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Homemade Kimchi

Kimchi is if not familiar is comparable to sauerkraut but a spicy Korean style.  In is made with a lacto-fermentation process.  This good bacteria is the kind you want in your stomach to keep it healthy and strong.  The link attached has some great information on the process Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.

We love kimchi at our house.  Well not so much the kids because of the spicy but Mr.Picky and I do.  Usually if I felt the need for a jar we would go out-of-the-way and purchase some from as Asian store that prepared and sold their own recipe.  I knew there had to be a better way.  How To Make Easy Kimchi at Home Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn was a link I found off of pinterest.

So I went to work.   I collected my ingredients which was mostly getting the fresh vegetables but I had to find the Gochugaru or Korean chile pepper to spice the kimchi.  This seemed a bit more difficult.  I ended us purchasing some in paste form as opposed to powder.  I was upset to learn it also had MSG in it.  Next time I will be ordering some online and have patients until it comes.

Putting the Kimchi together was rather simple but time-consuming.  There is a lot of waiting with this dish, but all great things are worth waiting for right?  The end result is just as I like spicy and crunchy.  I can’t wait to experiment with different vegetables.

Something I did not follow was bothering to weigh my vegetables.  Turns out after cutting it all up I knew I about doubled my amounts.  So I went ahead and doubled my sauce and ended up with 3 partial quart jars probably only 2 quart jars compacted.  Word to the wise is weigh the vegetables and adjust the recipe accordingly.  The link above provided great step by step pictures of the process if you need them.

Homemade KimchiHomemade Kimchi:

  • 1 (2 lb.) head of Napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sea or kosher salt
  • water
  • 1 Tbs grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2-3 tsp fish sauce or water
  • 1-5 Tbs gochugaru (Korean Chili Pepper), add according to level of spice desired
  • 8 oz. diakon radish
  • 4 green onions, trimmed 1″ pieces

Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.

In a large bowl combine cut cabbage and salt.  Wearing gloves or just with your hand (it made mine soft) message the salt into the cabbage until starts to soften.  Cover the cabbage will cold water and place a plate on top of the cabbage to hold it down.  Now place weights such as soup cans or jars on top of the plate.  Let stand 1-2 hours.

Homemade Kimchi

Drain water and rinse cabbage with cold water at least 2-3 times.  Allow to drain for about 20 minutes in a colander in the sink.

Meanwhile combine garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, and gochugaru(I added 3 Tbs of spice but doubled the recipe and it is perfect for our taste, I would probably start with 1 Tbs for a single batch) until smooth.

Slice the radish into match sticks pieces and trim the green onions.  Add all the vegetables to the spices including the drained cabbage.  If using your hands to mix (wear gloves) or a spoon and mix all together until evenly coated.

Pack the Kimchi into clean jars and press down until most in under the brine, leave at least 1 inch head room in jar.  Seal with a lid.

Allow Kimchi to set out at room temperature to ferment for 1-5 days.  Press down the vegetables each day to release some gases and taste.  It will bubble and give you  a very pungent aroma in the kitchen.

When the kimchi has reached the point of fermentation that you wish move to the refrigerator.  It can be eaten now or store for 1-2 weeks for the best flavor.

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Borscht

Borscht is essentially stew made with beets.  As a girl this was one of my favorite dinners my mom would make.  I would eat bowl after bowl until it was gone.  Although what is not to love beets are one of my favorite vegetables.

This is not only a healthy but a hearty soup to fill the bellies of the whole family.  You can blend it or dice your vegetables as fine as you would like.  I prefer it chunky as this is how I grew up with it.  I have never tried making it on my own but it turned out great.  My mother is an amazing soup maker and because she always throws things together I did my best.

Now if you think it is odd to add dollop of sour cream to you stew, you need to give it a try.  Borscht requires a dollop of sour cream and it just won’t taste the same without it.

Beet Stew with a dollop of sour cream

Beet Stew with a dollop of sour cream

Borscht:

  • 1 lb. beef stew meat, cubed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and diced
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced (if using new or red potatoes no need to peel)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 medium head of cabbage,diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash Worcestershire sauce

* This could easily be made in the crock pot.  After browning the stew meat combine all in the slow cooker and combine all ingredients.  Cook over low for at least 6 hours or until vegetables are tender.

In a 5 quart pot over medium/high heat oil and brown the stew meat.  Add in tomato sauce and beef broth.

Add in remaining ingredients  except cabbage and cover the pot with a lid.  Turn heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours.

Add in the cabbage and continue to cook and additional hour.

Taste and add any additional salt and pepper.  Remove the two bay leaves.

When the beets are tender and the meat is falling apart the Borscht is ready to serve.

Dollop each bowl with a bit of sour cream and serve.

Mad Hatter Salad

Mad Hatter Salad

I am renaming this salad to stuff your face, only because you can’t stop eating more.  My mother brought Mad Hatter Salad Recipe – Allrecipes.com to a family gathering and I am hooked.  The only problem is that it makes a ton, so you have to make it for larger gatherings.

