This past week I was feeling like my life had downshifted a bit. The vast majority of the preserving is done, I felt caught up on other big tasks that had stared me down in previous weeks, and Vera was making a habit of daily three-hour naps. But as I've eluded to in the past, I don't fare extremely well (so far, though I'm working on this) without having some sort of project to busy my hands.
I've been enjoying the transition to fall foods lately. Our meals have gradually faded from tomatoes and sweet corn into winter squash, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and cauliflower. This past week I put a twist on red cabbage. I was happy with the results and thrilled to find another way to incorporate more bacon into my diet.
|Mmm, bacon crust...|
Braised Cabbage Cobbler (Gluten-Free)
2 T. butter or bacon fat
4 c. shredded red or green cabbage
1/2 c. sliced onions
2 c. chopped, peeled tart apples
1/4 c. water
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. cider vinegar
1/8 t. ground cloves
1/8 t. salt, or to taste
1/8 t. pepper
1/2 lb. bacon, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
3 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 c. milk (of your choosing)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose gluten-free flour (or regular wheat flour is you're tolerant)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a pie plate with butter or olive oil and place in the oven to heat.
For the cabbage: In a 3-quart saucepan, melt butter/bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and onions; cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 min. Add apples; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 min. Add water, brown sugar, vinegar, cloves, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed, about 4 min. Set aside.
For cobbler batter: In a food processor add bacon, eggs, shallots, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pulse a few times to chop. Add milk and flour and mix into a smooth batter. Remove dish from oven. Pour half the batter into the plate. With a slotted spoon, pile the cabbage on top and press down slightly. Pour remaining batter on top of cabbage and bake for 45-50 min. or until golden brown on top. Let cool slightly and serve (I added a dollop of sour cream on top because I didn't think there was enough fat from the bacon and bacon fat. :) )
In other project news, I taught two urban homesteading classes this past week and had a great time learning from my students, as is usually the case. Tuesday night we made herbal oils and vinegars in the beautiful jars I found on Monday's field trip to American Science and Surplus. I made a couple of samples at home with what was available in my garden. I may not have grown the gorgeous fennel bulbs I dreamed of as I sowed the seeds earlier this season, but the fronds are still great for tossing into salads as well as dropping into a bottle of vinegar. I also plucked the remaining nasturtium flowers from my overgrown bed, whizzed them in the food processor then sealed them in a tiny jar with extra-virgin olive oil. (Note: If you're making your own herbal oils, you MUST keep them refrigerated. Store-bought herbal oils are commercially processed allowing them to be shelf stable, but I DO NOT recommend trying that at home! It's the perfect environment for bacterial spores to grow like crazy if left at room. temp.)
|Fennel Vinegar and Nasturtium Oil|