Virginia Barnes knows her cabbage, and she knows how to cook it.
A fifth generation Hastings-area farmer, Barnes has accumulated a lot of favorite recipes when it comes to serving the sweet, green cabbage grown on some 1,000 acres of the Barnes Farm, just off State Road 206.
Here are several she’s sharing:
PORK AND CABBAGE SLAW
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 pork tenderloins ( 1 1/4 pounds total)
3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1 small cabbage (about 1 pound) quartered, cored and thinly sliced
1 crisp red apple, cut into thin wedges
1/3 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skilled over medium-high heat. Season pork with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper; cook, turning occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until brown.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile combine vinegar, honey and remaining salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cabbage and apples. Toss. Let slaw sit for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Fold in cilantro and serve with pork.
Peel off dark green outer leaves on your cabbage and blanche in hot water until they are soft enough to bend without breaking or cracking. Set them on a plate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl mix 3/4 lb. ground beef and 1/4 lb. ground sausage (I use mild).
Add 1 egg, beaten; and one diced onion and green bell pepper. Mix again.
Then add 1/2 cup crushed up cornbread stuffing. (I put it in a Ziploc and hit it.) Mix it all up again. If it feels too dry add a second beaten egg. It should be moist but stay together when you handle it.
Finall add a tsp. of salt and pepper
Once it’s all mixed, make little loves out of the mixture and put in blanched cabbage leaf. Roll up and tuck it like an egg roll so it covers the whole mixture. Repeat until all are rolled.
Place them folded side down in glass Pyrex baking dish. Pour a can of crushed tomatoes on top. Use seasoned or plain. I use Italian or the Green Chile depending on what else will be served.
Bake for 30 minutes and check temperature with a meat thermometer. The middle should be 160 to 165 degrees.
Use the remainder of the cabbage in other recipes, usually by steaming it.
More cabbage recipes next week