Monday, December 5, 2011

Southern Fried Cabbage

Southern fried cabbage is a very simple cabbage dish prepared often as here, with a bit of butter, bacon & onion. I like to add cider vinegar and dried pepper flakes for a little extra flavor punch.

Southern Fried Cabbage

We southerners know this dish as "fried" cabbage, even though it's usually a mixture of sautéing, and braising or stewing, being cooked low and simmered in its own juices, rather than being flash fried. I imagine a lot of folks raised outside of The South associate the words "southern" and "fried" to always mean something that is deep fried in a huge vat of boiling oil, like our fabulous fried chicken, for instance. Surely these people must think we crazy southerners deep fry some odd things - like cabbage and fried corn and fried apples, to name a few.

What they don't realize is that the term often represents different things, and very often, simply the tool used, more so than the actual method or process. In many cases it's referring to the cooking of something in a skillet - or what we call a frying pan - and so, we call the dish "fried."

We southerners are a funny lot aren't we?

I prefer to render out some bacon with my fried cabbage, then cook a bit of onion in that before adding in the cabbage and simple seasonings of salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. After that, I cover and let it braise for 30 minutes, adding a splash of cider vinegar and red pepper flakes just before serving. Since the bacon is used more as a seasoning for me, I only use a few slices, but certainly use as much as you like. I do like to add in some butter too though since it adds a great flavor to the cabbage.

I love this dish so much, that despite the fact that I've purchased a head of cabbage multiple times with the intention of making one particular recipe to post, I keep using it for fried cabbage time and again instead. I love the stuff, so what can I say? This last head of cabbage was so huge, it was like getting a 2-for-1 deal, so I also used a bit of it to make a wonderful pot of soup during that last blast of cold air that flowed through here a week or so ago. I've been dealing with computer gremlins the past couple of weeks, but hopefully I'll be posting that recipe soon, assuming technology cooperates, since the weather appears that it will switch from flip flops to winter again in just a few days. Gotta love The South!

While fried cabbage is technically a side dish, frankly I can make it a main dish meal and often do, since The Cajun isn't all that interested in cabbage. I can barely manage to sneak it in on him in soups, but considering that he ate three large bowls of that soup I made, I am grateful that we have at least progressed to that!

Here's how to make this delicious fried cabbage.

Recipe: Southern Fried Cabbage

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, divided
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 medium to large head of cabbage, chopped (about 10 to 12 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, optional
  • Dash dried red pepper flakes, optional
Instructions

Chop the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the onion and saute about 4 minutes. Add a splash of water to the bottom of the skillet to deglaze the browned bits in the bottom. Add half the cabbage, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning, and stir. Add the remaining cabbage, stir, reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until cabbage reaches the desired consistency, stirring several times. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the cider vinegar. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve as a side dish, along with some skillet cornbread.

Variations: Substitute a good andouille or smoked sausage, or ham, sliced or chopped, for the bacon. Can also add in chopped fresh tomatoes or one can of stewed tomatoes, cut up, to the cabbage. I just use my kitchen shears to cut them up right in the can. Can also use one can of Rotel or regular diced tomatoes, and add about 1/2 of a green pepper, chopped with the onion, if desired.


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73 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this dish Mary; my neighbor makes fried cabbage, and I'm wanting too also as it smells so good cooking.

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  2. You Southerners are indeed a funny lot - I must tried fried cabbage.

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    1. LOL it has been awhile since you commented on a post called southern fried cabbage LOL but you are right we southern ppl are funny about are food and we like everything fried and esp. with alot of seasoning too it....now if you dont think about your health it is the best place in the world to eat :}

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    2. I totally agree with that since I'm from the south also. I recall in the mornings mom made gravy and biscuit and eggs before we went to school. Oh and the fried chicken on Sunday's after church with green beans, mashed potatoes and sweet tea. Oh yea you got my attention. Thanks for the post on the fried cabbage.

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  3. Of course Beverly!

    Oh Lynda, do let me know if you try it!!

    LOL Larry - you haven't already? You must!

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  4. This looks just like my mother's cabbage. I can almost taste it now!

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  5. I love this!! I could easily eat it as a meal!

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  6. I love fried cabbage. Never tried it with Cajun seasoning ... now that I've found "Slap Ya Mamma" will have to give it a try.

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  7. I have been making fried cabbage for years and actually converted a noneater to it. My hubby likes to put a splash or two of hot sauce on his. We LOVE it!!

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  8. I make a poor man's corned beef and cabbage with this by adding a can of Armour corned beef. Unfortunately, some grocery stores no longer carry canned corned beef. I really prefer my poor version over "real" corned beef and cabbage.

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  9. Yep, love this! It would go great with pot roast.

