Monday, April 27, 2015

what devilry is this?

I suddenly found myself nostalgic for a dish that my French Maman had made, ages ago in France: choux rouge aux marrons. As with most of her cooking, the concept behind this dish was utterly simple: boil some red cabbage together with chestnuts and spices, and let the natural flavors of the ingredients marry. The result is the opposite of fancy, yet strangely good as a solid, rib-sticking side dish.

My own version of Maman's dish was a bit more tricked up, but it still tasted pretty damn good: I used up my remaining red cabbage, to be sure (it's more like purple cabbage, wouldn't you say?), added two packs of Korean pre-shelled chestnuts, and further added strips of dried persimmon for extra sweetness.


I admit it doesn't look that pretty. Purplish, bluish food has a sort of alien, unnatural quality about it, and it doesn't help that the dried persimmon (got-gam, 곶감, in Korean) looks brown and fecal. But the taste is undeniably good, if you're okay with eating boiled cabbage. (It probably helps to be part Irish.)

If you read French, there are recipes for choux rouge aux marrons or choux rouge aux châtaignes (a marron is the same thing as a châtaigne—a chestnut) floating around online (see here and here, for example).


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