Thursday, December 30, 2010

From Cabbages to Kings

If your mother offered you creamed cabbage, you'd probably gag.
If Molly Wizenberg suggested cream-braised cabbage, you'd sit up and listen.
Molly creates relaxed, long-cooked recipes that — well, I think I'm trying to say that time is one of the important ingredients.
We had a green cabbage, just the normal shiny round kind, in the fridge. I recalled that Molly loves a cabbage dish her husband invented, so I grabbed her book, A Homemade Life, and searched the index for cabbage.
Bingo! Cream-Braised Green Cabbage. (But it wasn't the one I thought I was looking for. Turns out the Brandon recipe was different; it uses sambal oelek and soy sauce. I made a lucky mistake.)
I'm sorry this isn't a recipe blog, because I don't think the recipe appears on Orangette. But I can tell you how simple it is: You slice the cabbage into thin wedges, brown it on both sides in butter with some salt, then douse it with cream, cover, and cook 20 minutes before turning with tongs and cooking for another 20 minutes, then apply a squirt of lemon juice.
It turns into silk. Where did all that flavor come from? That color?
I'm trying to choose my favorite description, but I'll have to settle for three. Silky, deep-tasting, brown mouth yum. It's really amazing. Total transformation with such simple ingredients and technique.
Yet, I'd say the best ingredient was the time.
You really have to try this. I really mean it.

Bonus! If you visit Amazon to see this book, you can search the pages and find the recipe. Pages 186-187.

19 comments:

Ms Brown Mouse said...

If we weren't already eating a dinner of duck fat tonight, I'd give that a go. Tomorrow perhaps!

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: Agony. This is better than duck fat. We also had leftover prime rib on the plates, and the cabbage was better.
Happy duck fat. Got your confit going?

Ms Brown Mouse said...

it's in the oven as I type ... so hot!

Greg said...

Cream cabbage....you make it look good even though my brain is on auto reject. Happy New Year.

namastenancy said...

I found a similar recipe in a book on New England recipes. It's become one of my favorite stand bys except that I add hot chili oil and a touch of lemon juice. But this version seems richer and creamier - so, we can exit 2010 singing of cabbages and queens (you being Da Queen Of Da Blog!)

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: Good you!

Greg: "Auto reject"; that's perfect. This is why I want people to actually try it. There's no sulfur odor if you use a small, sweet cabbage. The flavor is, frankly, unbelievable. If I blindfolded you and fed you a bite, you'd melt.

Nancy: There's never anything new under the sun, is there? Heh. Happy New Year's Eve.

kudzu said...

My grandson, the vegetarian archaeology student who might easily be a monk (considering how he eats) has recently had beautiful but excessive cabbageism in his CSA box in Santa Cruz. I will pass this recipe along to him in hopes he'll spring for the price of cream to make it as gorgeous as it sounds. Thanks!!

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: A little tight-fisty on the cash, is he? This is going to be a Very Hard sell. But I so appreciate how YOU grok it.

Chilebrown said...

Happy New Year, Here is to clean hair and farmers markets. Yeah!!!!

kudzu said...

Cookie, a PS: My grandson is not tight-fisty -- it's just that he is learning to live frugally, much better at it than his grandmama.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: I'm sure you're brilliant at frugality too. I applaud it and exercise it myself. (And then I buy a three-bone standing rib roast at Bryan's.)
Here's the deal. Cabbage? Cheap. Cream? A little splurgey. Win-win.

Chilebrown: Clean hair fail today. Ack!
All the best to you and yours in the new year.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

It will happen, this week. I've been wanting to work toward more meals that really focus on a key ingredient, less frills. This is a great example, although I'm already thinking...Hmmm, what could I serve with this. Oh well, life is a journey, right?

cookiecrumb said...

Denise: Yeah! It's a compelling, enveloping and ultimately rather filling dish. I hope yours comes out great.

breeamal said...

Wow, this turned out amazing. Best cabbage I've ever had, you never lead me wrong!

cookiecrumb said...

Breeamal: You made it! You tried it? Oh, joy. You're the first person I've heard from who did. Thank you, so much, for thinking it was as good as I did. xo

Ms Brown Mouse said...

So, I started making this tonight, and seriously reduced the bit I get to cook in cream because cabbage fried in butter is SOOOO GOOOD!!!

breeamal said...

I made it, I tried it, I ate all of it.

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: But you did use cream? Because that's the shizz. So glad you had some. Mmm, eh? (I saw your tweets.)

Breeamal: Brava!

Ms Brown Mouse said...

I did indeed save some for the cream, delish. Not an everyday dish though :)