Cabbage Gratin

Cabbage Gratin

Poor cabbage.  It always gets relegated to some type of sauerkraut or slaw.  I personally adore cabbage.  And since you can’t just buy a bit, and using up the whole head when the recipe calls for a cup or so, you are left with that soccer ball in your fridge, begging to be used every time you open it up.

I wanted something different to what I am used to preparing with cabbage.  I didn’t want to make a salad, or a soup.  I wanted to see if it could be used in a side dish that wasn’t just braised with apples!  So, I picked up a really great cookbook of mine, called “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone”  by Deborah Madison.  It’s a hefty tome, with 720 + pages of recipes.  It really is a bible for all things veggie!

Cabbage gratin

So, to my delight, there were quite a few recipes for cabbage that are completely new to me.  I found this one to be really interesting.  But, I decided to change it up a bit, one because I want to lose a few pounds before I go to my best friends’ wedding this January.  And two, because now when I read a recipe, I can judge if it needs a little extra umph to it.

cabbage gratin

So, instead of using cream in the original version, I swapped it for some greek yogurt.  And then I added some ground chipotle powder, which is my new favorite spice.  It adds a smokiness that you can’t get from any other spice, and the perfect amount of heat.  So, for all of you that are watching their weight, I did the math, and a serving of this is a whopping 150 calories!!!  I was so pleased that something that tastes really decadent can be eaten guilt-free. I also topped it with a teeny bit of grated Gruyère cheese as soon as it came out of the oven.  It is super simple to make, so the prep time is minimal, and all you have to do is wait about an hour for it to come out of the oven, and voilà!  You’ve got a delicious, healthy and low-calorie side dish!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

Low- Calorie version:

Olive oil spray and freshly grated Parmesan for the baking dish

1 1/2 lbs of green or savoy cabbage, diced into 2 inch squares

1/3 cup flour

1 cup skim milk

1/4 cup greek yogurt

2 tbsp tomato paste

3 eggs

3 tbsp finely chopped parsley or dill

2 tsp chipotle powder or spicy paprika

Salt and freshly milled white pepper

3 tbsp grated Gruyère cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).  Spray the gratin dish with the olive oil and coat with the parmesan cheese.  Boil the cabbage, uncovered, in salted water for 5 minutes, then drain.  Rinse, then press out as much water as possible.  Whisk the remaining ingredients until smooth, add the cabbage, and pour the mixture into the dish.  Bake until firm and lightly browned, about 50 minutes.  Top with the Gruyère when it comes out of the oven.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

Tonkatsu with White Rice

I am a working chef, yes.  But by no means am I a Japanese chef.  The other night I had a class where I had to make Maki’s, Yakitori chicken wings, and Tonkatsu pork.  It was so much fun and incredibly tasty and simple.  My daughter is obsessed with everything Japanese, so I thought I would treat her to something that isn’t Ramen or Sushi, which she already gobbles like a true Japano-phile.

So, I made my way to our local Japanese market, and picked up the ingredients my friend Miki (who is Japanese) instructed that I needed to make the Tonkatsu.  And a few more things since I got excited!

In my class I made the sauce myself, so I will give you the recipe for it so you can make it at home if you don’t want to purchase it.  And I made it with chicken instead of pork, to be a little healthier……just a little.  It’s still fried you know.  By no stretch of the imagination is this a authentically perfect version of Tonkatsu, it is mine with a few tweaks of things that I love.  (You’ll notice leeks.)

So, here is what you are going to need:

Serves 4

4 thin cut chicken breast

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup flour

1 tbsp shichimi spice mix

2 eggs, beaten

1/8 cup milk

1/4 leeks, julienned

1/4 cup chinese cabbage, sliced

For the vinaigrette:

1/8 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 tsp shichimi

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

For the Tonkatsu sauce:

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup sake

1/8 cup mirin

2 tbsp sugar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp ginger, grated

For the white rice:

3/4 cup white jasmine rice

1.5 cups water

Julienne your leeks, and place in a bowl of water to let the dirt out.

Then you will need to slice the cabbage.  And let the dirt out too.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the panko, flour and shichimi.

Then beat the eggs with the milk in another bowl with a dash of shichimi.

Dredge your chicken cutlets in the egg mix, and then the panko mix.  Set on a baking sheet.

Now, combine your ingredients for the vinaigrette, and mix with the cabbage, set

aside.

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil.  When hot, but not smoking, add the chicken cutlets and fry until golden brown.

Place on a tray with paper towels to soak up the oil.  In the meantime, on a plate, place your cabbage salad on one side, your julienned leeks in the middle, and a dollop of the of the tonkatsu sauce.  Place your chicken on top of the leeks.  Enjoy!

To make the tonkatsu sauce:

Mix all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan, and heat until ingredients have melded and are slightly thickened.

For the rice:

In a saucepan, place your rice and water, cover and cook over medium low heat until the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla