Cabbage and Potato Bake – CSA Member Guest Post

We are so excited this week to have a guest post from JB Dixon.  He is what I call a “foodie” and creates some delicious meals…….

Greetings,  Pekarek’s Produce fans!  While the brutal hot & dry Summer drags on, I know that if you’re reading this, you’ll agree that it’s so great to be supporting all of the hard work of the Pekarek family by turning their great vegetables into satisfying meals for our families.  A couple of weeks ago, our full share CSA bag included a beautiful head of green cabbage, a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, and a few gorgeous onions.  I knew I had to make a family favorite, even though the temperature was soaring outside. While this particular recipe screams for the Mid-March chill of St. Patrick’s Day, I have no problem making this particular recipe any time of year.
Cabbage & Potato Bake has all of the ingredients that remind me of the smells and flavors of my Granny Ocle’s* cooking growing up in Southwest Iowa (*pronounced “Oh-Suhl”….a good German name!), even though I don’t recall this particular dish ever being made by her.  Before she and her sister (Aunt Bernice) passed away a few years ago, I had the opportunity to make this delicious, satisfying dish for them, honoring them in a way.  It warmed me when they gave me their seal of approval; they loved it.
This is a hearty, savory, almost stew-like dish that stands on its own, with the sweetness of the onion and the smokiness of bacon becoming a match made in heaven. (I’ve often said that my own personal Yankee Candle scent would be “Bacon & Onions in a Cast Iron Skillet”… They’re made for one another) I could easily envision a few Seward County German riffs on this that would include a bit of sugar, and that would work fine.  Try it this way first, and see what you think.  Leftovers will freeze up to one month.
CABBAGE AND POTATO BAKE
1 cabbage, about 2 1/2 lbs.
5-6 Yukon Gold or red potatoes, peeled and cut in half or lengthwise, about 2 1/2 lbs
12-16 oz lean smoked bacon, cut to 1/2 in. dice
2 cups white or yellow onions, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2-3 cups homemade chicken stock, or canned chicken stock or broth.
Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees.
Rinse the cabbage and remove the first layer of outer leaves.  Cut the cabbage in half and remove the hard core.  Cut the cabbage halves into thirds or quarters and place, rounded side down into a large roasting pan.
Peel and cut the potatoes, and arrange in the roasting pan, alternating with the cabbage pieces.
Fry the bacon in a medium skillet for 7 minutes, or just before it’s crispy, but do not drain.
Add the sliced onions (pause to take in how amazing that smells) salt & black pepper and cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes.
Evenly distribute the bacon mixture and pan drippings over the vegetables, then pour the chicken stock into the pan.  Tightly cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil or a lid and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow to sit, covered, for 15 minutes before serving.  Serve the vegetables with the bacon & broth spooned over them.  Give thanks. Enjoy.  Repeat.

Beet Sandwich

I am officially NOT a beet person – but I am trying to become one.  When I think of beets, I always think of the smell of dirt, but not in a good way.  So I did a little looking around to see if there were some different ways to eat beets and I thought a beet sandwich was my best bet.  I figured out that I LOVED it this way.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium beets, sliced thin
  • 1 green onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 yellow tomato, sliced
  • good bread
  • mayonnaise
  • lettuce or spinach

Directions

1. Steam beets.  Remove skin.  Slice into thin slices.

2. Thinly slice green onions.  I cut one in half length wise and then cut into 2 inch sections.


3. Toast your favorite bread
4. To assemble the sandwich spread some mayo on the toast, lay down a layer of green onions, then a layer of beets, then cabbage, then top with a tomatoes.

Braised Cabbage with Onions

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium head cabbage
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced vertically
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 apple
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 3 Tbs white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs grape or currant jelly
  • salt, hot sauce to taste

Directions

Remove outer leaves and core from the cabbage and cut vertically in thin slices. Place the olive oil in a casserole or heavy pot with a lid and toss the cabbage to coat with oil. Mix in the onion. Add the vinegar and top with the butter. Bake, tightly covered, about an hour in a 325º oven. Stir the contents of the pot once about halfway through the cooking. The cabbage should be thoroughly cooked when done – Nice and soft!

Peel, core and grate the apple. When the cabbage is finished cooking, stir in the shredded apple and jelly. Allow to rest, covered tightly, about 10 minutes and serve.

“Runza” Casserole… Mmm

You know the best thing about cabbage it can really make a meal delicious!  And if you live in Nebraska, you are very familiar with a Runza (R).

But individually stuffing bread can be very time consuming and some of us (mostly me) don’t want to spend that much time in the Kitchen. So I, like so many others, simplify things and turn this into a yummy casserole. Ryan can find you a beautiful head of cabbage and if you have a food processor, shredding your own head of cabbage isn’t hard – although I like to use my big Chef’s knife to cut it up. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. hamburger (I use deer)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 c. shredded cabbage
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Pre-heat the oven to 375 oF. Brown the hamburger and onion in a large pan, then drain.  Return the meat to the pan, add 1/2 cup of water and add the cabbage to steam. Simmer until very soft- this may take awhile.  Mix the meat, onions and cabbage together.  Spread the meat mix on the bottom of a 9X13 pan.  Spread the cheese on top of the meat mix. Place crescent rolls on top and pinch together. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cover last 10 minutes to soften crust. Perfect for Runza lovers and so much easier than making individual ones.