Monday, January 17, 2011

Cabbage "Cake"

The original recipe called for 1/2 pound of slab bacon-whatever that is. I omitted it and didn't try using a bacon-type substitute. This made a nice, meatless dinner, and if you wanted it vegan the butter could be switched with oil as well.

The recipe is from The Best of Food and Wine, 1987 Collection. It takes quite a bit of time, but I made the cabbage filling well-ahead and had no difficulty assembling it all later.

You Will Need:

1 large head of cabbage-about 3 pounds
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large baking potato peeled and finely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water

Remove and discard 3 or 4 of the toughest outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut a deep core so that leaves will separate. Place the head in a large pot of boiling water. As the leaves begin to loosen, remove the next 6 or 7 to a bowl. Keep boiling until 10 leaves can be removed. Take out the head. return the 10 leaves to the pot and boil until tender and translucent-about 15-20 minutes. Drain. Coarsely chop the first 6 or 7 leaves and enough of the whole head to total 6 cups. Reserve remaining whole leaves.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the onion, chopped cabbage, caraway seeds, salt and pepper over moderate heat until cabbage is lightly browned-about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp-or make ahead to this point and chill.

Add Potato and egg to cabbage mixture, and combine well. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and then set aside, off heat. Arrange leaves of cabbage with stalk part to centre with edges overlapping the pan. Mound the filling in the centre, then fold the leaves inward to cover the top. Add 2 tablespoons of water around the pan and cover. Cook over moderate heat 20 minutes.

Remove to a plate, sliding carefully, then invert to another plate. Add the remaining butter to the pan, then slide the cake back onto pan. Cover and cook 20 minutes longer. Remove to a plate to serve, letting it stand a few minutes before slicing.

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