I know it’s a little strange that I’m that I am telling you about another cabbage recipe so soon after the first one, but I can’t help myself. It’s too good to keep from you a moment longer. Doing so would be selfish and wrong. And I’m anything but selfish. Besides in Russia households typically always have a head of cabbage on hand. I know in my family it’s always been the case.
Moreover, I wish I could tell you that I’m one of those people who cooks a new thing every night, who is constantly craving variety, and is always out trying new things. I don’t. Sometimes I go for weeks without so much as turning on the stove. Embarrassing, but true. So if I find a dish that truly strikes a chord with me – well, I will make it over and over and over. Like this one for instance.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m very open to trying a new dish or a new flavor combination, but I am quite often finding myself ordering the same few things off my regular take-out menus. I could also very well make something and then eat it for several days and sometimes even longer. I’m a creature of habit to a fault. I like schedules and planning. Leftovers are just another way for me to continue eating what I like. Besides so many different things taste that much better the following days when the flavors have a chance to meld together: chili, soup, stew, and believe it or not – this cabbage. That is if it lasts that long in your household.
So this cabbage I want to tell you about. Well, I’ve recently fallen in love with braising vegetables in cream. You take something somewhat pedestrian, like cabbage for instance, and you add in some chopped leeks and then you sauté the whole thing for awhile until the leeks start turning yellow-green, closer to yellow; and the cabbage has wilted and began to look a little sad. This is where you swoop in and add some lemon juice, salt and finally cream and thus transform it from sadness into glory, like Cinderella going to a fancy ball. You let it thicken for a few minutes and then scoop it generously onto a plate. And then, as a pièce de résistance, you grate a tiny bit of Grana Padano over it (I know cheese sounds superfluous, but trust me on this one). Just try to have one serving of this and not eat the whole thing. You can consider it an open challenge.
Cream-Braised Cabbage with Leeks
This is also where I apologize to you for the ugly pictures you have here before you. Cabbage, sadly, doesn’t lend itself to a pretty photograph. I tried. I failed. But the taste will more than make up for its humble looks. I promise you!
Glug of canola oil
½ head cabbage, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp salt
1/3 to ½ cup cream (make sure it’s coated so it can braise, but not too soupy)
In a skillet, over medium heat (non stick works well in this case) heat up some oil and when the oil is hot, but not sizzling, add leeks and cabbage.
Stir and let the leeks and cabbage wilt and acquire a less vibrant color – you want them to soften. Add the salt and them the lemon juice and stir in cream. Reduce heat to low and let the cabbage and leeks braise for about five minutes.
Remove from heat and serve immediately. Grate a bit of Grana Padano cheese for an extra bite before eating.