Sauteed Cabbage

I have never really loved cabbage.  It’s okay – but I can’t tell you how much cabbage I’ve thrown away over the years.  You need 2 cups for a salad, and then what?

But I’ve changed my tune after making sauteed cabbage.  Just like roasting brings out the mind-blowing deliciousness of so many vegetables, sauteing turns cabbage into sheer nirvana.  It gets a sweetness yet retains a nice bite.  And it’s ridiculously easy.

Ingredients:

1 cabbage, cut into 1″ squares (They will all fall apart so no need to be precise.)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 fresh ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter and as soon as it is mostly melted (happens quick – watch carefully) dump in all the cabbage and start stirring. If it won’t all fit in the pan, that’s okay.  You can add it in stages.

Sautee for several minutes until the cabbage is reduced and edges are starting to brown very slightly. Add the salt and pepper and stir well. Taste and check seasonings.

Serve. Devour. Yum.

That’s it. The simplest ingredients and method turn a plain Jane vegetable into a star. Leave out the butter for a vegan version.

Lemony Green Beans

Our friends Gary and Dorie always have amazing vegetable gardens, with surplus enough to share. I have vegetable garden envy – since our backyard isn’t sunny enough to produce much more than leaves…

Anyway, I made green beans last night that Gary and Dorie shared with us, and they were so good and fresh!  (I often just cook the green beans with the stems on and just cut them off on my plate.)

1 lb. whole green beans, washed
1 Tbsp butter or bacon drippings (I used a bit of both.)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
Black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp kosher salt (Skip if cooking in pasta water.)

Bring a pot of water to the boil. (I had just cooked a pound of pasta, so instead of draining the pasta, I used a big strainer spoon to remove all the pasta, and just cooked the beans in the pasta water.)

Add the green beans to the pot and let them simmer for about 3 minutes. Drain the water, add the butter and/or bacon drippings, garlic powder, salt, lemon juice and pepper and toss the beans in them. (Skip the salt if you cooked the beans in the pasta water.)

It was a lovely summer supper.

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

caprese salad

Nothing is more beautiful than tomatoes, mozarella and basil, drizzled with a tangy, sweet balsamic vinaigrette!  And takes almost no time at all.

4 tomatoes, sliced 1/2″ thick
1 ball of fresh Mozarella, cut into 1/4″ slices
Handful of fresh basil leaves

Vinaigrette Recipe:

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (Costco’s is amazingly good)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp honey mustard
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix vinaigrette up in a mason jar, and shake well.

Layer tomatoes with Mozarella and basil leaves on a broad serving dish, and drizzle the vinaigrette over. So good.

Pepper, Mushrooms & Eggplant on Pasta

We had roasted eggplant a couple of days ago, and had some leftover.  I also had peppers in the fridge and a bunch of mushrooms, so we threw together a lovely dish. A little parmesan would have been good, but we were out. It was delicious as is.

Maya wanted “hodge-podge” pasta tonight. (We keep a large mason jar with the tail ends of all different pastas. Even if they cook at slightly different times, they’re usually close enough to be fine, plus it’s fun to have all different shapes.)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 green pepper, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp of bacon drippings (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
8-10 large mushrooms, sliced fairly thinly
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Roasted eggplant
Pasta

Start water boiling for pasta. When you start the mushrooms, you can start the pasta and it comes out about the same time.

Meantime, heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add peppers to oil and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat down a bit, and loosely cover the pan with a lid. (I used a lid that was smaller than the pan, but still covered the peppers.) After a couple of minutes, I uncovered them, and stirred again. Back on with the cover for another couple of minutes.

Stir again, and remove the peppers. Wipe out the pan in case anything was getting close to burning. Add butter to the pan, and the bacon drippings. Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook them the same way you did the peppers. Stir fry, then cover, stir again, cover and stir again.  For the final cook, you’ll want to leave them uncovered until most of the liquid dries up.

Add the peppers back into the pan, along with any juices. Using a spoon, scrape the flesh out of the roasted eggplants along the edge of the pan. Break up the eggplants into smaller chunks. Some parts will be stringy, but that’s okay. Toss with the peppers and mushrooms to warm and season with salt and pepper to taste. Yum!

I added another little pat of butter to my pasta since I love butter!

Roasted Eggplant

So simple, so delicious – Maya and I made this for dinner last night.

When you start with a lovely, fresh vegetable, you don’t need to do much to bring out the best flavor, and this is a perfect example.  Roasting the eggplant brings out its sweetness and tenderness and salt, pepper and a bit of butter make it crazy delicious.

4 small eggplants, halved, with the stem end removed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt  (I’m guessing here – I really just used a good pinch.)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Butter

Heat oven to 400. Pour the olive oil into the center of a baking pan and slide the eggplants around cut side down to get olive oil all over them. Flip them back over and sprinkle them with the salt and pepper.

Roast for a good 20 minutes or until they have sort of sunk in, and are browning on the top.

Melt a pat of butter on top of each eggplant and serve in the skin. When eating, just scrape out the inside and leave the skins.  Nirvana – sheer veggie Nirvana…

Wonder if there is any left?

Elote – Mexican Street Corn

If you live in Omaha, you must go to the Farmer’s Market in Aksarben and pray that the sweet corn lady is there making Elote.  Kumy and I had gotten one, and quickly realized that there was no way we were willing to share.  (Okay, so there was no way I was willing to share, and I ran back to get another.)

There is nothing better than sweet corn that’s just been picked, quickly boiled and slathered with mayo, fresh lime, parmesan and Tajin Seasoning.  This is a version that I make at home.   Tajin seasoning is tart, salty, not super hot and easily available in Mexican markets and online.

6 ears of corn, freshly shucked and washed

Crema:

1/4 cup Mexican mayonnaise (or use regular mayonnaise with a good squeeze of lime in it.)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Cotija cheese (or parmesan in a pinch)
1/2 tsp Tajin seasoning
1 clove garlic crushed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped pretty fine
Juice of 1/2 lime

Mix crema ingredinets in a bowl.

Cook corn by boiling in unsalted water or grilling. Slather the corn with the crema, and sprinkle with extra cotija and dust with tajin seasoning.

Brown Butter Roasted Potatoes

Another recipe from the Wall Street Journal – I have made this dish so many times and it’s always amazing. It’s great for supper or brunch.

2 lbs. small potatoes, scrubbed well, but not peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
4 eggs
6 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp lemon juice
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 450.

Boil potatoes and eggs in salted water for 15 minutes. Remove and halve potatoes. Lay on a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, flipping the potatoes over halfway through.

Peel eggs and quarter them.

Heat butter for 5 minutes over medium heat in a pan large enough to hold everything, until it just starts to brown. Add lemon juice and stir. Then add potatoes, eggs and scallions, and toss everything together.

Check seasoning and serve.