Cherchies

Cooking Tip- How To Make Sauerkraut in Mason Jars

cooking tipsSheri SpalloneComment
 Cooking Tip: How To Make Sauerkraut in Mason Jars

Cooking Tip: How To Make Sauerkraut in Mason Jars

Are you ever curious about how things are made? Take sauerkraut for example, cabbage, salt, maybe some spices, a closed container, a little patience and within a few days, the cabbage has transformed into sauerkraut, which in German translates to "sour vegetables."  Before we became a society of modern conveniences and processed foods; and before the television, the internet, and social media, our ancestors made everything from scratch with fresh ingredients.   

Making recipes from scratch is super satisfying because you can control the ingredients that go into your recipe, and you can save money in the process.  Sauerkraut is one of those foods I would never think to make from scratch, as the idea always sounded daunting and tedious, but that was until a recent conversation I had with my mom.  We were talking about pork chops and sauerkraut, and Mom interjected, "Your Great Grandmother used to make her sauerkraut from scratch."   Hmmm, game changer!

I did a little research and found out that homemade sauerkraut is full of probiotics and healing nutrition. It's a fermented food that is good for your gut! Just from making your own, you get the benefit of fresh cabbage, full of healthy bacteria, and the satisfaction of homemade food made from scratch! Follow along as I demonstrate how to make simple and easy sauerkraut in a mason jar!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cabbage
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons (Tbsp) sea salt, Himalayan, or Kosher salt (do not use table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) Cherchies® Garlic Seasoning

Equipment  

  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 2 (2-quart) mason jars with lids (or fancy "burping tops")
  • Some sort of clean weight (either smaller jelly jars that will fit inside, marbles, or glass weights) to weigh down cabbage under brine
  • Clean towel or cloth for covering
  • Rubber bands (optional)
  • Clean hands and/or a pounding tool

Preparation

Make sure all parts of the process are clean; the utensils, cutting boards, mason jars, knives, hands, weights, etc.   It is best during fermentation to provide the cleanest environment possible to allow good bacteria to thrive.

Remove the outer few loose leaves of the cabbage. Cut cabbage in half or quarters, whatever is easiest and remove the core.  

Slice the cabbage into thin shreds (a food processor would work nicely too).  Place cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and Cherchies Garlic Seasoning.  Mix with hands to combine, squeezing cabbage to release water.   Work cabbage with this method for a few minutes. 

Or, use this handy tool I found online, The Pickle Packer from masontops.com to mash the cabbage and draw out the water.  Either way, cover with a clean cloth and set aside and cover for a couple of hours (more water will be removed the longer it is left out).  Salt will begin to react with cabbage, releasing the water from the cabbage and starting the fermentation process.   

After a couple of hours, add handfuls of cabbage mixture to mason jar (s).  Pack down with hand, spoon, any kitchen instrument with a dull end, or The Pickle Packer from www.masontops.com.  I stumbled across this company while searching for how to make sauerkraut.  I am all about ease, and this tool is pretty cool.  The goal is to pack the cabbage ultra-tight and let it soak in its brine.  The cabbage should be under the brine during fermentation.

You will need some sort of weight for this step; a smaller glass jelly jar that fits inside the mason jar, marbles, or these helpful glass weights I found at masontops.com.

Once the jar is filled (leave about an inch from the top), place your weight on top of the cabbage, making sure to submerge the cabbage under the brine.  Some folks have recommend using the discarded cabbage leaves to cover the mixture and then place weights on top of the leaves.  (I only did this for one jar.  I must have had a larger cabbage then normal this time and had extras left over). 

If you need to add a small amount of filtered water to brine to ensure cabbage is submerged, do so at this time.  Seal up your mason jar with either a clean cloth and rubber band (this will allow your cabbage to breathe, a canning lid, or a canning lid with one of these "burping" attachments that I also found at masontops.com.  If you use only a canning lid, you will will need to manually "burp" the sauerkraut daily (to release the built up gases) by opening the lid slightly to allow the air to escape.

Leave the sealed sauerkraut on the counter for 3-10 days depending on desired tanginess.  You will begin to see bubbles form after a couple of days.  (Taste sauerkraut as you go along).  Make sure the cabbage stays below the brine line or you may experience some discoloration, which you can easily remove.   After a couple of days you may need to pack down a little further.  I did this so as to keep the cabbage below the brine.  

Once the sauerkraut has reached desired consistency (sour), transfer the jar to the refrigerator.  The sauerkraut will continue to ferment, but at a slower rate.  If using a "burping lid", you can replace it with a regular canning lid at this point.  You can enjoy the sauerkraut right from the jar immediately. 

 

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*Note-  I stumbled upon masontops.com by accident from another blogger.  If you prefer another method or have your own tips for making homemade sauerkraut, please feel free to share it below so others can benefit:)

If you have children or grandchildren, let them help in the process. This would make a great family summer science experiment!

Happy fermenting!

Enjoy!

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Recipe Roundup- 20 Amazing Father's Day Recipes Dad Will Love

recipe round upSheri SpalloneComment
 Recipe Roundup- 30 Amazing Father's Day Recipes Dad Will Love

Recipe Roundup- 30 Amazing Father's Day Recipes Dad Will Love

Happy early Father's Day to all those awesome dads out there.

Perhaps DAD likes to be treated to a leisurely breakfast in bed, or be surrounded by family around the table with a delicious meal.   Whatever his fancy, show DAD how much you care for and appreciate him by cooking for him on his special day.

Not sure what to make?  From breakfast to dinner, we have taken the guess work out of planning the perfect Father's Day Menu, and compiled a collection of our favorite recipes that DAD will surely love.  

Comment below and let us know which recipes you made for DAD!

