Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I'm in a hurry! So here are pork chops baked in cabbage and cream

My fatheads! --

I'm in a huge hurry. In less than ten days, I am actually moving, moving out of the apartment in the house where I have lived for almost 26 years, and where I raised my children, and out to a one-bedroom, third floor "walk up" -- or shall I call it a "bed-sitter," as poor Dora Bunner calls her living arrangements before she wrote the letter to Miss Blacklock -- "not a begging letter, it wasn't that" -- that got her out of them and into Little Paddocks, where the Murder Was Announced -- anyway I am moving, and so all my off days seem to be occupied with packing, and with talking about packing. But I haven't forgotten you. I want to give you a glass of wine, and a recipe for Pork Chops Baked in Cabbage and Cream. These spring days can still be rather chilly, so you might like this.

I also can't decide whether to write a novel based on the idea that Anne Boleyn escapes, makes her way to Venice, and pushes Cromwell into a canal (he followed her), or whether to write one based on the idea of a woman unearthing her grandparents' few papers and letters, and learning that her grandfather was a thrice-married black market smuggler very proud of his ability to sense when the political winds had changed and rendered his business too dangerous to follow. I bought notebooks so as to be able to simply write, longhand, whenever I want, but it seems foolish to sit down to a blank paper when you haven't puzzled out the plot yet.

Anyway, here are Pork Chops baked in Cabbage and Cream. They are from Time Life books' "Foods of the World" series, specifically from French Provincial Cooking.

You will boil cabbage briefly -- 12 cups! though that sounds like an awful lot -- drain it, and then in a separate pan saute one chopped onion and two diced cloves of garlic in half a stick of butter.

Then you will brown four or five pork chops, nice thick ones, in another two or three tablespoons of butter or olive oil.


Remove them to a plate, and deglaze that pan with a half cup of white wine.

Pour the wine and all the scraped deglazed bits into the drained cabbage, and then blend in the onions and garlic. Layer this seasoned vegetable mix into a large pot or Dutch oven alternately with the pork chops.

In a different small pot, heat about 1 and 1/2 cups of heavy cream. Pour this into the layered chops and cabbage. Add bread crumbs, say a cup and a half, mixed with perhaps a cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, 1 and 1/2 hours at 300 F.

Serve forth with buttered noodles or boiled or mashed potatoes or just about anything nice. Your accompanying wine will be any nice white of your choice, don't you think? I recommend what I had in my pantry,
2011 Henri Perrusset Macon-Villages, crisp, delicate, and light, suitable for cutting through or standing up to all that rich cream and cabbage and garlic. I know a person who delightedly agonizes over any and all food and wine pairings. "A zinfandel? With lobster ravioli and spinach?" he said to me the other day. He cocked his head on one side, interested. "I would think it would depend on the sauce. A spicy zinfandel, now, I don't think that would work for me ...."   


  1. I would like to know the story of the grandfather. He could have stopped bootlegging to became a fine wine seller to support his many wives and children. His favorite meal was pork chops with cabbage and cream.

  2. Ha ha! Not bad, I will give you credit for the idea in the foreword.


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