I know I’ve posted bratwurst and sauerkraut recipes before, but what can I say? I just love this fatty, salty, sour, funky flavor combo. Today’s recipe comes courtesy of a can of real German sauerkraut brought to me from Germany by a friend. I wanted to ADAPT the usual flavors, and turn it into a one-bowl, hearty, pasta based dish for easy leftovers. I took guidance from some of my other favorite recipes and chose to build a “sauce” for the pasta that wasn’t tomato or cream based, but rather closer to a vinaigrette. The vinegar and mustard flavors of the sauce really cut through the richness of the rest of the ingredients and help bring the sauerkraut flavor home. And in case you were wondering if this gets weird after a day or two in the fridge… nope. It just gets better!
I developed this recipe because I wanted to invent something different. I love loaded potato skins, and I wondered if it was possible to create really thin, really crispy “waffle shells” that could then be filled with loaded mashed potato filling. Unfortunately, the answer was no… but mashed potatoes on top of a waffle was still quite tasty!
Continuing with the theme of cleaning out the fridge from the last few weeks, I have had some cans of IPA sitting in the fridge for months now. I don’t particularly like beer, and IPAs are the worst of the bunch, so they weren’t likely to disappear unless I used them for cooking. Enter – beer braising. In this case, bratwurst, which are a natural complement for beer. I just added a few classic German sides – potatoes and sauerkraut -and it was a meal. It may be June, but it sure feels like October!
Stop me if I’ve already told you this, but I hate sandwiches. Given that they were invented to be the perfect food, in the hundreds of years since their inception sandwiches have fallen so so far. I’m not saying that there aren’t good sandwiches out there, but the median sandwich (I’m looking at you, Subway and Panera) is so limp, soggy (thanks to inexplicably wet lettuce), and imbalanced that it’s made me shy of sandwiches as a group. Except, that is, the subcategory of pressed sandwiches. Pressing and cooking a sandwich seems to elevate it from mediocrity to a real dish. Whether we’re talking grilled cheese, paninis, or cubans, cooking serves to fight sogginess and add a much needed textural crunch, and seems to ward away the dreaded lettuce leaf. Sometimes, as with my Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, even I need a sandwich to dip. This is a good one for just such an occasion.