Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cabbage Gratin

Gerry and I picked up our share together this week, and as we were driving home I read some of the recipes to him. As the words "Baked Napa Cabbage Gratin" left my lips, Ger immediately decided we were trying it and asked me to read the ingredients so we could swing by the store to pick up anything we were missing.

about 2 lbs. of napa cabbage
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced white onion
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth (we used veg broth to appease me)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 1/3 cups panko

Discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Separate and rinse in cold water to remove any dirt.

Add the butter and onion to a large, heavy skillet that has a tight-fitting lid. Cook over medium heat, stirring, just until the butter melts, then add the salt, cream, and broth. Add the cabbage, in two layers. Cover the cabbage with a piece of waxed or parchment paper, then with the lid. Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer until the cabbage is very tender, about ten minutes. [Okay, I was confused. Two layers? I wasn't sure why it said that, so I looked the recipe up online. I found it here, and see now that it has been modified. In the original recipe, you would end up with two layers of four chunks of cabbage. In this version, just layer it in the pan.]

Preheat the broiler until very hot. Butter a 9 by 13 inch glass pan. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cabbage. Pour the onion and cream mixture on top. Mix the grated cheeses with the panko in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the cabbage. Broil until the topping starts to turn brown and the cheese melts. Serve hot.

It didn't turn out to be the most photogenic dish, did it? I think it would benefit from being constructed the original way, or maybe being made in a slightly smaller pan, if you're going for looks. Taste-wise, however, it was exactly what Gerry expected, and he LOVED it. For me, it was really, really rich. I didn't even taste the cabbage in it, just the cream and cheese. I gave up after a few bites, but it was because of the richness, not the cabbage. I actually had a few snips of the leaves as we were cleaning them, and wish I'd saved out a few leaves to add to our salad. It really is very mild.

I'd also like to add that we cooked this on the hottest $%@# day of the year in a house with no a/c and a very small kitchen. It's a miracle we're both still here to tell about it!

No comments: