Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Food

January 31, 2012

A Super Bowl feast fit for a chef: pork, potatoes, kraut

ASHLAND — While chili, ribs, and seven-layer dips are Super Bowl standbys, consider something different: choucroute garni.

Pronounced shoo-KROUT gahr-NEE, this dish is a combination of smoked pork, sausage, frankfurters, sauerkraut, and potatoes. See, it’s not as complicated as it sounds and the ingredients are in keeping with many traditional Super Bowl foods. Plus, it’s easy to prepare.

Choucroute translates into “cabbage crust” and this German-inspired dish was born along the country's border with France. Garni refers to the variety of garnishes that are served alongside the dish. Consisting of any combination of pickled cabbage and meat, the feast typically features a variety of sausages, including Frankfurt sausage which served as the predecessor to the modern day frankfurter. Boiled potatoes are the starch of choice, and the dish is seasoned with black pepper, cloves and juniper berries, along with onions and white wine to sweeten the deal and brighten the flavors.

From The Culinary Institute of America, the recipe is recommended with slices of French bread and a selection of mustards and beer.

CHOUCROUTE GARNI

5 pounds sauerkraut

1 clove garlic

8 juniper berries

2 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

8 to 12 black peppercorns

1 carrot

1 leek

2 branches of celery

1 parsnip

4 ounces vegetable oil

2 medium sliced onions (approximately 2 cups)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup dry white wine

3 cups chicken stock

1 smoked ham hock

2 pounds smoked pork loin

1-pound, 4-ounce- slab of bacon, cut into thick slices

4 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled

1-pound, 4-ounce garlic sausage

10 beef frankfurters

10 weisswurst (veal and pork sausage)

Drain the sauerkraut and rinse well in several changes of cold water. Drain and squeeze out water.

Place the garlic clove and spices in a small square of cheesecloth and tie with butcher's twine to create a spice "sachet" bag. Tie the carrot, leek, celery, and parsnip with butcher's twine to create a "bouquet garni."

Heat half the vegetable oil in a large "Dutch oven" over medium heat. Add the onions and sweat until tender without browning. Add the garlic and sweat briefly to release aroma. Add the sauerkraut to the onion mixture.

Add the wine and chicken stock. Bury the spice sachet, vegetable bouquet, and ham hock under the sauerkraut. Bring the liquid to a simmer.

Place the pork and the bacon on top of the sauerkraut. Cover tightly and braise in a 325 degree F oven for approximately 45 minutes. Add the potatoes, garlic sausage, and frankfurters to the pan, return the cover, and continue to cook approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the frankfurters are heated through. Add more liquid if needed.

While the potatoes and frankfurters are cooking, place a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the remaining oil. Place the weisswurst in the pan and gently brown on all sides while heating the sausage through.

Remove the meats from the sauerkraut and keep warm. Slice the pork loin and garlic sausage.

Spoon the sauerkraut onto a warm platter, and garnish with sliced pork loin, garlic sausage, sliced bacon, frankfurters, weisswurst, and potatoes.

Serve with mustard and a loaf of crusty French bread. Accompany with a dry Riesling wine from Alsace or your favorite artisan-brewed beer.

Nutrition analysis per 6-ounce ounce: 270 calories, 12g protein, 5g carbohydrate, 21g fat, 1,050mg sodium, 50mg cholesterol, 2g fiber.

SOURCE: THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA

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There’s plenty of good, traditional food for Super Bowl Sunday. These recipes are courtesy of Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow on Epicurious.com.

CLASSIC MEATBALLS

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds 80% lean ground beef

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground fennel

4 cups classic tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Combine the ground beef, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, and fennel in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.

While the meatballs are roasting, heat the tomato sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often.

When the meatballs are firm and fully cooked, remove them from the oven and drain the excess grease from the pan. Pour the tomato sauce over them. Return the meatballs to the oven and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.

CLASSIC TOMATO SAUCE

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons salt or to taste

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Two 26-ounce boxes Pomi Chopped Tomatoes or two 28-ounce cans whole plum tomatoes, chopped with their liquid

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaf, oregano, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the sauce on the bottom of the pot from burning. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

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This Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada recipe comes from Chad Hennings of the Dallas Cowboys. It was declared the winner in “Taste of the NFL,” a charity that aimed to raise money for American’s Second Harvest and its network of food banks.

SOUR CREAM CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

2 cups cooked and shredded or chopped chicken

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 heaping tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 or 2 small cans chopped green chilies

Approximately 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

4 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

Couple packages of flour tortillas

Paprika

Chives

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook and chop or shred chicken breasts; set aside.

Sauté garlic, onion, and green pepper in oil and butter until slightly tender. Stir in flour and cook for about 1 or 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, mix until smooth and cook until thickened. Add chilies and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese and stir until smooth. Reduce heat. Add sour cream and stir until smooth. Place large scoop of chicken, cheese, and sauce in center of each tortilla. Roll up and place in oiled large baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over all rolled up tortillas and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Sprinkle with paprika and chives. Bake, covered, about 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover and broil for 2 minutes just to add a nice brown tint to enchiladas.

Serve with sliced avocado, chopped tomato, and salsa on top.

To compliment the meal, serve black or pinto refried beans.

t

The very idea of a potato pancake fascinates me.

Common to some, my family never had them and I haven’t been able to perfect a recipe of them.

The Idaho® Potato people say they’re good topped with sour cream, salmon, applesauce or sugar and cinnamon, as well as plain.

This recipe, from MrFood.com, has inspired me to give it another try.

OLD-FASHIONED POTATO PANCAKES

4 medium-sized Idaho® baking potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled and shredded or grated

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Place potatoes and onion in a strainer and press down on them with the back of a large spoon to extract excess moisture. If they’re still watery, wrap them in a clean dish towel and squeeze to extract the remaining moisture.

Place in a large bowl and add the egg; mix well. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper, mixing well.

In a large skillet, heat the oil then drop 1/2 cup batter for each pancake onto the skillet, being careful not to crowd skillet. Fry pancakes 5 to 6 minutes, until golden on both sides, turning halfway through cooking. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

TIP:  If you prefer your potato pancakes really cripy, fry them until they're flecked with brown.

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While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send e-mail to lward@dailyindependent.com.

 

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