A lazy weekend (but with good food)

Another weekend come and gone.  Time to get things done around the house, right?  Ha!  Not this weekend.  It’s not like I was a total waste, I got caught up on reading the paper (including the article about raising urban chickens that featured my girls), ordered some seeds, a fruit tree for our budding orchard, and a spice grinder (for making garlic powder!).  I took The Stinker for a run every day this weekend, I did a load of laundry, made blueberry almond chocolate chip cookies this afternoon (recipe later this week), and tonight for dinner I made a cabbage gratin.  I bought the cabbage last weekend when it was on sale for St. Patty’s day.  Not really one for corned beef and cabbage, or celebrating St. Patty’s day with a special meal for that matter, I wasn’t sure what I would end up doing with it. 

Yesterday I decided to flip through some cookbooks and look for a new cabbage recipe.  I picked up my copy of French Vegetarian Cooking and searched the index for cabbage.  There wasn’t much listed, but a recipe for Cabbage Gratin caught my eye.  Perusing the list of ingredients–green cabbage, béchamel sauce, light cream, Gruyere….stop.  You had me at béchamel sauce.  We are having this for dinner.  Tonight.  I realized quickly, though, that I did not have everything listed in the ingredients list.  Light cream?  Nope, just used all of my half and half earlier in the week to make monkeybread for Girls Night.  Gruyere cheese?  Hmmm, nope.  But I had a block of Gouda in the freezer just waiting, begging to be used, so that will have to do.  Breadcrumbs.  Well, you would think this would be an easy one, but Hubby discovered yesterday that our bread had become moldy, so currently we have no bread in our house.  Bagels.  I have bagels.  We will make this work. 

And work it did!  Hubby immediately approved this one for another showing at the dinner table.  As for the moldy bread, well, we will see a return for that in the form of fresh eggs.  We fed it to the chickens and they were in chicken heaven.  What was particularly funny was that Hubby threw the pieces out whole for the chickens.  They don’t seem to like it that way, so he went back out to tear them into smaller pieces.  But the chickens had eaten all of the crust from the bread, leaving only the soft insides.  Every 5 year old’s dream–someone to eat the crust!


Cabbage Gratin

1 medium cabbage, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 tablespoon flour

1 1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup grated Gouda cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

pinch of ground white pepper

pinch of ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic powder, or regular garlic powder if you don’t have any roasted garlic powder

1 Asiago cheese bagel, toasted and ground into fine crumbs with a food processor

1 tablespoon butter

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add cabbage and cook over medium low heat stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until the cabbage just begins to brown.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and pour into a large (9″x13″) glass baking dish.  While cabbage is cooking, begin the béchamel sauce.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the flour and mix well.  Add the milk, a little at a time, constantly stirring to prevent clumps from forming.  Once the sauce begins to thicken slightly (about 5 minutes), remove from heat and stir in Gouda, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic powder.  Pour over cabbage and stir gently to cover the cabbage with the sauce.  Sprinkle the bagel bread crumbs over the top of the cabbage and dot with butter.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.

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