2 posts categorized "Recipes - Entrees"

Lowly cabbage goes glamorous: Cooking from box, garden, market

April 03, 2009

Spring is late this year, but everyone still has heavy, wide-eyed piles of one of the original, most thoroughly lowly, peasant foods: the cabbage. I can't believe it took me so long to discover the cabbage. I always treated the bulbous lady so badly, pushing her red fronds aside in college salad bars; eschewing the smarmy cups of coleslaw for her mushy cousin, potatoes and gravy; recoiling in horror from sauerkraut. I hate cabbage, I thought.

Oh me. You were so, so wrong. Or perhaps you were right; that cabbage wasn't loved, not the way my cabbage is now. The first farmer's market of the season I spent the better part of $10 on cabbage, and it's a good bet it will be all eaten within two weeks, and I haven't even made kim chi.

The first, best, most wonderful way to enjoy cabbage is a recipe I adapted from The Paley's Place Cookbook. Trust Vitaly Paley, with his Russian heritage and his local, seasonal mien, to deliver cabbage in its sweetest, truest form. I like savoy cabbage or red cabbage for this; the big heavy pale green heads don't turn as jammy, although sometimes I mix some green in with the red for a play of textures. Here is the recipe for honey-braised cabbage; it also calls for a little bacon fat (or olive oil), an onion and an apple, some vinegar and honey. I serve it with everything; with corned beef or sausages, spooned into lentil or potato soup, heaped into a bowl of pasta, mixed with leftover potatoes and grated beets and lots of fresh garlic for a surprisingly perky fried potato cake. It kind of disappears into soups, even as it adds sweetness, so it's great for kids (yes! mine have now eaten cabbage, and liked it!).

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Camping Gourmet: Dining Al Fresco

September 05, 2007

Dsc_0285_2 When I spotted the Lauro Kitchen’s recipe for Mussels in Cataplana in FoodDay this summer, I knew it had all of the ingredients for the perfect camping meal.  I clipped out the recipe hoping to use it on our second camping expedition this summer, but it wasn’t in the cards.  Meal prep for camping doesn’t require all that much preparation, but I wasn’t organized enough to create the meal on the fly.  We settled for salmon and pork chops instead.

Fast forward to this past weekend, and I seized the opportunity to test it out.  The night before our trip to Nehalem Bay, I cooked up the chorizo and veggies to make the sauce hoping that letting it sit overnight would give the flavors some time meld together.  That, and the fact that assembly at dinner time would be much easier.  At camp the next evening, I layered the sauce and some steamer clams in an aluminum pan, wrapped it in more foil and placed it over our fire.  We used steamer clams since it was the only thing available on the coast.  The result?  We paired it with a loaf of bread, a salad and some wine, and were amazed at how delicious and ridiculously easy it was to cook over the campfire.

Who cares that your tent is full of dirt and sand, or that the kids are covered in from head to toe in the great outdoors?  Eating and drinking under a canopy of trees in the fresh air cannot be beat, and when you’re eating well, it makes camping that much better.  The next evening JJ and I used our spare aluminum pan for sausages, peppers and onions.  We chopped up two packages of mango chicken sausage from Trader Joes, a couple of bell peppers, and a medium sized onion.  We wrapped it in more foil, and cooked it over the grill until the onions and peppers reduced down nicely.  Voila!  We had a second incredible meal that took little effort.

I’m sure there are many camping gourmets out there.  We want to know what are some of your favorite camping recipes?  Any meals that are sure to please and impress fellow campers? Anyone with a homey stew recipe that will sure to warm our bellies on our next camping trip?