I can’t live by your rules, man

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So, I’ve got two recipes and a really good idea for a third.

And they all start with the same dish: a really unctuous comfort bowl of cabbage and spaetzle.

And it’s all made possible by the fact that I am congenitally incapable of not messing around with a recipe.

I took a mocha chip cookie recipe that was very, very, thin and crispy and turned it into a brown butter, vanilla bean-flecked confection that was, per The Kid, crispy around the edges, and chewy in the middle.

My mother’s father’s Sunday gravy, or as my mom called it, spaghetti sauce, is an all-day-long cooked, maniacally fussed-over Italian red sauce that cooks for hours and is beloved of anyone who has ever eaten it at her table (except, strangely, me; I am immune to its dubious charms.).

Under my ministrations, it turned into an indulgent, silky sauce stuffed full of little meatballs, mushroom, chunks of Italian sausage, and the color of polished coral, with aromas of garlic and Marsala.

I made frosting a food group.

For the week or so, I’ve been Jonesing for some cabbage.

I decided I wanted to cook it like they serve at an old-school cafeteria. Cooked in plain water until soft and then drenched in either vinegar or melted butter.

I decided the term was probably stewed.

I found a recipe, but she used chicken stock — out! Onion … I don’t think so!

What I ended up with was neither version of stewed cabbage but something altogether different.

That unctuous, comfort food thing from the beginning.

So, then I had leftovers. I had the idea to make them into fritters. When I was grabbing the flour I spied the gluten-free. My friend Val has an allergy to wheat so I thought maybe it would be a good gluten-free option.

Right after I took the first bite I realized something that you, Gentle Reader, have arrived at the finish line and are enjoying a creamy milkshake.

Spaetzle, made from wheat, is chock-full of gluten.

I’m nothing if not slow.

It’s OK, actually. Cubed potatoes would be just dandy in the role of spaetzle.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at dm@bullcity.mom.

It’s Really Not Any Sort of Stewed Cabbage

1 small head of cabbage, core removed and sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons

6 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons honey

1 cup dry spaetzle

Water

Salt and pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy pot with a cover.

Add cabbage, a big pinch of salt, and some pepper. Toss to coat. Cover and set burner to medium-low. Cook until the cabbage is softened and is swimming in the water it has released.

Add spaetzle and enough water to cover.

Recover and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the noodle has cooked through. Uncover. If there’s a lot of water still in the pot, pour it off until almost none is left. Carefully use a pot holder and the lid, do not strain, you don’t want all the liquid removed.

Return pot to burner, turned to low and cook, stirring, until the water that remains is almost gone and you just begin to hear a sizzling sound.

Cut the remaining butter into chinks and stir in until a creamy sauce coats everything.

Check for seasoning and re-season, if necessary.

Not Gluten-Free Fritters

Cold left-over cabbage/spaetzle mixture

Butter

Flour for coating

Portion out the cold mixture into the same size. Pat and roll into patty shapes.

Melt enough butter in a skillet to coat the bottom of the pan.

Dust fritters with flour and carefully lay into skillet.

Turn to medium-low and cover. Cook 3-4 minutes and check. If the first side is golden-brown, flip, re-cover and cook until second side is golden.

These things are awesome, I’m leaving it up to you, Gentle Reader to decide how to serve them.

Third Brilliant Idea for Leftovers

Warm mixture in a skillet then add 8 beaten eggs and turn into a frittata. Maybe dot the top with some smoked Gouda before you finish it in the oven.

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