Friday, August 20, 2010

What to do with cabbage?

When I visited my mom a few weeks ago, she sent me home with 2 head of cabbage from her garden (along with some tomatoes). YUM! Homegrown organic veggies! I already have a head of cabbage in my fridge. I love coleslaw (besides hummus it's one of the things I use my food processor the most for!) and use it for steaming Chinese dumplings instead of wax paper (get extra veggies in!)

But tonight, I've decided to fix something I haven't had for a while: Kaluski. Now, it goes by different names/spellings but it's basically cabbage and noodles. Sometimes I can find kaluski noodles- but you can use any size egg noodles that you want to. I've even made the switch to whole wheat egg noodles and it's been fine. One thing I like to do that this recipe doesn't is actually brown the cabbage. It's also good made using grilled cabbage (wrap a wedge of raw cabbage in foil with a pat of butter and grill until the package is squeezable soft). Some serve it with cottage cheese, sour cream, sausage or beef. But we like it just as it is. You can also use margarine or olive oil if you want.

June Meyer's Authentic Hungarian Cabbage and Noodles (Haluska)

Fresh Green Cabbage, that most versatile vegetable. Easy to keep for a long time in the bottom of the vegetable drawer or root cellar. Cheap and available all year long.

The farmers would bring in wagons loaded high with heads of green cabbage. They knew that their lives would depend on their putting enough cabbage away for the winter. Large crocks would be filled with shredded cabbage and salt to make sour kraut, and heads would be buried in straw bins in the root cellar.

Hungarians prepare cabbage in more different ways than any other ethnic cuisine. Cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw, in the various refreshing cold slaws, eaten in summer or winter. It is preserved and pickled with salt as sour kraut and made into many distinctive regional dishes. It is most delicate when sliced and sautéed with butter. The worst thing you can do to it, is boil it.

This dish exemplifies the delicacy of sautéed cabbage. It comes out nutty and buttery.

Regards, June Meyer.

1 stick of butter
1 large onion peeled and cut in strips
1 small head of cabbage OR 1/2 large head of cabbage, cut into strips
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 box or bag of large egg noodles, cooked and drained
1 pint of sour cream

Melt the butter in a large pan or pot, large enough to hold the chopped cabbage.
Sauté the cabbage and the onion in the butter until glossy and tender.
Now add the salt, pepper. Cover and let the cabbage mixture cook over low heat for about 15 minutes.
Add cooked drained egg noodles and mix.
Serve with bowl of sour cream. add salt to taste.

Note: There is a variation that I make often.
* 1 lb. of cooked ground beef OR 1 lb. of thinly sliced smoked Hungarian sausage.
This can be placed on top of the noodles and the cabbage.

Serves 4 to 6.

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