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Cabbage with Coconut

Posted Jan 27 2009 8:20pm

With other forms of artistic/creative expression, when inspiration strikes at its characteristically awkward times, such as at 1AM when you are trying to get to bed, or when your arms are full of clean laundry to be folded, you can smoothly and seamlessly follow the call of the muse, resigning yourself to another hour (or a few) awake, or you can jumble the laundry on top of the drying rack from whence you'd just swept it, drop a notepad on top of the washing machine, and begin sketching, or drafting poetry, or a paragraph for a novel, or whatever your medium of choice at the moment may be.

Randomly, the inspiration to do silly things can also surface at any moment... Such as when we decided that Roux the kitten should practice being a baby kangaroo in Zach's sweater... :-)

Cooking, however, can be a wee bit more complicated... but sometimes, you just have to drop what you're doing, grab the keys, drive to the grocery store because you don't have any cabbage in the fridge, zoom back home and start shredding cabbage with your favorite chef's knife, all the while heating some sesame oil in your wok - at 11PM.

And yes, I do speak from experience. Not about the sketching... but definitely with the poetry - and the 11PM cabbage.

Since my previous post was about our wonderful news, which still has me floating in raptures of happiness and joy, I figured I should write a post about a blog that always makes me happy and makes me smile - Ricki's delightfully witty words and stunningly beautiful recipes on Diet Dessert and Dogs. In fact, it was Ricki's recipe that inspired me to cook cabbage in the middle of the night for the next day's supper, simply because the recipe sounded SO amazing...

(as another side note, in the wonderful chain of recipe inspiration that makes the blog world so delicious, Ricki attributes the beginnings of this recipe to Crescent Dragonwagon's cookbook The Passionate Vegetarian, which happens to be one of my favorite cookbooks as well... :-)

Here it is, word for word, with my few little modifications, dictated only by the contents of my pantry, in parentheses...

Cabbage with Coconut

2 tsp. mild vegetable oil, such as coconut oil (I used sesame oil)
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. black or brown mustard seeds
2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 small head cabbage (about 1 lb.), core removed, finely chopped (I just shredded it casually with a big chef's knife)
1/4 tsp. sea salt (I added a bit more to taste)
3 Tbsp. water
1/3 cup shredded coconut

~ Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes.

~ Add the mustrad seeds and cook, shaking the pan often, until the mustard seeds begin to pop, about 3 minutes.

~ Add the paprika and stir for 20 seconds.

~ Add the cabbage and stir well to combine and slightly sear the cabbage. After 20 seconds, add the salt, along wtih the 3 Tbsp. of water; cover the skillet, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, lifting the lid to stir now and then, and adding the extra tablespoon of water if needed, 6 to 8 minutes, until the cabbage is tender. (The dish should be dry–no liquid at all in the pan–though the cabbage will be moist.)

~ Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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