As much as I have a tendency to bemoan events that require me to dress in a prescribed manner (Halloween, fancy work events, wet t-shirt contests), I’m actually pretty good at getting into the spirit of St Patrick’s Day.
Never mind the fact that I have not a drop of Irish blood in me.
Any excuse to use an accent (and best you believe I’ve been honing my Irish brogue all year) and practice my jig and be merry.
Oh, and the beer. And the food.
Now, I’ve never been one to cook Irish food on the reg, but I do like a good cruciferous veggie, so I used the occasion to pick up a cabbage from the store in preparation for the weekend.
I came up with two fairly simple recipes full of Irish spirit (but not Irish spirits– I left those for my morning coffee).
For the first, I figured that given the level of celebration that Chicagoans are apt to participate in, I should make something hearty to enjoy upon returning home.
And I happened to have some cheese in my fridge. I think we all know what that means.
Cabbage Mac ‘n Cheese
1 lb cooked rotini (I used brown rice)
1 t olive oil
1/2 small green cabbage, chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 T butter
1 T flour
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar (or Irish cheddar!) cheese, shredded
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat until it begins to ripple. Add cabbage and onion, season with salt and pepper and saute until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
3. In another skillet, heat butter over medium-low heat. Once melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until foamy. Whisk in broth and stir until smooth. Season with salt+pepper.
4. Remove white sauce from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Combine with cooked pasta and vegetables.
5. Pour pasta mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish and top evenly with breadcrumbs.
6. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
This isn’t one of my more complicated mac ‘n cheese recipes, but it’s festive. And damn good, if I do say so myself.
Give it a try, even if you don’t think you like cabbage. It’s gets hidden in with the pasta and cheese- I’d wager a guess that even picky kids would go for it.
Oh, and you should also know that I’ve composed this entire post while using an Irish accent in my mind.
If that changes anything for ya.
Cabbage recipe #2, comin’ up!