Category: cook & eat nekkid

Buttered Wilted Cabbage with Pepper & Caraway Seed

Buttered Wilted Cabbage with Pepper & Caraway Seed

Blanching tender cabbage is a great way to preserve nutrients and get vivid color! And don’t you love having a farm fresh side dish ready in 10 minutes?

Featured in Carolina Country Magazine November 2020

I.Love.Cabbage.

I cannot think of one way I do not love me some cabbage!  It’s so versatile and it such a great side dish for most anything.  It’s quick to prepare… and budget friendly too.  

With cabbage, usually “less is more.” It brings so much of its own flavor to the table you really don’t need to do much to it.  Like this recipe.  It’s as simple as blanching till tender, but still has a little “bite” to it.  A bit of crushed red pepper and caraway seed… and of course some butter, and you’ve got yourself a mighty fittin side.  It’s just right to round out your meal with my Bacon Stuffed Pork Loin with garlicky apple cider gravy and Rustic Herbed Dressing with apples and cheddar.  This meal just hollers “FALL!” and would be nice for something different featuring pork on your Thanksgiving table this year.

Put all these goodies on your grocery list so you’ll have on hand to cook up this comforting fall feast soon. Then come on over to my facebook community and share your comments!

 

Buttered Wilted Cabbage with Pepper & Caraway Seed

Blanching tender cabbage is a great way to preserve nutrients and get vivid color!  And don’t you love having a farm fresh side dish ready in 10 minutes? 

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Southern
Keyword: cabbage, side dish
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 8 cup chicken broth
  • 1 large head savoy cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • crushed black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. While bringing broth to a boil in large pot, cut cabbage into wedges and discard core. Tear by hand into 1”-2” pieces.  Add to boiling water. Stir and blanch for 1 ½to 2 minutes; drain and reserve broth for soup.

  2. Put cabbage back into hot pot. Toss with seasonings and butter to melt.  Taste and add salt as needed. Serve warm. 

Recipe Notes

Note: I save the core and simmer in the discarded broth for a delicious soup stock.
Don’t toss all that flavor! When cooking, save parts of vegetables for making the best soup base, sauces and gravy. Toss scraps into a freezer bag and add to it until you have accumulated a goodly amount and have time to make. Goodies to save are vegetable broth (like drained from this cabbage) along with leaves and core, onion and garlic peels, celery ends, corn cobs, carrot ends and peel, potato scraps, and fresh herb stems. Freeze in ice trays or small containers for adding flavor to all sorts of dishes!

Don’t throw away those watermelon rinds!

Carolina Gold Oil drizzled Salted Watermelon Rind

Stop… Don’t throw that watermelon rind away! Throw this together… Bogue Sound Watermelon Rind drizzled with Carolina Gold Oil! Great for nibblin, appetize’n… or on top of your tacos, hot dogs, salads and more.

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…the banana sandwich

the banana sandwich with duke's mayonnaise

…the banana sandwich.
bread. duke’s mayonnaise. ripe banana. yum.

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Peas and Carrot Fritters… with lemon-dill yogurt tzatziki

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Spring has us thinking peas and carrots! But not just any peas and carrots. We’re hungry for crispy fritters, with a zesty Greek twist.

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Honey Baked Ham Salad …with wilted caraway slaw and rye croutons

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Grilled eggplant drizzled with blueberry mustard vinaigrette and fresh herbs

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Many of us have made traditional “fire and ice” pickles using store-bought dill pickles. Our twist is a fast way to use those summer peppers that seem to come from every which way all at once … no processing, just refrigerate, eat and share. This recipe doesn’t require exact amounts, so you can make brine and use any amount of peppers (or other vegetables) you have.

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Grilled Southwestern Romaine Salad with NC Shrimp

Grilled Southwestern Romaine with North Carolina Shrimp

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Butterbean Hummus

 

 

Published in Carolina Country Magazine July 2019

Hummus is one of those things we southerners didn’t grow up eating… at least in my neck of the woods! As for international cuisines, Italian was about the limit of our exposure. We surely didn’t know of any Middle Eastern/Mediterranean concoctions. It has only been in the last decade or two we started learning of such, and took a liking to it.. at least some of us.  You would have never opened up a southern lady’s pantry and found chick peas sit’n there on the shelf to fix something with. 

I’m not a chick pea fan. I tried. Just not the pea for me.  But I do like the idea of hummus, so like my pimento cheese, had to create a recipe of my own that suits my fancy. 

My mostest favorite bean is the butterbean.  I’m the butterbean cook’n queen to a lot of friends and family… some even pay me to cook some for them. At all our meal events, it is expected I cook some for my nephew Wyatt. 

