Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Braised Cabbage

I've mentioned before that cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables - no wonder, I grew up on it. This particular dish was always on our menu since I remember myself. I have modified the original recipe my mom was cooking, it is simpler now, faster to cook without sacrificing the taste. That is why it was easy to make it regular in my own household.

What it is
It's cabbage briefly cooked in a frying pan with carrots and onion. It has soft sweet-and-sour taste created by fare amount of carrot and couple splashes of white vinegar. Barely cooked cabbage gives it a great texture.

How it's served
It can be served as a side dish to any type of meat of fish. Well, yesterday I had it for dinner just with a toasted baguette and cheese and got complete satisfaction from my meal! It also perfect for potlucks or "grill-out" parties as a healthy vegetable pairing for a grilled meat.
I almost forgot about my favorite pairing for braised cabbage - I just love to throw it on a top of freshly cooked buttered pasta - ultimate comfort food!
Also, braised cabbage is very versatile because it can be served hot, warm or completely cold as a side dish or "solo" - what to ask for more!

Some side comments
There are numerous variations of braised cabbage preparations among 'soviet' cooks. I stand by mine - as I said, it's fast and delicious, 3-or-so component dish.

How to store it
It will survive in a fridge for several days.

Endless. Anything from seeds, herbs to cooked meat or seafood can be added to it. Although it will become something else, not the Simple Braised Cabbage.

Also you can substitute vinegar with lemon juice if you like but I think vinegar works better here for some reason.

- If you are in a hurry, use store-bought shredded cabbage sometimes called coleslaw mix. If it comes with carrot - you don't need to bother yourself with peeling and grating carrots also! Just add a spoon of sugar to make up for lack of sufficient amount of carrot - you will get fast and healthy comfort dish!

Braised Cabbage

Half of medium size cabbage, shredded
3 medium-large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1 large onion, chopped
5 tbs flavorless olive oil
2-3 bay leaves (optional)
3 tbs of white vinegar
- In a large frying pan, cook onion in olive oil until soft and translucent.
- Add grated carrots and cook it until soft, for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add cabbage and cook it stirring for about 5 minutes until wilted and softened a little bit.
- Add salt, bay leaves and vinegar and cook for 5 more minutes stirring until flavors incorporate. Adjust vinegar to your taste. If it's more sour than you like - add a bit of sugar. Also it's up to you to cook a bit longer for softer cabbage or to take it off the heat while it's still a little bit crunchy.
- Enjoy! It's a failure-proof dish, I'm sure you will like it :)

Cooking science tells me to take bay leaf out of a dish as soon as it's cooked. I disobey, I love to catch it right from a plate with my fingers and lick it to taste its unique aromatic bitterness - try it!

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