Ask the Chef
Q: Can you freeze cabbage?
A: Yes, cabbage can be frozen, however the wedges, quarters or shredded cabbage must first be blanched.
Cut the head of cabbage in half from top to bottom through the thick core. Cut the halves in half. Depending on the size of the head you may want to cut the quarters in half making eight pieces from the head. Remove the cored from each piece.
Drop the cabbage wedges into boiling salted water for about six minutes then remove the cabbage to ice water to stop the cooking. When the cabbage is completely cooled, drain the wedges to remove as much water as possible. If the cabbage has been shredded, spin it in the salad spinner.
Place the blanched cabbage in plastic bags and force out as much air as possible then freeze it.
To use the frozen cabbage, thaw it for about 20 minutes. Remove the cabbage from the plastic bag and drain for 5-10 minutes in a colander. and proceed to cook it while it is still somewhat frozen.
Fry the cabbage in olive oil and season with salt, pepper and minced garlic
Steam the cabbage and serve with butter and salt and pepper.
Plunge the cabbage into boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and served with butter or olive oil and salt and pepper.
Q: Could give me some advice on buying decent cookware?
A: When considering pots and pans as well as knives the best rule for me is purchase once. Buy high quality products that your grand children will covet. Of course this means investing dollars.
I think that All-Clad is a great brand. Make a wish list from their catalog or online store. Or go to a retailer to actually see the products. Make a planned buying program for yourself. Example: every four or six months I am going to make a major purchase. Start with a four quart sauce pan. Add a 2 quart sauce pan. Then, expand to some specialty sizes, saute pans etc.
Cuisart is another good brand although the sides of the pans are not thick like the bottoms. Sauces tend to burn at the edges. These kinds of pans are a good second tier part of your kitchen equipment—for boiling, blanching and vegetable cooking.
As for non-stick saute pans, I would purchase these at a restaurant supply place or at Target.
I would suggest that you look around. Sometime’s Macy’s will have sales for a set. This is usually a good start. Avoid specialty shops which usually price items a little higher.