Thursday, October 9, 2008

A winning strategy

I, like most sensible people, have never really had a thing for cabbage. It's a bit stinky and bitter. In the big platters my grandmother served at St. Patrick's Day with corned beef, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage, those slippery greenish strings were always getting in the way of the good stuff. Like everything else on the platter.

But something's happened to cabbage, or, more likely, something's happened to me. Because at the farmer's market, it looked good. Inviting, even. All gigantic and leafy and heavy. I made a version of this pork and cabbage dish from Amateur Gourmet, and it was, I don't know. Kind The whole thing smelled like delicious butter when it was cooking, but the greens were bitter and mushy.

Then I found this cabbage casserole on the kitchn (oh, kitchn, you never let me down!). And let me just say, this is plus 25 points for the you-can-add-bacon-and-sour-cream-to-anything-and-it-will-taste-better team. That team is always so annoyingly ahead, aren't they? But they have such a winning strategy.

Cabbage casserole
Adapted from a recipe on the kitchn

You will need:

4 slices of bacon (the fatty kind, if you have it -- I had center cut and it didn't have quite enough fat for cooking the cabbage in)
1 small cabbage or part of a gigantic cabbage, shredded
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup cream cheese, stirred together

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook four slices of bacon over medium heat, cooking slowly to get as much fat out of the bacon as possible, while leaving the bacon very crispy but not burned. As the bacon cooks, shred your cabbage. Pull the bacon from the pan and cook the cabbage and onion in the fat. Add salt to taste

Cook until the cabbage has started to shrink down and soften, but still has a bit of crunch left. Put the cabbage and onion in a baking dish. Then, top it with the sour cream and cream cheese mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the sour cream begins to brown and lose some of its moisture. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it on top.

This went beautifully with buttered noodles and sausage for an excellent weeknight meal.

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