Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Making Peace With Cabbage

you know, I may have to revise my opinion of the internet. Previously, I've mostly seen the information superhighway as a place to find fanfiction and greymarket russian MP3 downloads.

But today, the internet came through for me.

As you might have guessed in the previous post, I've been hitting the farmer's market lately. I can't resist brilliantly coloured fresh veg at a cheap price.

Which is how I ended up with a $1 head of purple cabbage.


Cabbage and I go way back with serious enmity. My mother, a firm believer in keeping up with "ethnic traditions" was obsessed with making corned beef and cabbage - which I found awful. I had friends obsessed with sauerkraut- which I detest. It seemed as if cabbage and I would never find common ground.

But there it was today- gleaming purple, sensuously round, and only a buck. The cabbage.

Before I knew it, I was adding it to my pile with the sweet onions and the watermelon.

I got it home, and let the cat stare at it for a bit while I pulled up a chair and googled "What do I do with a head of cabbage"

I'm apparently not the only person who's faced this dilemma, because the first page of google results were answers to just that question. (I found it surprising that there didn't seem to be any pornographic results in there, because rule 34 states there must be a cabbagef****er out there somewhere.)

But after a look through a couple of recipe sites, I discovered the answer to my prayers. "Nuke the whole head in microwave for 5 min, carefully peel off whole leaves and wrap seasoned ground pork/beef mixed with sauteed carrots, shitake, onions for a Japanese style cabbage roll, stewed in soy/dashi broth."

It was a revelation. I could just bung the whole damn thing in the microwave? WHY HAD I NEVER THOUGHT OF THIS?

I wasn't feeling the asian motif, though, so I took my sweet yellow onion, some garlic and fresh tomato and lightly sauteed them before adding some fresh ground beef (tofu would work magnificently here too). I added a can of tomato paste and some italian seasoning and a little bit of smoked paprika.

Once the filling was done, I wrapped it up in leaves. No stewing required- I just ate three of them and they were magnificent.
of course, that still leaves me with a half a head of cabbage left.

oh dear.

Grilled corn/Savoury Corn Pudding

Oh yeah.

Corn season is upon us with a vengeance here on the eastern seaboard and over the weekend, there were dollar basket-fulls of "short" ears. There's no way in hell I could pass THAT up.

Recently, we've started grilling the corn, and frankly, I don't know why it took me so long to suss this out. Because I am intensely lazy, I don't even shuck the ears first, just bung them in a pot of water to soak for a 1/2 hour+. Afterwords, I put the ears on the grill, turn it up (I have a 4 burner gas grill and turn 2 burners on high) and leave it go for a little bit. Every five minutes or so, come back, open the lid, and turn the ears. Repeat until the outer leaves are dry, crispy and brown.

Inside? Steamed to perfection. :D

There's only one problem with this, and that's there's only so much grilled corn 2 people can eat. So, faced with some ears that were slowly drying out in the fridge, I searched for something else to do with them.

Enter: Not Eating Out In New York. Cathy had a magnificent corn pudding recipe involving chiles and tomato that set my brain to working overtime. Even better, I had all the ingredients (or very similar to them) already handy!

I cut her recipe back to four ears instead of 8, and subbed 2 hot cherry peppers for the jalapenos, scallions for the shallots, and a couple of dashes of pizza spice for the seasoning.

The result? DELICIOUS. The cherry peppers are hot as hell, though, so be careful if heat is not your thing.

I can't wait to put this in my bento :D