The origin of McFie is Scottish…not Irish. Nevertheless, I’ll be fixing the traditional “Boiled” Dinner of Corned Beef, Potatoes and Cabbage on St. Patty’s Day. Or rather, I’ll be doing something similar because instead of boiling the corned beef, I’ll be roasting it. Not sure yet if I’ll steam red potatoes or go ahead and boil russets to make mashed potatoes. And instead of boiling the cabbage, I’ll be sautéing it.
Now we like boiled cabbage, at least 9/10 of our family does, but we like sautéed cabbage so much better. Of course, I’ll be using green cabbage in honor of the day. But sautéed red cabbage is amazing too. Whenever someone walks through the kitchen and sees preparation for either version of this side dish, I hear the word “Yum.”
It’s easy to make too. Slice the cabbage and then put it in a hot sauté pan with a little butter…you can use olive oil too if you like, but I like the butter flavor that comes through. You don’t need much butter or oil. I use maybe two Tablespoons for cabbage for 10. Sprinkle the cabbage with salt as you cook it to help it wilt and to season it. You can add other seasonings if you like, but the flavor of the lightly salted cabbage can stand on it’s own. Stir it frequently and it will be ready in about 10 minutes.
Cabbage doesn’t necessarily have a name for fame or popularity among vegetables in the US. Ask someone to name a vegetable and they’ll mostly likely say…that’s right, carrots. The next most common answer is corn, and corn isn’t a vegetable at all! It’s a grain.
But cabbage is a favorite at our house and a refrigerator staple. Cabbage keeps well, so if you don’t get to it right away, it can wait. Being an antioxidant and helping to counteract the nitrates that we encounter in nature whether we consume them or not, it’s a powerhouse for preventing cancer.
Couldn’t resist sharing this pic of Jordan taken a few years ago. When he was younger he took it upon himself to claim possession of the discarded outer cabbage leaves as I prepared dinner. He would immediately don them as a fashionable hat and run through the house laughing and sporting the announcement to everyone as to what we were having for dinner.
Cabbage is a great addition to soups: vegetable, split pea, potato and even tortilla soup. It’s famous for coleslaws. We don’t make the sweet versions of these, but we do make the Mexican version: Cabbage Pico de Gallo. Sauerkraut is a fermented form of cabbage…a wonderful addition to grilled cheese sandwiches.