Mzhave | Georgian Cabbage Pickled with Beets

Mzhave Georgian cabbage pickled with beets

Mzhave Combosto is widely popular in former Soviet countries appetizer made with cabbage and beetroot. Since it belongs to the Georgian cuisine, it is also known as Georgian or Guria-style cabbage. Word MZHAVE literally means salted, fermented, or pickled. There are variations in different regions of Georgia (e.g., in Guria, Imereti, and Kakheti). Some cooks prefer natural fermentation when other add vinegar to pickle vegetables. Some recipes make the cabbage more hot and pungent, while other are not heavy with spices and herbs. Every household adjusts the recipe to the taste. The common ingredients are juicy white cabbage, beetroot, garlic, and chile pepper. Celery is also often in the list.
In Ukraine, we have a similar recipe — Pelyustka. The name comes from the word “petal” probably because pickled with beets cabbage leaves look like pink flower petals.

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Romanesco Salad with Israeli Couscous, Mushrooms, and Asparagus

Romanesco Salad with Mushrooms, Ptitim,  Asparagus, and Garlicy Pesto

Have you ever been served a dish with food so beautiful you felt it was a crime to eat it? Imagine a cook, who is so charmed by the natural beauty of raw ingredients and hesitates to cook them. That’s what I feel when I see Romanesco Broccoli. What is the best way to put it on a pedestal of our dinner plate? How to protect its color and shape? How to bring out its nutty flavor and crunchy texture?

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Red Pozole

Pozole

Toppings are my favorite part of this soup. I think they are what makes this traditional Mexican soup exceptional from the taste and texture point of view as well as its serving and eating experience. I like how some recipe authors refer to pozole as a “soup-salad,” because so many raw ingredients are added to a hot bowl of soup right before eating it.

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Rumbledethumps | Potato and Cabbage Casserole

Rumbledethumbs

Rumbledethumps is a traditional dish from the Scottish Borders. The main ingredients are potato, cabbage, and onion. Mashed potatoes are mixed with lightly sautéed shredded onions and cabbage, seasoned, topped with grated cheddar, and baked until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

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Pork Ribs: Cowboy Bigos

Cowboy Bigos

There are magical recipes so simple, a child can follow and get professional quality results. They do not require any special skills or equipment. I’m serious! I shared this recipe with my friends, clients, strangers, who were experienced and inexperienced, poor and rich, teenage students and mature adults, cooking for one or for large family — they all made perfectly cooked ribs.

When you pack seasoned ribs relatively tight in foil and cook it low (270-300F) and slow (~3 hours), you do not let any moisture to escape. Thus, you keep in all the juices and flavors of meat, bones, cartilage, and fat. They gelatinize tough tissues and concentrate. The result is full of flavor and melts in your mouth!

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Patir | Indian Cabbage Rolls

Patir

This recipe is vegetarian. To make it vegan replace Ghee (clarified butter) with vegetable oil of your choice, and cow milk yogurt with coconut milk yogurt. A wonderful combination of Indian spices make this dish highly flavorful, and chili peppers make it hot. You can adjust the level of spiciness and heat to your taste. When Eastern Europeans see this recipe, they call it Indian golubtsy and ask me what can be used instead of chickpea flour which is not easily available there. I don’t see any harm in experimenting with other locally available gluten free flours (buckwheat, oat, etc.), spices, and flavorful herbs and vegetables.

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