Showing posts with label cabbage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cabbage. Show all posts

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Kalpudding or Not Your Mother's Meatloaf

Okay, here’s another weird one. Kalpudding, eh? Yet there it was, front and center in the New York Times magazine. I’ve tried Sam Sifton’s recipes before—some I’ve loved and adopted, others left me puzzled.

Since I’d never heard of this dish, I did some research online. Oh, look, there are lots of recipes for it! It’s Swedish. The word “kal” is supposed to have one of those little circle things over the “a”, so it’s pronounced “coal.” That means cabbage. But the rest of the name—the “pudding” part—is misleading, because it’s really a meat loaf with cabbage on top.

And you must keep an open mind, because the first thing you do is cook the cabbage in butter and molasses. Yes, molasses. Never would have thought of that.

Swedish Kalpudding (inspired by Sam Sifton)

2 Tblsp plus 1 tsp unsalted butter

1 head green cabbage (abt 3 lbs), cored and shredded
3 Tblsp molasses
salt and pepper, to taste

3/4 lb ground beef
3/4 lb ground pork
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup heavy cream
4 Tblsp bread crumbs

1/3 cup chicken or beef stock


Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When it starts to foam, add the cabbage and molasses, lower the heat to medium, and sprinkle with salt. Cook slowly, stirring often, until the liquid that the cabbage produces has evaporated and the cabbage is caramelized (20-25 minutes). It should be uniformly brown (but not burnt!)

Pork and beef combined
plus dry ingredients
plus all the rest of the ingredients

 While the cabbage is cooking, mix the meats in a large bowl (do not overmix), then add the onion, cream and bread crumbs and combine loosely. Again, don’t overdo the mixing part, or you’ll end up with a brick.

When the cabbage is done, add about one-third of it to the meat mixture and mix. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and transfer the meat mixture into it, smoothing the surface. Spread the rest of the cabbage of the top, pour the stock over it, place it in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cabbage is very caramelized.

It came out of the pan!

Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. None of the recipes tells you whether to scoop it out or try to slice it. I sliced, but a lot of online pictures show it scooped out with a spoon. This is not a fancy dish!

Some people include rice in the mix. Others throw in spices like chili flakes (really? it’s Swedish!). Garlic is optional. Various sites suggested a traditional Swedish sauce using lingonberries, but I wasn’t ready to face molasses and lingonberries in the same dish (even though I like lingonberries). Serve it with boiled potatoes.

Do you know, I liked it. The sweetness from the molasses doesn’t hit you in the face, and it kind of rounds off the flavor of the two meats. It’s not very fussy to make, as long as you don’t mind stirring a pan of cabbage for a while. It reheats well. I might actually make it again.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Lamb Fillet with Cabbage and Mushrooms

I know, it’s a week past St. Patrick’s Day, But it’s an Irish recipe! And I liked it!

I like lamb. My parents liked lamb. I grew up eating lamb chops about once a week, although we weren't much into leg of lamb or even lamb stew (which I now make regularly). I know there are people who don't like the taste of lamb, and it's hard to find in stores.

When I came across this very Irish recipe, it sounded good to me. Problem was, I have no idea what a lamb fillet is. However, my market has recently started carrying what they call a butterflied leg of lamb (no bone), which is about the right weight and size. It’s from Australia, don’t ask me why. But it’s a lovely piece to work with, nice and tender, and easy to cook.

Roast Fillet of Lamb with Cabbage and Mushrooms (suggested by Clare Connery in Irish Cooking, 1996)


1 lamb fillet, about one pound, 

trimmed of most of its fat
vegetable oil for frying
1 small green cabbage, cored and finely shredded
4 oz butter
4 oz unsmoked bacon, diced (I used salt pork)
6 oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (while wild mushrooms would be nice, there are quite a few interesting domestic varieties available in markets now—pick a flavorful variety, not the white kind)
2 oz red wine
2 Tblsp port or sherry
salt and pepper


Season the lamb fillet with salt and pepper.

Heat a small amount of oil in a roasting pan and sautee the meat (briefly) on all sides to sear it.

Finish cooking the lamb in an oven preheated to 425 degrees (hot!). Keep an eye on it. According to the original recipe, it should take 10-12 minutes to achieve medium-rare. That seemed kind of long to me, but it proved to be accurate for rare meat (which I like).

