I love cabbage. It is the Pennsylvania Dutch and Eastern European influence of the Coal Region that introduced me to this lovely veggie as a child. I love it in cold dishes and I love it cooked (I even love to smell it cooking!).
Add cheese and crunchy cracker crumbs to the mix and I cannot wait for this casserole to come out of the oven. It consists of a smooth, creamy, cheesy sauce tossed with par-boiled cabbage then topped with buttery crumbs and baked until browned and bubbling. It is a wonderful way to use up that partial head of cabbage in the veggie bin.
For an extra cheese kick, use finely crushed cheese crackers like Goldfish or Cheez-its for the topping crumbs. Either give the crackers a whirl in the food processor until fine, or place the crackers in a zip lock bag and pound with a rolling pin. Shake the bag periodically to move the larger un-crushed pieces around and repeat until all the pieces are finely crushed.
To me, this casserole is as good re-heated the next day, IF there are left-overs!
AuGratin CabbageCourse: Entree, SidesCuisine: Eastern European, Coal Region, Pa. DutchDifficulty: Easy
Approximately 4 to 4 1/2 cups shredded Cabbage, medium shred (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch)
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup finely crushed crackers OR bread crumbs (Goldfish, Cheez-it, Ritz, Keebler Club crackers, etc)
2 Tablespoons melted butter
- Lightly spray a 2 to 2 1/2 quart oven-safe casserole dish with cooking spray (approximately 9 x 9 inches). Set aside.
- Cook cabbage in a saucepan in a small amount of lightly salted water with a pinch of sugar added. Do not overcook, the shreds should be tender-crisp. Drain the cabbage well using a colander. Set aside
- Melt 3 Tablespoons butter in sauce pan, add flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes to cook the flour. Add milk gradually, whisking well. Cook until it bubbles and thickens.
- Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in cheese until melted and smooth.
- Alternate layers of cabbage and sauce (2 layers each) into the greased casserole dish.
- Melt 2 Tablespoons butter and toss with the 1/2 cup cracker crumbs of your choice until well coated. (Ritz, Club, Goldfish, Cheez-it, etc.)
- Sprinkle top of casserole evenly with crumbs.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes or till bubbling and crumbs are browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.