When I start to see big heads of fresh green cabbage at the farmers markets in the fall or spring, one thing comes to mind — Hungarian cabbage and noodles. In keeping with my recent Hungarian kick (you remember the Hungarian Palacsinta) this is another childhood favorite that I could not wait for my grandmother or mother to make. If there were any leftovers, I usually ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I already doubled the recipe below and I'll warn you, if you cut it in half you will be disappointed that there were no leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of bacon, fried (grease reserved in the pan and bacon chopped into bits)
  • 1 large head of fresh green cabbage
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 32 ounce package of egg noodles cooked according to package directions (al dente)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream
  • Hungarian paprika

While you are frying your bacon, core your cabbage and slice into even strips or rings.

Add the tablespoon of sugar to the reserved warm bacon grease and stir to combine and dissolve. (Note: You do not want to use the bacon grease directly after frying — it should be warm, not scalding hot off the stove). Add the cabbage back to the warm pan with the sugar/grease combination and return to the stove on medium, stirring to wilt and coat the cabbage.

Once the cabbage is coated and warm, add the bacon and the noodles, tossing again to combine. At this point you can add the ingredients to a casserole dish and go to the next step or cover and put in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then move to the next step.

Bake casserole dish in a 350 degrees F oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, dollop the mixture with sour cream and sprinkle with Hungarian paprika. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. You can then remove and serve immediately.

Similar to the French onion soup, this is a comforting Eastern European dish that can be served with a Riesling or with can stand up to just about any Rhône red.