Posts from March 2016

Cabbage Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

03/21/2016

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If you’re happy and you know it, eat your cabbage!
If you’re happy and you know it, eat your cabbage!
If you’re happy and you know it, then your intestinal flora will surely show it,
If you’re happy and you know it, eat your cabbage!

Ingredients:

1 head Napa cabbage
1/4 c cilantro
1/2 c scallions, thinly sliced
1/8 c sesame seeds

Vinaigrette:
3 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
1 T honey
1 T ginger root

Instructions:

Chop the cabbage, cilantro, and scallions, and put in a bowl. Put the vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor, and blend together. Toss with the cabbage mixture, and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.

Cabbage Kimchi

03/14/2016

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My friend Melissa showed up on my doorstep with a van-load of vegetables from her farm in need of fermenting. I, along with some others she wrangled to help, were up to the task! We chopped heads upon heads of cabbage, pealed cloves upon cloves of garlic, and massaged vats upon vats of veggies. [Not pictured: extracting a dead rat from inside the back of the oven. (Thank you, Ivor! You get the gold metal!)]

Kimchi or kraut, as I’ve posted before, is not an exact science. So add or omit anything you like (as long as it’s not dead rats).

Ingredients:

Cabbage
Garlic
Ginger
Caraway seeds
Celery seeds
Mustard seeds
Crushed red pepper
Salt
Mason jars

Instructions:

Peel the garlic and ginger and chop coarsely and set aside. With the cabbage, take off the outer leaves and discard they’re brown or rotting, but keep the outer leaves if they’re green and good–don’t rinse them since the whitish tint on them is the lactobacillus bacteria that gets the ferment started. Chop cabbage into quarters. In a food processor with a slicer, slice the cabbage. (Or you can do this by hand). In a bowl, put the chopped cabbage and sprinkle generously with salt. Massage with your fingers–the juice will come out of the cabbage, which is what you want for your brine. You can do this in small batches at a time, too. Massage for 5 minutes or so, until the cabbage starts to shine. Then add your spices. We added the ingredients above, but you can add fresh herbs, hot peppers, curry, ect. Mix well.

Next, put a small layer in a quart mason jar (you definitely don’t have to make as much as we did here–one cabbage will fill one or two mason jars, which should be sufficient) and tamp down with a pestle or your fist. Then add another layer. Once you’re an inch from the top, if there is not liquid covering the top, mix 1 T salt in another quart mason jar for your brine. Add to the jar with the cabbage until the liquid is close to the top of the lid. (Remember the old adage: under the brine is fine.) Cover with cheesecloth or a napkin. Let sit on your countertop for a couple of days or up to a week, checking to make sure there is still enough brine. Add some if it needs it. Once the week is up, put the lid on the jar and store in your fridge. It should be ready to eat in a week or two thereafter, but will only get better with time.

Spring Rolls

03/01/2016

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A guilty pleasure of mine is watching the Oscars. And our friend Sam is kind enough to let me poach his big screen each year for the occasion. I brought down these spring rolls to snack on while we watched the Red Carpet. Are these rolls worthy of winning gold? Probably not. But, if you can’t achieve the great, there’s beauty in still creating something good.

Ingredients:

For the rolls:
Rice paper wrappers
2 oz rice vermicelli
Cabbage
Carrots
Cucumber
Cilantro
Red pepper

For the peanut sauce:
3 T peanut butter
1/4 c coconut milk
2 T fish sauce
2 T chili-garlic sauce
1 T lime juice
1 T honey

Instructions:

To make the rolls, heat up a large pot with warm water (until it’s too hot to the touch). Chop all the vegetables into small strips. Put the vermicelli in the water for around 5 minutes. When finished, take out with a slotted spoon, and set aside. With the rice paper, set in the warm water for about 5 seconds. Take out and spread on a plate. Put a small amount of vermicelli, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, and red pepper slices on the edge, and roll and wrap them in the pliable rice paper.

To make the sauce, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend.

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