Remove the meat from the oven and keep warm.

Shredded (thank you, Cuisinart!)


Boil the shredded cabbage until it is tender (if you've removed the coarse bits and shredded it finely, this shouldn't take long). Drain it and toss in half the butter. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

In another pan, melt the remaining butter and fry the diced bacon until lightly browned. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook until they release their juices. Keep warm. (I hope you have a big kitchen, because by now you have three pans you're supposed to be keeping warm.)

Deglazing the pan
Retrieve the roasting pan with the lamb. Set the lamb on a plate (and keep it warm!) and pour off the excess fat from the pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and add the wine and port. Bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add this to the other pan with the mushrooms and bacon. Taste the mixture for seasoning.

When you're ready to serve, warm your plates and divide the cabbage between them, making a pile in the center of each plate. You may cut the fillet of lamb into single chunks, or slice thinly and array over the cabbage pile (which is what I did). Scatter the mushrooms and bacon over the meat and cabbage, and pour the wine sauce over it all.

Eat quickly, while it's still warm! I added boiled potatoes to the plate as well.

With potatoes

I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I had my doubts about using bacon and lamb in the same dish, but everything worked well together. There are a lot of mushrooms, not just a scattering, and that worked too. I think this is a keeper, as long as I can find the lamb.

Only a week old! Cruel Winter, the fifth book of the County Cork Mysteries.

The snow has melted in Cork, I'm told, but there was a major snowstorm in County Carlow this past week, south of Dublin. My grandmother was born in a very small townland in Carlow.

Find Cruel Winter at Amazon (my apologies that the pub date of the ebook seems to keep migrating around there, but the print version is on sale!) and Barnes & Noble (likewise on sale there). 

And take a look at my updated website, which now includes a blog where I will ramble on about my Irish cottage when the spirit moves me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Red Cabbage with Mushrooms and Bacon

by Sheila Connolly (or Sile ni Conghaile this week)

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, which has been celebrated since the ninth century, so I figured I should find an Irish recipe to celebrate. Thing is, my family didn’t cook “Irish.” Mostly we ate all-American meat and starch and veg, with the occasional lamb stew.

I have made corned beef and cabbage maybe once in my life, just to find out what it was all about. It’s not hard to make, but I prefer my corned beef in a Reuben sandwich. We do eat Shepherd’s Pie at my house (with ground lamb) and lamb stew, but lamb is hard to get around here and expensive even when it is available.

What’s a cook to do? Once again I turned to The Irish Pub Cookbook, where there are still plenty of sticky-tabs marking recipes I want to try. That’s where this recipe came from, although I made a few changes. It’s a side dish rather than a main course, but would go well with a nice leg of lamb. Or a pork roast, if you’re not Irish (sorry to hear that!). It’s tangy with a little sweetness, and it’s colorful.

Sorry, I couldn't resist--cabbage looks so interesting
in cross-section


1/2 large head of red cabbage (or a whole small head)
[Note: I weighed my cabbage—it was four pounds, and about the size of a bowling ball. Half of that would be two pounds. Two pounds of cabbage made enough of this dish to serve an army, and my vintage wok was the only pan I had that would hold it all. If you aren’t expecting hordes of people, you can easily cut this recipe in half.]

2 Tblsp vegetable oil

3 thick bacon strips, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp thyme leaves
2-1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped (my market didn’t have cremini, so I used portobello mushrooms instead)
grated zest of one lemon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
pat of butter

Quarter the cabbage lengthwise, discard the core, and slice widthwise to make ribbons. (Narrow ribbons will cook more quickly, but it’s not always easy to slice cabbage thinly.)

Heat the oil in a casserole or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon for 5 minutes, until crisp.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and the thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

Add the mushrooms and sliced cabbage to the pan, then cook for another 5 minutes, until the cabbage starts to soften.

Stir in the lemon zest, salt, pepper, and sugar and cover for three minutes. Pour in the vinegar and the stock, cover again, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the cabbage is tender (keep tasting to see if it’s done).

Just a bit of green!

Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the parsley and the pat of butter just before serving.

And raise a glass to St. Patrick!

Sure and there's still An Early Wake, the new County Cork book--only a month old, it is.

