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Cabbage!!!


I know....what's so exciting about cabbage?

Well, I have not always liked cabbage. This really isn't my fault. Or cabbage's fault, for that matter. You know who's to blame?? My mother.

My parents are both great cooks, but they are from the old school that dictated vegetables must be cooked until they are shrunked to a gray, tasteless mass.

I had most of a head of green cabbage in my ice box and I wanted to do something different with it.

As I perused my somewhat sizeable collection of recipes, I came across one from the Amateur Gourmet. If you've never read his blog- really, you should. He writes about his own cooking and he reviews restaurants. He also did the webcast "FN Dish" for the Food Network.

Anyhoo- I had stolen a recipe from his blog for braised cabbage. Now there's something you don't run across very often. I've seen lots of recipes for braised meats- but not veggies. I read through the ingredients and immediately decided this was what I wanted for dinner.

Go here to see the original recipe and post on Amateur Gourmet...

In my usual fashion, I stayed true to the spirit of the recipe, if not the letter. First of all, the recipe called for a 2 lb. head of cabbage. I had about 3/4 of a puney little head of cabbage. So I added more carrots and onions than he did, plus I threw in some celery that was about 11 minutes away from becoming primordial ooze if I didn't use it quickly (come on, if you cook- you know you have some in your crisper drawer somewhere!). I also didn't have any chicken stock. So, I decided to get creative with the braising liquid. Instead of using stock, I used about 1/2 cup of marinara I had made for pizza last week, 1/2 cup of red wine (because I was having a glass at the time and it seemed like the thing to do) and then I added a little water so the liquid would come a little ways up the veggies and make a nice braise.
From there, I followed the instructions exactly. And this wasn't difficult, but it was time consuming. I think it baked all total about 2 1/2 hours. But as I stated in my last post, I got nuthin' but time on my hands now, so what else was I going to do??

So this isn't what you'd call a classic SUMMER dish, but it hit the spot for me and it was delicious. I'll be doing this again with different veggies- maybe some broccoli or brussel sprouts.

I served the braised cabbage with big ole pork chops that I pan seared and a couple of dainty little mayo biscuits to sop up all the good juices.

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