CIDER BRAISED CABBAGE

I know it was supposed t be seafood next, but I made this the other night for something else, and I owe you a video recipe…..sooooooo its cabbage today! As all of my recipes are, at least I think they are, this one is really simple. Due to the braising part, it does take some time, but it just makes it all worth it in the end.

I see a lot of people out here boiling their cabbage in water. Why are you doing that? Yes, I know you want to get it tender, but why water? Water has zero flavor, and adds nothing of value to the dish. Then, once the cabbage is tender, most of you are dumping that water out, and then having to RE-season the cabbage. Not only that, when you boil it, a majority of the nutrients form the cabbage end up getting lost in that water you just dumped out. By using this braising technique, we are holding on to our flavor, adding MORE flavor, and still holding on those important nutrients. Plus, you can use the juice in the bottom of the braising pan to add to the cabbage as well. It is just a win win technique

Now you know that I always cook with spirit, and this dish is no different. For this cabbage recipe, I am using a cider beer. I love ciders, they are smooth and easy to drink, not to mention, refreshing. Now there are several types of ciders and they can range from super sweet to super dry (NOT sweet). Because this recipe also calls for apple juice, I use a dry-ish cider, as opposed to a sweet one. Also, I just don’t really enjoy sweet ciders.

As always, I hope you enjoy this one, and start adding it as a regular side dish to some of your favorite recipes. Until the next dish y’all!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized red or green cabbage
  • 1 12oz cider beer
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of apple juice
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • salt
  • white pepper

Directions: Pre-heat your oven to 265 degrees. Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage, and then cut into wedges. Remove the core of the cabbage. In a large bowl, add the cabbage wedges, olive oil, salt, and white pepper to season. Mix together thoroughly to get cabbage coated in oil and seasoning. Next place the wedges on a grill pan for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place the cabbage into a 2 inch baking dish. Add in all of the liquid ingredients. Cover the baking dish with foil and place into the oven for 3 hours. Remove from oven, take cabbage out of baking dish and slice into thin strips and enjoy!

SEARED DUCK WITH ORANGE SAUCE

Duck, Duck, Duck, Orange Sauce! I love duck. The first time I ever experienced the pleasures of eating duck, was at a Chinese restaurant when I was young. I thought it was really cool to watch the chef come to the table, and using a cleaver of all the knife possibilities, and watch him carve this thing up table side. The brilliance in which he was able to utilize his knife skills to perfectly separate the skin from the meat, the meat from the bones, and the bones for the skeleton of the duck was simply amazing to me. I still long for knife skills like his!

The crispiness of the skin, the tender, juiciness of the duck, and just the overall flavor was something that has stuck with me my entire life from that point on. Peking Duck is still my favorite thing to order when I eat out at a Chinese restaurant.

Duck is also used a lot in classic French cooking and that is where the inspiration for this dish came from. The classic dish is Duck l’ Orange. I have taken a few liberties with the l’ Orange part and kind of made this sauce my own.

If you are looking for great wine pairings for this dish, Cabernet Sauvignon is probably my go to, but a smooth Viognier would also be great for a white wine. I do not drink a lot of beer, but this just seems perfect for a real juicy, citrusy IPA.

OK, enough small talk, lets get to this recipe!

For The Duck:

  • 1 Duck Breast
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • Chinese 5 spice (to taste)

Directions: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Make sure to “score” the fat side of the duck breast. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Chinese 5 spice. In a skillet on medium high heat, place the duck breast skin side down in the pan. Do not put any cooking oil into the pan, there is enough fat in the duck that you will not need any. Sear the duck for about 4-5 minutes until skin is crispy, and the fat has rendered out. Transfer duck to sizzle plate or baking sheet and place into the oven and cook until desired temperature. I cook mine to medium rare. Remove from oven and let rest 5-7 minutes before slicing.

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 shallot (sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (diced)
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3oz Madarin Napolean
  • 3oz red wine
  • Juice from 2 oranges
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter

Directions: using the same pan that the duck was seared in, on medium heat, add in shallot, garlic, and peppercorns. Saute in the duck fat until shallots become translucent. De-glaze the pan with the orange liqueur and give a quick whisk. Next add in the red wine, and then the sugar. Whisk in the sugar until it is incorporated into the liquid. Next add in the juice from 2 oranges, and the beef stock. Whisk again, and let liquid reduce until it begins to thicken. Once sauce has reduced and thickened, remove from heat and strain into serving vessel. Finally whisk in 1 tablespoon of cold butter.