More acidic than traditional Bavarian versions.
Serve this with meat and potatoes, dressed up with blue
cheese and walnuts, or inside a sandwich or wrap.
2 to 3 heads (about 6 pounds) red cabbage
2 or 3 crisp tart apples, cored, quartered
and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons caraway seeds, or to taste
1½ to 2 tablespoons unre;ned sea salt
Fermentation vessel: 1 gallon or larger
Remove the coarse outer cabbage leaves. Rinse a few
unblemished ones and set them aside. Rinse the rest of
the cabbage in cold water. With a stainless steel knife,
quarter and core the cabbage. Thinly slice with the same
knife or a mandolin, then transfer the cabbage to a large
bowl. Add the apples, onion and caraway to the cabbage.
Add 1½ tablespoons of the salt and, with your hands,
massage it into the sliced cabbage, then taste. It should
taste slightly salty without being overwhelming. Add
more salt if necessary. Quickly the cabbage will glisten
and liquid will begin to pool. If you’ve put in a good
e;ort and don’t see much brine in the bowl, let it stand,
covered, for 45 minutes, then massage again.
Transfer the cabbage mixture, several handfuls at a
time, to a 1-gallon jar or crock, pressing down with
your ;st or a tamper to remove air pockets. You
should see some brine on top of the cabbage when
you press. When the vessel is packed, leave 4 inches
of headspace for a crock, 2 to 3 inches for a jar. Top
the cabbage with one or two of the reserved outer
leaves. Then, for a crock, top the leaves with a plate
that ;ts the opening of the container and covers as
much of the vegetables as possible; weight down
the plate with a sealed water-;lled zip-lock bag as
a follower-weight combination. Cover it all with a
large kitchen towel or muslin. Set aside vessel on a
baking sheet to ferment, in a cool spot somewhere
nearby and out of direct sunlight, for 7 to 14 days.
Check daily to make sure the vegetables are submerged, pressing down to bring the brine back to the
surface, and scoop out any mold that develops. Using a
utensil, you can start to test the kraut on day 7. You’ll
know it’s ready when it’s pleasingly sour, pickle-y
tasting without the strong acidity of vinegar, and the
veggies have softened a bit but retain some crunch.
To store, ladle the kraut into smaller jars and tamp
down. Pour in any brine that’s left. Tighten the lids,
then store in the fridge. This kraut will keep, refrigerated, for 1 year. Makes about 1 gallon.
Adapted with permission from Fermented Vegetables, by Kirsten
and Christopher Shockey (Storey Publishing, 2014)
MANGO LASSI KEFIR SMOOTHIE
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon ke;r grains
1 tablespoon honey
1 very ripe mango, peeled and coarsely chopped,
or 1 cup frozen mango
Prepare the milk ke;r: Pour the milk into a 1-pint canning
jar and stir in the ke;r grains. Cover the jar with a few layers of
cheesecloth or paper towels and secure with a rubber band. Store the
jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and allow it to ferment until thickened. Healthy
ke;r grains at around 70 F will typically culture in 24 hours, though it may culture in as little as 12
hours at warm temperatures, or take as long as 48 hours at cooler temperatures. Strain the ke;r
into a glass or plastic storage container, stirring gently until just the grains are left in the strainer.
Prepare the smoothie: Combine the ke;r and remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend on high
speed until smooth and creamy. Makes 1 serving.
Reprinted with permission from True Brews, by Emma Christensen (Ten Speed Press; 2013)
spoil the fermentation process. In addition, some ferments are thwarted by
extreme hot or cold temperatures as well
as exposure to oxygen. If you notice mold
or foul smells, it’s best to throw that batch
out and try again with fresh ingredients.
And while fermentation requires
patience, with many foods taking days or
weeks to develop, it’s also important to
keep an eye on your culinary chemistry
experiment. “When you are teaching
yourself to ferment, the best thing that
you can do is keep it on the counter and
watch it—just a simple daily check-in,”
advises Shockey. “That way you can see it
as it changes, which can be pretty interesting, but more importantly you can
make sure all the veggies stay tucked
under the brine.”
Though there’s a learning curve to
fermenting foods, trust your senses when
evaluating the success of your experiment. “A good ferment smells and tastes
pickle-y, but a ferment that has gone
amiss will smell pretty awful, like rotting
potatoes,” says Shockey. “This can happen when the vegetables get out of the
brine and into the oxygen. Just remember: ‘Sink in brine and all is fine!’ ” C
Jennifer Babisak is a Houston-based writer.