Sunday, October 23, 2011

What to do with leftover cabbage

When we last left our intrepid heroine, she was serving fish tacos with a lovely cabbage slaw. Now that recipe only required 4 cups of cabbage, so I had a ton left over, even after removing the outer leaves. 

One of my favorite dishes on an Indian buffet is curried cabbage. It's not a creamy recipe like many curries, but vinegar-based. This one has quite a bit of mustards. Here's our ingredient list:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard (I used a beer mustard that I picked up on my last trip to New Orleans)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 12 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add mustard, curry, and turmeric; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in cabbage and remaining ingredients; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

I think this one needs a little bit of tweaking, even as I enjoyed the results. The mustard was a little bit overwhelming to me, though my sweetie liked it quite a bit. I'm thinking a touch more curry and tumeric, perhaps another teaspoon each.

Some news on a personal level. I just recently had some braces installed on my teeth, so my posts are going to be changing slightly. There may be a few more soft foods than usual, as quiche and soups are easier on my mouth than say, lamb or beef. Next post will be my first attempt in over ten years making a yeast bread. Flatbread, specifically, cooked in a dry pan on the stovetop.

I will be going away for a week next month on a cruise and also participating in Nanowrimo, so I may be a bit distracted. Okay, I'll be a lot distracted and living mostly on coffee, tea and red wine in approximately equal amounts. Fortunately, vanilla protein powder makes a semi-decent coffee creamer.

Until next time, thank you for reading and your comments are always welcome!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weeknight dinner--Easy fish tacos

Weeknights can be a challenge. After eight or so hours at my desk (I am lucky enough that my day job lets me work from home), the last thing I feel like doing is a lot of chopping, dicing, julienne or mincing.

On the other foot, sometimes a meeting goes so well that spending my lunch hour destroying a vegetable can be downright therapeutic. When I found the below recipe on Cooking Light, I decided to make the slaw at lunchtime and I think the meal was the more enjoyable for it. Slaw generally is made better a day before so the flavors have a chance to blend anyway

  • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped plum tomatoes (this turned out to be 2)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 T fresh lime juice (I used the whole lime, a small one a little bigger than a golf ball. It yielded about 3.5T)
  • 5 T extra virgin olive oil (there's a bit of a math problem in the recipe)
  • 1/2 t salt, divided
  • 1 pound tilapia filets (I used cod. Partly because I try to buy local when I can, partly because it has a little more flavor than tilapia)
  • 1 t chili powder (I was a little more generous, see below)
  • corn tortillas
  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add juice, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well to combine. (I added a t of cumin as well)
  • Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with chili powder and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat, and cut fish into bite-sized pieces.
  • Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup cabbage mixture down the center of each tortilla. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; fold in half. Serve tacos with remaining cabbage mixture.

I used two T of oil to cook the fish, and next time I'll do it on medium heat. Even in a non-stick pan, my fillets stuck. I also just shook the chili powder onto the fish until it was nicely coated. 

I love the way this turned out. Corn tortillas are definitely the way to go, partly for their sturdiness, partly for the texture adding to the overall mouthfeel. I also added sliced avocado to my tacos, which added a creamy element without taking away from the flaky fish or the crunch of the cabbage.

For a contrast, I served with black beans. I ate some of the leftover cabbage in the remaining tacos (we had three apiece) for lunch the following and it was delicious on its own.

Now, what to do with all the leftover cabbage? Tune in next time!

Questions? Comments? Recipes you'd like to see? Let's hear them!