KALE/CABBAGE SAUTE

Now, here’s a crowd-pleaser (sautéed kale/cabbage) that can be had at any meal. I did; and my palate was reintroduced to a crispy, tasty and nutritious treat. This delicious side was just what I needed to add to my breakfast and supper meals.

A TASTE OF HOME (JAMAICA) #PICKLED RED HERRING AND SAUTEED CABBAGE

So, over the week-end, I went a tad naughty and indulged in dish atypical of my weekly diet. All roads led me to a Jamaican experience. Needed something tasty and a little salty. Knew what I had to do. Didn’t have to venture far. Had left-over pickled red herring in close sight in refrigerator.

Because  the sodium content is high in pickled red herring, I made sure to extract same by repeatedly rinsing, boiling and soaking. After taste-testing, fish was simmered in: drizzle of coconut oil, sautéed onions, garlic, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, crushed pimento, pinch of sugar, and splash of vinegar.

Served pickled red herring with a slightly sweet and sour sautéed cabbage with slices of nature’s butter (avocado). This gave a perfect balance to the pickled fish.

WHO SAYS I CAN’T PLAY WITH FOOD? #RICE/CABBAGE WITH A HINT OF CURRY/CRANBERRIES

The other day, I felt like a kid again. I like to experiment and sometimes take my dishes to different and quirky level. What’s the worse that could occur? I just wouldn’t  try that again.My palate and I were in a colorful and odd place.

Well, that’s what I said to myself as I chopped a few wedges of cabbage to join some sautéed onions in a drizzle of olive oil.

VEGGIES BEING SAUTEED FOR JASMINE RICE WITH HINT OF CURRY POWDER
VEGGIES BEING SAUTEED FOR JASMINE RICE WITH HINT OF CURRY POWDER

I decided to go Mediterranean/Caribbean with my Jasmine rice of choice. I wanted a hint of color to my lily-white rice. After I sautéed and seasoned along my onions, cabbage and garlic, I added rice and allowed the grains to be coated with oil.

I was in culinary heaven as I watched my ingredients transformed to light yellow in appearance. I also added a sprig of thyme, and scallion. It seemed like I was going toss in the kitchen sink. But, I pulled back.

Rice was covered with lid under low heat after adding water. As soon as it came to a fluffy finish, thinly chopped bell peppers were added. I wasn’t finished. I desired a contrast, but cohesive in flavors and decided to toss in dried cranberries.

JASMINE RICE/CABBAGE WITH A HINT OF CURRY POWDER AND DRIED CRANBERRIES
JASMINE RICE/CABBAGE WITH A HINT OF CURRY POWDER AND DRIED CRANBERRIES

All the flavors played off each other. The curry wasn’t overpowering; but, provided a taste that reminded me of childhood and perhaps what would be served in a Mediterranean kitchen. The cranberries took it to another level. They gave a beautiful and contrasting tart-sweet taste to the dish that surprised my taste buds.

I served rice with  grilled citrus shrimp and vegetables along with a serving baked orange-flavored chicken wings. Fresh wedges of seasoned vine-ripe tomatoes completed my dish.

##STUFFED CABBAGE…..A DISH YOU CAN ‘STUFF’ AND STORE

I confess; I’m not a great lover of cabbage. However, recently, I nabbed one at my neighborhood grocer (produce section) with the plan of making yours truly a dish of stuffed cabbage. I’ve cooked it once or twice in the past and enjoyed.Thus, I decided to revisit the cruciferous dish. I also added a huge input of dear old lycopene in the form of one of my faves, tomatoes. And, I loaded up a great amount of veggies. Like most dishes, everyone place their special spin. So here is my variation to stuffed cabbage. The other ingredients are:

Some of the ingredients for Stuffed Cabbage
Some of the ingredients for Stuffed Cabbage

Of course, other ingredients included:

  • Minced turkey (1/2lb)
  • Italian sausage (1/4lb)
  • Cooked brown rice (1 cup)
  • Raisins (1/2 cup)
  • Medley of veggies
  • Olive oil (drizzle) (canola or any oil of choice)
  • Onion (L) 1/2
  • Fresh tomatoes (4)
  • Canned tomatoes (2-14ozs)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Dried basil and oregano (1/4 tsp)
  • Sugar (1/4 cup)
  • Red wine vinegar or any house vinegar (1/4)

    Cored cabbage in pot with simmering sweet/sour tomato sauce
    Cored cabbage in pot with simmering sweet/sour tomato sauce

Preparation:

1. Remove core from cabbage.

2. In a sturdy stock pot, whole cabbage is boiled in salted water for 3 minutes. Then cool under cold tap water.

3. When cabbage is cool enough to handle, use paring knife or any knife to cut/remove tough center.  (I used twelve leaves)

4. In sauce pot, drizzle oil and soften diced onion and garlic. Add finely chopped tomatoes and canned tomatoes and season along with salt and pepper to taste. Add other dried seasoning along with sugar and vinegar.

5. Allow sweet and sour tomato sauce to simmer until it’s thickened to desired consistency. Set aside.

6. In hot skillet, drizzle oil and brown turkey/sausage. Make sure to season with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, dried basil oregano along with a dash of balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

7. Finely chop veggies (carrot, onion, bell pepper, etc.) and do a quick stir-fry (five minutes) of them. Remove from stove and add cooked rice, turkey/sausage, raisins and combine.

8. Use a measuring cup (1/4) or spoon to fill prepared cabbage leaves.

9. Place a layer of sweet/sour tomato sauce at bottom of baking dish.

Cabbage leaves awaiting filling to be placed in baking dish
Cabbage leaves awaiting filling to be placed in baking dish
Filled cabbage leaves ready to be folded and placed in oven
Filled cabbage leaves ready to be folded and placed in oven

10. Fold cabbage leaves and place in waiting baking dish. Spoon on sweet/sour tomato sauce on top. Cover with foil.

Stuffed cabbage leaves awaiting hot oven
Stuffed cabbage leaves awaiting hot oven

11. Bake in heated 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.

12. Remove foil at the last five minutes. Serve hot. Add extra sauce if needed.

A plating of stuffed cabbage
A plating of stuffed cabbage
Stuffed cabbage in tupperware for storage in freezer
Stuffed cabbage in tupperware for storage in freezer

Guys, as always, be kind to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates. Enjoy!