CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Hot and Spicy Cabbage, Peppers And Onions

The appetite for hot and spicy food is gaining in popularity across the country as is evidenced by the emergence of restaurant and fast-food establishment dishes such as Subway’s Buffalo Chicken, Red Lobster’s Extra Jumbo Spicy Sriracha-Grilled Shrimp and Wendy’s Ghost Pepper Fries.

For me, if I had to  choose between hot and spicy and bland and boring, there’s no question what would it be. And anyone who knows me wouldn’t have a hard time figuring out the answer, either.

My motto has always been  “Mo hotta, mo betta,” which I borrowed from the “The Original Hot & Spicy Food Company” of the same name.

I recently shared my recipe in this space for Ten-Alarm Chili,  which along with my Czechoslovakian Cabbage Soup, became legendary on ice fishing trips made with friends in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The following recipe is along those lines. I recently pulled it out for use with some of the veggies that are left in my garden. It’s similar to another I used to make called Fried Red Cabbage.

This dish can have as much zing as you want, depending on how many hot peppers you use. Or it can be mild, if you prefer to use only sweet bell peppers.


Hot and Spicy Cabbage, Peppers and Onions
½ small red cabbage, chopped coarsely
½ small green cabbage, chopped coarsely
2 Hungarian wax peppers (or similar pepper), diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 dried chili pepper, crushed
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons plum jam
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Saute onion, celery, garlic and peppers in butter and olive oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until cabbage is caramelized. Serve with rice.
Note: This can be served as a side dish or as a main course if you add a little sausage when cooking.

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