This Jan. 16 photo shows sweet and sour cabbage accompanying a pork chop in New York. Photo by: Sara Moulton via AP
January 31, 2018 10:01:02 AM
If you're tired of the same old vegetable side dishes, here's a recipe that promotes the lowly red cabbage from side dish to protein partner. All you have to do is cook it up sweet and sour and -- voila! -- your side dish is now ready to walk down the aisle arm in arm with pork in any form: chops, smoked chops, roast, ham, Canadian bacon, kielbasa, Italian sausages. Really, there's nothing required -- no sauces, no extras -- other than cooking the pork and lowering it onto the cabbage. What makes this dish such a good partner for pork? Its sourness cuts right through the meat's natural fattiness.
Consisting of just six ingredients, this recipe is a snap to make -- and the balance of sweet and sour is up to you. My sourpuss family isn't a fan of sugar in savory dishes, so I added just a single tablespoon of brown sugar to the cabbage. But if the dish then strikes you as too tart, by all means add a second tablespoon or even a tad more.
And by the way, combining red cabbage with an acid -- balsamic vinegar, in this case -- turns its color from dull blue-ish red to jewel-like pink. All of a sudden, this veggie is scoring an A-plus in visuals -- a welcome bonus even if it's not a very cabbage-y thing to do.
Finally, Sweet and Sour Cabbage can be made a few days ahead and is equally good served hot or cold. In other words, it's not just a wintertime food. Try it in the summer as a tangy alternative to coleslaw. Grilled hot dogs topped with sweet and sour cabbage anyone?
SWEET AND SOUR CABBAGE
Start to finish: 1 hour (25 active)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark), or to taste
4 cups shredded red cabbage
One 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
Nutritional information per serving: 130 calories; 48 calories from fat; 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 364 mg sodium; 17 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 2 g protein.