AuGratin Cabbage

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!


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AuGratin Cabbage

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: Entree, SidesCuisine: Eastern European, Coal Region, Pa. DutchDifficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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.
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