Category Archives: Quick

A cabbage barrage

Let’s get this out of the way real quick. This post is about cabbage. But wait, hold on! I know what you’re thinking.“Cabbage. Huh. Well I guess I’ll click back to that tutorial on how operate the vacuum at it’s optimal potential.” I know. Cabbage sounds extremely boring. And no, even though St. Patrick’s Day was last week, this has nothing to do with being Irish (which I am) or colcannon. I’m not even being festive.

But before you click away, I used to think the same thing. Cabbage = bland, watery, overcooked, healthy in that feet-dragging kinda way. But then I lived with Jenn, my old roommate. She made this fresh cabbage salad with tons of lime, jalapeno, shredded carrots, green and red cabbage, tossed with a very light, creamy dressing and handfuls of fresh cilantro. She made me reconsider cabbage. (Other things I learned to love from Jenn: black beans, cilantro, jalapenos, mushrooms and Key lime pie.)

Once cabbage and I made friends, it realized how versatile it is. Have you ever bought a head of romaine lettuce, then realized that you want something you can sautee? Or the opposite. You buy some sweet potatoes, then you crave something fresh and uncooked. This happens to me all the time. Especially when the seasons are changing, like they are right now. The beauty of cabbage though, is that it goes both ways. It’s the bisexual, if you will, of brassicas. Eat it fresh, saute it, braise it, roast it, blow your nose with one of its leaves! (Okay, maybe not the last one. Unless you’re really desperate.)

My recent favorite cabbage recipe is caramelized cabbage with lemon and parmesan. This is a great side dish; basically a warm cabbage salad, sauteed until there are little bits of smoky and burnt leaves, tossed with a squinch of fresh lemon and a handful of cheesy goodness. It’s also great for breakfast; fry up an egg, plop it on top, toast a slice of bread and you’re in business.

Warm cabbage salad with lemon and parmesan

Serves 2 as a side dish

1/2 head green cabbage, sliced very thin

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 heaping tablespoons of parmesan cheese, to taste

lemon, to taste (I use roughly 1/4 lemon per 1/2 head cabbage, taste as you go and find your sweet spot)

salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed saute pan over medium high heat, add garlic, sautee until fragrant. Add the slivered cabbage.

2. Cook the cabbage until browned in places (5-7 minutes). Turn off the heat, add parmesan, lemon, salt and pepper. Taste. Adjust for seasoning. Serve warm. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days.



Filed under Gluten-free, Local, Quick, Recipes, Sidedish, Vegetables

Mu’s biscuits

Well it’s been a little while since I’ve posted. I started a new job and can you believe it, they want me there eight hours a day! But after a month, I think I’m finally catching my stride.

These biscuits helped.

If you’ve ever moved and love to cook you might understand how I’ve been feeling in my new kitchen. It’s great, cute from afar, but nothing is second nature yet. I hit my head on the cabinet doors. The drawers in the fridge get stuck. I think I forgot how to grocery shop. All of this makes for a lot of take out, pizza and wine. Which I ain’t knocking, especially when you live near Figs. But after weeks straight of spending far too much money, I was ready to get back in the kitchen.

Enter Scotty Amis’ Dinwiddie Biscuits, or Mu’s biscuits actually. A couple posts ago I talked about family recipes. After reading about my family’s favorite food, Randy, Bo’s dad sent along some of his. There were two cakes and these biscuits.

Randy got the recipe from his mother, Scotty Amis, who got it from her mother, Lillie a.k.a. Mu (Muh, not Moo). Mu lived in Virginia in a town called Dinwiddie, in a house that Randy’s family still calls home. Randy said his grandmother went to New York City once when she was in her 20’s, other than that she spent her life within 50 miles of the family farm. They grew tobacco, peanuts and eventually soy beans. She made these biscuits every day. When Scotty Amis was old enough, it became one of her daily chores.

This is what Randy had to say about his family biscuits:

These will not be as good as the originals – unless you find a little girl or boy to pat the dough. When I was little, Mu used to let me (and probably any handy grandchild) pat the biscuits out with my bare feet as I stood on the counter where she was working. My mother, her daughter, horrified at the thought of where those bare feet had been on the farm that day (barn, pig lot, chicken yard, cow pasture, garden, down the lane), protested, “Mother, don’t let him do that!” Mu responded calmly, “Oh, its alright, his sweet little feet won’t hurt anything.” Apocryphal perhaps, but a lasting tale in our family. And evidence that my grandmother, spoiled us through and through. The biscuits? Wonderful, flaky, light and, of course, sweet.

A good biscuit recipe is a great addition to any cook’s repertoire. It’s a quick bread (meaning it’s leavened without yeast) so you don’t have lengthy rising times. You can whip them up in 30 minutes, with ingredients most likely already in your cupboard.

Unfortunately the small child that lives under my cabinet is on vacation this week (damn unions!), so I whipped out my food processor. I hope Mu wouldn’t mind.

Mu/Scotty Amis’ Dinwiddie Biscuits

Reported by Randy Amis

Preheat oven to 425°

2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons Butter

3 tablespoons Crisco

7/8 cup milk (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons)

  1. Mix dry ingredients, then add Crisco and butter and blend until flour looks flaky or like cornmeal or oatmeal.
  2. Slowly add milk (NOTE: you may not need it all). Lightly mix until dough forms a ball. Do not over work.
  3. Put ball of dough on floured board – roll or pat to ½” thick – with a glass or jar of the right size – 3 to 3 ½ inches wide – cut the biscuits out – put on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes until golden.


Filed under Baking, Quick, Recipes