Are you a………………………cabbage eater?
(I mean, an outside-of coleslaw cabbage eater?)
I approach a risky food with you today…..red cabbage.
I myself didn’t even touch it until, oh, about three months ago?
I get this feeling that there are plenty of adults who are still afraid of this delightful, beautiful veggie.
(It’s seriously beautiful…….once I cut into it, I was in awe of the gorgeous, intricate design of the interior)
So yes, I decided to be a grown-up and stick my fork in a teensy smattering and give a taste. And I am not the only previous non-cabbage eater that this dish has changed: our dear, darling friend Frankie, a.k.a, Frankster, once joined me in the ranks of “cabbage?-no-thank-you.” And he, too, converted.
Now, my Nana, who happens to be blessed with both Italian and German heritage in beauty and in cooking, sometimes showcases a big bowl of red cabbage at her dinner table. As a child, I’d never eat the stuff–it was purple!
After my first make of the Sweet Cider Chicken, hubs and I agreed that while delicious, it needed something not-so-sweet to ‘balance the palate,’ as they say. I thought of the great red cabbage I’d had back at The Bavarian Chef and thought I would try to replicate it.
This side dish has a sweet-and-sour tang to it, and while I normally wouldn’t serve it alongside chicken, it proved to be a perfect balance to the sweetness of the honey mustard and cider vinegar in the marinade and sauce.
**make sure you use either white vinegar or red wine vinegar to help preserve the supah pretty reddish purple color**
SOMETHING LIKE MY NANA’S GERMAN CABBAGE
1–Take a 3-4 lb. head of red cabbage and shred the sucker. (Should make about 10 cups).
2–Stick the shreds in a nice, roomy saucepan with 2 tsp. vegetable oil and 1 large onion, thinly sliced (or 1 1/4 c. onion), and cook until all is wilted.
3–Then you gonna add about 3 tart apples, diced up, 2 T. and 2 tsp. water, 2 t. salt, black pepper to taste. (My apples were Granny Smith and my onions were leftover yellows—you surely could use white—but I would stay away from Vidalias since we’re trying to go sweet and sour and not sweet plus more sugar, capeesh?)
4–Let it simmer for 25 minutes or so, partially covered.
5–Add in 2 tsp. caraway seeds, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, and 1/2 tsp. ground allspice. Simmer for about 10 minutes, partially covered.
6–Mix in 1/4 c. white sugar and 1/2 cup. vinegar (either white or red wine, your pick!) and simmer about 10 more minutes. *at this stage in the game, you could elect to mix in cornstarch, pinch by pinch, until the cabbage and liquid reach a thicker, saucier consistency, or you could elect not to–you have the right to vote on this, kiddos!*
I do suggest taking out a slice of cabbagey yummness along the way to taste for seasonings and adding more if you so choose
This makes enough to feed at least five folks.
Enjoy and happy eating!