Sunday, November 13, 2005


Noodles and Cabbage

One way I know for certain I am a lucky woman is as simple as this. Whenever my darling Auntie Shesh jets in, she comes prepared with a huge supply of noodles and cabbage that she has lovingly stirred for hours (it does take hours) just so her West Coast family can indulge old world style. I also know I am lucky because when I was making it the other day and she wasn't around to answer my call, I just dialed up my first cousin twice removed (or some such interesting relationship nomenclature I have never fully grasped) and asked her, and we had a 20 minute discussion on the topic. That my friends, is a bond worth having. Family ties indeed.

So let's just say this isn't part of your particular culinary heritage. Or maybe, the idea of cooking something that calls for 1/2 pound of butter (margarine works here too. If you care to go that route) and has to cook for four hours just doesn't exactly appeal to you, well, to that I say, um, well, nothing actually. To each their own. I am posting it because it is really one of lifes better pleasures, that I encourage everyone to try. Me, I only make it at most once a year, and since it freezes oh so well, you really only need one batch to be able to defrost a bowl at any given moment. Why would you want to? Mostly because it is delicious, rich, deeply flavorful, and not all ALL cabbagey. More like buttery. Or cozy and most of all, excellent. Yup. Noodles and cabbage is excellent. Three ingredient perfection.

Please be forwarned, the reduction of the cabbage (as already stated) can take an eternity (or a fraction thereof) but it is also something you can easily walk away from for up to 45 minutes with no trouble at all. Classic addtions: Sour cream, poppy seeds, onions or smoked sausage. Non-traditional additions: Minced rosemary, a pinch of nutmeg or paprika. Thats about all I would suggest. Much else and you are just gilding the lily.

This dish is best made in a large, enamel coated cast iron (read: Le Creuset) pot, but any heavy bottomed (yeowza!) pan with a lid will do. Oh, and this is the excuse you have been looking for to bust out your Cuisinart/Magimix/Mandoline/V-Slicer to make fast work of the shredding. That said, here is the recipe. Try it as a side dish with roast chicken, a nice brisket or even with a warm bowl of soup. Make it as an indulgence, sigh with happiness, and enjoy.

1 large head green cabbage, shredded thin
1 stick unsalted butter
1 pound wide egg noodles
Salt and pepper to taste

In the aforementioned heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the cabbage and stir to coat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and walk away. Stir every 30 minutes for up to 4 hours. You want the cabbage to reduce to about a 1/2 cup of deep brown strands. Divide the mixture in half. When cooled you can freeze the second half for up to 6 months, or add another pound of noodles and double the batch.

When the cabbage is done, boil some heavily salted water and cook the noodles until al dente. Drain and add to the remaining cabbage. Season well with salt and pepper and serve.

Makes about 20 servings


The B. Manischewitz Company was founded in 1888, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1930, U.S. per capita consumption of margarine was 2.6 pounds (vs. 17.6 pounds of butter). Today, per capita consumption of margarine in the U.S. is 8.3 pounds (including vegetable oil spreads) whereas butter consumption is down to about 4.2 pounds. -

In San Francisco, CA. crab season starts today at dawn and they should be back with a fresh catch by afternoon. Berthing fees for crabbers who dock their boats at the wharf are going up 60% starting in January. Some fishermen say that could put them out of business. Others say they'll dock their boats somewhere else. -
"Also getting the ax at Fox is the freshman comedy "Kitchen Confidential," whose order will not be extended beyond the initial 13 episodes." - Variety

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Nothing says loving like something from the oven!
hi rachael, looks spectacularly comforting - isn't le creuset just the best ;)
J - Thanks! It is. And you know, I feel almost guilty having a whole set of Le Crueset considering I only ever use one pot...gulp.
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