Monday, June 28, 2010

World Cup Cabbage. Quick, Easy, And Comforting When You Don't Make The Late Goal.


     I have to be honest here. I've never watched a soccer game. Basketball has always been my sport. The only reason that I've never really watched soccer is because like most citizens of the US of A, the TV machine has never told me to. But all of a sudden, things have changed, at least up until last Saturday.
    The US soccer team was out there playing miracle games, advancing through the World Cup playoffs. It was damn exciting.
    After years of basketball fandom, the rules of soccer were fairly easy to grasp; the goals like baskets, the fouls, the flops, the arguing over the refs' calls. The only thing I couldn't get over was the non-stop action (how do those guys do it?!) and the fact that in the midst of all that non stop action, there are almost no goals. After I wrapped my head around that little fact, I was in. Then I heard "Them".
    The first time I saw a soccer game, I thought those Africanized killer bees had gotten into the stadium.  That's when I was introduced to the vuvuzuela. I thought I would go nuts. If I turned the sound down, I couldn't  hear the announcers. If I turned it up, I was afraid madness would ensue. By the time I'd watched my second game, it was a little bit less annoying. Of course the fact that the US was either winning or drawing didn't hurt.
    Then came Saturday. And Ghana. Ghana, the team that the US has never been able to get past.
  I was fixing lunch on Saturday morning when Alan turned on the game. All of a sudden I was torn. Do I Cook? Eat Lunch? Watch the game? What to do? Cabbage that's what!
   I was looking for something that I could cook while running back and forth from the kitchen into  the living room where the TV was. I was looking for something I wouldn't have to watch every minute, so I could watch the game.
    A cabbage and caramalized onion dish seemed just the ticket. As the veggies slowly browned and sweetened, I could watch the US finally wriggle past Ghana.....or not.
 Once again I was using one of my 1/2 bags of coleslaw chopped cabbage.  I know it's lazy, but one bag serves 2 to 4 people as a side dish and it's a cheap and easy staple I always have in the fridge for just such emergencies as World Cup Games, or daylight.
    Here's what to do. You'll need 1 pound of shredded cabbage.  Either buy a head and shred it yourself or get two of those little bags of pre-shredded cabbage found in the market near the coleslaw fixings.
  In a deep skillet or kadhai heat 2 Tbs of coconut oil. When the oil is hot toss in:
  1/2 tsp of fennel seeds
  3/4 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of sesame seeds

    When the sesame seeds start to pop, add in:
1 onion sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into thin strips.

   Stir the onions around for about 4 or 5 minutes they'll start to brown a bit
 
    Now, add in your cabbage.
     Give it a good stirring, turn the heat down a bit and run out and catch some soccer action. Leave the cabbage and onions to slowly caramelize . Check them every now and then, we don't want any burning.
  After about 6 to 10 minutes things should be nicely tender and a bit browned.
  Add in :
 1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp Kashmiri chili or (1/8 tsp cayenne 1/8 tsp paprika)
Turn the heat down and stir it some more. Watch a bit more soccer. About 8 minutes worth, don't worry no one's going to score. Then toss in:
 1 Tbs of lemon juice
1/2 tsp of garam masala.
    Mix it together and serve.

   Alan grilled some chicken with a spice rub and lunch was ready. A bit of apricot chutney on the side was all we needed...oh, and a win maybe. But sometimes you can't have everything.

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