Friday, November 26, 2010

What to take for thanksgiving?

Our friend and uber hostess Deborah had us over for thanksgiving dinner yesterday. We knew it was going to be a feast but also wanted to make sure we contributed something other than our sparkling wit...

Foods at thanksgiving here in the USA can be rather rich - I didn't want to contribute to richness, but wanted to make something that fit the following:
  • Could be finished at the house anything from 2 hours to 4 after our arrival
  • Would not use a scarce resource (burner/oven)
  • Would not contribute to the richness factor
  • Was really tasty
A somewhat tough challenge until we remembered
  • The crockpot
  • Braising cabbage
  • Pairing apples and braised cabbage
So the decision was easy. Braised red cabbage cooked in the crock pot. Braising red cabbage always (well almost always) uses vinegar, so that definitely damps down the richness factor. So here's the dish we took:
1 head (about 3 lbs) red cabbage, tough outer leaves removed and sliced finely and evenly
3 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and sliced (24 slices per apple approximately)
3 Gala apples treated like the Granny Smiths
2 Medium yellow onions sliced into wedges (about 12 wedges per onion)
6 cloves + 2 broken fried chillies in a small spice bag. (Note I used a piece of cheesecloth and some kitchen twine to make the bag
2T Sugar
1C Cider vinegar
2t salt (more to taste after cooking)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter
Put the sliced apples and vinegar together in the bottom of the slow cooker (mine is a crock pot, btw). The vinegar helps prevent the apples from browning. Add the spice bag, onions, cabbage and the rest of the ingredients. Stir to mix well. Cook on high for at least 4 hours. Low for about 8.

Note we cooked it on high for 1 1/2 hours before we left home, then plugged it in at Deborah's house and cooked on high for a further 3 hours. It may not be salty enough for you, so have some handy.

You may also want to use a little less water, this had a little more liquid than I wanted. Nonetheless everyone seemed to like it.

The rest of the dinner was fantastic - Deborah had a TurDuckHen and it was wonderful. And then a carrot cake was my dessert of choice - and a very good one it was too. Of course the various other dishes played their parts well. I was stuffed. Madame (being more polite than I) was pleasantly full.

1 comment:

Chris Bird said...

Note to self! I would probably use about 1/2 the water next time I make this. It was a little sloppier than I wanted.