Paternal Grandma’s Cabbage Noodles
A collective sigh of relief is made by my adoring culinary fans that I finally am adding another recipe to the blog and not rambling about goofy musician stuff. All (or at least some) jokes aside this recipe is from my dad’s side of the family of whom I really don’t know much at all; which made it especially awkward as I was the one who informed most of them of his demise, a great subject for a first conversation let me tell you. Sadly I don’t really have much information about my paternal grandmother. Overwhelmingly when she was mentioned she was described as a fantastic cook and a baker nonpareil, she was the one who actually taught my mother how to bake pies & breads; oh and she was about 6 feet tall which is kind of funny since my dad was about 5′ foot 6”, that helps to explain my freakish proportions a bit at least.
This dish is delicious and my dad’s mother taught it to my mother & she would make it for him as an occasional comfort food. By head & shoulders the easiest way to make this is in an electric frying pan or electric wok, you can do it on the stove (or an open fire for that matter if determined enough) but the electric wok that I have cooking merrily away in the kitchen is the porridge that Goldilocks ate in this situation.
1 pound of egg noodles
4 sticks salted butter,
1 head of red cabbage, quartered & sliced,
1 head of green cabbage, quartered & sliced (you can use all red or all green I just like the color contrast so decide depending your whims, and sales)
6 red onions,
6 yellow onions (same sentiment as above)
2 tablespoons paprika,
about 2 ounces of wine or Mojo marinade,
a pinch of saffron,
liberal salt & black pepper.
First take your electric pan/wok and set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit & toss in the butter, this is a low and slow operation. Now when my mom made this she would break out the food processor since there is a lot of chopping work involved and she of her own admission is scared of knives; in fact to this day she can’t handle being in the kitchen while I’m doing prep-work, but I just break out a big scary knife and chop away.
Start by chopping the top & bottom off the onions and take off the skins (being sure to squirrel away the castoffs in your freezer bag of stock stuff), quarter and slice then toss into the electric pan/wok, add the paprika and pinch of saffron and let simmer away as you begin to prep the cabbages. Core the cabbages, quarter them and slice, then lay each quarter in layers on top of the onions with hefty sprinkles of salt & pepper in between them & toss the wine or Mojo over it.
Place a lid on your cooking implement, if said lid is missing (like mine) a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil will do the trick and set a timer for 20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes give it a through stir, replace the lid and let it simmer for another 20. Do this again, I told you this is low & slow cooking, did you think I was kidding? That’s probably why my mom rarely made this, that & the food processor was a bitch to clean.
Guess what happens next? Give up? Give it another good stir, re lid and set another 20 minutes, this time put the water for your noodles on the stove and set to the low end of medium high so it will be boiling by the next time you check. Finally after that last 20 minutes the cabbage and onions should be about done, allow to continue simmering with the lid off as you cook & drain the egg noodles then fold into the cabbage, onion & butter mixture in the pan, which by the time you finish the noodles will have shrunk enough to accommodate their volume. Turn off the pan and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving so that the noodles can absorb some of the flavor.