Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Culinary Smackdown: Cabbage with Sausages and Grapes
Herewith my usual last-minute entry for the Culinary Smackdown, hosted this month by Grumpy Granny. I'm delighted by what my long-time Smackdown peeps contributed this month for Battle Cabbage. And to welcome some fabulous newcomers to this friendly foodie fray! Click on over to GG's host post here to find links to everyone's entries in the comments. Stay tuned for her announcement of this month's winner, who will win bragging rights, the opportunity to post a Culinary Smackdown winner badge on their sidebar/wall, and in turn become next month's host, judge, and "theme-picker."
This month I borrowed from a Mario Batali recipe that had me at the thought of cooking grapes for the first time. I substituted ingredients all over the place, failed to measure anything, and still managed to whip up something I'm not disappointed to call supper.
I had a sweet white onion on hand, so didn't go out of my way to buy a red onion.
I found seedless red grapes, which I suspect are different than Batali's recommended "wine or purple grapes."
I went foraging in the freezer for sausages and came up with some Roasted Red Pepper Italian Sausages from Carfagna's – a wonderful market and butcher shop that is as much of a must whenever I visit Columbus as, apparently, are stops at Jungle Jim's and Ikea whenever KY food bloggers come to Cincinnati.
I had the last little bit left in a bottle of red wine vinegar, and didn't worry whether it measured 4 tablespoons or not.
And then there was the cabbage. Foolish me, I picked up bok choy, thinking the delicate little head sitting next to it was Savoy cabbage when (I learned after googling images after my shopping trip) it was the called-for Napa cabbage after all. Oh, well. My honkin' big bok choy would not go to waste.
Although the recommendation of grilling the sausages sounds like a fine one, I browned mine in a Dutch oven while I sliced my onion and cabbage and plucked the stems from my grapes.
After removing the sausages, I wilted the onion, then added the sliced bok choy gradually (thickest to thinnest) to compensate for what I guessed would be its cooking time variance from Napa cabbage. Impatient and on the clock, I put the lid on the Dutch oven to hurry the cabbage cooking time along. Then added the grapes, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and bok choy greens. Topped with the sausages, here's dinner tonight.
Warning: Cooked grapes are hot! But I really liked my quick taste of this combination. Now I'm off to taste it for reals, with a glass of red wine, and settle in for the finale of Top Chef. I would be a happier camper if I could be rooting for Chef Ed Lee tonight. But after eating at his restaurant, 610 Magnolia in Louisville a couple of weeks ago, I can't complain.
I'll be around to check out the rest of the Smackdown entries later. And you can betcha a big post about 610 Magnolia is in the works. Plus more from other great KY restaurants I've visited in the past 1+ month.
Happy Smackdown, happy Leap Day, and thanks to all my talented and marvelous bloggy friends!