My Not So Secret Food Obsession (Cabbage?!)
When I was growing up, I remember listening to conversations back and forth with school friends about how much they hated cabbage. They would tell horror stories of it cooking on the stove for hours and stinking up the entire house. If you even mentioned cabbage to one, she would claim to have fallen dramatically ill and would be unable to eat anything for the rest of the day (did I mention we were in elementary school). Well, I used to sit there listening to these conversations, completely and utterly confused. My dad made cabbage all the time and I never smelled anything. Instead of the boil all day cabbage that my friends would discuss with such disgust, I was treated to Stir-Fried Cabbage.
There are a few foods that I am oddly obsessed with and Stir Fry Cabbage is so high on that list, it may be embarrassing. When my dad made cabbage, my uncle and I would end up standing at the stove some nights and eating it straight out of the pot when I was supposed to be putting it away in the fridge. We both had infuriated stories of times when we went into the fridge for leftovers and either he or I had eaten the last of the cabbage leaving my dad no other option than to make more to avoid a war.
Now, I understand that for most people cabbage is an all day undertaking and ends up tasting horrific. If you’re willing to give it another try… try this version. Jamaican Stir-Fried Cabbage is crunchy and flavorful. You cook it just long enough to wilt the cabbage and it’s flavored with red pepper and garlic. It’s sweet and a little salty and pairs beautifully with any number of dishes. Fish, Corned Beef…. wow I could go on all day about this…
Stir Fried Cabbage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1-3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
!/2 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
NOTE: Everything has to be cut and ready to go before the oil is hot in the pan
Set a dutch oven or 4 quart soup pot over medium-high heat. When droplets of water curl into balls and skate over the surface of the pan, add the olive oil and red pepper. Move the red pepper around the pan until it is coated in the oil, then drop in the garlic. Put all the cabbage in the pot at once with the salt and pepper. Move the cabbage around the pan until all the cabbage is coated in oil. Keep moving the cabbage around. So all the cabbage gets heated evenly. The cabbage will shrink in volume as you cook it. When all the cabbage is coated in oil, test a small bite. It should be crunchy. Move the cabbage to your serving dish. Keep in mind the cabbage will keep cooking in the serving dish so leave it open to maintain the crunch and serve as soon as you can.