‘Tis the season to indulge in as much comfort food as possible, before the dawn of a new year and a renewed commitment to healthy eating. My mother has been making this pudding as a special treat for ten years now, ever since she clipped the recipe from a magazine. It’s an indescribable, unique cross between corn bread and egg custard. The rich, sweet pudding provided the perfect counterpoint to the tart, intensely flavored cabbage. And it’s corn, so of course I love it. I must have eaten half the pan tonight! I would have eaten platefuls of the rotkohl as well if there had been any more left over.
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups corn kernels (about 4-6 ears if using fresh)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, egg, and butter and gradually stir into dry ingredients. Fold in corn kernels and pour into a greased 7×11″ baking dish or cast iron skillet and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown at the edges. The center will still be a bit “jiggly.” Let cool and set at least 10 minutes before serving (with a spoon.) Yum!
Rotkohl (German braised cabbage)
Butter or oil
1 red cabbage, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 apple, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 whole cloves (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
1-2 bay leaves
3 juniper berries (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour dissolved in 2 tablespoons water (optional)
In the bottom of a medium saucepan, saute onions in butter or oil until translucent and just beginning to turn golden. Add apples and cabbage and cook for about 5 minutes more, then add red wine vinegar, water, and spices and seasonings and simmer for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally. One or even two hours is ideal. The longer you let it simmer, the more flavorful and delicious it will be. A few minutes before serving, stir in the dissolved flour and adjust seasonings to taste. Equally fantastic served warm, cooled, or chilled, straight out of the pot or after several days in the fridge (if it isn’t gobbled up by then!) Thanks to Kimberly, of the Daring Gourmet, for guiding the way. So many more tempting recipes on her site to try!
VARIATION (12/21/2015): Red cabbage braised with vinegar, caraway, rosemary, and a sprinkle of salt is also gorgeous and delicious!