Our Irish-Bulgarian Cabbage Connection

photoFor St. Patrick’s Day, we’re having corned beef and Bulgarian cabbage. The recipe for the latter was part of our daughter Emilia’s patrimony when we adopted her at age 10 from Bulgaria. With no English, she took us shopping for the ingredients in Austin, TX while we waited for her citizenship hearing (citizenship for adoptees wasn’t automatic then). It was the first dish she cooked for us and we were quite impressed. The next time you’re hankering for Irish-Bulgarian Fusion, or just delicious winter food, try Emilia’s cabbage. You’ll need:
1 cabbage, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4-6 slices of thick, smoked bacon, chopped (cut with scissors)
4 T paprika
2 T vegetable/olive oil
2 T olive oil (optional)

Saute the onion in the vegetable or olive oil. In a separate pan, saute the bacon. Put the cabbage in a large, flat baking dish. Mix with 2 T paprika. Add bacon and its grease and onion and its oil. Mix well with another 2 T paprika. I know, it’s a lot of paprika, but your goal is that the cabbage looks rosy like the picture above (with Emilia herself). And this is Eastern Europe, remember. Paprika Land. Emilia drizzles on a couple more T of olive oil because she likes oil. You can do this or not. Bake for about an hour at 350, turning several times. Eat and enjoy. You can dip bread in the peppery oil, the Bulgarian way.
Here is what the finished dish will look like:

photo

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

Posted in Food, WWWS

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