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Saturday, March 27, 2021

Soulful Southern "Wrappetizers": Napa Cabbage Wraps w/Colby Jack Frico, Bacon, Golden Apples and Green Onion



Cool, crispy, salty, fresh and crunchy come together in this quick and wonderful appetizer I created on the fly yesterday.  With some simple on hand ingredients,  I was able to come up with a recipe, easy enough that anyone can do it and fancy enough to served as a fabulous dish for your next brunch or even dinner social.  2/3 slices of thick cut bacon anchor this dish, wrapped in a Colby Jack Frico, which is essentially a cheese crisp, named from a north east region of Friuli, Italy, from which it hails.  A Frico was a historically peasant dish by nature, created out of necessity, finding use for rinds of cheese. This is also sometimes accompanied by potatoes and is still one of the regions most popular dishes, respectively.  Next on the ingredient list is green onion.  I used a portion approximately equal to the length of the portion of bacon, encased with the bacon, to naturally steam with the heat of the protein and cheese. 
I used the petite leaves of a head of Napa cabbage to serve as the housing for the whole shebang, deliciously light and fresh and a nice change from the usual Iceberg or Red/Green leaf and Romaine. Additionally, Napa cabbage is somewhat more supple and privy to the folding than its leafy counterparts, enabling a nice snuggly wrap, like a cozy blanket around the goodness.  I finished this off with some small dice Golden Delicious apple, any crisp and firm apple type will do. 
This dish is like taking a bite out of several traditional Southern favorites, all at once; Cabbage, Apples and Onions, Cabbage and Bacon, Apples and Bacon...you get the drift, this is certainly a lighter take on those dishes, easy to manage and done in a few bites.  The flavors marry harmoniously and will soon become a hit with your friends and family and YOU!   This recipe is also Keto friendly. 
Recipe: 1 small head of Napa Cabbage, about 2 lbs., 4 oz. Colby Jack cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, Cooked, thick sliced bacon, Green onion tops, cut to size, Golden Delicious Apple, small dice 
Instructions: Prep all ingredients because the Frico goes quickly and is best made one at a time, (though you may have several in a large nonstick pan at once) to assemble before the cheese cools too much to encase the bacon and green onion. To make the Frico, you will need to melt the cubes down and allow them to spread naturally as it melts and crisp around its edges, (it will be about 2 inches in diameter) before transferring it to your work surface to add the 2 bacon portions and green onion portion.  Place the cheese crisp down, add the bacon and onion then fold each side of Frico up and over, then holding in place for several seconds until set.  You may prepare all the wraps before placing on Napa cabbage leaves and garnishing with diced apple.  Make as little or many as you choose, they won't hang around long!


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Smokinhotchef
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