up in a blender or food processor with a little broth or cream to help it blend smoother. Add leek mixture to the pot.

Heat oven to 400˚. In a food processor, blend up reserved leek chunk, garlic, sourdough bread, kale, and a pinch of sriracha salt (or regular sea salt) until it makes coarse crumbs. Spread out on a large cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment and bake 15-20 minutes or until crunchy, stirring about every 5 minutes.

Taste the soup and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve in a bowl with a little (or big!) heap of breadcrumbs.

Serves 4-6.

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CSA Week 4: Kielbasa and Cabbage with Potato Kohlrabi Hash

Week four’s basket was filled with broccoli, green beans, blueberries, lettuce, a boatload of summer squash and cucumbers, kale, and parsley.

This week a summer cold hit my household, along with a nasty heat wave. This meant minimal cooking and even more minimal effort. However, veggies needed to get used, not only this week’s veggies, but the last of last week’s veggies as well. I’ll spare you all my weird recipes but let’s just say there was kale & eggs, zucchini & eggs, spaghetti that featured summer squash instead of meat (not so popular with the troops, but I thought it was tasty), mac & cheese from a box mixed with broccoli, and salad, salad, and a little more salad. The blueberries just got snacked on til they were gone.

From last week I still had the last of my kohlrabi, and half a giant cabbage. This week I visited my Czech grandma, so I think I was channeling her when I decided to make kielbasa and cabbage, with potato and kohlrabi hash. While perhaps not classically Czech food, it seemed like something she would like, with a little Eastern European flair.

This was the first time I had cooked kohlrabi and I really liked it! It had a very similar texture to the potatoes, with a slightly more turnipy sort of taste. It was a great combo.

Kielbasa and Cabbage with Potato Kohlrabi Hash

Kielbasa and Cabbage with Potato Kohlrabi Hash

Kielbasa and Cabbage

1 kielbasa or other sausage
1 small head or partial big head of cabbage (6-8 cups)
2-3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
Salt and lots of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds

Slice up the cabbage and kielbasa. Add the sausage to a large skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. Add cabbage, vinegar, sugar and seasonings. Turn down heat to medium and cook about 8-10 minutes until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally. Some people like to cook this longer until it’s super soft, but I prefer it with a bit of crunch. Taste it as you go and stop when it’s the texture you like.

Potato Kohlrabi Hash

1 tbps. butter
5-6 red potatoes, diced
1 kohlrabi, peeled and diced
1 large shallot, sliced
Salt & pepper
Paprika

Heat a skillet over medium heat, add butter. When it’s melted and bubbly, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan and add all ingredients. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. You want the pan hot enough to give a little color but not so hot that your veggies burn as they cook. Uncover and cook about 5 more minutes, until veggies are tender and delicious. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. I like mine with a little splash of hot sauce at the end.

 

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CSA Week 1: Asian Chicken Chopped Salad

I like to eat seasonally, and when possible, locally as well. In my opinion, veggies taste best when they are fresh and ripe, not shipped halfway around the world or grown against their will in the middle of a different season. We’ve all eaten tomatoes in winter and there is a reason they don’t taste like much, they really aren’t supposed to exist! Eating seasonally is also more economical. It’s pretty simple, if you buy whatever is coming out of the fields at any given time, it’s more plentiful, and perishable, so it’s going to be cheaper. A nice side effect in addition to being more tasty and more nutritious.

Every year, I make a sad, mostly unsuccessful go at growing some sort of garden. I like to try. I enjoy getting my hands dirty and seeing things grow and eating veggies fresh off the plants. But reality is harsh. I am a terrible gardener. I am neglectful and ignorant and ungifted in this area. For the time and money I invest, I get a very low yield in return. So this year I wised up and joined a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you sign up with a farm for the growing season and receive a weekly share of whatever happens to be getting picked that week.

When I did the math, it added up to a lot less than I would normally spend at farmer’s market or planting my own veggies. Another positive was that I would receive a variety of things that maybe I wouldn’t normally choose. I think most of us tend to get in food ruts where we eat the same things over and over. This will force me to try some new things and get creative and it will also require me to actually eat a lot of vegetables, which is something I’m always trying to do. Plus it’s hard to justify eating out all the time when you have a kitchen full of fresh produce that needs to be used. So many good reasons, and you can probably tell I’m just geeking out over my weekly mystery boxes. It’s going to be like Chopped in my kitchen every week!

So I thought I would share my CSA boxes with you and a few of the things I’m making with mine. Maybe you are a member of a CSA yourself, or maybe you are a good gardener, or maybe you just like to shop seasonally at your local farmer’s market. If so, then you’ll probably be coming across some of these same ingredients.

In my week 1 package from Sun Gold Farm, I received a huge head of leaf lettuce, kale, spearmint, a stevia plant, cabbage, fava beans, snow peas and sugar snap peas. Most of this I’m pretty familiar with, except the fava beans (tried them once before) and the stevia plant (not really sure what to do with that – for now I just planted it).

Want other week 1 recipes? Check out Rice bowls with slow cooker short ribs and snap peas, or Bowties with fava beans, morels and mascarpone.

 

Week 1. I was told this was going to be the "lightest" week, both in quantity and weight.

Week 1. I was told this was going to be the “lightest” week, both in quantity and weight. It was still a lot of stuff!

