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RECIPES-Cabbage & Bell Peppers

by Chef Linda Weiss

Photographs by Robert Shober & Anne Moore

I've always been a big fan of cabbage. But, like everything else, we get tired of the same foods like Cole Slaw, steamed cabbage, and so on.

So, a while back, someone gave me this recipe for a cabbage casserole. I looked at the recipe and knew it would be good based on the ingredients and the cooking method. The recipe is really a scalloped cabbage. I could tell that it's an old recipe because it calls for evaporated milk. Evaporated milk was produced long before the war because of the storage problem with milk. There were no refrigerators back then, so fresh milk could rarely be stored in a cold place unless you had room in your ''ice box.'' I remember when some people in the country would use a box with spring water to keep milk cold. Thank goodness, those days are gone for most everyone.

I've changed the recipe to use half-and-half, but if you'd like to use evaporated milk, do. It's a good recipe either way.  I have made it both ways, but I prefer to use half-and-half.

Layered Cabbage Casserole

1 medium head cabbage

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups half and half or evaporated milk

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

2/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons chili sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the cabbage into small thin wedges. Cook in salted boiling water until tender. Drain and place the cabbage into a 13 x 9-inch (or smaller based on the size of the cabbage) dish and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in half-and-half or evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat until starting to thicken, stirring constantly. Pour the sauce over the cabbage. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the green pepper, onion, cheese, mayonnaise and chili sauce. Mix well. Spoon the mayo-chili sauce mixture over the cabbage and sauce. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Serves 8.

Many gardeners out there have an abundance of bell peppers; my family included. So, if you like sausage, or chorizo, a sausage made with spices and paprika, you can surely use those peppers. I used this recipe a while back when I was teaching at Williams-Sonoma.

Chorizo and Peppers

1-1/2 pounds fresh chorizo

1 of each- large red, orange and yellow bell peppers

3 garlic cloves, sliced thin

3-4 fresh thyme or Greek oregano sprigs

Olive oil

Roast chorizo in a preheated 350 degrees oven until the internal temperature of the chorizo reaches 165 degrees.

While the chorizo is roasting, cut the peppers into thin strips and set aside. When the chorizo is done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool enough to slice into 1-inch slices on the diagonal. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into a large skillet. Add the sliced peppers and saute until the peppers are just getting tender. Add the garlic slices, and the chorizo and herbs. Cook until the peppers are tender. Serve with roasted baby Yukon potatoes.

---Linda Weiss attended La Varenne at The Greenbrier and Le Cordon Bleu of Paris' Catering School. She is a member of The James Beard Foundation in New York and the Southern Foodways Alliance at Ole Miss. Linda's first book, Memories From Home, Cooking with Family & Friends is available at www.Amazon.com or at her website . Linda currently is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, has been the Food Editor for three magazines, as well as a cooking teacher and a frequent television cooking show guest.  Visit her website:   www.cheflindaweiss.com and her blog:  www.lindaallaboutfood.blogspot.com---

 


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