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Posts Tagged ‘Sauerkraut’

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers | Relishing It

I’m willing to place a sizable bet that most of you are a little tired of turkey leftovers.  Well let’s switch it up then, with this little dish to revive your tastebuds.  This is one of those quick, healthy meals that I promised you a few weeks ago.  It’s loaded with healthy ingredients and the combination of flavors is one of my favorites– sauerkraut and beef.  (Remember this galette?)  This time I’ve also added the tang of tomatoes and the ever-so-slight crunch of green peppers.  Lovely.

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers | Relishing It

A few comments on how I’ve titled this dish.  Let me go on record as saying I’m not a huge fan of the word “deconstructed” when it come to food.  It’s often misleading, pretentious, or both.  I know others have the same gripe about describing oneself as a “foodie”.  (Personally, I’m fine with foodie).  Anyway…here I couldn’t really come up with another way to describe this dish.  The fact is, it takes all of the wonderful components of stuffed peppers, and, well, deconstructs them.  There’s really no other way to describe it unless I decided to go with “pile of peppers, rice, ground beef, sauerkraut, and tomatoes”.  And for some reason that just doesn’t seem quite as appealing.

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers | Relishing It

Just because this variation comes together more quickly, don’t for a moment think they aren’t as good as the original.  That would be a huge mistake, because this dish is about 10 times better than any traditional version.  Here’s why– you know that moment when you cut into what used to be a vibrant green pepper, and the liquid just floods out on to your plate because the pepper has baked far too long to ensure the filling reached the right temp?  Yeah, that doesn’t happen here.  No disappointing mushiness to the green pepper, no pieces of hamburger submerged in puddles of tomato-y water.  Here, the green peppers retain their vibrant green color and a bit of their crunch, because you decide what texture you’d like them to be.  The tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes), whichever you choose to use, are the perfect base for the rice and ground beef.  The whole dish is finished with a healthy dose of really good sauerkraut to add that wonderful zip.  Use this saurkraut recipe to make your own, or buy a good quality version.  Bubbies has wonderful fermented products.  The entire dish takes only the amount of time that you need to make the brown rice.  So…get going, time’s a ‘wasting!   Enjoy!

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers | Relishing It

The Recipe: Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers

(makes enough for 4 people)

1 cup dry long grain brown rice, rinsed

1 pound grass-fed ground beef

2 large green bell peppers, cut into large bite-size chunks

1 small white onion, diced

1/2 quart homemade tomato sauce, or a bit more  (your favorite purchased sauce or crushed tomatoes will work, too)

1 cup good quality sauerkraut

fresh parsley, for garnish

salt and pepper, to taste

Place the rinsed brown rice in a large saucepan with 2 cups of cold water and a sprinkle of salt.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium simmer and let rice cook for about 30 minutes or until it is tender and the water has been absorbed.  Fluff with fork.

Meanwhile, when the rice is about halfway through it’s cooking time, begin to brown the beef  over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  For this dish, I like to leave the beef in somewhat big chunks.  When it is cooked, drain and discard the grease.  Season the beef with salt and pepper and add add the onion to the pan.  Cook the onion until it begins to get tender, just 2-3 minutes.  Add the green peppers and cook just a few minutes until they are a bit tender, but still have a slight crunch to them.  Add the tomato sauce and warm through.  When the rice is ready, add it to the skillet and stir.  If the dish is hot enough, add the sauerkraut and stir just enough to warm the kraut, but not enough to cook it.  It’s lovely when it has a bit of a crunch to it.  Re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

If you’re looking for gift ideas for the favorite foodie in your life, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites.  Stop over to Becki’s site, “Shopping’s My Cardio” and have a look!  Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today.  xo

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Easy Homemade Sauerkraut | Relishing It

I grew up in a small town in western North Dakota settled way-back-when mostly by German immigrants. Not surprisingly, sauerkraut has always been a part of my family’s meals. My grandmothers, aunts, and my mom have always made their own.  I can’t tell you how many times in my childhood I had to trudge down the stairs to the cool basement to retreive another jar of kraut from the shelves packed with canned goods. It was always there– an endless supply. I loved sauerkraut as a kid, and still do. I’m that person who orders it on pizza any chance I get.  My favorite way to eat it is simply really cold, in a bowl.  I like my sauerkraut to have a lot of crunch to it.

Easy Homemade Sauerkraut | Relishing It

I don’t exactly make my sauerkraut the same way the rest of my family does.  My version tastes the same– I’ve nailed down the technique that gives that deliciously tangy and crunchy sauerkraut.  But, I don’t can my batches. There are so many good, healthy things happening when you ferment food, that I just can’t bring myself to ruin those benefits by heating it up too much. Instead, I make small batches and let it ferment for a few weeks at room temperature, and then refrigerate.  If you’re not familiar with fermentation and the health benefits, be sure to look into it.

Easy Homemade Sauerkraut | Relishing It

I’ve made saurkraut in a traditional crock in th past, which though seemingly fun, didn’t give me the results I was looking for. I loved the idea of the crock sitting out and fermenting for all to smell and see, but there was no crunch when it was all said and done. I’ll find another use for that crock, though.

