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Cooking with Kraut

January 22, 2016 , , , ,

potato, fake sausage, kraut

potato, fake sausage, kraut

The first rule of cooking with kraut is like Fight Club, never cook the kraut. The living probiotic culture that gives your homemade sauerkraut all the extra health benefits would be killed if heated above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  The zesty flavors as well as the cool temperature are used to create contrast in dishes.  Most people think of the Reuben sandwich when they think of this very useful condiment.  Indeed, the use of cool crunchy fermented vegetables as part of a well stacked sandwich takes the creation to a new level.  I encountered red cabbage kraut in use at my favorite food truck in East Austin a couple of years ago.  The Juice Well hooked me on their vegetarian Kraftwork sandwich at first bite because the condiments were spectacular and made in house (or in Airstream to be precise).  I never forgot how much bang for the buck one gets out of specialty first rate condiments.

Another obvious use we all know is the hot dog on a bun served with kraut.  This time honored combination works well by itself, or with a fermented beverage like beer.  I will soon be entertaining real live Europeans in my home.  Real live krauts will be eating krauts at my house, so I am gearing up to treat them to some special culinary delights.  My friend Steffi will visit with her friend from Zurich for a way-out-west vacation. I have some local places in mind to dine with the visitors, but it will be gem show time in Tucson, not the best season to go to restaurants here.  We like eating at home the best anyhow.  This is a vegetarian home, with no meat, but I am not adverse to fake wurst.  In fact, fake meat is one of the only processed foods I still consume…my biggest guilty pleasure.

Today’s experimental dish, which I just devoured for my breakfast, is a baked potato with Tofurkey Italian Sausage chopped into pieces on top of the spud. I topped it with spicy and cool Cowboy Kraut from Garden Goddess. I am very full and happy with the way this tasted. I added some cheese between the potato and the slaw, which is cool for all of us lacto-ovo vegetarians.  Vegans might add something else.  The flavors worked well, and the contrast of warm and cool made it all the more satisfying.  I know not everyone wants sauerkraut for breakfast, but my craving for the stuff  has reached an advanced stage.  I have become officially crazy for kraut.  Do you have any ideas or recipes to share with me on my new favorite food?

What do you think?

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I did not know saurkraut was not to be heated over 100 degrees! I love a reuben and the ‘dogs with kraut. Hope your friends from Europe like our quasi-European cuisine along wi all the Western/SW cuisine!

Liked by 1 person

Stevie Wilson

January 23, 2016

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