Bacon-Smothered Cabbage

It was a cold day. We were spoiled by a few warm days this winter, but that came to an abrupt end. That meant I needed a big ole bowl of comfort food to warm me up. This bacon-smothered cabbage hit the spot.

Great as a side, but also fantastic as a main dish by simply adding a little sliced smoked sausage. A little sweet, a little heat and a bit of smokiness made this the perfect dish on a cold day.
Bacon-Smothered CabbageI like my bacon-smothered cabbage to be almost completely tender, but still have just a bit of crunch to it. After about 5 minutes of cooking I start sampling for my preferred doneness and continue testing every minute or so.

I also prefer green cabbage, but purple cabbage (or even better, use one half of a head of green cabbage and a half head of purple!) would work just as well.

Also try my stuffed cabbage soup.

Bacon-Smothered Cabbage

Add a pound of smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces and lightly browned to make this a fantastic main course dish!
Course Side
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Inspired by a recipe from Louisiana Cookin' Magazine

Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage core removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste

Instructions

  • Lightly brown the bacon in a large Dutch oven. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil left in the pot.
  • Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes or until just soft.
  • Add the cabbage. Stir and saute for 3 more minutes.
  • Stir in the vinegar. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the bacon, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Serve.

Okra and Tomatoes

I like to stock up on canned goods before winter which is why I ended up trying a can of Margaret Holmes Tomato, Okra and Corn. Anita and I both loved it, which set me down the path to finding something similar that I could make at home.

That brought me to this okra and tomatoes recipe, which Anita declared to be the best side dish I’ve ever made. And I have to agree, it’s the perfect side dish. It has that cooked-all-day flavor, but without the fuss. Perfect on a cool day for sure. Oh, and no, I didn’t add corn, but you could. Anita’s not the biggest fan of the corn part of the canned version, so she liked this even more!
Okra and Tomatoes
I couldn’t find fresh okra (sadly, it can be hard to come by here in Indiana) so I used frozen, which worked out wonderfully. You can add a can of corn kernels (about a cup or so frozen) if you wish, but this dish is really great as it is.

I’m contemplating adding smoked sausage next time. The okra¬†and tomatoes has that sort of gumbo feel to it, and a little smoked sausage would take it from a side dish to a main course in no time.

If you love okra as much as I do you’ll also want to make my okra giardiniera. It’s crazy good on a sandwich.

Okra and Tomatoes

Course Side
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Author Inspired by a recipe from The Lady & Sons

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 1 tablespoon chicken base
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh okra cut into 1-inch pieces (I used a 16 ounce package of frozen okra)

Instructions

  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until tender but not crispy.
  • Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is tender.
  • Add the tomatoes and their juices along with the chicken base and sugar. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and let simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Fresh okra: Add okra and cook another 20 minutes.
  • Frozen okra: Add okra and cook another 10 minutes.

Maple Cranberry Sauce

I’m not usually a cranberry sauce-kind-of-guy, so I have no prior experience making it from scratch. But when I came across this recipe for maple cranberry sauce it sounded good (even to me) so I hopped right in and made a double batch for Thanksgiving. It was a big hit. I also discovered that cooking fresh cranberries can be fun. They go ‘pop’ as they cook. Cool!
Maple Cranberry SauceUse real maple syrup in this maple cranberry sauce. Only the real stuff. And as I note, I could not find fresh oranges. Substituting bottled came out just fine. Add about 1/4 cup, taste, and see if you want to add more. I used no-pulp orange juice. The sauce came out fantastic!

This sauce goes best with a turkey roasted on the Char-Broil Big Easy.

Maple Cranberry Sauce

Course Side
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Inspired by Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Juice and zest of one fresh orange Note: I could not find fresh oranges so I substituted just over 1/4 cup of bottled no-pulp orange juice

Instructions

  • Transfer all ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Stir and let the mixture simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened and all of the cranberries have burst. Stir occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.