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Cabbage and Apples with Riesling and Caraway

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Serves 6 to 8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 107

Boiling, then sautéing the cabbage gives it an almost silky texture. This dish is a perfect match for roast pork loin or sausage, such as bratwurst or boudin blanc.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium head green or Savoy cabbage (about 3 lb.), cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2  lb. apples, such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar; more as needed
  • 1/4 cup white wine, preferably Riesling
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds, lightly toasted

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage, return to a boil and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Melt 3 Tbs. of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples, spreading them evenly. Season with a generous pinch of salt, sprinkle with the sugar, and cook, tossing occasionally, until lightly caramelized and just tender (they should still offer a little resistance when pierced with a fork), about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, the cabbage, and caraway and continue cooking, stirring gently, until the butter has melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and a pinch more sugar, if necessary. Serve hot or warm.

Photo: Scott Phillips

To begin with, only 2-3 stars; however, after some doctoring, 5 stars! How did we go from 2 to a 5? Our cabbage needed a bit more sweetness and acidity, which we achieved by adding a good splash of apple cider vinegar, more maple syrup, and a decent handful of dried cranberries. In addition, we did compliment our dish with caramelized onions, which had been prepared to go with the sausage that was to be paired with this dish. Finally, it did require quite a bit more salt to properly bring out the flavors. In the end, we proclaimed it to be fabulous- one of the best cabbage dishes that we have made. Given the necessity for improvisation, our overall rating would be a 4.

I added apple cider vinegar to the recipe. I felt it needed a punch - the apples got lost in the mix. Really great with brats! I simmered onions and brats in 4 bottles of Shiner Bock for 30 min. or so. Then gave the brats a quick grill. Very good!

I basically followed the recipe. I didn't have any Reisling, so I used Moscato. I tasted after about 10 minutes and didn't think it was very good; not sweet enough. And the cabbage was still too stiff. I added a generous handful of raisins, turned off the heat, put the cover on, and let it sit for an hour. Actually quite nice when I got back home. I had made beer-boiled brats as the entree. I poured the thicken beer sauce over the cabbage mix. The Cabbages and Apples now very, very good.

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