Thanks for stopping by:)

Breakfast in Bed- Who says Dad can't have breakfast in bed?  Treat Dad to eggs, his way...poach 'em, fry 'em, or bake 'em, whatever makes Dad the happiest.

Sweeten His Day- Perhaps Dad has a sweet tooth!  These sugary confections will satisfy any sweet breakfast craving.

Savory Snack Starters- Begin the evening celebrations with these easy appetizers.

    Fire Up the Grill - Impress Dad with your grilling skills with these easy and flavorful recipes.

    Manly Mentions- Slow-cooked with love.

    Sweet Nothings- End Dad's special day with a sweet homemade treat.

    Happy Father's Day!

     

     

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    Mexican Stuffed Shells Recipe

    entreesSheri SpalloneComment
     Mexican Stuffed Shells Recipe

    Mexican Stuffed Shells Recipe

    Raise your hand if Mexican food is one of your favorite ethnic dishes!  How about Italian food?!  I was torn last week on what to make for dinner, so I combined our family's two favorites (Italian and Mexican) and created these mouth-watering, Mexican-inspired stuffed shells.  

    As you know, traditional stuffed shells are filled with Italian cheeses and meat, and are lovingly bathed in a savory marinara sauce.  For this zestier version, we stuffed taco meat (seasoned with Cherchies® Select Grilling Rub & Seasoning Blend), black beans, Cherchies® Pretty Hot Peppers,  and cheese into jumbo pasta shells, and steeped them in salsa for a meal bursting with Mexican flavors.

    Add a twist to Taco Tuesday by creating this easy, Mexican dish full of zippy flavor, and serve a meal your family is going to love!  

    You may want to make a second batch to freeze for later!

    Comment below to let us know how you liked the recipe.

    Thank you again for visiting!

    Ingredients  

    • 1 yellow (sweet) onion, diced
    • 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) olive oil
    • 1 pound (lb) ground turkey or beef
    • 3 generous Tablespoons (Tbsp) Cherchies® Select Grilling Rub & Seasoning Blend
    • 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) Minor's Beef Base, dissolved in 1/4 cup of water (could substitute 1 beef bouillion cube dissolved in 1/4 cup water or 1/4 cup prepared beef broth)
    • 2 cups of your favorite salsa or pico de gayo, divided in half (Cherchies® Black Bean & Corn Salsa or Cherchies®Vidalia Onion Peach Salsa are our favorites)
    • 1 jar Cherchies®Pretty Hot Peppers
    • 1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican Cheese blend, plus another cup for topping
    • Jumbo Pasta Shells (enough to fit in 8x 11 baking dish), cooked according to package directions, 5 minutes under cooking time.
    • 1/4 cup Taco sauce (found in Mexican isle of grocery store)
    • small can sliced black olives, drained
    • 4 green onions, sliced (optional for garnish)

    Preparation  
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    In a large skillet, sauté onion in olive oil on medium-low heat until translucent.  After onion has cooked, add ground meat, Cherchies® Select Grilling Rub & Seasoning Blend, and beef base or bouillon mixed in water.

    Turn heat to low and simmer meat until no longer pink.  While meat is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions minus 6 minutes, and drain and set aside.  (Shells are easier to fill when they are al dente, plus they won't get mushy when cooked in the oven).

    As meat finishes cooking, add Cherchies® Pretty Hot Peppers, 1 cup of salsa/pico de gayo, and the can of black beans to the mixture, stir, and cook for a few more minutes.  Next, add 1/2 cup shredded cheese to the meat mixture and stir until melted.  Turn off heat and allow the meat to cool for ten minutes.  (This will make filling the shells easier).  

    To a 9x13 baking dish, add the other cup of salsa/pica de gayo, and spread evenly in the pan.  After meat and shells have cooled slightly, hold individual shells in hand and fill shells with meat mixture and carefully place in baking dish.

    Drizzle Taco sauce over shells, then sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over shells.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

    Garnish with chopped green onions and olives (optional) and serve!

    Enjoy!

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    Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Rice Recipe

    leftovers, side dishesSheri SpalloneComment
     Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Rice Recipe

    Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Rice Recipe

    Add some zing to Mexican Night or Taco Tuesday with this easy-to-make Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Rice Recipe.

    "Mexican Night" (tacos, burritos, quesadillas, etc.) appears weekly on our meal rotation, and Mexican (Spanish) rice is our family's favorite accompaniment. I recently tried something new and served Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Rice, featuring Cherchies® Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Seasoning, white Jasmine rice, and Cilantro.  This flavorful side dish was a huge hit with our family!

    If you are looking for a zippy dish that is quick and easy and pairs nicely with your favorite Mexican dish, then surprise your family with Chardonnay Lime and Cilantro Rice. Your family will thank you!

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup white jasmine rice (We used Thai Hom Mali Jasmine Rice- found at BJ's Warehouse)
    • 2 cups chicken stock or water
    • 2 Tablespoons (Tbsp) butter
    • 2 teaspoons (tsp) Cherchies® Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Seasoning
    • 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) fresh lime juice
    • 3 Tablespoons (Tbsp) cilantro, finely chopped

    Preparation

    Add water or stock, rice, and butter to a medium sauce pan.  Turn the heat on medium-high, cover and cook until water comes to a boil (about 5 minutes).

    Turn down heat, stir rice, and add Cherchies® Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Seasoning and lime juice to the pan.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

    Remove the rice from the heat, add the chopped cilantro and allow the mixture to simmer, covered for another 10 minutes.

    Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.  Serve with our Double Decker Tacos, Fish Tacos, or your favorite Mexican dishes.

    *Note:  Adjust the water content according to preference, increasing for more softness or decreasing for a firmer texture.

     Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Rice Recipe

    Chardonnay Lime & Cilantro Rice Recipe

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