Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fabulous Cabbage

Do you eat cabbage? We love the stuff. Raw, it's crunchy and a bit peppery. Boiled, it tastes buttery and smooth. And the great thing is, it's super cheap--30 cents a pound the last time I bought some!

Here are three of my favorite cabbage recipes:

Cabbage Patch Soup from allrecipes (pictured above). This recipe is easy and tasty. We use real bacon, double the cabbage, and leave out the peas.

Chicago Dog Salad from Rachael Ray. It sounds weird, but it's really yummy. We shred the cabbage ourselves; it's easy.

Jeanne's Vegetable-Beef Borscht from the Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook. Borscht is a traditional Russian stew. It is usually made with beets, which turn it bright red. I was excited to find this recipe which is as flavorful as the traditional recipe I use, but much simpler. Preparation still takes some time, but it's worth it! The recipe works best in a 5 quart slow cooker. You could go larger. My alterations and substitutions are in parentheses. Please forgive me if they annoy.

1 lb. beef roast, cooked and cubed (I used less, cut small, and browned but not cooked through)
half a head of cabbage, sliced thinly
3 medium potatoes, diced
4 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 cup tomatoes, diced (I used a 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes)
1 cup corn
1 cup green beans
2 cups beef broth (I doubled this, 4 tsp beef broth concentrate)
2 cups tomato juice (I used 1 cup tomato sauce)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dill seed (really it's optional; for more authenticity add chopped fresh dill to each serving)
2 tsp salt (I used 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp pepper
(I also added a bit of honey after cooking to complete the flavor, maybe 1 tablespoon for the whole batch)
sour cream

1. Mix together all the ingredients except water and sour cream. Add water to fill slow cooker three-quarters full. (At this point the vegetables are piled way over the water line. They will cook down.)

2. Cover. Cook on Low 8-10 hours. (Or on high 2-3 hours, on low 4, if you're a little slow like me).

3. Top individual servings with sour cream.

Variation (which I highly recommend!): Add 1 cup diced cooked red beets during the last half hour of cooking. (I peeled a large beet, pierced it with a fork several times, cooked it in the microwave until tender, and then diced it.)

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