Lip Smacking, Jaw Dropping, Stir Fried Cabbage
I have always considered my personal recipes just that...personal. I don't know if it's because they seem more precious if it's a "family recipe" or "an old family recipe," which this is not. It's just plain good and healthy. Why am I willing to share it? Well, I have had so many people ask for this recipe. When I do give it to them, they always tell me "it was good, but not as good as yours!"
I have discovered, that with many dishes, as I am sure the culinary experts will agree, each person has their own personality blended into their recipes. Your "pinch or this and dash of that" may not be exactly like mine. Some folks add ingredients that I do not, and even with those who follow my instructions to the letter will say "it wasn't the same." So, I have decided that the recipe is safe to "put out there."
In the process of writing this Hub, I sort of went down "memory lane" and mention two other dishes, so don't be confused. You just might want to search for recipes of them as well!
Did I mention it was super quick to prepare from beginning to end?!!!
A Slight Diverson
Now, I do have dozens of recipes that I am not willing to share. No one can make my dad's Bahamian peas and rice (you can find a version at 2besure). My dad learned to cook from a young age. He was a cook during his tour in the Navy, and he cooked for the Veteran's Administration Hospital as a career. He was excellent and the patients would send compliments down to the kitchen. He had a flair for serving salt-free dishes with a world of flavor! When you don't have much to look forward to in an extended stay in the hospital, you do want a good meal.
No, the "peas & rice" recipe I will not share, along with other incredible secrets he created. And, if someone happened to come across my recipe, they wouldn't come close...only because it's sort of an "American-Bahamaian recipe". The only place where I can get better than mine is when I go home to Nassau. My cousins cook huge pots of it and you absolutely cannot find better! Now, my mom was born in Virigina. All of her delicious recipes are engraved into my mind and heart. My sisters and I had such a wonderful array of meals as the South met the Caribbean. We are all excellent cooks, but it is amazing...none of us cook the exact same way!
Here's A Surprise From An Old Memory
This recipe did not orginate from my mother or father. It is, in fact, a recipe I got from the mom of a boyfriend I once dated. I won't tell you how long ago it was, but I will say I stood over her shoulder and watched her every move. I wanted to please this special guy in my life and that meant I had to be good. I starting cooking when I was about 12 so I knew my way around the kitchen, but this dish was something new to me. His mother always wanted to open a restaurant. She never did, but my goodness, the dishes she made would cause your eyes to roll around in your head. She'd send you off humming, smacking your lips and tapping your foot with every bite. She catered a birthday party once...it was the first time I'd ever seen a champagne fountain. Okay, it was in the late 60's. I still remember the most beautiful platters of paella (I always wanted to try my hand at that). Yes, she was good. So, I consider this stir fry recipe one of excellence and great taste. It has her mark on it and I think of her each time I prepare it!
My Stir-Fried Cabbage Recipe
1 head of green cabbage
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
3 carrots julienne
2 celery stalks julienne
1 can B&B mushrooms (broiled in butter)
3 slices of bacon diced (totally optional...I now only use veggies)
2 cubes (or packets) of chicken broth*
2 tbs olive oil or veg/canola
black pepper (as you like)
salt (as you like)
Slice the cabbage in half and then into julienne strips. If the cabbage is large cut the strips again into halves. Slice all of the vegetables the same way. I like to cut them on an angle. Mix them all together in a bowl. Use a large frying pan or a wide pot that is not tall. Place the oil in the pot and then begin adding the cabbage and a handful of the other vegetables. As the cabbage cooks down water will accumulate (*which is why I don't use can broth) alternately add cabbage and vegetables until it is all in the pan. Let it simmer down a little before adding the dry ingredients. Stir it quickly because you don't want it to burn and you also want a slightly crunchy consistency. It is more nutritious this way.
The red and green pepper make for a beautiful presentation. You can also add yellow peppers...there are no restrictions.
I'll add a photo of my own original dish soon!
Adding Your Own
I have friends from the West Indies and Caribbean islands who like their hot peppers. So, they add a sliced cherry pepper. Also a little ginger is great! For those who are not opposed to eating pork, I add it to give more flavor. I have to admit it does give it a "bang". However, I usually like to consider others when I cook for guests, and leave it out.
(When dining in a restaurant in Beijing, China some years ago, I remember trying a dish of stir-fried cabbage that included ground pork. It was served over rice. I have been trying to find that dish for years and no Chinese restaurant can tell me what it is called!)
Others hate onions or garlic but in my kitchen, the only option with these two ingredients is the "highway option". For variety, you might add bean sprouts or scallions...whatever is to your liking. Perhaps you want a little international flavor and add curry. Another idea is to add cubed pieces of tofu. Go ahead and explore...I don't think anything can hurt this simple recipe. Please feel free to add or subtract what you want...put your own "pzazz" into it.
Now, serve up and enjoy!
A Powerhouse of Nutrition
Cabbage is low in saturated fat and high in dietary fiber. It contains Vitamin C, K, Foliate, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin A, Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. I find that when I am fasting from certain foods such as meats, I like to include more vegetables in my diet. I then use this dish as my main meal and load up on all these nutrients.
What is also pleasing about this meal is that cabbage is inexpensive. Recently, my supermarket had it on sale for 17 cents per lb. I felt like I was carrying bowling balls to the car! You don't hear about people stocking up on cabbage, but I cook it often and as I said, it doesn't stay long around my house.
One Possible Problem
The only problem you might encounter with this recipe is not making enough. My Goddaughter requested this for her baby shower. I prepared for serving 40 people. It was not enough. I find people filling their plate and then make a small plate "to go" before they even touch their original plate. It's absolutely fab for vegetarians and those on a Daniel Fast.
It's great to know that veggies can be so delectible, isn't it?
I am not a culinary expert, and from what I have seen on these shows have amazed me. However, my family thinks I cook extremely well and I have had friends who say I should open a restaurant. There are days when I can't stand to walk through the kitchen, so I know that idea is "out"! I will say, though, I get extreme satisfaction when my daughter comes home and her face lights up because I've made her favorite dish. Or, when I invite someone to dinner and they ask "are you making your stir-fried cabbage?"
That beats my own restaurant any day!