Steamed Cabbage with Red Pepper
- from Jane Buck, adapted from the original in Time Life’s Fresh Ways With Vegetables
This is one of the most unusual side dishes I’ve tried. It looks like plain cabbage with some pepper in it, but the taste is extraordinary. It’s piquant without being “hot” and it seems to go with virtually any main course – plus it’s super easy to make (about 10 minutes of work, total time under half an hour). We’ve changed a few things from the original recipe, mainly using red pepper instead of green for a sweeter taste and to add a bit of colour, and cutting down on the salt and sugar. This dish tastes just as good the next day and can be nuked to re-heat.
1 Head of Green Cabbage, about 2 pounds (1 kg), thinly sliced
1 Tsp Sichuan Peppercorns (or ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper – but the Sichuan peppercorns are better)
¼ Cup Cider Vinegar
½ to 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar (I use ½, original recipe calls for 1 tbsp)
½ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/8 to ¼ Tsp Salt (I use 1/8, original recipe calls for ¼ tsp)
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded, ribs removed and thinly sliced
Toast the Sichuan peppercorns over medium heat in a small, heavy-bottomed skillet for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the skillet frequently. Transfer the peppercorns to a work surface and crush them.
Combine the vinegar, brown sugar, Sichuan (or black pepper), crushed red pepper, salt, and ¼ cup of water into a small saucepan. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, and cook it rapidly until reduced by half – 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.
Pour enough water int o a large pot to fill it about 1 inch deep. Set a vegetable steamer in the pot and bring the water to a boil. Put the slice cabbage and red bell pepper in the steamer, cover the pot tightly, and steam until the cabbage is just barely wilted, about 3 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and pour the sauce through a strainer onto them. Toss the vegetables well to distribute the dressing evenly, and let them stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- From Cindy Roberts, Taste of Home
2 pounds carrots, cut into 2-inch julienne strips
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 - 1/4 cup butter
1/8 - 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
Place 1 in. of water in a saucepan; add carrots and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 7-9 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. In a large skillet, combine the butter, brown sugar, cardamom and orange peel. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Add carrots; toss to coat.
Adjust butter and brown sugar to your taste.
Asparagus Cheese Tart
- By Amanda Cushman
Flour for rolling out dough
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup grated gruyere
1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus
1 Tb. fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tb. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat the oven to 400.
2. On a floured work surface roll out the pastry dough to a 16 by 9 inch rectangle. Trim the edges and transfer to baking sheet. Score the pastry dough lightly to mark 1 inch from the edges all the way around. Pierce the dough with a fork all over the bottom. Bake until golden about 15 minutes.
3. Remove the pastry from the oven and sprinkle with parmesan and gruyere. Fit the asparagus in the tart alternating with tips and tips. Brush the top of the asparagus with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper
4. Bake until golden and asparagus is tender about 20 minutes. Cut and serve warm.
Apple Onion Casserole
- By Sandra Molyneaux
8 slices bacon
2 Tb. butter
½ cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
6 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
8 medium onions, sliced thinly
1 cup chicken stock
3 cups bread cubes, stale bread is best
5 Tb. unsalted butter, melted
3 Tb. Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Preheat oven to 375º F (180º C). Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp, set aside and pour off the fat. Crumble the bacon.
2. Add butter to the skillet and brown the bread crumbs. Add the bacon and transfer to a bowl, add the salt and set aside.
3. Layer the apples, bacon mixture and onions in an oven proof oblong baking dish, ending with onions. Pour the chicken stock over the dish. Bake covered for 45 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in the same skillet sauté the cubed bread in the melted butter until golden.
5. Remove casserole from oven, cover casserole with bread cubes and sprinkle with cheese.
Return to oven and bake uncovered 15 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted.
This dish goes nicely with pork or sausages as a main meat.
Feel free to vary the proportions – such as more bread crumbs or cheese, or add herbs