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Odd bits of goodness [Aug. 21st, 2008|09:56 am]
I know that the 17 year cicadas get all the press, with those huge numbers and their red googly eyes and garish design. But really, our annual cicada is actually quite beautiful in its own right - that white, fuzzy looking underbelly just makes me smile. And you know what, you can count on them. EVERY year a batch of them crawls up out of the ground, leaving those cool, mysterious holes that look like someone stuck a big straw in the ground, their little alien husks, and then the lovely cicada buzzing that means it's hot and humid and may otherwise be gross, but here I am, doing my cicada-thing and it's summer, it's summer, it's summer. And that feels good, even when you're now a wage-slave for whom summer means not much more than it's hard to get stuff done because of one your critical path people is always on vacation.

The Farmer's market in Kensington has a meat vendor who comes down from Pennsylvania with a truck full of humanely raised, appropriately fed beef, pork and lamb. And I've really been enjoying their products. A couple of months ago, I bought a package of their cottage bacon -- like bacon, but round - not canadian bacon, but bacon. Fries up just like bacon, sans nitrites. Dudes, it's the same size and shape as a tomato slice. You thought that a BLT couldn't really be improved...unless you added avocado...and a dash of balsamic..and fresh mozzarella...but this takes it to a whole new level! Slightly less salty, more porky, too, which tastes better to me.

I didn't think these would taste good together, but they did and I'm glad I did it and I may never eat plain sauerkraut again. (No, not really, I'm German. Hel-Lo-O, that's why we're called Krauts!)

Saute your pork chops. You don't have to use Penzey's Bavarian Blend to season them, but you're an idiot if you don't.

Grab your leftover from the Scary Perry Picnic Sauerkraut, or fresher. If you haven't yet, rinse the nasty salt brine off to release the delicate true SK flavor. Saute it in the pork drippings, with some white wine or non-hoppy beer.

Add one or two chopped, unpeeled but cored, green apple, to equal about a third or half the quantity of the SK -- the farmer's markets have the real deal right now -- not those artificially green, artificially tart things that masquerade as Granny Smith apples. Failing that, use another real apple. If you are desperate, use a store-bought, non-organic apple, but for heaven's sake, peel it, then.

Now, chop up as many half-sour pickles as will equal the amount of apples. Half-sour are the kind that you find fresh in the refrigerated section or the deli -- not those gross neon green ones in the plastic sleeve. These should have some white on them still -- I'm talking a genuine deli. Not the kind in a supermarket or the kind that sells Keno tickets, too. Or, if you're really lucky and can get to Rockville Town Center's Farmers Market, Wednesdays at lunch time. Then you can get your half-sours from the Pickle Man, who will handpick them out of giant barrels for you. While you're waiting for your Asiago, turkey, red pepper and spinach crepe to be finished at the Crepe booth next door.

Or, just use Claussen or Ba-Tampt.

Toss the pickles, apples and a jot of butter with the slightly browned sauerkraut. Pile it onto your pork chop. Or a hot dog. Or a loved one - let it cool a bit, first! Unless you're into that...

[User Picture]From: mistressfetch
2008-08-21 02:30 pm (UTC)
I made dinner for Micha (Wolgemut) since it was his Natal Day and he wanted German food...(go figure) I drained the Kraut, poured in some chicken broth, caraway seeds and fresh parsley and boiled it up and served over homemade spatzle(yep! from scratch..go me!)


Now I have to get some of that cottage bacon!
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-08-21 02:33 pm (UTC)
Everyone in PG County hates you. We can't even get an effing Whole Foods down here.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-08-21 02:44 pm (UTC)
I'll think of you tonight, when it takes me 45 minutes to drive 8 miles.

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[User Picture]From: sestree
2008-08-21 02:36 pm (UTC)
That reminds me - I haven't had sauerkraut pizza since I left Kansas. Pizza Inn used to do it and then later I made my own.

Yes I know it sounds a little gross but with a crisp thin crust, very light on the sauce, sausage or hamburger, and fresh sauerkraut it's AWESOME.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-08-21 02:45 pm (UTC)
'kraut IS awesome -- people have just been ruined on it because they eat crappy kinds and don't rinse it. Or doctor it up with yummy additions -- diced bits of bacon or smoked pork, white wine, allspice berries, for example.
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2008-08-21 02:53 pm (UTC)
Robert's Grandmother (I think her family was Czech) made her own homemade kraut and OMG it was wonderful.

She spoiled me rotten - and also taught me yes it is a great breakfast sidedish with scrambled eggs.

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[User Picture]From: stonethrow
2008-08-22 12:57 am (UTC)
You would think a country place like this has a farmers market - we do - I'm not sure I've seen any veggies there - never mind anything else.
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