"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand? "

-Captain Jack Sparrow


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mexican Cabbage

When I made enfrijoladas the other day, I decided to add a side of pan-fried cabbage because as soon as the weather gets cold, I start consuming all vegetables in this form, which is to say either oven roasted or pan roasted. I did this one on the stove.

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Ingredients
-one quarter of a cabbage- about 2 or 3 cups (this also works really well with most vegetables)
-olive oil (a couple of tablespoons)
-salt (a couple of pinches)
-pepper (a pinch)
-1/4 t chili powder (I also use chipotle powder sometimes, but only about an 1/8th t of that.)
-1/4 t cumin (ground)
-1/8 t garlic powder (you can use a clove of fresh minced, but don't add it till the end, or it will burn and taste bitter)
-your favorite salsa (optional)
(Honestly, for the spices, I usually just start pulling things out of my cupboard and sprinkle them on. But this is my best guess. Sometimes I'll add paprika or Mexican oregano or cayenne.)

How To
Note- The key to cooking vegetables this way is to get the heat right. Unfortunately, that is something you and your stove will have to work out between yourselves. I can tell you that I set mine between 6 and 7, but that may be of little help to you. Also, for quicker cooking vegetables like cabbage and broccoli, you'll want to have the heat a bit higher, so that they get all browned before they become soggy and over cooked. For longer cooking ones like cauliflower and green beans, you'll want to keep the heat a bit lower, so they don't burn before you get them to crisp tender.
-Put a pan over medium/high heat, adding a tablespoon of oil. Let it heat up while you're preparing the cabbage. (However, if you cook on a gas stove, which heats up much faster than an electrive stove, you may want to wait until you've prepared the cabbage before turning on the heat.)
-Shred the cabbage like so...
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(If using a different vegetable, just cut into bite-sized pieces.)
-Put it in a bowl, drizzle with a tablespoon or so of oil and sprinkle on the salt, pepper and other spices.
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-Mix well, so everything is lightly coated. Add more oil if it doesn't look glossy.
-Check that the oil in the pan is looking all shimmery. If it isn't, wait patiently until it is.
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-Add the cabbage and make sure it's in a fairly thin layer. Don't add all of it if it's much thicker than this...
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-Here's the hard part. Don't stir it. Just let it sit for several minutes (maybe up to five). You'll want to keep an eye on it, but don't mess with it.
-When it starts to get browned on the bottom layer, like this, that's when you can give everything a good stir and take it off the heat.
-If you're using fresh garlic, stir it in now and put it back on the heat for 30 seconds or so.
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-Taste and add more salt if necessary.
-If you'd like, you can stir in a couple spoonfuls of salsa after you take it off the heat. Joey preferred it this way, but I wasn't too sure about the combo of tomato and cabbage. Something about the acid in the tomato didn't seem to work with the cabbage. But, as I said, she ate a bunch of it rolled up in a tortilla, so that's gotta count for something.

And that's it.

Alternatives
-If you want to cook more than this, roasting is always a good option. Just cut the cabbage into wedges, mix with the oil and spices and put it in a 400 degree oven for about half an hour (as my friend Karin describes).
-Also, oven roasting is my preferred method for cauliflower. When it's raw, I really dislike it, but when it's roasted, it gets all buttery soft and caramelized. I can eat that stuff by the bowlful.
-Changing up the spices for this is super easy. Instead of the chili powder, cumin and garlic, you can use curry powder and garam masala for Indian or rosemary, thyme and oregano for Italian or just the salt and pepper for a more universal flavor.

In fact, I just found this picture of roasted cauliflower with curry powder and garam masala. (And I know that to some of you, those seasonings may seem a bit intimidating, but check the spice section at your grocery story. McCormick's has a tasty garam masala.)

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Yum. That looks so good, I think I may make some for breakfast.

11 comments:

Dot said...

OOH! Thank you! ...and thanks for letting me know :)

Vone said...

Looks so good. I think I could sell my husband on the cauliflower before the cabbage - but I might try both at some point. Just not yet, I tried a new meatloaf recipe last night and it was not a success. Need to stick to some tried and true for a while before I try another new recipe :)

Wander to the Wayside said...

This looks so good that I'm going to get a head of cabbage next time I go to the store. IF you want to make this a little bit unhealthy, add some cooked bacon. It's funny, but the only time I think of cooked cabbage is in the winter, and it isn't even on my radar in the summer except as cole slaw.

Have you given any thought yet to what face is on that red bean? I thought I had figured it out last night (yes, I think about wierd things like that at odd times), but now it has slipped my mind.

Wander to the Wayside said...

Maybe I'm envisioning that floating otter poster?

Wendy said...

Linda (Wander to the Wayside), all I see is a smiley face with dots for eyes and a nose. Is that what you mean? I'm not at all seeing a floating otter. Also, I sometimes add bacon or prosciutto in there too. So tasty. I've got a recipe for brussel sprouts with prosciutto (or pancetta, I don't remember) and balsamic vinegar that is super good. Except peeling and coring all those brussel sprouts is a total pain in the butt. Maybe I'll try it with cabbage this year instead.

Wander to the Wayside said...

Ok. Bear with me. On the top right of the red bean are two eyes. Under those is a big dot for a nose. Under that is a small dot for an otter mouth. Coming from the sides of the 'body' are what are the arms/legs wrapped around the body in a floating position. Seriously, Wendy! Google 'floating otter poster', and you'll so see it! (No, I'm not drinking or doing drugs.)

Jenny said...

I actually totally see the little otter, holding his hand... paw up to his mouth. Funny.

Wander to the Wayside said...

Thanks for validating me, Jenny! I would have been so embarrassed carrying this conversation on, week after week, until someone agreed with me!

Dot said...

I see the Otter!

And I made the cabbage the other night and it was GREAT! thanks so much for sharing. I had a bigger batch than would fit in my pan, so I used the oven roast method. yummmmmy.

Dot

Karin (pariskarin) said...

Hey!! Thank you so much for the shout out on this post!

I love the idea of pan roasting, too. The additions of garlic and spices sound delicious. YUM!

I just tried to do cauliflower a few days ago at your suggestion and it turned out great. Thank you for that one.

Time to go and buy some more cabbage, methinks.

Tara @ TheOrganicSister said...

I'm not a huge fan of cabbage but this looks really good!