Lucky for me we are hosting a birthday and I get to make a bunch of my favorite food.  I did let the kids pick out their favorites as well, it is their birthdays after all.  Many people went up for seconds at the party.  Even though the leftovers were soggy I ate them all up the next day for breakfast.

I have changed the original only slightly, but in a healthier direction.  I did not notice a taste difference, I just reduced the butter amount and changed-up the directions a bit.

Mad Hatter Salad:

  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 head of broccoli florets, cut up
  • 8 green onions, chopped

Crunchy Mix:

  • 2 packages of chicken or oriental top ramen
  • 1 cup slivered almond, optional or served on the side
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup oil (grape seed, canola, vegetable, etc.)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Combine cabbage, broccoli, and green onions in a  large bowl.

Meanwhile melt butter in a pan and toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, and ramen noodles with one package on seasoning.  If you are keeping the almonds separate I just leave them in a bowl at the side and skip toasting them.

While in a jar combine the dressing ingredients and the other package of seasoning mix, and shake what your mama gave you.

Keep the greens, the crunchy mix, and the dressing separate until just before serving.  Then just toss until coated to serve.Mad Hatter Salad

Sweet Restaurant Slaw

My mother makes great coleslaw, always off the top of her head.  Mr.Picky like with most things is picky about his coleslaw.  He always wants store-bought dressing, which I refuse to buy.  I set out to try a recipe I thought would fit into his bottled dressing.  I think I found it, and even our daughter decided she now loves coleslaw.

Thanks to Sweet Restaurant Slaw on Allrecipes, this is the recipe I made.

Sweet Restaurant ColeslawSweet Restaurant Slaw:

  • 16 oz. cabbage mix or half a large head of cabbage shredded
  • 2 Tbs onions, diced finely

Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined.  Toss dressing, cabbage, and onion together until well coated.

Allow to chill for at least 2 hours, this is very important.

Garlic Roasted Cabbage

Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage

You probably must already like cabbage to enjoy this recipe from Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks.  It gave the cabbage a very sweet smoky flavor.  Ate this as a side, and even my daughter enjoyed it.  I ended up cutting the leftover up and put it in some potato soup.

Garlic Roasted Cabbage:

  • 1 head of cabbage, sliced about 1 inch thick
  • 3-4 Tbs olive oil
  • a clove of garlic peeled and sliced in half
  • salt and pepper

Brush with both sides cabbage with oil, rub the cut side of the garlic all over the cabbage.  Season both sides with salt and pepper to taste and get ready to roast.

Roast the cabbage at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway in between.

Bierocks

Bierock RecipeA bierock if you are not familiar is a dish from Germany.  It is a beef and cabbage filled pastry.  To me it tastes between a burger and sandwich.  The kids and Mr.Picky love to dip theirs in ketchup.

This recipe is great for many reasons.  It tastes great, it makes a large batch that can be frozen, and it is loaded with vegetables.  I have eaten these sandwiches at different food carts.  I finally ended up looking up this recipe Bierrocks III Recipe – Allrecipes.com, it turned out great.  The recipe I found was only the filling so I used my dough recipe from My Cinnamon Rolls.  I also added some shredded carrots, why not add more vegetables.

I believe I ended up with at least 12 sandwiches.  I eat what we can for dinner, and package the rest individually and freeze them.  Both photos were taken of a frozen bierock I had in the freezer.  They thaw within a few hours in the fridge.  The reheat great in the oven wrapped in foil or in the microwave for a quick-lunch.

Bierocks:Bierock Recipe

Dough:

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast or one package of yeast
  • 4 1/4 cup flour

Combine milk and yeast, allow to sit for 10 minutes or until beginning to bubble.  If your yeast is not bubbling after 10 minutes check your expiration date on the yeast or you might have got your milk to hot and killed it.  Start again.

In a mixing bowl or in a bowl by hand combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Whisk it together or sift it so it is well combined.  Add in butter, eggs, and milk/yeast.  Using your paddle attachment mix until just combined.

Attach your dough hook or knead your dough by hand.  Knead on low for at least 5 minutes.  You want your dough to have a slight elastic feel when you pinch and pull your dough.

Cover your dough with plastic wrap and allow rise until doubled.  Usually takes about an hour, in a warm place.  I will usually turn my oven on low for 5 minutes and then turn it off.  I place my bowl of dough in the oven with the door open. Or just on the kitchen counter works as well, as long as the dough doubles.

While dough is doubling make the filling for your sandwiches.

Filling:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 5 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2-1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large skillet cook beef and sausage until brown.  Stir in cabbage, onions, and salt.

Saute over low for about 20 minutes, your house will smell amazing at this point.  Set filling aside to cool slightly.

Once the dough has doubled turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Let rest for 10 minutes before moving on.

Roll the dough to 1/4″ thick square, and cut into about 5″ square pieces.  Spoon filling onto each square, spoon all the filling out until it is used up so you don’t end up with leftovers.

Now however it works for you fold up each dough square to enclose the filling.  Place on a baking sheet seam side down.

Cover the baking sheet with a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.

Brush each roll with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt if you wish.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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