I was reading the Please Do Not Feed the Animals brilliant food blog when I came across her blog post for the Random Recipe Challenge hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen. The idea is genius - and very simple. You take a random recipe from a random cookbook and make it. The challenge is desgned to take you out of your cooking comfort zone, and it does just that. I will warn you though, the temptation to cheat is incredible. But to quote the oft-used phrase, with a meaningful look and tilt of the head, "you're only cheating yourself". So go along and join in, if I hadn't I certainly would never have cooked this.
For this random recipe challenge we had to dust off our oldest cook book - mine being New British Classics by Gary Rhodes (1989). I closed my eyes, flicked through the battered pages, opened the book and dotted my finger at the so far unknown mystery page. I excitedly opened my eyes, imagining some intricate dessert or rich roast dinner. Cabbage. The recipe didn't even have a photo for encouragement. Pushing away the temptation to start again, I raided the fridge and put on the pan before I could talk myself into cheating and trying again.
The Creamed Cabbage with Bacon recipe (on page 104 of the book) consists of finely slicing a leafy green savoy cabbage and an onion and cooking it with chopped streaky bacon, butter and cream. It was gorgeous - the cream thickening and clinging to the tender slices of cabbage. The children loved it, and so did we. The cream also mingled about the pan towards the end of cooking and picked up all the smokey bacon flavours. And don't worry about the onion - it turns sweet on cooking, soft and tender, finely sliced like the cabbage.
I reckon this would go so well with some slices of boiled ham or gammon and plainly-boiled new potatoes on the side.