I started off with something easy and familiar that would use several ingredients. I find that the kids (and myself) are more likely to eat kale when it’s mixed with other things, and cut small. Slicing it into thin ribbons here worked very nicely! I tried to chop just about everything a similar size so when you scoop it up you get a little bit of everything on your fork.

Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Chopped Salad

Asian Chicken Chopped Salad

6-8 cups chopped cabbage
6-8 leaves of kale, sliced or chopped into thin ribbons
1 pound chicken thighs
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 cup snow peas (remove strings and chop into bite sized pieces)
1 can mandarin oranges (drain but reserve juice)
2-3 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 cup crunchy chow mein noodles (optional)

Combine chicken thighs and teriyaki sauce in a zip lock bag or small bowl and let marinate at least 30 minutes.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup reserved mandarin liquid, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine cabbage, kale, snow peas, carrots, oranges and almonds.

Heat a large skillet or grill pan to medium high. Cook chicken thighs 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from pan and dice into bite sized pieces. Add to the big salad bowl. Pour in dressing (start with about half of it and add more as needed) and toss together until everything is lightly coated. Top each serving with crunchy chow mein noodles for garnish.

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Sausage and Red Cabbage Sauté

Cabbage has such a bad rap.  I think it’s because so many people cook it to death, until it’s a nasty, smelly, soggy mess.  Who wouldn’t hate that?  I love cabbage.  Especially red cabbage, which always seems a bit sweeter and the leaves tend to be a little thicker, which means they hold up well during cooking.  Cabbage is full of vitamins, especially vitamin C, but the more you cook it the more nutrients you destroy.  I prefer to eat it raw, in slaw or salads, or to do just a quick sauté to give it a bit of heat and bring out the flavors.

This sauté is quick, flavorful and pretty too!  I like to use a sausage that has fruit in it, such as chicken apple sausage, or mango jalapeno.  The fruit in the sausage adds a subtle sweetness to the dish that offsets the vinegar, resulting in a lovely sweet and sour dish. The trick to getting the cabbage perfect is to cook everything else first, throwing in the cabbage just for the last couple of minutes to heat it up and soften it a bit, but not so much that you lose the texture.

Sausage and Red Cabbage Sauté

Sausage and Red Cabbage Sauté

Sausage and Red Cabbage Sauté

1 pound sausage links (I used Aidell’s mango jalapeno sausage), sliced
1 head purple cabbage, sliced or coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
Salt & pepper

Slice up everything ahead of time.  This doesn’t take long to throw together.

All ingredients ready to go.

All ingredients ready to go.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and heat.  Add onion, fennel seed and sausage to pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is tender and sausage is browned (if your sausage is really greasy, drain off the extra grease at this point; if you use a lean sausage this will be unnecessary).  Add cabbage and sauté 2-3 minutes until slightly tender.  Add vinegar and salt & pepper to taste.  Stir to combine and continue to cook a minute more to let the flavors mingle.  Serve hot.

This paired beautifully with Vinegar Roasted Potatoes.

Sausage and Red Cabbage Sauté with a side of Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

Sausage and Red Cabbage Sauté with a side of Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

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Asian-Inspired Pork Loin and Slaw

I love mixing marinades.  I always feel like a mad scientist, tossing in a bit of this and a dash of that.  Rarely measuring.  One of the nice unexpected benefits to blogging is that it has forced me to write down what I do and how much I do it with, which has made it possible to reproduce good results.

I actually started out with the makings for an Asian slaw, and needed something to go with it, so I decided to go with an Asian(ish) pork loin.  I honestly have no idea if they would ever make it like this in Asia, but the flavors have a distinctive Asian twist so we’ll just roll with it.  When you have a well-stocked pantry, you can pretend you’re from anywhere, right?  Normally I would do these two dishes in two separate posts but they went together so well, I thought I’d just throw it out there together.

I never used to be a huge fan of pork, but I absolutely adore pork loin.  It’s lean, but juicy and it soaks up just about any marinade you put on it and just gets tastier.  And they are just about foolproof to cook.  Depending on where you shop, sometimes they are a little pricey, but I keep my eye out for sales, and when I see one I stash a few in my freezer.

Asian-Inspired Pork Loin and Slaw

Asian-Inspired Pork Loin and Slaw

Asian-ish Pork Loin

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2-3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1-2 pork loins (1 package usually has 2 loins in it)

Mix together marinade all ingredients in a large zip lock bag, then add pork loin.  Marinate at least 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours.

My favorite way to marinate since it's easy to reposition so all of the meat gets some love.  You can do it in a dish or bowl if you prefer.

My favorite way to marinate since it’s easy to reposition so all of the meat gets some love. You can do it in a dish or bowl if you prefer.

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Place loin in a shallow baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, brushing once or twice during cooking with leftover marinade (do not brush with marinade during the last 5 minutes of cooking). It should be done, but if you want to test it, a meat thermometer should read 145˚ in the center of the loin.  Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.  It should be slightly pink in the center.

Juicy wonderful pork loin.

Juicy wonderful pork loin.  Best when it’s slightly pink in the center.

Asian Slaw

1 small head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 bell pepper, chopped or sliced
2 carrots, shredded
2 green onions, sliced
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

Mix all ingredients.  I recommend letting it sit for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, before serving so flavors can mingle.

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