Friday, March 31, 2006

Scalloped Cabbage

So there's this place in Albia called the Main Street Cafe. It's one of those true Iowa places that simply cannot be properly described.

Years ago, when I was little, it was a Maid-Rite. I'm talking one of the old time Maid-Rites of yesteryear. That hamburger steamer chest thing with the "M R" on the lid is still there.

But now it's the Main Street Cafe, and instead of Maid-Rites, they have "Main Rites"...you get the picture.

It's a half block from my office. There is only room for about 15 people to sit comfortably in this place, but it's usually full every day for breakfast and lunch.

I often have the lunch special, which is not a loose meat sandwich, it's a home style meal. And I mean real home style food. Stuff like my grandma makes.

I'm especially fond of one of the side dishes that sometimes is part of the lunch special: Scalloped Cabbage. What the heck is that, you ask? Don't you worry. It is everything your heart has ever desired and more. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but it really is good.

Anyway, I made it a personal quest to figure out how to make this divine side dish for myself. And I was successful. Not only was I successful, I think I even improved upon it. And now I will share it with you, so you can enjoy this wonderful, wonderful thing.

Scalloped Cabbage
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cubed muenster cheese
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttered cracker crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees
In a large pot, cook chopped cabbage in boiling water for approximately 5 minutes, until tender. Drain.
In a separate pot, make a roux with the butter, flour and milk (melt butter, stir in flour, cook for several minutes, add milk, bring to a boil, stirring constantly) add salt, and then add the cheese and stir until a thick cheese sauce is created.
Grease a baking dish and place half of the cabbage in it. Pour half of the cheese sauce over the cabbage. Add the rest of the cabbage and top with the remaining cheese sauce. Cover with the cracker crumbs and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and the crumbs are nicely browned on the top.

Trust me, you'll like it.

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