I've never known what was French about it, but the French Cabbage recipe featured here is one to which we definitely say "Oui! Oui!"
I turned it up a few years back when our garden produced row after row of cabbage. I was desperate to find recipes that would incorporate the vegetable beyond the basic "boiled cabbage on the stovetop" routine.
Enter the Birchman cookbook, or as members of my family would teasingly mock me, "The Birch-man Cook-book", repeated in a singsong fashion. They did this because seemingly every dish I put on the table, for months and months on end, had its origin in this outstanding church cookbook that included one of the best recipe collections I've ever run across in a cookbook that was not commercially produced.
As, working my way through the cookbook I prepared the recipes, compliments abounded from those I served. "The Birch-man Cook-book", I'd reply to make sure proper credit was due. Pretty soon my family members turned this into a tease. "The Birch-man Cook-book," they'd reply. Thank you, Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, for being a goldmine of excellent recipes then and now.
One of those, of course, was this one for French Cabbage. Our cabbage rows definitely weren't as prolific this year as they were in the one when we first began preparing this recipe, but I had several heads left in my refrigerator. (The final one went for Cabbage Sloppy Joes, which I'll feature in an upcoming blog.)
This makes a great, unusual, and colorful combination for a bring-a-dish buffet or potluck. People will be blown away when you tell them that cabbage is the main ingredient.
1 medium cabbage
1 to 2 small bell peppers, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup celery, chopped fine
1 cup whole milk (can use skim)
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
toasted bread crumbs
Quarter cabbage and cook in small amount of water until tender; drain and chop fine. Cook celery, peppers, and garlic in butter until tender. Add to cabbage. Pour in cream and grated cheese. Mix well and place in a 9-by-9-inch dish. Put bread crumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.