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  10. Judi, so good, huh?

    Me too Pam!

    Lea Ann, it's a nice addition - try it!

    Julie I WISH I could convert my husband to it, but he'll eat a bit of my corned beef & cabbage on New Year's (after I threaten him LOL) or he'll eat a bit of it in a soup but that's about it.

    Speaking of which... Georgia, I LOVE my corned beef & cabbage that way too! I've been making it that way for New Years forever. It's the recipe linked in at the bottom. It might be poor man's but I'm like you I prefer it that way. I hope they haven't discontinued the canned stuff, yikes!!

    Yep that'll work Chris!

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  11. I love fried cabbage, my uncle made this for us when we would visit, yummy!!

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  12. Mary this looks so delicious, wish I had a bowl for breakfast!

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  13. Yummy! My husband loves cabbage. This reminds me of something my grandma made. I will be trying this.

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  14. It certainly would make a meal by itself. I love the stuff, and I am also going to make that cabbage soup you just posted. Thanks!!

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  15. this is the only way I like cabbage. some folks boil it to death and the whole town knows your cooking cabbage boy it can pay off in a serious stench. This way you won't have that and it's soooooo good. I'm glad you posted this.

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    1. Tracey...if you add a carrot to your pot of cabbage it won't even smell up the whole house !!

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    2. Great tip - we'll sure enough try it on the next slow cooker try that's for sure LOL!!

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  16. Boy that is so true Tracey!! I once tried a cabbage dish in the crockpot. OMG, NEVER AGAIN LOL!! I love it this way the best. My only issue is I will eat a whole head of cabbage but I guess it could be worse things than that, right? :)

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  17. This was yummy!..instead of water..used chicken stock..added the cooked bacon at the end to heat through. So easy..will definitely make this again.

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  18. Such a great way to cook cabbage.. thanks for another GREAT recipe..

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  19. I sure love it - my biggest issue with it is that I can eat the whole pot!

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  20. This is THE recipe for fried cabbage. I just ate the last of a batch I made several days ago (stored in glass, it holds up beautifully.) Really, the seasonings are perfect although I go easy on the red pepper flakes.

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  21. Thank you so much Miss Pam & Happy New Year!!

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  22. Hi Mary!
    My yankee husband didn't like cabbage until he met me. My fried cabbage won his heart. Now he requests it! Must be love! #pepperflakes and #slapyomama

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    1. My silly husband STILL won't eat it. He'll take a bite on NYE but that's about it!

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  23. I make mine like my mama always did. I use quite a bit more bacon at least 6-8 slices cut into 1 in pieces and I ADD bacon drippings if it's a large head of cabbage. I slice my onions in half rings and add a bit of shredded carrot. I only cook until it's tender crisp so usually bout 10-15 mins at most. It's so darn good I usually get my first bite before the pans off the fire...lol Give me a bowl and a fork and call me happy! I've never added vinegar but now that sounds good. I'm gonna have to give that a try next time I make it.... and I'm thinking I got a head of cabbage in my fridge that's never gonna be cole slaw as planned...lol thanks for posting, I love seeing all the different versions of the home cooked southern food I grew up on.

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  24. I've been cooking it for years. My family is from the Islands of Charleston, SC. We're referred to as Gullah/Geechee. I don't put vinegar in mine. I use onions as well. I use more bacon drippings than bacon. I don't add salt until it's done cooking. If you salt it before or while cooking it's basically sauteed and not fried.

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    1. Hi KimmyGirl! I don't think that we have met before, but I do know that South Carolina cooking is quite different from South Mississippi cooking... as it is across all regions of The South. There is no one South, and we all have our own ways of cooking the same kinds of dishes of course, none of which is wrong. What you see here on this website are my recipes, the way that I make them, and this is the way that I happen to enjoy fried cabbage the most! Thanks for visiting and thank you for sharing your way!

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  25. First, let me say, I am enjoying the stew out of your website (although I have yet to try one of your stew recipes :). Now that I've finished your butter bean recipe (awesome), I am about to start on my cabbage. I've always cooked mine similar (and also won my hubby over like so many others above) but have added pepper sauce to my bowl. I think I will try chicken stock like Carolyn above, but I don't know if that will improve the recipe, as it's pretty dern perfect. I think it's time to pin your website.

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  26. This is a great recipe I have made for years as well. Try adding a chopped granny smith apple to the mixture. It adds just the right amount of zing!

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  27. This is a great recipe I have made for years, Try adding a chopped granny smith apple to add an extra little zing. I think you will like it.