I especially those little tiny ones. But they are the hardest to shell, and Lord, I did shell many a bushel of butterbeans on my grandma’s porch on hot summer days… back in the day!  Children now have no idea what they missed.  I hated it at the time, but now… oh, what I would give for more of those days, in locally hand-made rocking chairs, with mama and grandma, shelling beans.  I didn’t have sense enough to know at the time we were making memories that are still with me today. And they tasted so much better too, knowing the toil and strife that went into shell’n those butterbeans.

A few years ago, I decided to throw some butterbeans in my processor with some stuff, and make myself some hummus… butterbean hummus!  So without further ado, I share with you, my southern gal’s version of hummus… 

Butterbeans make great hummus, but do know that any of our summer field peas make great hummus too!  Who needs a chick pea?  And what are they anyway?  

Butterbean Hummus

We do love our butterbeans here in NC. Did you know you can use those, or any of our tasty summer field peas, to make hummus? Just say no to canned garbanzo beans when gardens and farmers’ markets overflow with beans and peas. (FYI, it’s the butter that makes this hummus extra creamy!)

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Southern, Summer Food
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen butterbeans
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 6-8 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup toasted sesame seed*
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup olive oil or other preferred oil (I use garlic oil)
Instructions
  1. Cook butterbeans in broth until almost done, but still a bit firm and green. Drain and cool.

  2. Set aside a few nuts for garnish.

  3. Put butterbeans into food processor bowl and add remaining ingredients. Process on high, pausing to scrape down sides, until nice and creamy. Garnish with a drizzle of oil and a scattering of toasted pine nuts.

  4. Serve at room temperature with crackers, celery sticks or your favorite dippers! Will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

*Note: Find the best buy on toasted sesame seeds at Asian grocers. You can also substitute store-bought tahini if a creamier hummus is preferred.

Dilly Grilled German Potato Salad Packets

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collards + cabbage + frost = “cabbards” time…. with Crispy Cornbread Cookies, Molasses Bacon Butter & Pot Likker

The time has just about come for the annual “cooking of the cabbards” to fill the freezer!  Like a squirrel stowing away acorns for the winter, I too, “get my cook’n on” once our local collards have had a good kissing o’ the frost.  Some think that’s just an old tale, but not this gal, lovingly called THE “Collard Queen” by those lucky enough to have had some bestowed uponst them by said ‘queen’ or have rubbed their full bellies after a sit’n at her table… served up with a side of Crispy Cornbread Cookies, some Molasses Butter, a warm cup of Pot Likker or cold buttermilk.  And don’t forget the farmers’ market treasures… including a menagerie of homemade chow chows destined to crown a heap’n helping of fall’s green ‘gold!’

So I’m in my kitchen a few days ago cooking cornbread cookies for this here post… setting up my photo shot, and about to savor the very last tidbit of my 2010 stash of cabbards I lucked up and found tucked into a back corner of the freezer when…”ding dong”… my doorbell rings.  My kitchen sidekick and 7YO nephew hollers…“Dee Dee, who is THAT?” (seeing as how it is mid-afternoon and we’re still in our loungy clothes  watching movies, blogging and eat’n).  I looked at him and said… “I have NO idea!” But I surely am hoping it’s somebody that won’t mind my receiving them in my ‘old lady house dress,’ (probably something akin to what my grandmas were wearing when they cooked collards) and Wyatt, running around in his ‘underdraws.’  I swing the door open, and there stands my cousin Mark… who I see fairly rarely, but usually when he drops by (less often than the proverbial blue moon), he has some sort of vegetable(s) gleaned from a nearby garden.  He leads me out to the back of his pick up truck (the preferred method of transportation for most of us country folk)… and what do I see…. THESE!  *C.O.L.L.A.R.D.S*

I’m not believing this… as mere seconds ago I’m in my kitchen, cooking up, photographing and in the middle of writing this very blog post about collards… when a big ole’ mess of them land on my front porch…  the weirdness of this timing is CRAYzee! And as delighted as I am about all this, I’m trying to factor in my head…  when in the world can I squeeze cabbard cook’n into this particular week’s schedule... with a TV show taping (see show video at My Carolina Today!) and a ginormous exciting photo shoot for Our State Magazine (where I’m so blessed to be food stylist and recipe developer…so subscribe if you don’t already, and buy holiday gift certificates too).  But never one to let a little thing like ‘limited hours in the day’ get in my way… a cabbard cook’n will commence!  I decided to just throw ’em in my big chest freezer till that can happen…something I have had to do before, and equates to that sweet kiss of frost… a BIG deep freeze kiss!

