Today is one of the first this summer that the humidity decided to take a holiday and a the temperature did not raise into the nineties. As I walked outside this morning, I could feel Autumn calling to me, letting me know that she was on her way to put the earth to sleep for another winter. I for one have never been sad to see the summer go. Back to school, making way for Halloween and Thanksgiving as well as the changing of the clocks are all highly anticipated. These things make me know that no matter what may happen, the seasons will always turn one into another keeping grounded for yet another year.
Autumn brings with it so many things that I love, leaves, pumpkins, gourds, hay bales in my front yard, putting the garden to bed for the coming winter, wood smoke, chilly mornings, campfires in my back yard and the ability to cook items that are just not good when the weather is hot and muggy. Who wants to eat a big heavy meal when the temperature outside is breaking 100 degrees and the humidity is breaking 100 percent. Who can eat anything for that matter when things are that uncomfortable? But Autumn is my friend. She is gentle, she whispers to me each morning when I step outside on my back deck with my hot coffee and breath in the cool, dewy air that is crisp and satisfying and smell the faintness of a wood fire, that someone has stoked to take the morning chill of his house. She says “I Love You!” “I am here for my yearly visit.” “Enjoy me while I am here!”. Perfection!
The beginnings of Autumn are magical to me. It restores me, body and soul, bringing with it cool weather and the opportunity to spend comfortable time outdoors with my family. It also brings with it cool weather veggies at their peak. Crucifers abound, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, kale, collards, mustard, Brussels sprouts and my favorite cabbage! I for one, don’t think that there is anything better than a steaming plate of cabbage, sauteed with onion, apples and butter! Green cabbage can be done like this as well as my personal preference, Savoy or curly cabbage. Let’s not forget the red cabbage either, cooked long and slow and made to be sweet and sour, Harvard style. YUM! Love on a plate.
Today’s recipe will focus on the previously mentioned Savoy or curly cabbage, rich and green and bumpy and delicious. Paired with onions, apples and ham, they join together to make a perfect main course alongside some buttery egg noodles and you have an Eastern European standard waiting to show you how wonderful dinner can me! Give this one a try and you will not be sorry that you did. Salty ham, tender crisp cabbage with just a hint of sweetness from the apples and onions. You will be happy. Instead of noodles, pair this with some prepared frozen Pierogies that have been sauteed with butter after boiling in a hot bath. Delicious! I think I can hear Autumn knocking at my kitchen door and she has brought me a dish of ham and cabbage and noodles. I am happy!
Here is what you will need to make this recipe:
1 medium Savoy cabbage (use green cabbage, bok choy or other greens of your choice)
1 large onion sliced
1 apple cored, peeled and sliced
½ stick butter cut into slices
½ cup hot water
1 ham bullion packet
1 pound ham steak
1 bag egg noodles prepared and buttered
Rinse, core and chop cabbage into medium sized pieces. Place in a large casserole dish or baking pan along with sliced onions and apples. Place butter slices atop cabbage. Mix ham bullion into hot water and pour over cabbage in waiting pan. Cut ham steak into quarters and remove outer rind. Place slices of ham atop the cabbage, onions and apples. Cover with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes. Make sure not to peek, or you will lose all that good steam that will build up under the foil and it may take even longer for the cabbage to cook.
While the cabbage and ham are baking in the oven, boil water in a large stock pot and prepare 1 12 ounce bag of egg noodles until they are cooked to you preferred doneness. I don’t like them mushy. When they are done, drain and butter with a couple tablespoons of butter or use some olive oil if you like.
At the 35 minute mark, check the cabbage for doneness. If you are happy, get ready to serve! Plate up some noodles and cabbage and top with a nice piece of ham. Sprinkle on some celery or caraway seeds and you are in for a treat! Just like your Bubbe used to make! Wink ; ).
I hope you try this and I hope you enjoy it! Until next time; See Ya!