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  28. Even a Michigan girl can love this. My Dad moved south of Atlanta a few years ago. Traveling to visit a few times, I learned to love southern cooking!! I had a dish similar to this while eating out and am so glad I found a recipe for it. Im making this today and am so excited. I love where I live, but that southern food, nothing like it, its wonderful. (another favorite, butter beans and smothered chicken/pork chops! Yum)

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  29. I love cabbage like this. Only 3 slices... must be the low-fat version...haha.

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    1. I'm just using it here to add some flavor, but hey, you can put as much as you like Anthony!! :)

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  30. My Mom & Grandma made this growing up but with just cabbage & lots of pepper. Can't wait to try it with bacon & onion. Love your site! Thanks!! Any recipes for "light" hush puppies? My grandmother made them - they must've had some flour & some cornmeal vs all cornmeal because they weren't heavy like most recipes I've tried/seen. Unfortunately, she passed away before I got her recipe :-(

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    1. Thank you Scarlett! I hope that you enjoy my version too - the bacon and onion are just a great addition. Have you ever tried Cabbage and Noodles? SO good too!

      On the hushpuppies.... most hushpuppies are a bit dense because they are fairly heavy on cornmeal. You'll find my recipe for Hushpuppies here, but also try these Corn Fritters. They are light & airy & just wonderful!

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    2. It's also really good with hominy in it..

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  31. I grew up with my Dad making this, and it was always one of my favorites. He always did his with bacon, onion, garlic and smoked sausage cooked in a little beer. When I got into cooking I asked for the recipe and have been making it ever since. I alternate between beer and wine, depending in what I have at the time

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  32. I grew up with my Dad making this, and it was always one of my favorites. He always did his with bacon, onion, garlic and smoked sausage cooked in a little beer. When I got into cooking I asked for the recipe and have been making it ever since. I alternate between beer and wine, depending in what I have at the time

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  33. I love cabbage but I always boil mine in broth. This is another delicious way to make it and will continue to make it from now on. I also love the addition of Cajun spice. Next time I will try the cider vinegar too.
    I am a northerner and was always confused as to why everything in the south was 'fried'. It made sense when I moved here.

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  34. This sounds wonderful. I'm a southerner who was raised by a Yankee so I have the best of both worlds! A dish like this can be eaten with something like baked chicken and it kind of balances out the calories. Anyway you serve it it's super!

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  35. Mary,

    I'm a SE Texas geezer that's been poaching your recipes for a long time and decided that it's time to confess. I happen to be making this cabbage at this moment, but have added some pork chops and smoked sausage to the bacon, garlic and onions. I have no doubt that it will be great. My gold standard for cooking all these years has been how my mom would have made it. and your recipes have come as close as I can find. I usually make a twitch or two in something but it habitually comes out pretty close to right on the mark. Thanks for all you do to keep us all well fed.

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    1. You're welcome & thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and say hello & let me know. That sound so good - now I'm hungry!!!

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  36. I just made a smaller portion of this dish and ate the whole thing!! I made it as a side dish with a kielbasa green pepper and onion sandwich. I actually like the fried cabbage the best! YUM

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  37. I made this last night as a side to one of our favorite chicken dishes. It was wonderful! Hubby kept commenting on how much he liked it and has requested it again very soon. He ate a second helping. I did use the optional cider vinegar and about a half teaspoon dried red pepper flakes although it could probably use a little more of the pepper flakes (we like spicy). Next time I'm going to add some meat to it and have it as a main dish but when I do I'm NOT going to skip the bacon. I thought it was going to take long to prep but it only took about 8 minutes. Thanks for a wonderful tasty way to fix cabbage instead of the usual.

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    1. My instructions can be a bit "wordy" just simply because I'm trying to take care of the less experienced cooks as well as those who have been in the kitchen longer. The bacon flavor just enhances cabbage! I'm so glad y'all enjoyed this one & really appreciate you taking the time to stop back by to let me know!

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    2. Your instructions are great :) I love your site! You have so many wonderful recipes I can't seem to keep myself from browsing them and I'm just getting started (I only discovered this site a little while back I think through Pinterest). Everything I've made from your site so far has been wonderful. I browse a lot of recipe sites/blogs but this is probably one of the best. I'm from NC so I grew up eating a lot of these dishes but you have a wonderful variation of them. Your instructions are great for new cooks. I'm sure it helps teach a lot of people who are just getting started. I would have loved to of had a site like this when I was learning to cook many years back. Not that I haven't picked up some wonderful techniques, ideas, and information that has been very helpful. So thank you.

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    3. Aw, Kilyena, thank you so much!! Truth is, I just cook from the heart really. A lot of bloggers are looking for other things - big book deals, TV shows, money & big fame, etc. and that tends to take over their thinking and drowns out their original intent of blogging to begin with. I'm not interested in all that - I just love to cook, love to eat and love good food!! I hope that shows through both my recipes and my website here!

