Sunday, January 12, 2014

Skyrim Cooking: Apple Cabbage Stew

I'm diving right into things, aren't I?

This time, I made apple cabbage stew. Mostly because I had most of a head of cabbage left over from a previous recipe and I needed to use it up. I used this recipe from Vegan Latina, who apparently is a Skyrim fan, with the slight alteration that I used a mixture of veggie stock, water, and chicken broth instead of just veggie broth. Otherwise, however, I used her recipe as-is, so I'm not going to bother reproducing it here - go over and check out her version.

Anyway, things got off to a good start. I had all the ingredients lined up and ready to go. Following the advice I gleaned from the Moosewood Cookbook, I now have a separate cutting board just for onions, garlic, and other smellies.

Oh right - I just remembered that I used a Peruvian onion instead of shallots, and several green onions instead of a leek, just because that was what I had on hand. Using a leek would have been more true to the source material, though. I chopped up that entire head of cabbage, but wound up using only half of it, if that. So now I have a ton of cabbage I need to use up, yay.

Anyway, I started out sauteing the smelly veggies in the pot with some olive oil, and things were going pretty well.

Look at how pretty that is! Delightful. I think I'm getting the hang of this cooking thing.

Unfortunately, very shortly after I took this photo, the olive oil started to burn, and so did the smelly veggies. I'm more used to stir frying with peanut oil, see, and that has a much higher cooking temp than olive oil. That triggered the smoke detector, and between frantically trying to stir up the veggies and flailing at the smoke detector, I wound up with a burnt, brown-and-black mess on my hands. Great. Well, maybe adding the broth, cabbage, and spices will make things better.

...Nope. Damn, that's an ugly-ass stew.

To make things better, the spices smelled... kinda funky when I added them together. Especially the marjoram. I wondered if Miss Vegan's palate had gone all sideways from the lack of animal products. But there wasn't anything more I could do about it - it's not like I can un-add them - so I resigned myself to the likelihood of a not-great meal. I figured it was bound to happen sooner or later in my cooking adventures.

Then I added the apple.

Hmmm.... starting to look better! The additional color does wonders. The smell of the spices was starting to mellow out too. Maybe this was going to work out, after all. I cooked the apples for the shortest indicated time - I love the texture of apples, so I wanted to retain that in the stew. Then I ladled myself a bowl and plopped some plain yogurt on top.

And you know what? It tasted great! Woohoo!

The only issue with this stew is that it isn't very filling - I had three or four bowlfuls before I felt full, and normally I'm a fairly light eater. Even then, though, I had a decent amount of leftovers, which I'm going to have for lunch at work. I imagine it'll last me only a day or two, but that's a day or two that I don't have to worry about cooking/buying lunch, so I'll take it.

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