Cascading Kitchen Notes
This recipe is compliments of Mimi's grandmother who immigrated to Saskatchewan from Romania in the late 1800s and farmed that region with the help of her husband and 13 children. This is highly gratifying food for people who put in a hard day's work. For the rest of us it is celebratory company food that might require a congenial walk around the block after dinner!
Begin with a small saucepan:
- 2 cups of whole milk with 5-12 leaves of fresh sage
Let it simmer on the back burner allowing ample time for the sage to infuse the milk while you prepare the vegetables.
In a large saute pan:
- Dice and saute one medium onion in
- ½ cube of melted butter. Gently cook the onion over med-low heat on another back burner until very tender. Do not brown the onion. Be patient, this could take 15 min.
Prepare and Cook the Vegetables
In a large pot full of water:
- bring to a boil and add 2 tsp of salt
- If you’re using carrots add the diced carrots into the boiling water first.
- 2 minutes after the carrots add 1 med. size green cabbage (about 4 lbs)-cored & shredded (½ inch shred)
Cook the cabbage for 4 minutes.
Drain the cooked veggies and place them in a 9x13 baking pan. (The water is a good starting point for soup so don't necessarily pour it down the drain)
- If you want to include one winter squash, peel, seed and dice it into ½" cubes. You should end up with about 4 -5 cups of cubed squash. Steam the cubed squash for 5 minutes so they're partially cooked before folding into the cabbage and sauce.
Bring the onion sauté pan forward and prepare the Béchamel
In a small bowl measure out and mix together:
- ¼ cup white flour
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg (more if you’re a fan of nutmeg)
- 1/8 tsp. chipotle pepper if you like a little spice in your béchamel
Once the onion is soft and smells sweet add the dry ingredients listed above.
Cook on med. heat and stir for about 5 min. until the flour mixture starts to look golden but NOT dark brown.
Stirring constantly with a wire whisk slowly add:
- 2 cups of the sage-infused whole milk
Cook until the white sauce (béchamel) thickens-stirring constantly.
Add to the thickened Béchamel
- 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
Pour the cheese sauce over the awaiting veggies already in the 9x13 pan.
Add bread crumbs if you like.
Cover and bake for 35 minutes at 400°.