So without further ado, here is my much requested method for cooking collards (or in my case, “cabbards”).  These are sooo good, and worth every minute of effort it takes to get from the back end of a truck to your supper (and sometimes breakfast) plate.

Wendy’s Locally Famous Cabbards (Cabbage + Collards)

Wendy’s Cabbards

As THE “throw cooker” that I am (come see my Throw Cooking web page and recipes), I’m going to tell YOU how to throw these together… exactness is not important here!  These are the necessary ingredients and process.  I have, on occasion, cooked these in MASS to fill my freezer for the winter, but you can do any amounts that work for you.  A couple of years ago, I cooked 40 lbs. bacon and forget how many birds to have broth and bacon grease for 100 lbs. cabbage and 50 lbs. collards!  It took me quite some time to figure all this out, but because the collards ‘evaporate’ and disappear in the pot, I decided to see what happened if I added in some cabbage… and it makes the collards even better… sweeter… AND, the cabbage doesn’t disappear as much as the collards… so you end up with a whole lot more “cabbards” to store away and nobody but you knows this little secret, till NOW!

  • Chicken(s) or Hen(s)
  • Bacon (lots!)… more that you think… you need a goodly amount of rendered bacon grease
  • Collards… about 1/2 as much collards as cabbage (washed real good)
  • Cabbage… about twice as much cabbage as collards (washed real good)

EQUIPMENT:

  • BIG pot
  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Tongs
  • Time

Put some water in a big old pot and throw your chicken(s) or hen(s) in there.  Bring to rolling boil, then reduce heat and keep cook’n till you have some tender bird and a big ole’ pot of chicken stock.  Take that bird out and make yourself a mess ‘o chicken salad or freeze for cooking in other stuff, like Chicken Pot Pies or Brunswick Stew.

Get that big old cast iron skillet out and fry up a LOT of bacon.  Sometimes on cabbard cooking day I’m outside doing all that AND cooking up a ginormous amount of my “Almost Famous Brunswick Stew”-will post that soon if you ask!… so I invite folks to drop by and eat bacon sandwiches.  Put this bacon grease into a big can (coffee can works great).

Rough slice the cabbage.  Throw some in the pot of broth, alternating with handfuls of torn collard leaves.  As it wilts, keep adding more to the pot.  Let this cabbard mix boil and boil… the more ‘tenderer’ the better.

On a burner beside this pot, put your big iron skillet on med-hi and add (generously) some bacon grease.  With tongs, grab some of the cabbards and plop into the hot skillet, including some of the wondermous Pot Likker they produced.  Start chopping with long-handled veggie chopper… as they cook down and shrink as you chop, continue grabbing more cabbards with your tongs and continue this process, stirring around to incorporate the bacon grease.  Once these are really tender and chopped real good, dump into big bowl to cool before putting into containers and continue doing this until you’ve cooked all your cabbards.

Cool’n Cabbards

When packing into containers, I try to leave good head space and top off with some of the broth so when heating, that is there to give a little moisture while warming.

Serve with Cornbread Cookies with Molasses Butter and mug of Pot Likker or Cold Buttermilk.

Cornbread Cookies with Molasses Bacon Butter

Wendy’s Crispy Cornbread Cookies

It’s really easy to throw together these crispy crunchy Cornbread Cookies and they are the perfect sidekick for your Cabbards.

  • your favorite hushpuppy mix
  • finely diced onions (any kind…sweet, green, scallion, chive, etc.)
  • sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • lard

Mix hushpuppy mix according to package directions.  Add in onions and sugar to taste (you want these to be lightly sweetened and the sugar helps make them crispy too).  Grind in some pepper.  If your mix is really thick, add a little more water or milk/buttermilk, whatever you are using until thinner and pourable/spoonable.  I like to let my mixture sit about 10 minutes before cooking to adjust this consistency as it will thicken as it sits (but also, the flavors will marry a bit).

Heat thin amount of lard in cast iron skillet on med-high heat.  With a tablespoon, spoon into hot skillet and spread thin with back of spoon.  Fry until golden brown and flip; repeat on the other side.  Drain well on brown paper bag or paper towels.

Serve with Molasses Butter alongside Cabbards with mug of Pot Likker or Buttermillk.

MOLASSES BUTTER

  • Softened Butter
  • Molasses
  • Bacon Grease, optional
  • Cinnamon or Apple Pie Spice, optional

Drizzle some molasses over butter and swirl to blend.

VARIATIONS: To make Molasses Bacon Butter, stir in a bit of bacon grease.  A bit of cinnamon or apple pie spice is also tasty in Molasses Butter, depending on what you will be serving it with (especially great with pancakes, waffles or French Toast too)!

Enjoy y’all… and please throw me your comments below AND ‘share’ with all your friends!