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Be Nice, Don’t Overtreat with Oxygen Shot from 7-Eleven. Chicken from Oregano Farm will bring Cheers from Food Scrounge News

New Year's mojo

New Year’s mojo

2012 has held some good things for Mr. Mike and me – new jobs, first motorcycle trips in 3 years, 2 writing projects completed, visiting friends and visiting my mom. The year also had setbacks – job losses, flood damage from Hurricane Isaac, getting T-boned while on my Triumph Scrambler, resulting in broken leg, wrist, and shattered ankle. The old saying “life seems darkest before the daylight hour” is in process for us. I have just 4 weeks to go in the orthopedic boot until freedom and back to work. Mr. Mike is completing paperwork for a job. Be thankful for what you have, let go of the bad stuff, and visualize where you want to be in 2013. God willin’, we’ll meet again on this date in 365. Got your mojo yet? It’s not too late! Check the flyer above and stock up! Click on Food Scrounge News for important info while you cook your health and wealth (with a side of PBR).

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What to do with cabbage ’til St. Pat’s Day returns: Irish-Bohunk Cabbage

Cabbage love is shared by Northerners and Southerners alike.  We may disagree on politics, who’s number one in college football, and guns but we do like our green cabbage.  Stuffed, fried, in soup, and just plain ol’ boiled it is on the national menu.  A few years ago I had lunch at a buffet restaurant in Vidalia, LA.  Boiled cabbage practically needed its’ own staff to replenish the supply!! The cook was vague about her special cabbage recipe, so it’s a good excuse for a bike ride to The Killer’s old stomping grounds.  By the way, he just married for the 7th time.Cabbage is plentiful and cheap around these parts now, which is perfect for us scrounging people.  The following is a Southern Bohunk casserole which honors our shared Irish roots and my bohunk father.

Since last week I’ve been a substitute lunch lady at elementary school’s child nutrition program – back in my mass quantity groove!  Feeding 1,500 hungry young’uns breakfast and lunch has me falling asleep easily at night!

Irish-Bohunk Cabbage (serves 2)

1 lb green cabbage, 1″ slices

1 to 1/2 cup chopped onion, to your taste

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt or celery salt (I use Penzeys celery salt)

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons Polish seasoning (I use Penzeys), made from salt, black & white pepper, sugar, coriander, garlic, mustard, marjoram, mace, and savory

6-8 oz lean ground beef (80/20 is fine)

8 oz stewed or crushed tomatoes

Splash of balsamic vinegar added with tomatoes, optional

1/4 cup shredded cheese ( your choice, optional)

Cook the meat, onions, green pepper and garlic in a 12″ skillet until the meat is browned (slight crust) and vegetables are tender.  Drain any accumulated fat.

While the meat cooks, put the sliced cabbage in a 2 quart covered casserole and microwave about 5-7 minutes on high until the cabbage is softened but not mushy.  There is no need to add water.

Reduce the skillet’s heat to low and add the spices and tomatoes to the meat mixture. Stir while the mixture reduces slightly, 1-2 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat.

Take about half the cabbage from the casserole; set on a plate (or casserole lid; I am lazy about washing dishes).  Place half the meat mixture on the cabbage in the casserole.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cheese (if using).  Put remainder of cabbage on the meat, then layer the rest of the meat mixture on the cabbage.  Add 2 tablespoons cheese (if using).  Cover casserole and return to the microwave and cook for about 10 minutes on high.  Let set covered for about 2-3 minutes.  Be careful when removing the lid – there will be lots of steam (and steam burns are no fun, believe me).  Enjoy with beer (Guinness or PBR suggested) and crusty bread.

 

Onions and peppers chopped in 1/2″ pieces.  Crush garlic to release allicin before chopping

 

Browning ground beef and vegetables

Cabbage and ground beef layers

Plated cabbage casserole

Buried – Two Cabbage Braised Pork Chops & Happy New Ride Year

Cabbage and pork chops – two of the “good fortune” foods to eat on New Years Day.  We did have our blackeye peas w/bacon, cornbread, ham and other fixins.  Now lookin at a ham is boring so I’m sharing what I scrounged together earlier in the week but it still fits the holiday theme. The gentleman selling veggies on the former Beverly theater lot had lush heads of cabbage – perfect because they keep well in the refrigerator; just hack off a wedge when the scrounge mood strikes.  I have various cuts of salvage grocery pork in the freezer so it has become the meat of choice lately.  Did you know why people in the deep south ate more chicken and pork than beef?  Before refrigeration was available, it was best to eat what you killed very soon.  Small critters like chickens and hogs could be eaten in a day or two, before they could spoil.

Two Cabbage Braised Pork Chops  (serves 2)

Seasoned pork chops

Seasoned pork chops

Sprinkle two pork chops (boneless loin here, but other types are OK) with black pepper and “pork chop seasoning” (I use Penzeys).  You can create your own with salt, garlic powder, white pepper, onion powder, and ground ginger.  Yes, I know “seasoning” in culinaryspeak is salt and pepper but lets go with the common usage for sake of brevity.  Heat a skillet to medium; spray with food release.

Brown the chops for 2-3 minutes per side.

Pork chops browning

Cabbage mixture over pork

Cabbage mixture over pork

Plated pork chop with cabbage

Slice green cabbage into 1/2 inch ribbons and break up slightly.  If you’re in a hurry, precook the cabbage in the microwave for 3 minutes before adding to the pan.  Put the cabbage and 1/2 cup drained red cabbage (the sweet/sour kind) over the pork chops, mix together gently with a fork.  Be sure to bury the chops!  Turn the heat to low/simmer.

Now take a cheap bottle of sherry and mix 1/2 cup with 1/2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet (my Mama’s anti-white cabbage trick).  Pour it over the cabbage mixture.  If you don’t have a cooking wine or don’t want it, substitute with chicken stock, water, or cider. Cover the pan and cook until the cabbage it tender, about 20 minutes. Serve with a green veggie for plate appeal.  French bread or cornbread, pour some wine and you be done!  My cornbread recipe will be in a future post.  Toast the New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR RIDE!

Hey Mr. Mike

Hey Mr. Mike

Actually two Mr. Mikes taking a ride on my rig.  First ride of the New Year!

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