"Isn't there anything to do with cabbage," people have been known to ask, "besides making sauerkraut and cole slaw?" There certainly is, and a quick look through cookbooks will soon turn up any number of wonderful ways to prepare this versatile, low-calorie vegetable, which is rich in vitamin C and contains good amounts of vitamins B1, B2, and A, along with calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
Homegrown cabbage from your garden can be baked, steamed, boiled, and stir-fried, and enjoyed in salads, soups, and stews, though cooking, of course, destroys some of the nutrients. (If you notice a strong odor when cooking cabbage, you may be using too high a heat or too much water. Some people claim that half a walnut dropped in the water will eliminate the odor problem.) Here are just a few MOTHER-tested dishes we think you'll enjoy.
3 tablespoons margarine
1 pound shredded cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced onions
6 cups homemade chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup rice
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Melt margarine in a 4-quart kettle. Rinse cabbage and add to margarine along with onions. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add broth, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add rice and cook 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese. Serves 8.
Per serving: 300 cal., 13 g pro., 8 g carbo., 15 g fat, 751 mg sodium. U.S. RDA: 14% vit. A, 23% vit. C, 40% calcium.
1 large head green cabbage
1 recipe for stuffing (see below)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 bay leaf, crushed
2 cups beef boullion
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground lamb
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon mint
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup raw white rice
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
Core cabbage and separate leaves. Parboil leaves in salted water for 5 minutes. Combine all stuffing ingredients and mix well. Place stuffing in individual cabbage leaves. Fold two opposite sides of each leaf inward and roll, starting at the short end. Place rolls in layers in large pot. Sprinkle each layer with olive oil, tomato sauce, and bay leaf. Add bouillon to the pot, adding enough water to cover the rolls. Cover and simmer over low heat for one hour. Serves 6 to 8.
Per serving: 382 cal., 12 g pro., 11 g carbo., 32 g fat, 23 mg sodium. U.S. RDA: 38% vit. C.
Quarter and shred firm heads and put a 4 inch layer of cabbage in a sterilized wood or crockery container. Add a layer of pickling salt (which has no chemical additives to affect taste or color) and pound the two together with a wooden mallet or clean baseball bat (avoid metal utensils). This releases the cabbage juices and the natural bacteria and initiates the fermentation process.
Keep adding layers of cabbage and salt and tamp each thoroughly. A five-gallon crock will hold 40 pounds of cabbage and will require 1 pound of salt. Fill the container to within 3 inches or 4 inches of the top, and place a plate — weighted down with a rock — on the kraut to make sure it is completely covered with brine. Otherwise, it will rot. Cover the crock with a clean cloth.
Sauerkraut can be cured in either a warm or cool environment. The first, a fast process, tends to produce a "sweet" kraut, and the second, which slows fermentation, makes a "tart" product. It's important to check the container every other day during the preservation process, washing the plate and the rock and skimming off any mold or scum that forms. When the mixture quits bubbling, it's ready to eat, can, or store in a cool place for winter enjoyment.
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