Fridge supper 1 – hammy cabbage

30 May

crunchy and tender spring cabbage

Are you one of those organised people who shops for a week of planned meals? So you know what you’re going to be eating that week?

I admire you, but I’m FAR too lazy and disorganised for that. So I buy what catches my eye, or what’s being flogged off as cheapo bargains, and the usual things I like to have in the fridge… and then see what I fancy when hunger strikes.

Sometimes I have a hankering for, er, chicken with beetroot in white sauce, so I buy what’s needed. Or my lurgy-ridden body is screaming for Vitamin C and anti-oxidants, so I yield to the demand for a truck-load of fruit.

But usually, it’s make it up as aI go along. Last night’s fridge supper was as follows.

What?

1 fresh drumhead (early green) cabbage [the kind that squeaks when you cut it, and is almost as tender as lettuce. Needs very little cooking.]

Chunk of ham and/or salami

Spoonful or two of garlicky cream cheese OR sour cream OR fresh double cream

Paprika and (if desired) a bit of cayenne

How?

Chop ham and/or salami into little chunks (about 1cm cubes. ish.) Throw them in a deep saucepan with a bit of olive oil, a heaped teaspoon of paprika, a shake or two of cayenne (depending on your chilli tolerance) and may be a half teaspoon of turmeric if you fancy it.

Let the ham sizzle for about five mins on a gentle heat, while you chop the cabbage.

In the spring, new cabbages are fabulous – all crisp and tender and bright green and flavoursome. You can do this perfectly well all year with different kinds of green, white, red, savoy, sweetheart cabbage, kale, sprout tops, turnip tops, etc – experiment!

Anyway – I’ll eat half a small one, because they wilt down quite a lot (not as much as spinach). Chop into little slivers (say, two inches by quarter of an inch, or 4cm by half a cm. You don’t have to be precise! But easily eatable, anyway.

Dump cabbage into saucepan on top of sizzling ham, add a tiny bit of salt (less than half a teaspoon), and stir well to mix the spices, ham and cabbage. Put the lid on and leave it for 5 mins. Stir, taste, and if still too crunchy for your taste, put the lid back on for another minute or two. When happy with crunch/soft balance, tip into bowl and eat with dollop of cream cheese, sour cream etc on top, with crusty rye bread.

Healthy bulletin: What’s good about this, apart from the taste? The sulphur in the cabbage (we western folk don’t get enough sulphur in our diets, on the whole), the fibre, anti-oxidants, all the goodies in cruciferous veg, the calcium etc etc in green leafy veg, the lutein and lubricants in the extra virgin olive oil, the vits and mins in the spices (turmeric, cayenne and paprika all stuffed with good phytochemicals). The low-carb GI index is pretty good, too. Downside – the preserved pork and the shop-bought cream/cheese aren’t so healthy, but you’re only eating a little bit, and the flavours are delicious.

Vegetarian/vegan option: instead of the meat, you could sizzle mushrooms and/or peanut or cashews, perhaps.

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