Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pierogi chowder with braised red cabbage

Some years when I make pierogis with my Canadian girlfriends, the precious dumplings get packaged up and spend a great deal of time in the freezer before I remember they are there and pull them out for the family. (Or maybe I consciously block out that they are there?) But this year no such forgetting has gone on; we have enjoyed a lovely pierogi meal a couple of times already. Tragically I think there's only one more meal in the freezer and now I want to save them, guard them...

So rather than make more pierogis, my lazy self turned to shortcut possibilities. Doh! I have seen a few recipes around and about that purport to make a faux pierogi casserole or soup, so I decided to try this one out for my men. And as I had recently enjoyed a stellar side of red braised cabbage at Gustav's in Portland when Jen and I met up in early December, I had to give that a whirl as well. I harbored an idea that they would go well together, and I have to say the results were quite delicious.

We haven't had a truly wintery winter yet, it doesn't seem. Today was sunny and mostly clear, and while chilly, certainly not our usual January fare. But the soup and cabbage combo tasted quite lovely and comforting, which is good no matter the weather. But snow still may come, I suppose... (I hope). I am making this again, next time it snows, for sure!

Pierogi chowder
Serves 6-8
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
8 cups water
3 cups diced potato
2 cups instant potato flakes (I used a small packet I had from Costco. It was 1.5 cups and ample to thicken the soup.)
2 cups milk
1/2 pound American cheese, shredded or cubed (I used a cheddar, it was lovely)
6 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked until tender
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add oil. Toss in onion and cook until translucent. Add water and diced potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. When potatoes are tender, mash until broken up well. Add potato flakes and stir well. Pour in milk and stir until smooth. Stir in American cheese and mix until cheese is melted. Blend in drained noodles and add salt and pepper to taste.

Braised red cabbage
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
1 2 1/2-pound red cabbage, quartered, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (I did not have these on hand, so I skipped)
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add cabbage and caraway seeds; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until cabbage is wilted, about 4 minutes. Add broth. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Add vinegar. Cover and cook until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my word!!! Seems I am always in the wrong place and the right time...that looks and sounds delicious.

    Even the cabbage dish sounds very good.

    I made a walnut pesto today for our butternut squash ravioli. It was somewhat tasty! :) :)


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