Cabbage with Pancetta and Cream

*Cabbage with Pancetta and Cream*
Serves 4

Cabbage and bacon are a marriage made in heaven . . . add some cream and you have bliss.   Perfect side dish for roast chicken and potatoes.

1 large bay leaf
1 savoy cabbage (about 3 pounds)
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
100g chopped pancetta (about 1/2 cup)
half a dozen sage leaves, thinly sliced
4 TBS creme fraiche or double cream
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil.  Add the bay leaf, broken in half.   Cut the cabbage into quarters and blanch it in the boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain well and set aside.  Allow to cool until you can touch it with your hands.  Cut out the cores and discard.  Cut the remainder of the cabbage into thick slices, crosswise.

Heat the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet.   Once the butter begins to foam add the pancetta and sage.   Cook and stir over high heat for about a minute.   Add the cabbage along with some salt and cook, stirring occasionally for several minutes, until heated through.  Add the cream and heat through, stirring to combine completely.   Season to taste with some more salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Serve immediately.