Sunday, March 20, 2011
new blog post
I'm glad to see the back of last week. Last night's hyper-full moon signified a turn in the year for me. And so of course I started another batch of sauerkraut, spurred also by last Wednesday's New York Times (Wednesday's being Food Day, I always try to remember to pick up that day's paper). There, Julie Moskin's compendium of recipes, D.I.Y. Cooking, is a real inspiration.
I had a sauerkraut disaster a year or so ago—a sodden grayish gloomy mass instead of pickled cabbage. Then, for some reason last fall, I started anew, using Eugenia Bone's book Well-Preserved and it couldn't have been easier: 1.5 lb thinly sliced/chopped cabbage to 1.5 T pickling salt, weighted down with a resealable bag containing 1 L water w/1.5 T pickling salt dissolved (in case the bag leaks, it contains nothing but brine). Leave on the counter for 2 weeks or so, et voila! She has you further can it in a boiling water bath, but I just jarred it up and stuck it in the refrigerator, where it continued to cure and just get better.
It is from Well-Preserved that I also found the will, after finding cauliflower on sale, to make her recipe for Pickled Cauliflower. Once you put your mind to it, hauling out the canning equipment is not as daunting as it sounds. (But you still have to clean off a fair amount of counter space . . .) Having the jars of white nodes in my cupboard is cheering, at least to me. And tasty too.
"D.I.Y. Cooking" has some very intriguing ideas: testa, a form of bacon that uses nitrites. Eugenia has a recipe that is similar but she has you roast the pork belly at the end. I can't get my mind around that oven aspect, though. Julie Moskin also has a method to make a kind of Lillet or Campari, which I am definitely going to attempt, as my new summertime drink this year is the Americano, taken from Nigella's new book: 1/2 sweet vermouth, 1/2 Campari, topped up with sparkling water and a slice of orange (blood orange, if you can find one).
Onward, to summer and beyond . . . a smoker may be in my future. We'll see.