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  38. Yeah and those sites are the worst. I rarely even give them a second look because most of the recipes on the big
    commercialized sites aren't that good. It really surprises me how much attention and fame they get for such mediocre recipes. I do like Alton Brown though because he gives the science behind techniques and why you prepare food in a certain way. I'm making another recipe from this site tonight Southern Stewed Chicken... I can't wait.

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    1. Alton Brown was always a favorite of mine too. His Good Eats shows and books were both entertaining & educational. I'm not even sure the show is on anymore but I sure enjoyed watching them.

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  39. Being a NYC boy, born, bred and raised, I love Galumpkis. When I get short on time or energy (lazy), this is the next best thing. I usually make it with ground beef. I’d love to try this with a good Andouille sausage. Unfortunately, my only options here are Johnsonville or Hillshire Farms. I like a good quality course-grained smoked Andouille. Johnsonville is like a salty, slimy-smooth, spicy hot dog. Yuck! And I won’t even eat Hillshire Farms anymore. Their Polish Kielbasa is disgusting. I guess I was spoiled by being able to go to Winski’s Polish deli or Sikorski’s Meat Market, and getting fresh, hand made course-grained smoked Kielbasa. All for only a few pennies more than Hillshire Farms. Have any suggestions for a good Andouille sausage brand that I can get in SC?
    God bless

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    1. I don't mind kielbasa but I am very spoiled living in Mississippi, right in between two states that make some pretty incredible Cajun sausages. I'm not sure what is available in SC though two of the brands that I get routinely are Savoie's and Conecuh - both of which you can order online at their websites. They each have several different varieties to choose from.

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  40. I live 30 miles North East of Pittsburgh Pa. In an Ethnic Neighborhood. We call this Haluski. It's basically onion, cabbage & lots of butter fried till tender than add boiled noodles. Yummy!!!!

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    1. Yes, this dish, or at least some variation of it, is known all over the world! I actually do talk a little bit about it on on this post where I prepared something like Haluski!

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  41. Thank you for posting the recipe for the Southern Fried Cabbage! It looks and sounds delicious. I'm going to make a batch of it this weekend.

    Scott - Fort Collins, CO

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    1. You're very welcome Scott - it's a favorite here for sure. Hope you enjoy it too!

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  42. Made this for dinner tonight with BBQ pork roast and Mashed potatoes made with cream cheese and sour cream. This cabbage was so good. We've always boiled cabbage with ham and potatoes, but this is my new favorite recipe, lots of flavor. Thanks./bj

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  43. Mary, there's no Southern blood in my family just Slovakian. My mom made this sans the hot sauce. She would make halusky[little dumplings] to mix in with the cabbage and bacon. YUM! I looked at your cabbage soup recipe, and yep, Slovakian, too. :} No hot sauce though. I thicken it with a thin zaprushka[roux] and add some tomato to it. So, not necessarily Southern, but frugal cooking. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading and cooking recipes from different backgrounds.

    Vicky

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    1. Hi Vicky! You might be surprised to know that here on the Miss.Gulf Coast where I am from, there is a very strong history of Czechoslovakian and Yugoslavian immigrants (even in my own family!) so this doesn't surprise me a bit!

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  44. I am VERY surprised to hear that, Mary! I thought they were mostly Yankees! I know that there is a large population of Slovaks/Czechs in West, Texas. Well, that's where our food similarities come from. Oh, I also add vinegar to the cabbage soup for that little bit of tang.

    Vicky

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    1. On no, we have a few Yankee settlers :) they show up here associated with the military bases and never leave lol, but this area is a rich gumbo of people from all over the world. They were attracted to this area due to the abundant fishing and built a population in an area on the east end of Biloxi we refer to as The Point. I stopped count at 7 generations from my Daddy's side ranging from Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi - with a few civil war soldiers thrown in - they've been here awhile! But my Mama grew up down on the Point and her Mama was born in Czechoslovakia, her Daddy was born here, but his parents were both born Czechs. My ex and the father of my son comes from Yugoslavian immigrants. Hurricanes have run many families away over the years, but once upon a time the entire Point was made up of immigrant families from that part of the world. It really is a small world!

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  45. I also fry potatoes and carrots to my fried cabbage and bacon, soo good.

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    1. Cabbage is such a versatile side dish isn't it?!

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  46. my family loves! this cabbage recipe - I never have leftovers when I make it and it goes with a lot of main dishes! thanks for sharing this!

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    1. You're very welcome & thanks for letting me know that your family has enjoyed this! Almost everytime I buy a head of cabbage thinking I'm gonna make something new for the blog, I end up making this instead because I love it so much!

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