Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cabbage and Potato Gratin with Mustard Bread Crumbs

You know it's got to be a good recipe if it finally got me motivated to post again. :)

This is not a recipe that sounds particularly good on the surface. However, those eight cups of cabbage? Are delicious when wilted and surrounded by diced potatoes, heavy cream, bacon grease, and crispy bread crumbs.

That being said, this dish ends up being not terribly unhealthy due to the sheer quantity of cabbage. It's substantial enough to stand as a main dish, but I think it would also be good as a side with thickly sliced ham or pork.

I made a few changes to the recipe to reflect my preferences; those changes are reflected below.

Cabbage and Potato Gratin with Mustard Bread Crumbs
adapted from the NY Times, via The Wednesday Chef
serves 3-4 as a main dish

1/3 cup bacon, cut into 1/2 inch strips
3/4 cup yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups all purpose potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups green cabbage, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the bread crumbs:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups fresh white bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch salt
pinch cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons parsley (optional)
3/4 cup Comté or Gruyère cheese, grated


1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cook bacon in a very large frying pan until crispy. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and place on paper towel lined plate, leaving grease in pan.
3. Add onion and sauté until softened. Add potatoes, bay leaf, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add cabbage, stirring frequently, until cabbage wilts a bit.
4. Remove cabbage mixture to a 9x13 or similarly-sized baking dish. Add cream to frying pan and simmer over high heat, stirring constantly, until reduced by half. Mix cream into cabbage mixture. Cover casserole with foil. Bake 10 minutes.
5. Wipe out frying pan and melt butter over low heat. Add bread crumbs and toast until crisp and golden, stirring constantly. Stir in garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, mustard and parsley.
6. After 10 minutes in the oven, remove baking dish and sprinkle with bacon and cheese, if using. Top with bread crumbs. Return to oven uncovered and bake until bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Comments & Modifications:
  • I'm not entirely sure that the Gruyere is necessary; there's not much on there so the flavor is pretty faint. I might swap out another (cheaper) cheese or even leave it out entirely.
  • Eight cups of cabbage should be considered a minimum. I bet you could just put in way more that that without compromising flavor, and make it way healthier!

Verdict: I couldn't stop eating it. Next time I'll double it and have lots of leftovers.

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