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Cabbage To Go With Smoked Pork Chops

Tonight we had smoked pork chops from the Fatted Calf, a fabulous charcuterie place that sells its wares at the Berkeley Farmers' Market. They were tres pricy, but worth it due to their juiciness and flavorocity. I fried them up in a skillet.

Along with this I made my shortened version of a wonderful Paula Wolfert dish of cabbage and mushrooms (from her Mediterranean Greens and Grains Cookbook). Hers has pancetta (which I lacked tonight)and cooks for an extended period (which I did not).

In any case, here's the "recipe"

First, I put some dried porcini in hot water to soak. Then I chopped an onion and some garlic (3 cloves I think) and sauteed them. They were supposed to cook in pancetta but I didn't have any. All I had was some Willie Bird turkey bacon so I chopped up the equivalent of one slice and tossed it in with the onion and garlic along with a splash of olive oil. After this softened a bit, I added a couple of handsful of mushrooms (chopped) and about 1/4 cup of Muscadet (but I figure any dry white wine will do).

I then sliced a pretty small head of savoy cabbage and added it to the mix. I chopped up the softened porcini and added them with a bit of the soaking liquid. Paula W's recipe calls for some chicken broth to be added, but all I had was some Knorr bouillon cubes which I rarely use. I added a couple of pinches along with a bit of water, put the lid on and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

I served this with the pork chops and half of an Acme baguette that I'd heated in the oven. I sliced some carots, peppers and cukes for good health and we wolfed it down.

It was realllly good.

The true recipe is also very wonderful. I've made it several times and it'll make you into a cooked cabbage convert.

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  1. I use cabbage a lot, myself. It is an under rated vegetabe. Some shredded cabbage added to a lettuce salad really improves the texture, I often quickly stir fry cabbage in butter and add scallions, and sour cream to serve with noodles or ravioli, or for pot stickers with soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil. And of course in soups like minestrone. Cabbage is very healthy too. It's one of those sulfur compound containing cruciferous vegetabels that are anti-cancer.
    Of course the only trick to using cabbage is to serve it raw or just quickly cooked. I think a lot of people don't know how good cabbage can be because they just remember eating overcooked horrible cabbage when they were kids.

    4 Replies
    1. re: niki rothman

      That's not always true. The recipe I posted above is delicious and, if made from the original Wolfert recipe, cooks for a long time.

      It's true for boiled cabbage w/out any flavoring agents...that smell would wake the dead!

      1. re: oakjoan

        You are using savoy cabbage which is a bit different than "traditional" green cabbage.
        Besides, if you think it's delicious, I'm sure it is, but that doesn't mean everyone would like or enjoy it.

        1. re: oakjoan

          I have read--and it seems to be true in practice--that the key to avoiding the nasty sulfery element is to never cover the cabbage until it is wilted. Comments? (I'm a huge cabbage fan, both raw and cooked, savoy and regular.)

        2. re: niki rothman

          The Cabbage and butter with Sour cream and scallions sounds really good. I gotta try that when I'm on a calorie splurge. I have been on a kick for the last 6 mos or so quicly sauteeing 1/2 to 3/4 head of Cabbage in Olive oil over high heat. Then add a few cloves of chopped/sliced garlic, and when garlic gets fragrant but not browned add a few dashes of Thai Fish sauce. Fresh ground black pepper also and then when plating, add a dusting of grated Pecorino cheese. I'd imagine this would be good with some cooked buttered noodles mixed in but then again there's the extra cal's. This goes well with broiled meats and fish. Plus excellent source of fiber.

        3. My mom's "overcooked" cabbage is fantastic. In a largish pot, fry some cut-up bacon until almost crispy, add chopped onions and continue to sautee just starting to brown. Add thin-sliced red cabbage, a can of diced tomatoes with juice, some red-wine vinegar and a little sugar and cook over low heat until everything is tender. You might need to add some water or red wine. Better the next day. Should be a little sweet and tart. I can eat a whole pot of this stuff for dinner but it's great with pork of any kind.

          1 Reply
          1. re: houndgirl

            I'm German and braised red cabbage is second only to my love of sauerkraut. I learned how to cook green cabbage and have it still be edible by watching Alton Brown's cabbage episode.

          2. I also of German descent and love red cabbage, sauerkraut (used to make my own) and green cabbage. I cook my mom's german recipe for green cabbage that wows most people you eat it. Both of her cabbage recipes are frequently requested.

            2 Replies
            1. re: RichK

              So, what are the recipes? I'm intrigued, as a lover of any and all cooked cabbage. Raw, not so much.

              1. re: phofiend

                Here they are:
                BAVARIAN WHITE CABBAGE
                1 HEAD WHITE CABBAGE 1/3 STICK BUTTER OR MARGARINE
                1 LARGE ONION SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE
                1/2 TBLS CARAWAY SEEDS

                REMOVE COARSE OUTER LEAVES OF CABBAGE, QUARTER & CUT AWAY THE HARD CENTER CORE. FINELY SHRED THE CABBAGE, WASH & DRAIN. IN A LARGE SAUCEPAN, MELT THE BUTTER & ADD CABBAGE & SALT & PEPPER. PEEL & CUT THE ONION & PUT ON TOP OF CABBAGE WITH THE CARAWAY SEEDS. IF THERE IS NOT ENOUGH LIQUID IN THE SAUCEPAN, ADD A LITTLE WATER OR BEEFSTOCK & LET SIMMER UNTIL IT IS DONE TO YOUR TASTE. WHILE CABBAGE SIMMERS, MIX WITH A WOODEN SPOON & ADD WATER OR BEEFSTOCK AS NEEDED. SERVES 4 TO 6.
                And here's the Red Cabbage recipe:
                BAVARIAN RED CABBAGE

                1 RED CABBAGE 2 TO 2 1/2 LBS. 1/4 CUP BUTTER
                3 TBLS SUGAR 6 TBLS RED WINE VINEGAR
                3-4 CLOVES 2-3 MEDIUM APPLES
                1 ONION DASH SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE

                DISCARD THE COARSE OUTER LEAVES OF THE CABBAGE, QUARTER & CUT AWAY THE HARD CENTER CORE. FINELY SHRED THE CABBAGE, WASH & DRAIN. IN A LARGE SAUCEPAN, MELT BUTTER & PUT IN CABBAGE AND SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE AND THE CLOVES. PEEL & CORE THE APPLES AND SLICE THEM VERY THIN AND PUT THEM ON TOP OF THE CABBAGE. DO THE SAME WITH THE ONION. ADD SUGAR & VINEGAR. COVER & SIMMER, MIXING IT IN BETWEEN, UNTIL DONE. ADD MORE VINEGAR TO TASTE IF NEEDED. SERVES 6.
                Hope you enjoy both of them