Dinner @ 226 - Braised Purple Cabbage

I was recently stuck on an idea for a German themed dinner club get together.  All the meat and potatoes dishes had been taken, which was fine with me, because I'm not really a meat and potatoes sort of gal.  But, after a quick Google search for German vegetable side dishes that yielded very few, if any, authentic German dishes, I was at a loss.

I started to think I should just cheat.  I'll make Borscht.  It's Russian, but no one would care, right?  Plus, I have a dangerously good Amish recipe for Borscht that turns even the most Persnickety Beet Averse to Marveling Beet Enthusiasts.  Plus, you know, it's pinky-purple.  And who doesn't like to eat pinky-purple food?

After some hemming and hawing, it turns out, I'm a Themed-Party-Purist and I couldn't cheat.  Not even a little.  Somehow copying three quarters of my Junior Year Honors English Final Essay from an essay that a college aged babysitter gave me was totally fine.  Making a Russian dish for a German dinner party?  Not so fine.  Perhaps my moral fiber has grown stronger over the years.  Let's hope so.   As good as my Borscht would be (and it would have been) I would know its geographical origin.  And good food never comes from Russia lies.

I needed reinforcements.  Or, more specifically, I needed my sister.  Any question that I ever have regarding food, cooking or literature are texted or emailed exclusively to her.  She is my one stop resource for those topics.  There are times that we have 17 minute long text sessions about the right way to approach the Salade Nicoise or if you should peel or break off the tough stems of asparagus.

It's pinky-purple.  All is right in the world.
"Why text?" you ask.  Well, with my two crazies and her adorable little crazy, it makes actual conversations rather challenging.  Inevitably, one of us has to leave the conversation unexpectedly to change a ripe diaper or to yell at gently ask a certain four year old boy to stop eating the pieces of pasta he finds in the couch cushion.

"If you liked it, then you better put an egg on it."  My breakfast philosophy.
Her articulate response to my asking for ideas for a German vegetable side dish?  "Fuuuuuuuck!  Veg is def not the Germans' strong suit."  After a little marination, she did come up with a fantastic idea that we've both made and loved for years.  Why was it slipping my mind?  I don't know.  That's why I have a sister.

Braised Purple Cabbage - This dish is all great things.  It takes very little active prep time.  And the result is so divine.  The day after dinner club, I ate it for breakfast lunch and dinner.  Reed declared that we must plant purple cabbage so that we could make this all summer long.  It would be tremendous with a side of pork or sausages or as a tangy accent to any and all rich egg dishes, like this quiche.  Please don't wait around for German themed festivities.  I recommend you double this recipe if you have a pot big enough.  It keeps in the fridge for at least a week.  Adapted barely from this recipe.

2 tablespoons oil (most anything works, I used grapeseed)
1/2 small red onion, trimmed and finely chopped
1 large head of purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (use the largest knife you have to make this job easier)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a grater
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 generous tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon salt
a scant 1/4 teaspoon of caraway seeds

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot or dutch oven.  Add the red onion and sauté until translucent and fragrant, (do not brown) about five minutes.  Add the cabbage, apple, vinegar, honey, salt and caraway seeds.  Turn the heat down to medium low and cover.  Stir every 15 minutes, for an hour or so.

The cabbage should be silky and soft, but still maintain it's individual shape.  We're not making baby food.

Serve warm.  And let the salivating commence.

1 comment:

  1. This looks so tasty, Whitney! And I actually have all these ingredients in my fridge right now. Thanks for the inspiration!