5.18.2012

Romanian Cabbage - Pressure Cooker Round 2

I want to start off by checking in with my ladies at UCLA that have been challenging themselves these past few weeks to cut out grains and refined sugars... how are you doing Surgery Center??  Feeling good?  Looking good!  Keep up the great work and keep your kitchen interesting!

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Now that I have a better grasp on what to expect from my pressure cooker, I wanted to attempt something new and different.  It's 100 degrees here in the desert, so soups and broths aren't the most appealing to me right now.  I don't recall how the search evolved, but I stumbled on a very interesting recipe for Romanian Cabbage and Sausage.  It sounded quite tasty and since I had most of the ingredients, I planned to make a few adjustments and give it a shot.

Here's what I rounded up from the far corners of the kitchen:

* 5 strips of sugar-free pork bacon from US Wellness Meats, chopped
* 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced (next time I will try a red onion)
* 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
* 3 teaspoons Penzeys Paprika
* 3 teaspoons Penzeys Whole Caraway Seeds
* 1 medium cabbage, shredded
* 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 Tablespoon Salt
* Fresh ground pepper to taste
* 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
* 3/4 cup water
* sprinkle of Penzeys Aleppo Pepper, optional

(Note: I like to buy my spices from Penzeys in bulk and reuse my old containers, explaining the discrepancy between my ingredient list and my picture)


I set my beautiful new pressure cooker on the stove over medium-high heat and cooked the bacon until it started to brown and give up its fat.  I then tossed in the sliced onion and cooked it with the bacon until the onion slices were soft.  Once the bacon was starting to crisp and the onions were nice and soft, I added the tomato paste, paprika, and caraway seeds.  I stirred everything together until it was well combined, then added the cabbage to the pot.  Next, I tossed in the red pepper flakes, salt, and about ten turns of fresh ground black pepper.  Lastly, I poured the lemon juice and water into the pot and stirred everything together.  I locked the lid in place on the pressure cooker and turned the heat on the stove up to high.  Once the cooker was at pressure, I turned the burner down to low, set the timer for 10 minutes, and waited patiently.

This time, I was not afraid of the noises or the possibility of a messy painful mishap.

When the 10 minutes was up, I let the pressure come off the pot naturally for about ten more minutes.  When I was once again certain that all was safe, I removed the lid and voilà!


My cabbage was still a little watery, so I continued to simmer the cabbage over medium-low heat until the sauce thickened and really started to coat the cabbage.  Final product - smoky, spicy, delicious!  I even sprinkled a little bit of Penzeys Aleppo Pepper on top before serving.  If you're not a fan of spicy heat on your tongue, feel free to omit or reduce the amount of red pepper flakes.  I'm a huge fan of spice, as is my husband - so this was perfect for us.  The heat did seem to mellow after cooling in the fridge all day.

So that's it!  I am officially a pressure cooker addict.  And my favorite part - it is so incredibly easy to clean.  I'm not an efficient or enthusiastic dishwasher (who is?), so I like that this pot is quick to wash with soap and hot water and looks shiny and sparkly new when it's dry.

Poftă Bună!





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