September 20, 2007 at 7:25 a.m.
Anyway, cabbage is a good "keeper" when stored properly. When I'm going to keep it longer than a week or two, I peel off the outside leaves and wrap it completely in paper towel, put it in a plastic bag, squeezing all the air out of the bag, and seal it. When I had a big garden I kept heads of cabbage in the fridge for a month or more. Didn't have room for anything else, but I had cabbage. Needless to say, I made a lot of sauerkraut but that's for another column.
In my extremely small garden that I have now, I planted three late Dutch flat-head cabbage plants and a couple of weeks ago I harvested one that weighed 7 pounds. We enjoyed about seven different meals out of that head.
Obviously, it's about cabbage today. One recipe after another. Let's start with . . .
FRUITED CABBAGE SALAD
1-8 oz. can crushed pineapple
1/2 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 T. sugar
1-1/2 t. cider vinegar (can use white vinegar, but cider gives a better flavor)
1/8 t. salt
4 c. shredded cabbage (about 1 lb.)
1 c. thinly sliced celery
1/2 c. seedless red grapes (if small, leave whole; if large, cut in half)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 medium banana, sliced
Drain pineapple; save 2 T. juice (drink the rest). Set pineapple aside.
In large bowl, using a wire whisk, beat together the 2 T. juice, mayo, sugar, vinegar and salt. Add pineapple, cabbage, celery and grapes; toss gently until well-coated.
Cover and refrigerate at least two hours to blend flavors, stirring gently occasionally.
When ready to serve, fold in bananas and sprinkle nuts over top. Makes 6-8 servings.
CHEDDAR CABBAGE WEDGES
1 medium head cabbage (about 3 lbs.)
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/4 c. diced onion
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 c. milk
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. mayor or salad dressing
3 T. bottled chili sauce
Cut cabbage into eight wedges, leaving a part of the core on each wedge.
Steam or cook wedges in water in a large kettle or Dutch oven for 10-15 minutes or until just tender when poked with a pointy knife.
Drain; let cool a bit and slice off core, being careful so the wedges don't fall apart. Put wedges in a 3-qt. baking dish.
In a medium saucepan, saute pepper and onion in butter till tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper; cook till bubbly and smooth, stirring constantly. Slowly add milk,* cook and stir till thickened. Pour over cabbage.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine cheese and chili sauce; spoon over wedges. Return to oven for 5-7 minutes. Makes 8 servings.
*I heat the milk till hot to speed up thickening time.
(Cabbage with Noodles)
1 large onion, diced
5 T. butter or margarine, divided
2 strips bacon, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 medium head cabbage (about 3 lbs.) cored, chopped, cooked in small amount of water under just tender with a little bit of crunch, and drained
half of a 16 oz. pkg. wide egg noodles or bow-tie pasta, cooked until just tender and drained
salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, over medium heat, saute onion, 2 T. butter, bacon and garlic, stirring until golden brown. Add cabbage and 3 T. butter, stirring until butter is melted. Stir in noodles or bow-ties; heat through, stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 8 servings.
NOTE: I make this dish often, especially when it's a "bring something to pass" kinda deal. But, I make small egg noodle dumplings and oh-my, is that good!
CREAMED CABBAGE SOUP
2 cans chicken broth (14-1/2 oz. each)
2 celery ribs, diced
1 medium head cabbage (about 3 lbs.) shredded (not real fine)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
1/4 c. butter or margarine
3 T. flour
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 c. lite cream (half and half)
1 c. milk
2 c. cooked, diced ham
1/2 t. dried thyme
fresh parsley, snipped (about 1 T.)
In a large kettle or Dutch oven, combine first five ingredients; bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or till veggies are tender.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour, salt and pepper; stirring until smooth. Combine cream and milk; gradually add to flour mixture (here again I heat the milk/cream mixture first), stirring constantly. Cook and stir till thickened; continue cooking one minute longer. Gradually stir in veggie mixture. Add ham and thyme and heat through. Garnish with parsley. Makes 8-10 servings.
Thought for today: Those who say "work well done" never needs redoing, never weeded a garden.