Wednesday, December 26, 2007

my latest favorite kraut recipe

it's kraut time again! time to buy winter vegetables, use a little of them, and then forget about them in the back-bottom of your fridge! never fear: winter vegetables last forever, and often taste even better as ingredients in sauerkraut (this is definitely my experience of cabbage; i like it much better once it's kraut).
sauerkraut is so easy and fun to make. all you do is chop up some vegetables ~ as simple as a head of cabbage, as complex as a ten-item recipe. you can grate the vegetables all fancy-like, chop them haphazardly, or even leave them whole. pile them in a big bowl, sprinkle with ample sea salt, and pound. i did a little sauerkraut demo/workshop for our family when we recently visited North Carolina. i wanted them not to be intimidated by the process. i think they enjoyed the pounding part ~ they took turns banging a ceramic cup into the veggie-concoction to get the veggie juices flowing. a wooden pestle or meat-tenderizer i think might be the nicest tool for this, but a small jar or cup work well. just be careful to hit the veggies and not the bowl. once the vegetables start to soften and juice is beginning to flow, smoosh the vegetables into a clean ceramic crock or glass jar. cram them in there tight as you fill the container. find a clean weight, such as a jar or bottle filled with water, a stone that has been scrubbed and boiled, a ziploc bag filled with water (although i do like to avoid plastic). this weight is needed to keep the veggies submerged in liquid. there might not be enough to cover them the first day, but probably will be in the days following ~ even overflowing from the jar! leave your containers out to ferment at room temperature from 3 days to 6 weeks, depending on how patient you are; the flavor will mature and ripen in this longer period. then enjoy!

here's my latest favorite recipe ~ a collection of veggies from the back-bottom of the fridge, and then some. :)

cabbage ~ both green and red ~ grated
strawberry daikon radish, sliced into pretty rounds
pink lady apple, sliced into pretty rounds
garlic, sliced
ginger, grated
celeriac (also know as celery-root), cut into match-sticks
carrots ~ the adorable little baby kind, left long
red pepper flakes
and sea salt, of course

a large jar of kraut, just chopped, alongside a gift jar already fermented


Mama Jamie said...

how long do you let it ferment?

Tiffanie said...

as little as 3 days, although my opinion is that at least a week is mandatory. it will continue to ripen for up to 6 weeks. but if you start eating out of it and put it in the fridge, it will continue to ferment and ripen somewhat.

Mama Jamie said...

I made a ruby kraut. I shredded(by food processor yet!) 3 beets, 1 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced celery, juiced 4 apples and some ginger and let sit for 6 days. We ate it tonight. I really enjoyed it. Joshua said it was intensely krauty! It looks like you make your kraut chunky.