ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN LIP SERVICE WEB MAGAZINE’S ‘MEATLESS MONDAYS’ COLUMN
It’s been chilly again, here in LALAland, so I was inspired to share my family’s favorite comfort food, cabbage and dumplings. Like all old-school family recipes, this is food from The Old Country™, simple peasant food for simple peasant people. What does that mean to you? Peasants, of course, are not exactly a well-heeled lot. This means their food’s going to be cheap as hell to make. We’re talking, literally, cents per serving. It’s kind of ridiculous how cheap.
Don’t let the length of the recipe fool you, this is actually one of the easiest and most basic meals imaginable. Yet, it’s rich, satisfying and, dare I say, sexy food. The interesting thing about this recipe is there really isn’t a recipe, per se. It’s more like a technique that’s been handed down through countless generations of the Hungarian side of the family. It’s virtually unchanged since my Mom made it for me, Nana made it for her, and so on.
So, since this meal is pretty much all about the HOW and WHEN, rather than the WHAT, a bit more running off at the keyboard is bound to happen. Even after 30 or so years of making this dish, the directions are still almost exactly how Mom described them to me when I first started cooking. Just think of it as a few dozen generations of Hunkies, talking you through your first time out.
** a little note: This is super-hearty very filling peasant food. Do not eat too many, too fast or I assure you, you will never feel so full. I usually serve this in small rice bowls, much to the amusement of guests. Inevitably, someone takes full seconds … this is the person we will all laugh at later.**
Next week, I promise, we’ll segue back to lighter, fresher and most likely vegan Indian. In the meanwhile, hope you enjoy some sexy carb-loading with Nana’s dumplings.