Food Chain

Good Eatin’ vii
This is the seventh in an occasional series of Good Eatin’—kind of a sidebar often involving leftovers—where I will describe an easily put together meal that we enjoyed very recently, maybe yesterday.

Not The Food Chain, but a food chain. One thing leads to another.

Cabbage and Dogs

The Last Of The Cabbage

I made Shrimp Remoulade for a dinner with friends, so there were some shrimp left, already thawed and peeled. I have to use those soon, or they’ll go south.

I made Country Cabbage Soup for my lunches, which takes half a head of Savoy cabbage, so there is half a head left. When you’re cooking for one or two, that happens.

The next day I made Shrimp Stuffed Cabbage, that takes care of the shrimp, but only uses 4 to 6 outer leaves of the cabbage, so I still have cabbage left. I do love this dish. It’s so simple to do. The shrimp stuffing has just the right spice and the cabbage wrap adds flavor of its own. Nonetheless, I either make some slaw, chuck the cabbage or think of something else.

We happen to have some knockwurst. That’s good with sauerkraut, but sauerkraut takes a long time and makes a lot. Since sauerkraut is just spoiled cabbage, maybe I can find a simple cabbage dish for the knocks and kill two foods with one fork.

I transcribed a few recipes from the Time Life German Cookbook before I tossed it to make a moving box a few ounces lighter. The Cabbage in Sweet & Sour Sauce is good and should do the knocks proud.

Just like that, no more perishables to worry about, and that’s four fine meals.

Shrimp-Stuffed Cabbage
NY Times, Mark Bittman April 24, 2006
Time: About an hour

1 medium head Savoy cabbage
The Stuffing
1 pound peeled shrimp
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh and lightly toasted [1]
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, more or less
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
The Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes, with their liquid (canned is fine)
Black pepper.

1. Bring pot of water to a boil, and add salt. Meanwhile, remove enough outer leaves of cabbage to get 8 large, nearly perfect leaves. [2] Use a paring knife to remove their thickest vein. Put leaves in boiling water until softened, a minute or so; remove, and drain on paper towels.

2. Combine shrimp, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, cayenne, half the oil and a large pinch of salt in food processor, and pulse until well minced but not puréed. Put portion of shrimp mixture on lower third of each leaf, fold in sides and roll up; don’t overstuff, and don’t roll too tightly.

3. Put remaining oil in a skillet that can be covered and is large enough to accommodate cabbage rolls; turn heat to medium-high. Add onion, and stir occasionally, until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and some salt and pepper, and stir occasionally until tomatoes break up, 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Add cabbage rolls, and cover, adjusting the heat so the mixture simmers. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, until rolls are firm; taste sauce to adjust seasoning. Serve with some sauce spooned over and garnished with parsley.

Cook 2 cups of noodles (for 2 people) according to package directions.
Yield: 4 servings.


[1] Made breadcrumbs from days old French bread. Cut off crusts, dice the bread small and make crumbs in the food processor. Toast the breadcrumbs at 400 ° for about 2 minutes.
[2] I learned it was easiest to core the cabbage and take off the leaves from the stem end. Blanch, then cut out the vein.

Cabbage in Sweet & Sour Sauce
Time Life Cookbook — German

3T olive oil
1/2C thinly sliced onions
1 1/2# cabbage cut in 1/2 inch strips (8C)
3 large tomatoes, peeled seeded & chopped
2T wine vinegar
2t salt
1T sugar

Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet, add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring consistently for 2 or 3 minutes.
When they are transparent but not brown, stir in the cabbage, tomatoes, vinegar, salt and a few grindings of pepper. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Then stir the sugar into the cabbage and cook a minute or 2 longer.

I nestled a jumbo hot dog — cooked long and slow on the grill pan — on top of the cabbage and served with little Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled and then seared in butter and oil, on the side.

Now, that’s Good Eatin’

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