As St. Paddy’s Day approaches, I was thinking, of course, about corned beef, and that led me to think about corned beef’s partner in crime–cabbage.
Generally, when most people think of using fresh cabbage in a scratch recipe, the obvious comes to mind–corned beef & cabbage, stuffed cabbage rolls (a.k.a. Golumpki), cabbage soup, and of course, the ever-popular cole slaw. I’d include sauerkraut in that list, but so few people actually make their own scratch recipes for that nowadays.
Being that cabbage is easily grown and inexpensive to purchase, both now and when many of the old classics were first created, most cabbage dishes, as it turns out, are peasant dishes, “Chlopski” in Polish, but that makes them no less delicious.
Here are a couple of recipes I enjoy very much. As the Polish would say, “Jedzcie, pijcie i popuszczajcie pasa,” which means, “Eat, drink and loosen your belt.”
Seared Chicken, Kielbasa & Maple Bacon, Mushrooms & Green Cabbage
6 Strips Nino’s Amish Maple Bacon, Cut in 1” Pieces
2 Chicken Breasts, Cut into 1” Pieces
1 Lb Kielbasa, Cut in 1” Pieces
2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
2 Cups Sweet Onion, Cut in 1” Pieces
8 Medium White Mushrooms, Quartered
½ Head Green Cabbage, Cut into 1” Chunks
¼ Cup Chicken Broth
To Taste Salt & Ground Black Pepper
In a large skillet (which has a lid to be used later), over medium-high heat, sauté the bacon until crisp, then remove the bacon from the pan (and reserve), leaving the grease behind.
Sauté the chicken breast pieces in the bacon grease until cooked through, then add the kielbasa, garlic, onions and mushrooms. Sauté approximately 5 minutes.
Add the cabbage and chicken broth to the pan and place the lid on. Cook (braise) about 10 minutes or until the cabbage is limp.
Remove the lid, season with salt and pepper, and portion with an equal amount of juices distributed to each portion.
Crispy Cabbage Rolls (in Phyllo)
Serves 6 (Rolls)
6 Strips Bacon, Cut into ½” Pieces
1 Cup Sweet Onion, Chopped
2 tsp Garlic, Minced
½ Cup Green Apple, Peeled, Cored, Chopped
4 Cups Green Cabbage, Shredded
To Taste Salt & Pepper
6 Sheets Phyllo Dough, Thawed
½ Cup Melted Butter
¼ to ½ Cup Salvaggio’s Italian Bread Crumbs
1 Cup Sour Cream
In a medium-size sauté pan, over medium-high heat, sauté the bacon until crisp.
Leaving the bacon and resulting grease in the pan, add the onions and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes.
Add the apples and cabbage. Turn the heat to medium and sauté for approximately 5 minutes or until the cabbage is slightly glossy and limp.
Season with salt and pepper, and then remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool.
On a clean, flat surface, lay out a sheet of phyllo dough and brush with melted butter. Lightly and evenly sprinkle approximately 1 TBSP of Salvaggio’s Italian Bread Crumbs over the sheet and repeat, layering 2 more phyllo sheets with butter and bread crumbs over the top of the first sheet (3 sheets total).
Depending on the size of the particular phyllo sheets you’ve used, cut the layered sheet into 3 even rectangles and then divide the cabbage mixture into 6 even portions. 3 are to be used now and the other 3 are to be used once you repeat the buttering and bread crumbing of the remaining 3 sheets of phyllo you have.
Place a portion of the cabbage mixture centered at the bottom of the narrow end of your rectangles. Fold over the bottom edge of the phyllo to cover the cabbage mixture, fold a left and right edge of the dough to seal the end, and then roll forward to fashion a tubular roll.
Repeat with the remaining rectangles and with the remaining 3 sheets of phyllo and filling, placing each finished roll seam-side down on a non-stick cookie sheet.
Bake the rolls in a 450 F oven approximately 15 minutes or until the phyllo dough is medium-brown and crisp.