And if you're in the mood for something Irish but a bit shorter, there's the e-story Under the Hill--still free for Kindle and Nook!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fully-Loaded Irish Colcannon for St. Patrick's Day from Cleo Coyle

New York may be crowded, loud, and expensive, but it's also a beautiful, endlessly inspiring mix of peoples and cultures. Almost every week, a celebration of one kind or another is taking place. 

Last week, for instance, the city joined its Asian communities in celebrating the Lunar New Year. We even had our first-ever Lunar New Year fireworks display along the Hudson River. 

For a glimpse of that spectacular display and a little video trip to Chinatown, click here.

Now we're gearing up for our annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Events, parties, and parades will soon be taking place all over the city, including the biggest parade of all, down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. It’s the largest parade in the world and Marc and I always enjoy it.

The recipe we have for you today is a bit of a culinary metaphor, tipping its hat to Irish tradition, but with flavors added to reflect our city’s glorious melting pot...

Cleo Coyle's 
Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Fully-Loaded Colcannon

As mystery writers, murder is our business. As cozy mystery writers, so is word play. And that’s primarily how this dish came about. 

Back in 2009, my husband and I were writing Roast Mortem, a book that pays tribute to the FDNY, which has a long history of Irish pride. During our collaboration, we joked about what might happen if we "loaded" the colcannon. 

Wait a second, we thought, why not fully load it—like a baked potato?!

Marc and I then put the recipe together much like New York City puts its cultural communities together: We started with a basic Irish colcannon; added an Italian kiss of olive oil and hug of warm, sweet garlic; and finished the dish with an American-style flourish of gooey melted cheddar and smoky crumbled bacon.

It's a colcannon that's practically exploding with comfort-food flavor. (Hey, no groaning, remember, puns were once the highest form of humor!) 

FYI - A slightly different version of this recipe appeared in our Coffeehouse Mystery, Roast Mortem, along with plenty more tasty recipes.
See Roast Mortem's
free recipe guide
clicking here.

Our fully-loaded colcannon truly makes a wonderful side dish; it's addicting, nutritious, and delicious. And now Marc and I invite you to jump into our melting pot...

Cleo Coyle's
Fully-Loaded Colcannon

Makes about 6 cups


1 pound red potatoes, cut into uniform pieces
2-3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped (or 4-5 regular bacon slices)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, sliced thin (about 6 cups)
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2/3 cup (around 2 or 3 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
      (mild or sharp cheese, your choice)

Step 1—Cook the potatoes: Boil the red potatoes, skin and all, as you would for mashed potatoes—about 15 to 20 minutes. (Test a potato to make sure they’re cooked through.) Remove the pot from heat, drain any extra water, and cover to keep the potatoes warm.

Step 2—Render bacon: While potatoes are boiling, chop bacon into small pieces and cook over a very low heat to render the fat. When bacon is brown, remove from pan and set aside.

Step 3—Sauté veggies: Turn the heat to medium, and add the olive oil to the drippings in the pan. Then add the garlic and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add cabbage and continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring often to coat with the delicious flavors.

Step 4—Add milk and simmer: Reduce heat to low. Stir in milk, butter, salt, and white pepper; cover with a lid and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 8 minutes. (Test a few pieces to make sure the cabbage is cooked through before moving to the next step.)

Step 5—Mix and mash: Combine the hot cabbage and the potatoes. Mash with a metal potato masher or large fork until the ingredients are blended.

Tip - As you mash in the potatoes, they will soak up
remaining liquid. If there is much more liquid
than what you see in my photo above, then
continue to cook the mixture, over low heat,
until the excess liquid evaporates.

Step 6—(Finish) Lock and load with cheese and bacon: Fold in the shredded cheese, which will melt in the heat of the mixture. Serve topped with crumbled bacon bits.

Stay cozy!


~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick -
King's River Life

* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews

* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction

* A Mystery Guild Selection

Delicious recipes are also featured in my 14th 
culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind, including...

* Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev 
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies
* "Fryer Tuck's" Ale-Battered Onion Rings
* Poor Man's Caviar 
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaways

...and many more recipes, including
a guide to reading coffee grinds...

See the book's
Recipe Guide (free PDF)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop

Get a free title checklist,
with mini plot summaries, 

by clicking here. 

Or learn more about the
books and meet Jack Shepard,
our PI ghost 
by clicking here. 

Sign up for my Coffeehouse Newsletter here.
(Recipes, contests, videos, fun info)

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