vrai-lean-uh

Cooking, eating, making sweeping pronouncements

Posts tagged sauerkraut

16 notes

Tonight I made the Honey and Mustard Glazed Sausages from the Pure Simple Cooking cookbook and I ate them with the kraut and it was amazing. Again, this can barely be classified as a recipe but it was really good.

Do it. It will make you happy. and Dave too.

Hat tip to Juli for sending me this email re: the honey and mustard glazed sausages.

Filed under sausages sauerkraut

1 note

Dinner in Two Parts

1. Chicken thighs with marmalade are delicious.  Line a baking sheet with foil, then pop the chicken thighs or legs on there, salt and pepper and stick in the oven at 400 or so.  After 10 - 15 minutes, spread some marmalade over the chicken thighs.  Continue to cook until chicken is done.  You can finish with 2 - 4 minutes in the broiler. 

I’m not sure this is exactly life-changing, but I do have a large amount of marmalade at home and I wouldn’t say no to a two-ingredient dinner.*

I have spoken the gospel of chicken legs before, but just in case you missed it: chicken legs are fantastic.  They’re more flavorful and less dry than chicken breasts, and they’re generally cheaper, too.

Save the bones in a baggie in your freezer for making stock later.

2. Sausages cooked in honey and mustard are also delicious.  Theoretically, you’d bake the sausages, covered with a mix of approximately half honey and half mustard, in the oven, again on a baking sheet lined with foil at approx. 400.  If you’ve purchased brats, you could stick everything in a skillet on relatively high heat to warm and make the honey mustard more glaze-like.  Obviously these are to be eaten with homemade sauerkraut.

* Note: this is not really a two-ingredient dinner, unless you’re eating chicken and nothing else for dinner.  Now, I’m not above this, it’s just not a great way to feel particularly healthy. 

Filed under dinner chicken sauerkraut

2 notes

Kraut and Brats

were eaten yesterday for dinner and were delicious.

The sauerkraut appears to have been a success!  It’s fuscia, and on the less-fermented side of things (still pretty crunchy), but really good and kraut-y.  It’s a little like a kraut/slaw hybrid.

By the way, we have the bucket of kraut on the floor, and Cashew has zero interest in it.  On the other hand, he is extraordinarily interested in brats.

Filed under sauerkraut

1 note

I revised my chart of the evolution of the colors of the sauerkraut.  When I looked at them on another computer they didn’t seem so accurate and I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea vis a vis the sauerkraut.
This is the kind of care I bring to this tumblr.

I revised my chart of the evolution of the colors of the sauerkraut.  When I looked at them on another computer they didn’t seem so accurate and I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea vis a vis the sauerkraut.

This is the kind of care I bring to this tumblr.

Filed under sauerkraut

2 notes

My  dad stopped by for coffee this morning and we cracked open the sauerkraut.  And by  “cracked it open,” I mean took off the dish cloth, the jar filled with water acting as a weight, and  the upside down stockpot lid and got ourselves a forkful of kraut.
Thoughts and reactions:
1. It’s turning pinkish!  It’s now a reddish purple color, where  before it was a deep blueish purple color.  I tried to take a picture  with my phone, but it’s actually really hard to take a phone picture of  something that’s squished in the bottom of a large bucket and have the  colors read true.
So I made a little diagram (see above)
At the top is the color we started with when initially tamping.  The  second color is the one that developed after a day or so.  The third  color is closer to what we’ve got now.
2. It tasted a little bit sour and salty at first, and then there was a pretty strong raw cabbage aftertaste.  It was pretty crisp still.
3. When it’s all packed down in the bucket, it doesn’t seem like a  terribly large amount of sauerkraut.  I mean, yes, it’s in a bucket, so obviously it’s a fair amount, but maybe we would have wanted  even more?  Maybe we won’t have enough to give some away but also still have plenty to eat at home and really  enjoy and appreciate the full homemade sauerkraut experience?  However,  when I took off the lid and really came face to face with the thing, I  realized that yes, it is quite a large amount of cabbage in that bucket.
4.  It occurs to me that I may not actually like sauerkraut very much.
Juli’s mom’s reaction: “Wow — not sure what comment to make. How long does it take before you risk eating it? :)”

My dad stopped by for coffee this morning and we cracked open the sauerkraut.  And by “cracked it open,” I mean took off the dish cloth, the jar filled with water acting as a weight, and the upside down stockpot lid and got ourselves a forkful of kraut.

Thoughts and reactions:

1. It’s turning pinkish!  It’s now a reddish purple color, where before it was a deep blueish purple color.  I tried to take a picture with my phone, but it’s actually really hard to take a phone picture of something that’s squished in the bottom of a large bucket and have the colors read true.

So I made a little diagram (see above)

At the top is the color we started with when initially tamping.  The second color is the one that developed after a day or so.  The third color is closer to what we’ve got now.

2. It tasted a little bit sour and salty at first, and then there was a pretty strong raw cabbage aftertaste.  It was pretty crisp still.

