Quick Sautéed Cabbage and Hurricane Sandy Anniversary


Day to day, my cooking has evolved to fit certain criteria: nourishing, leftovers that stand up, and [obviously] must be delicious.  It would be remiss for me to not mention a fourth criteria, the dish can’t break the bank. A couple years ago, I stumbled on Lucinda Scala Quinn’s cookbook Mad Hungry, which has a fabulous Shredded Sautéed Cabbage recipe  .  It was so delicious (ding!), nourishing (ding!), and since it was cabbage, inexpensive (ding!ding!ding!).  It was the gateway to cooked cabbage in our house.  Those times when the grocery budget gets a little full of itself and I have to pull back, this recipe often finds itself on the top of the list.

We were happy to eat this budget saving dish until a little storm called Hurricane Sandy swooped in.   We ate it a bunch.  Like, it was our only source of vegetables for several days.  That and eggs was the most nourishing thing in the house.  I am a total brat and in times of stress, I kind of tend towards the sugary end of things or nothing.  When we ran out of chocolate {I was popping that Theo chocolate] and I was whipping up our fourth meal of cabbage and eggs, no amount of red pepper flakes and hot sauce was going to get me to eat it.  I went on a hunger strike.  Yes, I lost weight during Hurricane Sandy (don’t get out the world’s tiniest violin, some people lost everything and I know that my suffering was minimal).  Soon enough after I began my strike, I heard the glorious rumble of a bus coming down the street.  It was time to get out of Hoboken.  We hopped the bus and went to stay with family in Connecticut.  Thank goodness for family.

If you are ever confronted with a power loss from a natural disaster, I would recommend the following tips to include in your prepartion:

  1. Find a real list like this one to use for real, and then come back to this list (hoarding water, canned food, batteries, medicine, etc.).
  2. Find the playing cards ahead of time [we never found ours, monopoly for DAYS]
  3. Stock up on eggs as I assume they can be at room temp for a few days without killing anyone. [science]
  4. Also, stock up on fruit, veggies, and protein sources that can be room temperature (jerky from Steve’s PaleoGoods is yummy).
  5. Junk food must be stocked up.  This is not a time for a diet.  The chips that you love, get enough and then double it.  The candy that you love, get enough and triple it.  YOU CANNOT HAVE ENOUGH CHOCOLATE FOR STRESS EATING!!!
  6. Stock up on your favorite booze that can be served at room temp.  [see above remarks about chocolate]
I wouldn’t be smiling if I knew what was ahead!

I’m not really joking about the list but, in seriousness, one year ago, Hurricane Sandy hit my little town of Hoboken, NJ pretty hard.  Nate and I were lucky, but others weren’t.  The town has worked hard to rebuild and I was proud to be part of the community during that time. People came together, pitched in and helped eachother out.  We got to know our neighbors better and had a good time doing it.

I leave you with another cooked cabbage recipe.  It is even simpler than Quinn’s recipe and it includes butter!  Believe it or not, a small amount of butter makes a huge difference.  We had this on the side with chili on a cool day and the creaminess from the butter softened the sharpness of the chili.

Sautéed Cabbage

Adapted from Ina Garten


1  head white cabbage, including outer green leaves (2 1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1.  Using a large, sharp knife, cut the cabbage in half and, with the cut-side down, slice it as thinly as possible around the core, trying to keep the pieces less than 1/4 inch wide.

2.  Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the cabbage, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and begins to brown. Season, to taste, and serve warm.


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