In a previous post I braved the weirdness of Cabbage-Cheese Chowder, a weeknight soup from a mid-70s recipe collection made from condensed cheddar cheese soup, cabbage, and diced baloney. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s hardly some hidden culinary masterpiece, but the cheddar soup and cabbage pair pretty well together. The baloney is still baloney, but it’s clear that the cheddar-cabbage combination would pair well with a bratwurst or hot dog. And so I messed around with it a little bit to make it ‘better’.
Now one obvious way to improve the recipe would be to replace the canned cheddar soup with a homemade cheese sauce, made from a nice sharp cheddar or, even better, a gruyere-cheddar blend. I’m all in favor of this approach, but it seems to violate the spirit of the original recipe. I’ve opted instead to retain the cheddar soup and add some more acid and heat to give it some depth. This maintains the otherworldly orangeness of the original while still elevating it to proper side dish status.
For the sauce:
- 1 10 oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 1/2 10 oz can milk
- 2 Tbsp dairy sour cream
- 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4-5 cups sliced cabbage
- 2 cups caramelized onions (from 2-3 sweet onions)
If serving as a side dish:
- 6 good quality bratwursts (cooked as per package or butcher's directions)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 12 oz egg noodles (cooked as per package directions)
If serving as a topping:
- Mix all ingredients except cabbage and pepper a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until well combined and heated through.
- Stir in the cabbage and simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes until mixture resembles a cheesy cole slaw. Cabbage should still be crisp tender.
If serving as a side dish, cook bratwurst as per package directions. Serve the Cheddar Cheese Cabbage on the side or over egg noodles.
If serving as a hot dog topping, cook hot dogs as per package directions. Toast buns if desired. Top first with Cheddar Cheese Cabbage, then tomatoes and sliced peppers as desired.