Friday, April 25, 2008

Recipe: Red Cabbage and Spicy Peppers (Λάχανο Κόκκινο με Καυτερές Πιπεριές)

Spring in Alaska keeps you on your toes. For the past week, it’s been sunny and warm. Nearly all the snow was gone. At our house it was 60°F yesterday. We broke out the grill for the first time all year. Mosquitoes were out and active.

This morning it started hailing, followed shortly by snow. It’s been snowing all day now, at least 12” so far and rising. The new predicts another foot of snow.

I went out today and there were accidents everywhere; no doubt partially caused by people taking their snow tires off too early. In my area, several major roads are closed. The power just blinked off and on.

I know it won’t last long, but still. Snow at the end of April is wrong. I shouldn’t complain; my friend Sheila says the record last snowfall in Anchorage occurred on a May 22.

With all the snow, I wanted something warm and comforting to eat, but didn’t want to work very hard to get it. I settled on quickly sautéed Red Cabbage and Spicy Peppers, a full-flavored dish that goes together quickly.

The cabbage recipe comes from
Tangerine’s Kitchen, an interesting blog specializing in Indian foods, with many recipes, including the cabbage, from the Kerala region.

I found the recipe because I was paired with Tangerine’s Kitchen for this month’s Taste and Create organized by For the Love of Food. In this event, food writers are paired with a randomly assigned partner, and asked to cook and review one recipe from their partner’s blog.

One of my challenges in cooking from
Tangerine’s Kitchen was that many of the ingredients she uses aren’t available in Alaska. Tangerine had the same problem with finding ingredients for my recipes. Our difficulties are understandable; there are few places more different than India and Alaska.

Red Cabbage and Spicy Peppers is a beautifully purple dish, and would make a terrific accompaniment to fish of any kind. While I was eating it, I realized how well it’d go with salmon; not only are the flavors complimentary, but the standout colors of salmon and red cabbage would make a gorgeous plate.

Red Cabbage and Spicy Peppers (Λάχανο Κόκκινο με Καυτερές Πιπεριές)
Serves 4 – 6
Adapted from
Tangerine’s Kitchen
This recipe goes together very quickly and has a lot of flavor. Both Tangerine and I prefer the cabbage when it's a little crunchy; if you prefer softer cabbage, cook it longer. The peppers may either be chopped, as Tangerine recommends, or thinly sliced, as I did. With Tangerine’s method, the peppers melt into the overall flavor of the dish; with mine, there are bites in which the pepper flavor boldly stands out. Next time I make this, I’ll add a tablespoon of minced garlic and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

1 1/2 pound red cabbage
3 cups thinly sliced onions
7 jalapeño or other hot peppers, chopped or thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Cut the cabbage in half and discard the core. Thinly slice the cabbage.

In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions and jalapeños, lightly seasoned with salt, in olive oil until they soften and the onions are translucent. Add the cabbage and stir well to evenly distribute the onions and peppers. Turn down the heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt, as needed. Serve immediately.


Lina said...

I love spicy food. Looks like a great purple salad!

Rachel said...

how right you were about the non-availability of ingredients in both our countries...Inspite of that we made a dish..Guess that's what the event is all about...

Will try your version of adding galic and loads of pepper :D

jj said...

What a beautiful picture! I've always been curious about Alaska; even read the book Alaska by J. Michener -- excellent read. And that dish looks absolutely wonderful, thanks!

Maria V said...

Laurie, I am really thinking of you with all that snow. To cheer you up, I can tell you that it's pretty darn cold outside now, and I dont think we will be sitting outside for tomorrow's feast.

Paz said...

Wow! All that snow! Your dish with the peppers should heat things up a bit, huh? I love the simplicity of the recipe. It's something I'd love to try.


Pam said...

Wow! Snow at the end of April! It sure is pretty though!

Laurie Constantino said...

Lina, glad you like it, and thanks for visiting my blog!

Rachel, I really liked this (and your blog) - thank you for the recipe!

JJ, welcome to my little bit of Alaska! Yes, I agree, the Michener book is a great read.

Maria, so sorry to hear about the chilly weather - eating Easter dinner outside is always so nice. As for our snow, all I can do is sigh. At least the garden in the garage is growing splendidly.

Paz - yes, this is one of those simple, but delicious recipes. I love the color.

Pam, hmm, pretty - yes, you are right, the snow is beautiful, but I'm happy that it's melting quickly.