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A West African-inspired cabbage dish made to impress

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#West #Africaninspired #cabbage #dish #impress

Of all of the greens I prepare dinner most frequently, the common-or-garden inexperienced cabbage simply is likely to be my favourite. Not as tedious as Brussels sprouts, sweeter than broccoli, extra tender than cauliflower. I find it irresistible pickled, be it in a vinegar brine or a spicy kimchi-like ferment. And I’ve gone by my section (like most of us) of charring the hell out of it and blanketing it with tahini sauce or yogurt. However the extra I prepare dinner it, the extra I settle into my favourite manner of consuming it: braised in a luscious sauce till spoonably tender.

My associate’s and my favourite cabbage dish thus far is a shallow-braised cabbage teeming with cumin and coriander and tomato paste that’s then topped with a cooling dollop of yogurt. My buddy Andy Baraghani developed the recipe for Bon Appétit years in the past; ever since, at my associate’s request, I’ve been making an attempt to give you a cabbage dish to win him over.

Cabbage is often on my thoughts this time of 12 months as a result of, properly, it’s in season, but in addition due to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day vacation and all of the visions of corned beef and cabbage that it fosters. And whereas I like that dish — and any that mixes cabbage with salty or spiced meat — this 12 months, I’m in search of inspiration quite a bit farther south than Eire.

A decade in the past, I discovered to make hen mafé from Pierre Thiam, a Senegalese chef I labored with on a narrative about that nation’s delicacies whereas I used to be at Saveur journal. Now the chief chef at Teranga in Harlem and Midtown Manhattan, Thiam — the creator of “Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes From the Source to the Bowl” — taught me all about mafé, a stew made with floor peanuts that can be utilized for braising every thing from hen thighs to lamb shanks. Dried, fermented seafood — which lends a deep savoriness to Senegalese dishes, equally to how fish sauce is utilized in Vietnamese or Thai dishes — can be usually added, as are contemporary Scotch bonnet chiles for warmth, which reduce by the wealthy floor nuts.

Once I ate Thaim’s model of hen mafé all these years in the past, I keep in mind most loving the cabbage wedges, added together with carrots, okra and candy potatoes to spherical out the meaty stew — their candy however sturdy disposition complementing the deeply savory sauce one of the best. So I made a cabbage model to house in on my favourite half.

Roasting and grinding peanuts into butter shouldn’t be that tough and makes an enormous distinction on this dish, so I implore you to do that too. As soon as the nuts are floor, the dish is rather like every other braise or stew the place you construct taste from the bottom up. Onions, garlic and ginger are cooked till browned and delicate, then tomato paste is added for a little bit of caramelized sweetness.

Subsequent, the peanut butter is simmered with inventory till easy, and spiked with fish sauce (probably the most handy substitute for fermented seafood that, in keeping with Thiam, many Senegalese cooks additionally use), a Scotch bonnet chile and a bay leaf. Lastly, the pre-seared cabbage wedges go in, and the entire setup braises within the oven till the cabbage is tremendous tender and the sauce has been lowered to a velvety easy gravy.

The dish is completely fantastic as is, however I’ve discovered {that a} sauce manufactured from contemporary cilantro and lime juice is sweet to drizzle over it too. Its acidity cuts by the wealthy peanut sauce and helps carry ahead the fruitiness of the Scotch bonnet. The sauce shouldn’t be important, however my cilantro-hating associate beloved it when he tasted it and located that it accomplished the dish completely. If that’s not a ringing endorsement for his new favourite cabbage dish, I don’t know what’s.

Get the recipe:

Time2 hours

YieldsServes 4 to six