Currabinny Cooks: Crafty cabbage recipes too good to miss

Currabinny Cooks: Crafty cabbage recipes too good to miss
"We are unashamedly obsessive when it comes to cabbage" Currabinny cooks have some new cabbage recipes for you.

It is roughly one year since we last featured cabbage, indeed it was our very first article.

In it we talked about cabbage as misunderstood, old fashioned and unattractive. The great unsung hero of Irish cooking.

There may still be a little residual apathy towards cabbage but I feel there has been a slight resurgence in our collective appreciation as we move towards greater respect for local ingredients.

We are unashamedly obsessive when it comes to cabbage, featuring it in all kinds of different meals we cook.

There is a great variety of cabbage in the supermarkets, greengrocers and markets these days.

We love a good leafy, terrifically green savoy cabbage, which is perfect simply shredded and sautéd in a pan with butter and salt.

There is a lot of ‘hispi’ cabbage in restaurants at the moment although we haven’t seen much in the stores to buy.

They are small cabbages which seem to be similar to a sweetheart cabbage and are perfect for grilling or barbecuing whole.

We have included three very simple but satisfyingly delicious recipes to make quickly. The first one is an absolute classic, buttered cabbage with caraway seeds.

Caraway seeds are definitely not to everyone's taste, there is a sort of love it or hate it element to them.

We personally love them but of course, if you have a strong aversion you can just not add them in. Buttered cabbage is delicious either way, although be careful not to overcook it.

The fried cabbage sandwich was born out of a desire to capture the classic Irish pairing in a sandwich.

We are sandwich fiends and rarely a day goes by without one, so it was quite natural for us to decide to place some fried cabbage and ham in between two slices of bread, or in this case a good rustic French baguette.

The recipe for the pickle is a good one as it offers a less clawing sweetness than many pickles which use sugar. The honey gives it a warmth and mellow sweetness that is perfect with the cider vinegar.

Buttered Cabbage with Caraway seeds

Currabinny Cooks: Crafty cabbage recipes too good to miss

Caraway seeds are both earthy and sweet and add a subtle anise flavour to the cabbage.

I never blanche the cabbage beforehand as I feel the butter, oil and heat of the pan combine to tenderise the thin shreds perfectly.

You want to retain a little bite and texture in the cabbage.

Ingredients

½ Savoy Cabbage, shredded.

½ teaspoon of caraway seeds

50g butter

1 tbsp of rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Shred the cabbage into long thin ribbons.

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy-based pan.

Add the shredded cabbage and cook for a minute or two on high heat until it is all wilted and coated in butter.

Reduce heat and add caraway seeds and cook for a further four to five minutes until tender and fragrant.

Season to taste.

Cider and Honey Cabbage pickle

Currabinny Cooks: Crafty cabbage recipes too good to miss

We find a good cabbage pickle to be one of the most useful pickles and there are so many ways you can pickle cabbage.

Kimchi and pickled red cabbage are the obvious ones but there is a lot to play around with in terms of spices and varying levels of acidity and sweetness.

This pickle has a warm mellow sweetness and earthy tartness along with a little background heat.

Ingredients

½ green cabbage

Thinly shredded ½ onion

Sliced thinly 1 small red chilli,

Thinly sliced 1 tbsp of sea salt

For the Pickling solution:

100ml apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp of good quality honey

2 tsp of mustard seeds

1 tsp of black peppercorns

8 allspice berries

2 bay leaves

1 tsp of coriander seeds.

Method

Put the shredded cabbage in a bowl and cover with the sea salt.

Leave for around 40 minutes to an hour. This process will remove some of the moisture from the cabbage.

You will be able to squeeze a lot of water out with your hands. You can use a clean kitchen towel to pat dry the cabbage and then place in a sterilised 1-litre jar along with the onion and chilli.

For the pickling solution, place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently until the honey is dissolved.

There is no need to boil the solution as this might kill off any of the benefits you get from the cider vinegar or honey.

Pour the pickling solution onto the cabbage mixture in the jar.

Leave to cool to room temperature and place in the fridge. This should keep for around two months in the fridge.

We find a good cabbage pickle to be one of the most useful pickles and there are so many ways you can pickle cabbage.

Fried Cabbage and Ham Sandwich

Currabinny Cooks: Crafty cabbage recipes too good to miss

This takes the traditional Irish dinner of ham and cabbage to a completely new level. Gone are the over boiled and soggy ingredients strewn on a plate.

The cabbage in this recipe, along with the ham are fried, luxuriantly in garlicky, lemony butter.

The bread, torn open, is used to wipe the juices from the pan before being stuffed generously with the fried ham and cabbage.

Eat immediately from the pan, don’t even bother with a plate.

Ingredients

2 bsp of wild garlic and lemon butter

A good handful of green/York cabbage

6 rough slices of left over ham or charcuterie ham such as speck, prosciutto or capicola

A good sized piece of good quality French baguette, cut into 2 and then halved

For the wild garlic and lemon butter 100g softened butter

Small handful of wild garlic, chopped finely

Juice of ½ lemon

Method

Pinch of Sea salt On a medium heat In a large frying pan, melt the wild garlic and lemon butter (with a small drop of olive oil if you are afraid of it browning).

Shred the handful of cabbage thinly and add to the pan, softening it for 2 or 3 minutes.

Add the ham and cook for a further minute. Push the contents to one side and place the pieces of bread on the hot pan, allowing them to soak up the hot garlicky butter.

Spoon the ham and cabbage onto the bottom piece of baguette, put the top on and eat immediately.

To make the wild garlic and lemon butter Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, using a fork to mash everything together. The lemon will resist amalgamating with the butter but it will come together with enough mashing.

Roll the butter in some brown parchment into a sausage and place in the fridge until set completely.

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