This recipe is an update on a favorite meal I had as a child. As the single parent of five kids, my mom had to be pretty inventive in making a dollar stretch. Cabbage and white rice was a filling and economical side dish that I loved except for the texture, which tended to be a little mushy. The flavor was great but my mom tended to cook vegetables until they were practically liquefied. I like my veggies with a little more bite, so I morphed my mother’s dish of cabbage flavored with fatback into this recipe with bacon, onions and a lot more texture. I like this version so much, I often skip the white rice altogether.
4 slices bacon
1 medium green cabbage
1 small onion
ground black pepper
canola oil (optional)
large (12-inch) sauté pan [deep skillet]
1. Fry bacon in pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, slice onion into thin slivers. Remove core from cabbage with knife, then cut cabbage into thin strips or bite-size pieces. Place cabbage in colander and rinse well to remove any grit hidden between leaves. Drain well.
2. When bacon is crisp, remove from pan and crumble into bite-sized pieces.
3. Add crumbled bacon, cabbage, and onion to pan. Stir gently to incorporate mixture and coat in bacon grease.
4. Season with pepper to taste, and let cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is slightly wilted and tender–about 6 minutes.
NOTES & TIPS
• If cabbage begins to brown before it’s cooked through, bring the heat down a little.
• If cabbage begins to stick to pan, stir in another tablespoon of oil.
4 – 6 servings