Wednesday, 1 April 2009

red cabbage and lanterns

My first day off work since Christmas started exceedingly well. Having listened to Radio 4 from 9am I didn't get out of bed until midday. Sadly it all went downhill from there and I've been inappropriately industrious ever since. Included on the long list of things organised, posted and created are both lanterns and red cabbage. The lanterns are probably of little interest, but the red cabbage I will discuss.

I make no claim to it, it's Nigella's recipe but it's pretty special which is why I've recorded it here. I've tweaked it a little bit according to what I had in the cupboard, but it remains largely as she suggested. I always do the whole cabbage as suggested below, as I've said previously it freezes perfectly.

Nigella's red cabbage

whole red cabbage shredded*
3 banana shallots, finely sliced
2 eating apples
250ml red wine
150ml orange juice
150ml water
3tbsp light muscovado sugar
1tbsp light olive oil
1tbsp Maldon salt (1/2 tbsp normal salt)
1/4 tsp mixed spice

*If you are very lucky, you have a food processor with a clever attachment for shredding, if you are moderately lucky you have some kind of slicing plane like what they demo in shops. If you are me you have a sharpish knife, patience, and purple hands. Try to cut out the really stalky bit in the middle and away you go.

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, add the finely sliced shallots and the salt, then stir round until soft but not coloured

Add the cabbage and coat with the oil, cook gently

Peel, quarter and then slice the apples - I didn't actually peel them today, and it was fine, but it doesn't look so good. Add to the pan with all the other ingredients, stir well

Bring back up to a simmer, then turn to the lowest possible heat, cover and cook for about 1 1/2 hours

I actually made this at home, then took a bucket of it round to Jingles for supper. We had it with salmon and half and half mash, but I left She a lamb steak for hers back at the ranch.

On the lanterns, I've been stockpiling jam jars to decorate the terrace with lanterns when She has a birthday barbecue in a couple of weeks. I'm so chuffed with them I can't help myself but tell you how to make them. Take a length of garden wire (£1 or so from the supermarket or wherever), wrap it round or underneath the screw part of a clean jam jar, and make a handle over the top. I'll be hanging them from 'S' hooks on a criss-cross chain canopy outside, but for the moment they are lighted and twinkling on the coffee table.

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