Just Steam It | TASTE

Cabbage is a mild veggie at coronary heart. Its petals are tight, curious, and crunchy, and its taste is delicate however candy. But most recipes take an aggressive strategy to coaxing the leafy vegetable out of its deep winter slumber, choosing burning, charring, and searing to achieve a state of caramelization. However the extra delicate strategy of steaming cabbage (be it napa, savoy, or traditional inexperienced) has lots of benefits which can be typically overshadowed by these different cooking methods.

First, steaming requires no fats within the cooking course of, and this pays off in spades. Since steaming is a gradual manner of cooking, it yields a extra cabbage-y taste with out being overpowered by char. Steaming cabbage preserves its colour, texture, and vitamins, and presents a pure taste akin to a confit or a sluggish barbecue. The flavour of the cabbage, when steamed, is good—creating an ideal backdrop for flavors like nutty brown butter, fried almonds, and sherry vinegar.

Steaming is a very easy method to grasp that I discovered whereas working in restaurant kitchens. It’s a easy course of whereby a vegetable sits above simmering water and is cooked by scorching water vapor. At residence, I exploit a perforated, adjustable metallic steamer basket that may sit in nearly any of my pots and Dutch oven.

Steamed Cabbage

The cooking time relies on the density of what you’re steaming and the way a lot you pack the basket, however leafy greens like cabbage can cook dinner via in minutes if it’s just a few leaves. A steamer basket like the one I have set me again about $8, however there are a lot of choices obtainable, like pots with built-in baskets, stackable bamboo ones, or clay pots like a Japanese donabe. You may even use a metallic colander in the event you don’t have a steamer basket.

Certain, you possibly can obtain an analogous impact with blanching, but it surely requires extra water and extra time, and it leaves you with cabbage whose delicate taste has leached into the salted simmering water. Steaming has the additional advantage of maintaining particular person leaves or wedges of cabbage elegantly intact and prepared for the serving plate.

As a result of cabbage remains to be a comparatively delicate vegetable, I like so as to add a strong sauce that may sink into the nooks and crannies of the petals. This begins with frying some sliced almonds in a hunk of butter. The almonds begin to sizzle within the butter because it cooks, creating an extra-nutty brown butter. Sherry and purple wine vinegar, some plumped raisins (that I steam proper alongside the cabbage), honey, and herbs like thyme make this a wintry salad that’s heat and sensually inviting. Strive it with a pan-roasted pork chop or a crispy-skinned duck leg confit.

RECIPE: Steamy Cabbage with Brown Butter Fried Almonds

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