Thursday Cooking Adventure: Red Cabbage & Apple Delight

With NaNoWriMo, getting back into the swing of regular swimming, practicing for the two mini trumpet gigs, getting through the last 3 weeks of this semester’s class…I’ve been a bit swamped!  And since I can’t mentally want to be bogged down in angst over the many sundry ways that people continue to treat fatness and fat people as horrible stains on this otherwise pristine world; I’m going to work on the positive sides of my fat life.  One of those positives: fantastic food treats!

This recipe was shared by the wonderful reader an commenter: Twistie.  Originally she called it simply Red Cabbage with Apples.  After rave reviews from my family I’m calling it Red Cabbage and Apple Delight.  I did have to make some adjustments to the original recipe (wouldn’t be a Thursday Adventure without, right?) so lets get started, shall we?  It has certainly been far too long since the last adventure….

The Adventure

When we last left our intrepid food warriors, they were locked into a delicious nom-battle with some delightful pierogies.  Well, this story comes, in fact, a bit before that memorable and very tasty day.

I was having my family from CT (Aunts, Uncles, Cousins) up for our monthly or bi-monthly get-together.  Usually they take place in CT at one of the Aunts’ and Adam and I drive the 1.5 hours there and back again.  This time, though, I was going to get to stay home!  I just had to make a pork roast and the rest of the fixin’s would be coming with the others.

Well, since I still had this huge red cabbage to use up, and Twistie’s wonderful suggestion, I decided to make the Red Cabbage with Apples.  Here’s the recipe as she posted it originally:

Red Cabbage with Apples

2lbs. red cabbage, cored and shredded
1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2lbs tart green apples (about 3 large), peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced
1/2Cup butter
1tsp salt
2Tblsp brown sugar
2Tblsp cider vinegar
1/4tsp ground cloves
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
black pepper
3/4Cup beer

saute cabbage, onion, and apples in the butter for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the salt, brown sugar, cider vinegar, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper to taste and the beer. Stir mixture well, cover, lower the heat, and let simmer for an hour, stirring only occasionally.

The cabbage can be served at this point, but improves if it is allowed to cool and reheated several hours later or the next day.

Okay.  Great! I scanned my eyes down the list… Red Cabbage: check!  Yellow Onion:…well this big white onion is close enough. Beer:…hmm.  Okaaay…Red Wine: Check! Green Apples:….hmmm again….uh… Some Kind of Apples: Check!

Basically quite a lot of the suggested “ingredients” had to find a substitution and the ground cloves was right out. (Not a fan of cloves and don’t have any on hand).

But overall the main components were, in some form or another, there.

I happily cut the huge cabbage in twain, coring it and slicing it up in shreds then weighed in my now-ever-useful kitchen scale.  So nice to see it in use for something happy!

Red cabbage chopping

Red cabbage chopping

Using the scale as best intended!

Using the scale as best intended!

I chopped up the onions and apples and started to sautee them as suggested.  They smelled very tasty getting all warmed up in the butter.

Sauteeing Red Cabbage and Apples

Smells like Holiday Pie...with cabbage.

One I added all the spices, etc and let it bubble away I realized that a delightful aroma was filling the house.  The red wine was bringing out the sweet apple-pie smell of the apples and cinnamon.  It smelled like I was prepping for a perfect Autumn dinner.  Which, since that’s exactly what I was doing, fit perfectly!

The taste was something I had never thought cabbage could yield.  Soft and delicately fragrant, the texture was a perfect mix of smooth apple bits and crisper cabbage bites.  Everything tasted of sweet apples with a slight tang that the cabbage imparted but none of the bitterness I’ve come to associate with veggies in the cabbage family.

A tasty delight

Delightfully apple-y and wonderfully warming.

Combined with platters of roasted pork, potatoes with gravy, salad and applesauce, it was well-received and would happily make the roster of dishes here at home again; though next time I won’t make quite so much.  We ended up with a LOT of leftover that Adam and I weren’t able to finish quickly.

The Recipe

  • 2lbs. Red Cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 medium sized Onion, chopped
  • 1.5 lbs Apples (about 3 large), peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced
  • 0.5 C. Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tblsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tblsp Cider Vinegar
  • dash of Ground Cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash black pepper
  • 0.75 c. tasty Red Wine
  1. Saute cabbage, onion, and apples in the butter for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the salt, brown sugar, cider vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and the wine.
  3. Stir mixture well, cover, lower the heat, and let simmer for an hour, stirring only occasionally.
  4. The cabbage can INDEED be served at this point, but improves if it is allowed to cool and reheated several hours later or the next day.  I found both to be the case: tasty fresh, tasty re-heated.

And that, my friends, is the savory result of listening to the advice of your commenters!  Thanks again to Twistie for the idea!!! 😀

Red Wine

Also goes delightfully with the remaining wine!

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10 thoughts on “Thursday Cooking Adventure: Red Cabbage & Apple Delight

  1. Ok I had to cry outrage on you using one of my fav new wines from the Sebartiani Bro.s Plungerhead, as a cooking wine! Oh the horror! Thats like wearing a great pair of heels to a Rodeo ho down. Plungerhead needs to go directly into mouth! 🙂

  2. It looks and sounds delicious, April. Thanks for sharing. I actually love cabbage, though generally in coleslaw. And it is indeed good to find positive, upbeat, even cozy posts as a bit of an antidote to all the horror & outrage that is caused by the way the world views & treats fat people.

    • Thanks Patsy! It was pretty tasty. I’m glad the positive post is welcomed, I keep coming across things that make me angry that might incite a post but don’t feel like working up all that rage as I get close to holidays that I like to instead associate with kind thoughts and happy feelings! 🙂

  3. You’re so very welcome, m’dear!

    Oh, and I’m a big believer in substitutions, variations, etc. I almost never do a recipe precisely as written. Your subs look great.

    As you can see here, the key to unbittering goodies from the cabbage family is to pair them with sweet things like spices and fruit. It’s a amazing what an apple, a pear, or a pinch of nutmeg can do in that situation.

    • Mmmm yes! Though I’d still be hesitant to believe that ANY amount of apples or pears could be added to a brussel sprout and elicit such tastiness 😉 Again, though, just my own dislike of them!

  4. I’d stick to savoury with sprouts, brown garlic and thinly sliced onion in small amout of butter and oil then add tumeric (and maybe some cumin seeds if you’ve a mind) and fry spice/s a teeny bit. Put in the sprouts -with crosses cut on the tops of them- toss around to coat and then a splash or two of water to cover the base of the pan or pot, put on the lid and braise on a low heat, on the hob adding a little water until they cook, or in the oven covered securely with foil.

    Very nice, though possibly not nice enough for you April!

  5. Wow, I haven’t had red cabbage in yonks. Seriously, it’s been like a decade. My mom used to buy for me when I was a kid, and I’m cut it in half and just nom it. I don’t even think they sell it here in Germany…what a crime.

    Here’s a question, though…when you’re cooking cabbage, how do you not get your house to smell like borscht?? That’s the problem I always have…

    • Hmmm I didn’t think of it as a problem; mostly the house smelled like baked apples after making this dish. But it was a bit warmer and I had the windows open that day so I can’t be certain that the cabbage smell wouldn’t be stronger during winter months with the house all closed up tight.

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