I've begun a new sewing project so my time today was spent on my hands and knees, laying out four inch quilt squares ... pushing Penny, the inquisitive kitty and Mimi, the naughty Corgi away from the quilt lay-out and talking them to calm lumps of fur beside me on the floor while I figured out the best color scheme. It's a miracle that they behaved so well AND that I managed to get the rows of quilt squares laid out and then picked up and arranged in a small piles that are ready to sewn together tomorrow ... much easier than keeping them away from that Challah dough last week!
Regardless ... I needed an easy dinner strategy after all that 'up-and-down', place and replace tedium, check and double check to make sure pattern is correctly laid out ...
When I made this vegetable side, all I could think of was Ralphie eating red cabbage for the umpteenth time in 'A Christmas Story' ... but I am here to tell you that this side is worth a try! We had ours with pork medallions that I flash fried in a slather of garlic, kosher salt, rosemary, black pepper, and olive oil. I put the pork on a warm platter and made a little sauce with the pan leavings ... white wine, chicken broth and cornstarch. The cabbage and apples were happily 'blub-blub' bubbling their way to sweet/sour perfection. while some potato wedges were crisping up in the oven. It was a good dinner ... a fall dinner ... a dinner that you can throw together quickly while you're puttering at other things.
Here's the cabbage and apple recipe ...
Stewed Red Cabbage with Apples
small head of red cabbage - thinly sliced - 8 cups finished cabbage/about 1½ lbs. cabbage
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. butter
1 large shallot, small dice
3 sprigs fresh thyme (or ¾ tsp. dried thyme flakes)
1 large bay leaf
12 peppercorns or 12 juniper berries
2 large red cooking apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped - I used Macouns
2/3 c. apple/cranberry juice OR apple cider
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Making the Dish:
1. Place the oil and butter in a heavy pot and place over medium heat.
2. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, add the shallots, thyme, and bay leaf and toss about until the shallots are translucent - about three to four minutes.
3. Add the cabbage and toss to coat with the oils and juices and herbs. Cook for about five minutes until the cabbage is wilting - tossing about every minute or so.
4. Add the juice/cider, vinegar, apples, and sugar and toss to incorporate.
5. Make a small sachet of the peppercorns from a square of cheesecloth or a fabric teabag and add the peppecorns, stirring them down into the mix.
6. Lower the heat, cover the pan, place it on a heat diffuser and simmer it for about an hour, stirring occasionally to bring the lower contents to the surface and the upper contents down into the mix.
7. When you plate the dish, pull the peppercorn affair out of the cabbage, try to spot the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and pull them out too. Sprinkle the fresh parsley over top for color and serve steaming hot ... the sweet and sour vapors are perfect!