Cabbage is one of those vegetables that people either love or hate. Many times when someone tells me they do not like something, as far as food, I usually think or can help them trace that memory back to the meal that left them with that impression. In most cases it was because the meal in question was cooked poorly and not done well. For this very reason I will almost always try everything again and again, even if I do not like it, so that I can allow myself the opportunity to begin to enjoy something that I previously thought tasted horrible. It is that challenging yourself and your belief systems type of attitude and approach to life that allows you to grow, move outside your comfort zone, and enjoy life more fully.
Cabbage is one of those food items that I had to reintroduce multiple times throughout my life to fully be able to integrate it in my diet and actually enjoy consuming it. It is a rather cheap ingredient to cook with, it cooks fast, and it really does taste great. My two favorite ways to eat it are in a "hash" or fermented. Here is my favorite way to prepare it in a hash form currently.
You will need:
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, small diced
- 1 head of cabbage, julienne
- 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
- ghee or coconut oil
- In a large saute pan put 1-2 tbsp of cooking fat and heat to medium.
- Cook onion until soft and translucent
- Add carrot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add cabbage and cook until soft and browned in areas (can take around 15-20 minutes to get the browning but will be soft and ready to eat much faster if you like)
- At the very end when the cabbage is cooked to your liking you can add the garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Any type of protein can be added to this meal. Usually a steak or a piece of chicken or fish works great. It will be very filling. If you want to add in other spices or herbs into the cabbage mix go for it!!! A very neutral combo would be some dried oregano and a little paprika. If you really want to impress your family or friends add 1/2 cup of broth to the pan at the very end and allow to reduce until it is pretty much gone and not pooling on the bottom of the pan anywhere. Then add about 2 tbsp of butter and evenly coat everything. This adds a little extra fat to the dish and when you combine that with the sweetness of the caramelized cabbage it is just heavenly.
It is rather important to use a large saute pan. This ensures that you get things cooked evenly and quickly. Putting too much food in a pan and trying to cook it will make the process longer and messier. When friends come to our house and I cook with some of our "regular" pans they cannot believe how big they are. What is funny is that they usually are not even big enough to my liking! I like to cook to have leftovers and I want to be as efficient as I can with my time. So, if that means I spend an extra 15 minutes cutting up ingredients but I get a hassle free lunch or dinner out of doing so I am game.
Browning items when you are sauteing them can be tricky to learn how to do correctly. Since the line between caramelization and carbonization is so thin you really need to be paying attention with multiple senses to get it right. You will need to use your vision, hearing, and smell. I find smell and hearing to be the best because you can't see the bottom of the pan. It is also good to learn how to flip the items in your pan so as not to have to use utensils to stir. This minimizes the destruction of what your cooking. This is especially useful when frying up starchy vegetables such as zucchinis and sweet potatoes. A good way to practice is to stick a handful of dry beans in a pan and practice flipping them. Once you get good with your dominate hand then you can start practicing with the other. This can be a lot of fun and something you can do with your children!