Thursday, 1 November 2012
Cabbage is a real favourite vegetable around here. Filled with vitamin C and loads of other vitamins and anti-oxidents, it's very, very good for you. It's also quite low in calories, so it's a great diet food as well. (I'm quite sure most of you will have heard of the cabbage soup diet!)
A lot of people don't like the smell of it cooking, but I am afraid I'm a wierdo. The smell of cooking cabbage sets my tastebuds to tingling in anticipation. It's one of my all time favourite smells!
My mother always made the most delicious cabbage rolls. She cooked them in her largest aluminum wearever cook pot. She'd layer them in the pot along with big chunks of carrot and potato, and huge wedges of cabbage. She had no secret sauce, simply a large tin of tomatoes . . . the flavours of all the vegetables made for a really rich broth and intense flavours. We all loved them! They were a real treat!
As many times as I have made them myself, mine never quite taste as good as the memory of hers. They are one of the things I always look forward to eating the most when we go home to visit . . . along with her homemade pea soup, her beef stew and a big pot of her homemade baked beans . . .
My mom also makes the world's absolute best coleslaw. She slices the cabbage very thinly by hand, and then chops it up really fine along with carrot, cucumber, celery and onion. Her dressing is a bit of this and a bit of that . . . I don't think she ever makes it the same way twice, but no matter . . . it's always really, really good.
My mother's father used to make his own sauerkraut. He made it according to folklore and the moon, and it was always just wonderful. In fact, the juice from the raw kraut has been used in my family for many years to cure various ailments and sicknesses. It is a taste I love, both raw and cooked.
My mother always cooked it along with ham hocks and served it up with big piles of mashed potatoes. I always liked to slather my potatoes with lots of butter, and then stir the kraut into them. It was sooo very tasty to me . . .
I guess you could say that cabbage is like the ultimate comfort food for me, fresh or pickled. It evokes so many lovely childhood memories.
I discovered this particular recipe several years ago in a cookery book by Tamasin Day-Lewis, entitled, Tamasin's Weekend Food. It has since become a real favourite of ours.
The mixture of the cabbage and the sausage meat creates a magical taste combination that is unbeatable . . . the long slow cooking breaks the cabbage down until it is almost buttery . . . the juices of the cabbage and sausage melding together into a melting deliciousness that is just the best flavour in the world.
We like to serve this with mashed potatoes, but baked potatoes are equally as good.
This is just good cookin . . . plain and simple . . . extraordinary flavours . .. a wonderful taste treat for a cold and wet late autumn afternoon . . .
This is one of those recipes which only serves to prove that delicious needn't be complicated!
*Stuffed Cabbage Trou Style*
I got this tasty recipe a few years back via a cookery book by Tamasin Day-Lewis, who got hers from Jane Grigson. With so many great cooks involved, how could it fail to be delicious! Simple ingredients, but the flavour is spectacular.
3 to 41/2 pounds of cabbage, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 pounds of good quality, free range sausages
salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 150*C/300*F. Generously butter a large casserole dish. Set aside. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit the top and set this aside as well.
Place the sliced cabbage into a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for five minutes, then drain well. Run cold water over it to stop it from cooking any further and drain well again.
Remove the skins from the sausages and discard.
Layer 1/3 of the cooked cabbage in the casserole dish. Season well with salt and pepper. Top with 1/2 of the sausage meat, pressing it out to fit over the cabbage. Top with another 1/3 of the cabbage. Season again and then top with the remaining sausage meat, pressing it out as before. Top with the last of the cabbage, season again and then dot with some butter. Cover tightly with a layer of greaseproof and the the lid of the casserole dish. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the cabbage is meltingly tender. Serve, sliced into wedges with your choice of side dishes. We like buttery mashed potatoes and steamed beans with this. Delicious!