Friday, February 7, 2014
Braised Red Cabbage, Sour Cherries, Nuts
With the Sochi Olympics upon us, I wonder if Russian dishes will be popping up all over the blogosphere? The media seems to have mentioned borscht hundreds of times in the last week, so I thought I'll write about something completely different.
When I came to the US in 1991, many of the vegetables we thought of as main stream in Moscow seemed exotic to our American friends. Beets, for example. In 1991, few Americans realized beets were edible. Fast forward to 2014 and few restaurant in the US don't have a beet salad with walnuts and goat cheese on their menu. Sadly cabbage didn't fair as well. Few vegetables are more near and dear to a Russian cook than cabbage. But getting Americans excited about cabbage is not easy. Not that it's exotic. It's just kind of blah. The first dish that comes to mind is cole slaw. But as soon as you mention cooked cabbage, most people think of the Irish boiled dinner. No offence to Irish cooking, but I doubt that boiled dinner will make anyone fall in love with cabbage.
So if you are not a cabbage fan yet, I think I have just the dish for you. No Russian will accept this as an authentic dish, yet underneath all the flavorings it's just a braised cabbage -- a classic Russian technique that shows of cabbage like no other. It's kind of like caramelized onions, only with cabbage. I replace white cabbage with red here and add some sweet and sour components: port, pomegranate molasses, and sour cherries. This makes a lovely accompaniment to duck, pork, beans, pasta, or a grain.
Posted by Helen Rennie at 4:11 PM