Petits Choux

I’ve been trudging along, basically maintaining, which would be wonderful if I were trying to maintain, but is instead trying since I’m hoping to lose. Oh well, could be worse.

We were in charge of veggies for a family dinner a few nights ago. While I normally plan things like this more than a day in advance, this time, I hit one of the small Saturday farmers’ markets that pop up in various parking lots to see what inspiration would strike.

Baby cabbage. Petits choux, if I remember French class correctly. Chou, I believe, in addition to being the word for cabbage, can also be a term of endearment. If all you’ve ever seen are the cannonball-sized hulking green monster cabbages in the grocery store, you would be forgiven for not realizing how adorable tiny little cabbages could be:

One look, and I was smitten. I noted the stall and pushed farther in, just to see if anything else could sway me from these itsy-bitsy balls of cuteness and cruciferous goodness.

How about electric carrots?

Now, normally, I’d use a photo without flash, because the flash can intensify the colors. But please allow me to assure you that these carrots were actually these colors.

I opted for a slow braise, which was simple and had the added benefit of keeping my kitchen warm for about two hours while the oven was on. The steps – hard to all it a recipe because it is so simple:

  • Pre-heat to 325°
  • Mist a 9″ x 13″ Pyrex or other roasting pan with olive oil
  • Cut the larger cabbages in half
  • Rough chop an onion and the carrots
  • Arrange them in the pan
  • Drizzle with 1/4 c. water and 1/4 c. olive oil
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Cover tightly with foil
  • Stick in the oven & braise for 2 hours
  • Remove foil, raise temperature to 350° or 375°, and leave in for another 10-15 minutes just to get some browning.

You can use non-baby cabbages, if you wish, but they won’t be as cute. If you are not concerned about cute food, that’s probably fine. 🙂

Here’s what the insides of those dark red carrots were like:

And, here’s what the dish looked like right before we served it:

Since we had to transport it, covered, it lost some of the brownness we got right at the end. The taste didn’t suffer.

We had a spinach salad as our second vegetable, and my mom made both steak and salmon. It was a decadent and very healthy meal. Someone brought gingersnaps for dessert, but I didn’t have one.

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4 Responses to Petits Choux

  1. David says:

    I’ve never seen baby cabbages before, but will keep my eyes open – they’re fantastic! How do you know they’re baby cabbages, and not GIANT brussel sprouts? 🙂
    The dish looks delicious – I’m sure it was a smash! And I can totally relate to your comment about trudging along. Even if you’re not losing, there are still benefits to eating well and exercising – your body appreciates it, even if it doesn’t show it! Keep it up!

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