Thursday, February 19, 2009

CSA week 11 - Thai braised cabbage

I said yesterday that I wanted to add fish sauce to the New Irish braised cabbage so today I did. I wanted to make it a proper main dish so there was actually a bit more to it than that.

I started by steaming a couple of Chinese sausages and marinating four extra large shrimp in a mixture of fish sauce, lime juice, sambal oelek and cilantro. Normally, I'd add ginger and sugar but those are all already there in the cabbage so I left them out.

Once the sausage was cooked (about 15 minutes), I sliced them up along with a red hot pepper, a bit of shallot I had left over, a couple cloves of garlic and some more cilantro.

I heated up some oil in a wok, added the pepper and shallot, stir fried until they turned fragrant and added the sausage. That got a minute before I added the shrimp, holding back the marinade. That got another minute before I added most of the cabbage (about half of what I made yesterday), the marinade and a bit more fish sauce.

That I cooked for a couple minutes longer trying to boil away all that liquid. I didn't quite manage it, but I did cook it down quite a bit. I finished it off with the rest of the cilantro and some ground roasted peanuts. If I was smart I would have held those off to garnish each serving so I could get a beauty shot, but I mixed them in while it was all still in the wok instead. Ah well.

Not the prettiest of dishes, but I think it turned out well. I didn't measure the fish sauce so I got a bit lucky that I did successfully manage to balance the ginger and the sweetness of the browned cabbage without overwhelming either. That new more whole combination acts as the background with the bits of chili, shrimp and sausage to the fore in different amounts in each bite. So there are a variety of interesting flavors and textures going on, but the cabbage and ginger aren't lost at all just now they're part of the team instead of just sitting out there on their own.

I'm starting to make a habit out of salvaging screwed up recipes. I'm going to have to create a tag for that.


kat said...

I don't think its not pretty, it looks like a great all in one meal

billjac said...

I arranged pretty bits on the top of the pile for the beauty shot and punched up the colors in post. In reality it was a bowlful of olive drab. Still tasted really good, though.

LaDivaCucina said...

Yum, yum, yum! Loves me some Chinese sausage!

I did a dish the other night where I seared two thick pork chops and then put in a casserole with the cabbage, turnips, potatoes, tomato, caraway seed and dill. Turned out pretty good but it wasn't particularly pretty either so I didn't post it! hehe! (We like our food porn photos!) However it did taste good!