Franko's N'Awlins Cabbage Cakes
New Orleanians love their patties-oyster patties, shrimp patties, crabmeat patties, codfish patties, spinach patties, and so on and so forth. But have you ever had "cabbage patties?" You talk about good! Go to the grocery, get these ingredients, and go back home to make these for supper tonight. I'm here to tell you your family will rave!
1 large head green cabbage, cored and quartered
1 small head purple cabbage, cored and quartered
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 loaf stale, hard French bread, grated
2 tablespoons Sicilian Seasoning or Italian Seasoning
4-6 cloves finely minced garlic
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup Romano cheese, shredded
2 whole eggs, well beaten
Freshly ground black pepper, as desired
2 cups Panko-style Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
After the cabbage is washed and cored, shred it as if you were making coleslaw, drop it into a stockpot, and bring it to a gentle boil for 8-10 minutes. Then when it's soft and wilted remove it from the pot, place it into a colander, and let it drain for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your bread crumbs. In a large mixing bowl, combine together the grated bread, the Sicilian or Italian seasonings, the garlic, the parsley, and half of the two cheeses (one half cup Parmesan and one half cup Romano).
Then uniformly fold into the seasoned crumbs the cabbage, the eggs, and the black pepper. Just make sure the ingredients are well blended.
Finally, take a half-handful of the mixture (this works best if your hands are slightly wet), shape it into a patty, and set the formed cakes onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper on the countertop to "rest" for about 10 minutes.
Then when you're ready to cook them, mix together the Pando crumbs and the remaining cheeses and sprinkle it evenly over the formed cakes (on both sides), patting the crumbs in gently.
All that's left now is to pan-fry the cakes, a few at a time, in the hot olive oil until they become nicely browned and crispy. These bad-boys go well with practically anything. . .and they even make great sandwiches all by themselves, too!
If you want to speed up the process a tad, instead of grating the stale French bread you can substitute 3 cups of commercially prepared Italian bread crumbs in its place. Just combine with the shredded cabbage as needed.
If you want to shortcut the cabbage shredding process you can use instead one bag of the commercially prepared coleslaw mix.
Panko breadcrumbs are coarse, white, flaky Japanese breadcrumbs that add a crispy, crusty coating to food when pan-fried. The newest Panko item on the grocer's shelves is Italian flavored crumbs. If you can't find the flavored variety where you shop, simply buy the plain ones and add cheese and Italian seasoning to them to taste.
To add additional flavor to the cakes, instead of boiling the cabbage in plain water, poach and simmer it in chicken stock.
Use more or less bread crumbs as desired. You just want to fold in enough to give the cakes body and texture. Too much and they turn out bready; too little and the cabbage falls apart in the fry pan. Oh - this recipe originally came from Lena Randazzo Torres, a longtime family friend. I don't think she'll mind that I took the liberty to add a "Frank Davis touch" to it