Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 215 - Braised Red Cabbage with Caramelized Apples

Marcy came over tonight for dinner, and as much as I wanted to take the night off, I pushed myself to cook, as I'm going to be in Virginia all next week and who knows how much I'll be cooking there. So I threw together this veggie dish that has intrigued me from the beginning....

Braised Red Cabbage with Caramelized Apples (p. 344)

I've been waiting for the fall to come to make this. It just screams "fall" to me. I've made something vaguely similar: a braised red cabbage dish with raisins, caraway seeds, and vinegar, German-influenced, I think.

This, on the other hand, is more American and comfort-y.

It starts out with a whole lot of butter and sugar, then apples and onion get caramelized, then red cabbage gets added and the whole thing is braised in vinegar and water. Really, what could be bad?

I will say, as usual (I'm like a broken record here), the sauce did not reduce nearly as quickly as Martha suggests it will, i.e. after five minutes of being partially covered. I had to crank up the temperature and take the lid completely off to get that sauce to reduce by a little, and even then it took more like ten minutes.

No matter - it was delicious, and the cabbage still had a little crunch to it. The proportions of this dish are balanced really well, flavor-wise. The sweet/sour/savory thing is really working, and it's pretty to look at, too.

Jeff: A
Martha: A

Until we eat again....


  1. I think that sauces are more complicated than they seem. I am not sure if they just take a lot of practice or if there is some trick that professional cooks assume we know, but we really don't.

  2. Hi Jaye-

    Agreed. My theory, at least re: my own sauce failures, is that my problems have mostly to do with misjudging the temperature of the pot/pan.

    Maybe Martha needs to do a whole book on sauces!

    This reminds me, I haven't made a successful Hollandaise yet....

  3. Maybe Martha doesnt take into account that she's using commercial grade equipment and most of us are not? I know that my home stovetop cannot even begin to match the heat produced by a nice Viking (stove, not man) ~ Dawn ;)

  4. Hey Dawn-
    I've never cooked on a Viking (stove, not man) :-)
    I've always assumed a simmer is a simmer, whether it's over an open fire or a hotplate. But I'm wondering if my idea of simmer is different from Martha's... because most times, when a simmer is supposed to reduce, it doesn't, and I have to turn up the heat a lot.