Sep
01
    
Posted (Lori) in News

We’re getting another cabbage today, and Deb says they’re very big. I haven’t used the last one yet and there’s room for only so many cabbages in my refrigerator. I’m going to try one of these recipes to preserve them.

If you’d rather store than preserve, here’s info on cabbage storage from whfoods.com (world’s healthiest foods)

Storing cabbage correctly is important to preserving its quality. Proper storage methods will help to slow down the respiration, or “breathing” of the cabbage. This is important because the faster the cabbage “breathes”, the quicker the cells metabolize and the cells’ metabolic processes begin to break down, and the sooner the vegetable begins to spoil. Therefore, to preserve its flavor, color, texture and nutrients, we need to slow the metabolic rate. Here’s how:

Refrigerate. Chilling the cabbage slows its rate of respiration. At 59°F (15°C), both red and green cabbage give off carbon dioxide at a rate of 32 milliliters per kilogram per hour. Chinese cabbage breathes at a much faster rate. The temperature of most home refrigerators, 41-46°F (5-8°C), is an appropriate temperature range for keeping cabbage chilled in order to preserve its quality. Keeping the cabbage cold will also help to retain its vitamin C content.

Keep it wrapped. Wrapping cabbage in plastic* and storing it in the crisper section of your refrigerator limits its exposure to air flow, and thus reduces respiration and retards spoilage. Just as importantly, plastic wrap keeps external moisture out, preventing mold and rot, while helping the cabbage to maintain its internal (cellular) moisture—without which, the cabbage leaves lose their firmness and begin to wilt.

While plastic wrapping does help to preserve the quality of the cabbage, it does carry some concerns. Plastic residues from the wrapping have been found to migrate into food at refrigerator temperatures and even though the residues are in very, very small amounts, they still must undergo detoxification by the body. Additionally, plastic wrapping carries with it an environmental burden as is it non-biodegradable and in most parts of the country, non-recyclable.

Convenient alternatives to plastic wrapping include reusable, tightly-locking Tupperware-type plastic containers or Pyrex-type containers with rubber or plastic gaskets, both of which should be closely matched in size to the head of cabbage.

Handle with care. If you need to store a partial head of cabbage, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Since the vitamin C content starts to quickly degrade once the cabbage has been cut, you should use the remainder within a couple of days. Also, handle cabbage carefully to prevent bruising. Any kind of cell damage degrades vitamin C content.

* Some plastic vegetable storage bags have tiny air holes, and do a better job of reducing surface moisture and air flow, and minimizing spoilage. Better still are the ones that absorb the carbon dioxide the cabbage expires, dramatically improving storage life. But plastic alone will not prevent loss of vitamins, which is why chilling is also necessary.

SIMPLE SAUERKRAUT

FROM: STONESOUP.COM

I was never a huge fan of sauerkraut until I started making my own. Being able to control how fermented or ‘funky’ your kraut gets makes a huge difference. This method is called dry brining and when you read through the method it’s hard to imagine it working. I know I always thought that when looking at kraut recipes. It wasn’t until I actually saw Sandor Katz make kraut that I ‘got it’.

Note from Lori: I too saw Sandor Katz make sauerkraut; Katz (and Claude Levi-Strauss) credit sauerkraut with allowing human civilization to flourish, at least in cold climates. Until humans invented fermentation processes, they couldn’t save enough nourishing food to last through winter. You’ll find info and more detail instructions about his sauerkraut revival here:

http://www.wildfermentation.com/who-is-sandorkraut/

Makes 1 medium jar

1/2 head cabbage

salt

1. Day 1. Cut cabbage in half lengthwise and trim the surfaces that were already cut. Remove outer leaves and discard. Finely slice the cabbage as well as you can. I use a knife because I like it rustic. But you could use a mandoline if you want really fine kraut.

2. Place sliced cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a few generous pinches of fine salt as you go. You want at least 0.5% salt. I just add and mix and taste as I go. When the cabbage tastes slightly salty but still really fresh I leave it at that. (See notes below for more detailed quantities).

3. Massage cabbage with your clean hands. Sandor recommends 10 minutes but I usually do it for a few minutes and then leave it to stand so the salt can work its magic. You want the moisture from the cabbage to come out.

4. Pack the cabbage into a clean glass or ceramic jar. Press down firmly as you go to really release the moisture and pack it as tightly as possible. I like to use the back of a spoon. You want enough liquid to just cover the cabbage. If it looks too dry add a little filtered or boiled and cooled water. But be sparing as water will dilute the final flavour.

