February 15, 2017

Cabbage and Potatoes with Bacon

My favorite local pork farmer sells bacon in slices and in a package called bits and pieces. The bits and pieces are cheaper, and are just the ends leftover from uniform bacon slices. They're perfect for a recipe like this, where they end up in pieces anyway.

Cabbage is not something I eat regularly, but would like to. This recipe is delicious. It reminds of another from one of Heidi Swanson's cookbooks, but she uses white beans instead of bacon.

Cabbage and Potatoes with Bacon
adapted from I'm Bored

1/2 head green cabbage, cut into bite sized pieces
5 slices thick cut bacon
1.5 lbs. red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 lg. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. caraway seeds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread potatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Season liberally with salt & pepper, garlic powder. Roast potatoes about 15 minutes, stirring half way through, until tender and crispy. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a high sided skillet, big enough to add your cabbage to later. Either cook the bacon in strips and break it up later or dice the bacon first, then cook. Remove bacon, set aside. Drain grease from pan but leave about 2 tablespoons in the skillet to cook the vegetables in.

To the skillet with the bacon grease, add onions and cook over medium heat, until they start to soften. Add cabbage, garlic, a little salt & pepper and caraway seeds. Stir and continue to cook a few minutes until the cabbage starts to soften and everything is combined well. Add a splash of water, stir, cover and cook about 5 more minutes until cabbage is tender. Stir the cabbage a few times while it's cooking.

When cabbage is done, remove lid, add the roasted potatoes and bacon. Toss well to combine and serve.

Lentil Soup

I've made too many basic lentil soups before finding one that's worth repeating. This one is good.

Lentil Soup
adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 large carrots, peeled
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
2 stalks of celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. Italian herbs
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup green or dePuy Lentils
1/2 cup split red lentils
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or olive oil
3 cups roughly chopped kale
squeeze of lemon

1/2 cup chopped parsley, for garnish
1/2-3/4 cup grated Parmesan

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Chop the onion, carrot, sweet potato and celery into roughly 1/4" pieces. Put all of the vegetables, including garlic, into the warm pot with the sea salt and saute until just softened, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the pepper, Italian herbs, red pepper and both lentils. Add the broth and stir. Turn the heat to low and cover. Cook for 30-40 minutes until everything is tender but not mushy. Using an immersion or regular blender, blend up about half of the soup just so it gets thicker, leaving some chunks. You still want the texture of the vegetables to come through. Turn off the heat. Stir in the turmeric, butter/oil and kale and stir for the greens to just soften and marry into the soup. Add lemon juice and taste for seasoning.

Serve each bowl with parsley, Parmesan, and toasty bread.