3. When it’s all packed down in the bucket, it doesn’t seem like a terribly large amount of sauerkraut.  I mean, yes, it’s in a bucket, so obviously it’s a fair amount, but maybe we would have wanted even more?  Maybe we won’t have enough to give some away but also still have plenty to eat at home and really enjoy and appreciate the full homemade sauerkraut experience?  However, when I took off the lid and really came face to face with the thing, I realized that yes, it is quite a large amount of cabbage in that bucket.

4.  It occurs to me that I may not actually like sauerkraut very much.

Juli’s mom’s reaction: “Wow — not sure what comment to make. How long does it take before you risk eating it? :)

Filed under sauerkraut

2 notes

Sauerkraut is one of those food items that I never questioned. It just appears in a glass jar, or the side of a street cart. Good luck!!

Lindsay, who is in Peru and will not be eating sauerkraut with me. [SIGH]

In other kraut news, more liquid has been exuded, there are some bubbles on the surface (soap bubble or sea foam like), it is still deep violet, and it has started to smell faintly sour as well as ferment-y.

I think at some point I will need to take off the weight and try some, but I’m a little afraid of it.

Filed under sauerkraut adventures in cooking

4 notes

How to Make Sauerkraut

Say you have friends visiting and it is winter (or basically winter) and one of them is half-German.  You know what would be a great weekend activity?  Homemade sauerkraut. 

Your relevant experience is that for six months or so you had a  sourdough starter living in your fridge, until you had a string of work trips in quick succession and it died. 

Follow this recipe pretty much exactly, except double it.  Winter is tough, and lord knows you don’t want to risk getting scurvy.  Really, why make a gallon of sauerkraut when you could make two?

If one of your friends brings an old ale bucket, you can re-purpose it for the kraut and it has the added benefit of a tap at the bottom in case you decide you want to start drinking kraut juice, which you now understand to be “a rare delicacy and unparalleled digestive tonic.”  Who doesn’t sometimes need the assistance of an unparalleled digestive tonic?

If one of you cuts the cabbages into wedges and another uses a food processor fitted with a slicing attachment, you can get through 11.5 pounds of cabbage relatively quickly.

Shred the cabbage, dump it into the bucket, and then add salt and tamp* with your hands. 

If you are a particularly special person, it is possible to cut yourself using only the inside of a plastic bucket, shredded cabbage, and salt.  It’s generally frowned upon to continue to tamp with your hands if you’re bleeding.  This is why it’s good to have backup people.

More cabbage, more tamping.

With enough tamping by people who are more equipped to tamp than you now that you have band-aids on your knuckles (and, let’s be honest, were probably never the best choice for tamping), watch as a strange pale lilac liquid starts to ooze from the cabbage.

Realize that the plate that was going to fit perfectly into the bucket does not, in fact, fit perfectly into the bucket, and that you’ll need to find something else to push down the cabbage.  Locate a spare stockpot lid.  Flip it over and weigh it down with a large glass jar filled with water.  Cover the whole thing with a dish cloth and move it to an unobtrusive spot in the kitchen.

For the next twenty-four hours, press down on the cabbage whenever it occurs to you, which, between the five of you, works out to approximately every twenty minutes.

Watch as the liquid turns an incredibly intense purple color that you would not have imagined could be created using only brassicas and salt.  Marvel at the wonders of brassicas.  Also marvel at how quickly an incredibly strong fermentation smell can develop.

Decide you will update friends and family on the fermentation process whenever it occurs to you, which may mean daily.

* To pack down tightly by a succession of blows or taps.

Filed under adventures in cooking sauerkraut adventures in the second person

2 notes

The New Yorker Food Issue

The New Yorker Food Issue is my favorite.  As one would expect, it is filled with many well-written and amusing articles about food.  My husband’s favorite article topics include: despots (and particularly Kim Jong Il), Dubai, and 30-page sagas of specific crimes (and particularly money laundering).  My favorite articles are about food.* **

In this most recent issue, there were not one but TWO articles that were about, or prominently featuring, sauerkraut.*** 

I am interpreting this, combined with the two large heads of cabbage currently in my fridge, as a sign that I need to try making sauerkraut.

* I also enjoy the fiction, which Dave never reads.  However, the fiction story in the food issue is about marriage fraud, which is another of Dave’s favorite topics (within the larger category of “crimes”).

** I do read and enjoy articles on other topics.  I am not quite so one-dimensional as I appear here.

*** You can’t access the full articles online unless you subscribe, unfortunately, but you can read the abstracts, and they’re from the November 22 Food issue.  You can also listen to an interesting conversation between the author of the longer article and Blake Eskin talking about fermentation and making sauerkraut at home.  It includes the following quote: “In terms of my German background, I think the classic thing about Germans is yes, they, they have a very put-together public persona, shall we say, but there’s also a lot of nudity at home.”

Filed under fermentation sauerkraut adventures in cooking