5. Seal with the lid and leave on the kitchen bench.

6. Day 2. Open the jar to release any gas buildup. Push the cabbage down to re-submerge. Taste.

7. Day 3+. Repeat as per day 2 and taste again. If the cabbage tastes tangy enough for you, pop it in the fridge and start eating. If not leave it out of the fridge and continue to taste every day until you’re happy. Depending on the temperature and how funky you like your kraut it can take from 3 days to months.

CABBAGE KIMCHI

Reprinted from The Korean Table: From Barbecue to Bibimbap by Taekyung Chung and Debra Samuels (Charles E. Tuttle Company, 2008). Copyright 2008 by Taekyung Chung and Debra Samuels.

FROM: The Splendid Kitchen

Cook’s Note: Have ready a clean pair of latex and rubber gloves. You’ll use them for mixing the kimchi.

A salt-water soak helps to soften the green cabbage leaves and in a matter of hours this kimchi goes from raw to crunch. It’s delicious with or without the chives, and goes great with a bowl of hot rice.

Ingredients

1 medium head green cabbage (1-1/2 pounds)

1 cup water

1 tablespoon fine-grain sea salt or kosher salt

1/2 bunch garlic chives or regular chives, cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths

5 tablespoons Kimchi Paste (recipe follows)

Two 1-gallon plastic zippered bags

Kimchi Paste:

Makes about 3 cups

1 cup Korean coarse red pepper flakes

1/2 cup water

4 tablespoons garlic paste

2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon fine-grain sea salt or kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

5 tablespoons fish sauce

Makes 6 tablespoons

1/4 cup Korean coarse red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon garlic paste

1/2 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger

1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or kosher salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1. Core the cabbage and cut into bite-size pieces.

2. In a large glass or stainless steel bowl add the water and salt. Add the cabbage to the water and salt mixture and soak for 2 hours. Drain the water from the cabbage.

3. Add the Kimchi Paste to the cabbage. Put on your gloves (see Cook’s Note above) and mix the Kimchi Paste into the cabbage. Add the chives and mix together.

4. Divide the cabbage into the two plastic bags, filling each bag only 3/4 full. Do not close the bag.

5. From the bottom of the bag, roll the cabbage forward, pressing the air out of the bag as your go. Once you reach the top and the air has been released, close the bag. Store the bags in the refrigerator for 1 day. Transfer the cabbage to an airtight container. This will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Kimchi Paste

Making kimchi becomes an easy task with a jar of this on hand. In many cases, all you are doing is salting the vegetables, discarding liquid and mixing in a few spoonfuls of this paste.

Not just for making kimchi, this paste is also used in flavoring hot pots and soups. In Korea, an anchovy sauce is used as an ingredient to aid in the fermentation process. We use the more widely available Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce. We’ve provided two yields for this essential paste. For ease of preparation, we recommend making the larger batch.

Mix the ingredients together in a medium bowl with a rubber spatula until you have a smooth paste. Store this paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for 2 months.

PICKLED CABBAGE SALAD

Inspired by the health salad at Zabar’s

FROM: THE SMITTEN KITCHEN

My primary change to this from my last version, and from the versions I’ve had from delis, was the addition of celery seed. I added it on a whim, and we cannot get enough of the flavor. Just a little permeates the pickle mixture with a hint of celery, without actually using celery, which can get a little beige after pickling. This is a flexible recipe, however. You could add actual celery slices if you wish, red onion or a little red cabbage to create the ink pinky tangled look of the Russ and Daughter’s version (which has only a pinch of carrot and pepper strips in it, and no cucumber). The carrots, cucumbers and peppers I use here are modeled after the Zabar’s version.

Yield: 9 to 10 cups, which shrinks to 7 to 8 cups after pickling

Brine

1 1/2 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt* plus more to taste

Salad

1 small head (2 pounds) green cabbage

1 red bell pepper

1 carrot (I used only 1/2 my very thick one)

1 kirby cucumber

Mix brine ingredients in the bottom of a medium bowl and set aside.

Prepare your vegetables: Trim and core cabbage and slice thinly with a knife, food processor slicing blade or adjustable-blade slicer. Place in a large bowl. Core, seed and thinly slice red pepper; peel and thinly slice or julienne carrot; thinly slice cucumber (I quartered mine first). Add vegetables to cabbage bowl.

By the time you’re done preparing your vegetables, the sugar and salt in the pickling mixture should have dissolved. If not, whisk a few times until they do. Taste and adjust if you’d like it a little saltier — I added 1 more teaspoon of kosher salt in the end.

Pour pickling brine over vegetables and cover bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 1 week. Salad becomes more pickled as it rests. Eat with everything.

* Not all salts are weighted equally: Read more here. I used Morton brand, which for 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons clocks in at 24 grams. If using table or fine sea salt, use only 4 teaspoons.



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