Easy Homemade Sauerkraut | Relishing It

Easy Homemade Sauerkraut | Relishing It

I’ve found that my sauerkraut turns out precisely how I want it when I pack it into mason jars and let it ferment on the counter for a couple of weeks.  It becomes deliciously tangy and stays crisp and crunchy.  Every few days in the beginning of the fermentation process, I’ll open the jar to release some of the gas.  It doesn’t take long for the cabbage to take on that tell-tale sauerkraut scent.  The first time or two that you do this, there will be quite a lot of bubbles and fizzing action.  Exciting! After about 2-3 weeks of sitting out at room temperature, I test it out and when it’s the perfect tanginess– I put it in the refrigerator, ready to eat. Then I start another batch, and the process just rolls along. I always have fresh sauerkraut to use in my favorite dishes, such as this Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette.  Or mix it into this beautiful Ham, Bean, and Sauerkraut Soup by Fresh Tart.   I hope you give this a try.  It’s ridiculously easy and the rewards are fantastic.

Easy Homemade Sauerkraut | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Easy Homemade Sauerkraut

(makes about 2 quarts)

5 pounds of fresh cabbage, cored and sliced into ribbons (not too thick, not too thin).  Reserve a couple of the large outer leaves to use later.

3 tablespoons kosher or sea salt  (nothing with chemicals, please)

2 sterilized mason jars with lids  (preferably regular mouth jars– the “shoulders” on the sides will keep the cabbage pressed down and submerged in the liquid better)

I’ve  found that if I slice my cabbage too thin, it doesn’t have the crunch that I’m looking for.  Too thick, and it’s awkward to chew.  Using a chef’s knife works the best for me.  Slice it into not-too-thin, but not-too-thick ribbons (use your best judgement and refer to the photos).

Place the sliced cabbage in a huge bowl and sprinkle with salt.  Use a masher, if you have one,  to mix the salt and cabbage together.  Bruising the cabbage a bit with the masher with soften the cabbage up and release some of the water from it.  Inevitably, I turn to my hands and massage the cabbage and salt together.  Let it sit for about an hour, or so.   Keep massaging it a couple of times throughout that hour, or place a plate directly on top of the cabbage and something heavy on the plate to weigh it down.  The pressure will release the water faster.  There should be a pool of liquid that has formed.  Pack it into the mason jars and push down– the liquid should come above the cabbage.  Next, fold the extra cabbage leaf and place on top of the cabbage.  This will push your cabbage down so it remains in the liquid to ferment.  Put the cover on the jar and wait.  After a day or two, open the jar and let the gas out.  There will be a lot of bubbles and fizzing action.  This is good!  It’s beginning to ferment.  Check it again every couple of days.  Occasionally, mold may form on top of the cabbage.  This is fine and normal.   Just scoop it out and continue to ferment.  I’ve found that mold occurs more often when using the crock method, as opposed to mason jars.

 After about 2-3 weeks (depending upon how tangy you like your sauerkraut), remove the cabbage leaf and place the jar in the refrigerator to use.  I’m not exactly sure how long it will last in the refrigerator, as we always use ours before it’s even a question.  It should be fine for a few weeks, possibly a couple months.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

Autumn.  The best of all the seasons, even if it’s only brief here in Minnesota.  Yes, Spring is a close second, but when Autumn rolls around, I’m really, truly happy.  I love the brilliantly colored, crisp, maple leaves that my daughter brings me as bouquets for our dining room.  We live in an old Victorian with dark wood and decor in our living and dining rooms.  I always think about re-painting to brighten things up, but when Fall rolls around, it feels so comfortably warm and cozy, and I’m thankful I haven’t changed a thing.

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

On of my favorite Fall (and even winter, for that matter) dishes is this amazing Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette.  The combination of beef and sauerkraut is incredible.  It’s also a bit nostalgic for me.  I grew up with huge pots of meatballs that had been simmering in tangy sauerkraut for hours.  Wonderful stuff.  This galette showcases those flavors.  Just like my other galettes, the crust is crisp and light.  The potatoes add substance, while the fresh mozzarella ensures that the dish is moist enough.  Of course, you can substitute another mild cheese, like grated regular mozzarella, if you like.  I really wanted the tang from the sauerkraut to be showcased here, rather that hidden underneath a more assertive cheese.  I’m planning to share with you all a quick sauerkraut recipe and technique very soon.   I really hope you give this galette a try– I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette

Use this pie crust recipe  (with 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary and 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme mixed into the dough)

1/2 pound ground beef

1/4 cup chopped white onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

black pepper

3/4 pound small steamed yellow potatoes, sliced

1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained a bit

6 slices of fresh mozzarella  (or a bit more)

1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

olive oil

1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water, for an egg wash

Follow these directions to make the pie dough.  You will only be using one of the dough balls for this recipe.  Freeze the other one for another time.  Add the fresh herbs when you are mixing the dough.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.  Proceed.

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium/high heat.  Drain and discard the grease.  To the skillet of ground beef add the chopped onions, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a bit of black pepper (you may want to add a glug or two of olive oil, if the pan seems a little dry). Sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions are tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.

On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll the pie dough out to a 12-inch circle using a lightly floured rolling pin.  Place the sliced potatoes on the dough, leaving about 1 1/2-inch space around the edge.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the potatoes.  Next, put the sauerkraut on top, followed by the chopped parsley.  Then add the ground beef mixture, and finally place the fresh mozzarella on the very top.  Fold the edges of the dough up and pinch together to seal the seams as much as possible.  Use a pastry brush to apply the egg wash to the edge of the dough.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the egg wash.

Slide the parchment paper with the galette onto a baking sheet and bake for 43-45 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown.  (Keep in mind that every oven is a bit different.  If you don’t already have an oven thermometer, I highly recommend you get one.  Cheap ones are about $7 and work great.  My oven runs 15 degrees hot.)  Top the galette with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

xo

Laurie

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