American Chefs, such as Alice Waters in California and Dan Barber in New York are credited with championing the seasonal eating ethos. I give them credit for boosting the trend but, really what we have is a reiteration of what frugal home cooks have known all along. Home cooks know that when you hit the market you buy what is economical; and by default that usually ends up being what’s in its peak season and thus plentiful and flavorful.
For me, nothing says fall like Brassica oleracea, Capitata; cabbage. As the weather gets brisk you begin to see a better quality in the stores and that’s when the hearty dishes get rolled out – savoy cabbage with Italian sausages, braised red cabbage with bratwurst (just in time for Oktoberfest), and beef short ribs with cabbage. All dishes that stick to your ribs. They warm you from the inside out providing comfort against the first frost of autumn; right through to the spring thaw.
Here is my entry for this weeks photo challenge and an “easy peasy” recipe that is in regular rotation in my kitchen during the fall.
Pan Fried Cabbage
5-6 strips of bacon or Pancetta
1 head cabbage, biased sliced
1 large onion sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Low salt fat-free chicken broth or water
In a large frying pan render the bacon or pancetta over a medium-low flame. Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel (crumble when cool enough to handle and save for the garnish). Sweat the onions for 2 or 3 minutes in the bacon drippings using the same frying pan. Add the sliced cabbage and gently toss to coat all with the bacon drippings (tongs work well for this).Add a little chicken broth a tablespoon at a time to deglaze the pan. Continue to cook the cabbage and onions for another 5 – 10 minutes or until crisp tender and light golden in color. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Top with the crumbled bacon just before serving.