Sunday, November 7, 2010


Summers lay great blankets of heat and humidity over Missouri.  One way to beat the heat was to have a big "family" cookout at Red Wade's horse farm. His horse barn had a kitchen attached to it and it was there, surrounded by horses, manure, mud, and hardpan clay, we all created some of the best meals I've ever eaten. It was down-home cooking at its best. Red would make his fried cabbage as soon as cabbage was available in the market. I had never seen a recipe for fried cabbage.  I guess it is a Missouri-thing.  My whole family loved it. When the meal was ready, we'd eat under the shade of a huge oak tree out in the yard.

When family, friends and neighbors gather around a big old table with good food, no matter where you are, the food tastes better. The memories of that time and that food are imprinted onto your mind in vivid and vibrant memories which last a lifetime.

Fried cabbage while colorful is not a particularly pretty dish, but put on a plate with beer batter catfish caught that day in Thousand Hills Lake, a square of cornbread dripping with butter, some sliced tomatoes, fried potatoes with green onions and a ear of corn, you have a beautiful plate of delicious country food.

Bacon spkied silky cabbage seasoned with peppers, celery and onions.  Enjoy!!

For football parties or autumn dinners, fried cabbage slips easily into the menu. Wonderful with sausages and other tailgating food, it is great put on a hot dog in a bun or served as a side dish. A harvest dinner is a lovely place to serve the humble cabbage which is rich with bacon, celery, and peppers.

I had two red bell peppers that needed to be used; however, I like the cabbage with both a green and a red bell pepper in it.

1/2 lb. more or less bacon, diced
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 ribs celery, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper and red bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Celery seed to taste

Ingredients:  Bacon, cabbage, onion, celery, red and green bell peppers, tomato, celery seed, salt and pepper.

In a large heavy skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from skillet. Drain all but about 3 to 5 tablespoons bacon fat from the skillet. Add cabbage, onion and celery to pan and sauté until limp. Add bell pepper, tomato and seasonings to cabbage. Slowly cook until vegetables are reduced in volume and lightly brown. Add bacon and serve. This is a country recipe so it is difficult to give exact measurements. Use the recipe as a guide and adjust to your own taste. Uncle Red cooked his cabbage for a long time but it doesn't have to be cooked that long. Sometimes I make a quick Chinese-style dish using this recipe and just sauté the vegetables until crisp tender.

Core the cabbage.

Shred the cabbage.

Chop the celery and celery leaves.

Chop the onions.

Fry the bacon.

Remove bacon from bacon grease.  I usually use more bacon but this is what I had in the house.  Country cooking is using what you have to make magic.

Drain all but 3 to 5 tablespoon of bacon grease.

Add cabbage and onions.  Saute.

Chop bell peppers.  There should be a green one too.  I had two red peppers to use up.

Dip tomato in boiling water to make the skin easy to remove.

Slip skin off tomato.

Add bell peppers to cabbage.  Continue to saute.

Chop tomato.

Add to cabbage mixture and continue to cook the cabbage down.

When cabbage has cooked down to about 1/3 to 1/2 its original volumn, add the bacon.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Season with celery seeds.

Different and delicious.  Enjoy!!!!

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