Candied Sauerkraut Truffles

While looking at recipes, I’ve come across so many new and interesting ways to use sauerkraut in cooking and baking, but the one thing I’ve never seen is sauerkraut in candy. I decided to experiment and see what I could come up with. Knowing that chocolate and sauerkraut are used together in many cake recipes, I figured, why not make a chocolate sauerkraut candy? And so chocolate sauerkraut truffles were born.

I made candied sauerkraut by dipping it in sugar and then broiling for about 5 min, and mixed that into a milk chocolate ganache. The result is sweet and salty, very unique, but so good! It reminded me of a sea salt chocolate bar.

Candied sauerkraut
½ cup Bubbies sauerkraut
1 ¼ cup sugar

Measure out ½ cup of sauerkraut, and drain well. After it has drained, squeeze the sauerkraut with your hands to get most of the remaining juice out. Put the sauerkraut into a bowl with the sugar and toss until the sauerkraut is completely covered with sugar. Place the sugared sauerkraut on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and broil on the top rack in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes, making sure to keep a close eye on it- it can quickly turn from caramelized to burned. Once the sugar starts bubbling and the sauerkraut has a very light golden tinge to it, remove from the oven and spread the sauerkraut out on wax paper. Let it cool for an hour, and use this time to make your ganache. Chop the sauerkraut up into small pieces, and set some aside if you want to use some as decoration on the top of the truffles.

For milk chocolate ganache:
2.5  parts milk chocolate
1 part cream

Ganache is great because you can easily tailor your recipes to make as little or as much as you want. Bring cream to a boil; while waiting for it to come to temperature, chop up your chocolate if you’re using a chocolate bar. Once the cream has come to a boil, turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Stir it well, it will look clumpy for awhile, but will suddenly start to get smooth and well blended. Once blended set aside to let it cool slightly before adding the caramelized sauerkraut. It should be lukewarm at the warmest to keep the caramelized bits crunchy. If you’re using candy molds, pour your mixture into them, and swirl a toothpick around in each of the truffle molds to get out any air bubbles. Set aside at room temperature or place in the refrigerator for the ganache to set quicker.  If you’d rather have hand rolled truffles, leave the ganache to set at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Test the firmness by pressing a spoon to the ganache; when it’s ready, the spoon should leave an impression on the ganache, but it should be firmer, like play dough. Once it’s ready, start rolling into ½ to 1 inch balls, depending on the size you prefer. Place the truffles on wax paper.

A couple tips for the ganache; semi-sweet and dark chocolate will generally follow the 2:1 rule- 2 parts chocolate, 1 part cream, however, brands vary and some will melt differently that others. Milk & white chocolate often requires more like 2.5:1, as they are softer, and again, it can vary by brand. It’s helpful to have extra chocolate on hand just in case you need to adjust and add more, and if you find the ganache too stiff, adding a small amount of cream will thin it out.

You can stop there, and simply roll your ganache in cocoa powder, or you can get fancy and dip them in a chocolate shell.  If you decide to dip your truffles, make sure the ganache has had a few hours to set and dry out a tiny bit.  Melt your chocolate well; if you used a mold and want to keep the shape once dipped, poke a toothpick into your truffle, roll it around in the chocolate until it’s completely covered.  Pull your truffle out, and gently tap the toothpick on the side of the bowl, making some of the excess chocolate drips off.  I let the chocolate set before removing the toothpick.  If you want to add sprinkles, sprinkle them over the tops of the truffles before the chocolate has set, to make sure they stick.  Have fun!  Store the truffles in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 1 week.

 

Sweet & Sauer(kraut) Chicken Wraps

I’m a big fan of the sweet and sour flavor combination, and that got me thinking about how our sweet bread and butter chips would be really complementary with the sourness of our sauerkraut.  This led me to the idea of making a sweet and sour dish using the two.  I decided on making wraps; they’re such a fun food to prepare because they don’t require much work, and can be infinitely customized to however you like them.  They’re also a great way to eat more fruits and veggies!  

These wraps are so easy and full of flavor; they make a perfect lunch or light dinner.

Sweet & Sauer Chicken Wraps

Makes 2 wraps

2 sweet peppers

1 carrot

Cooked chicken (I used 1 breast simmered in Sonomics Almost Vinegar)

⅓ cup Bubbies sauerkraut

6-8 Bubbies bread & butter pickles

1 mandarin orange

6-8 canned pineapple chunks

2 leaves of Romaine lettuce

1 green onions

2 spinach  tortilla wraps

Start by draining your sauerkraut.  You can use pre-cooked chicken if you have some on hand; this is a great time saver.  Simply shred or cut it into desired sizes and your meat is good to go!  I cooked strips of chicken breast on med-med high heat for 3 minutes, flipping several times until the meat was white on all sides, and then added Sonomics Almost Vinegar to the pan, turned down the heat, and let it simmer for about 3 more minutes.  If you’ve never used Sonomics before, it tastes amazing; it’s made from red wine that has been left to ferment a little longer until it’s almost vinegar, hence the name.  It thickens up a bit once simmered to create a nice glaze that I saved and used to pour over the wrap.  It was perfect for the flavor of this meal- slightly sweet, slightly sour.  Once the chicken is finished, remove it from the pan and set aside.

The amounts of everything I used here are just guidelines, which adds the beauty of this recipe.  Cut up all veggies (cut into strips works the best) but leave the Romaine leaf whole.  Chop pineapple chunks in half and peel the mandarin orange.  Get your spinach wrap and start piling the ingredients on!  You can drizzle a little of your favorite salad dressing or sauce over everything before you roll it up; I used the Sonomics sauce that I had simmered the chicken in.  I put the Romaine lettuce on last because I find the leaves sort of stabilize all the other ingredients and make it easier to wrap.  Be careful not to put too much on there, or you may have a difficult time wrapping the wrap up in a way that holds together.  I actually used a little too much in the video, and had to take a tiny bit out so that my wrap stayed in place, so take a look and use a little less than I did!  Cut in half if desired (it’s so colorful, it’s worth doing!) and enjoy!  

Start Your Day Right- Sauerkraut Breakfast Casserole

Out of all the different meal-time foods, breakfast is probably the most appealing to me; part of that may be due to how much I love eggs.  They’re incredibly versatile, and they go well with so many other foods- especially sauerkraut!  If you’ve never had sauerkraut with eggs before, they are delicious together, and a great way to start the morning.  This gave me the idea to make a savory breakfast casserole, with sauerkraut in it- and wow it was good!  If you love breakfast casseroles, this may become your new favorite!  It’s so easy to throw together and very flavorful.  If you’re like me and think breakfast-food is anytime-time-of-the-day-food, it’s also perfect for brunch, lunch, even dinner!

Sauerkraut Breakfast Casserole

1 cup drained Bubbies Sauerkraut

3 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped

1 cup of shredded cheese, plus extra for the top

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1/4 cup milk or cream

Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Drain sauerkraut well; cook bacon completely and pat well with a paper towel to remove excess grease. In a bowl, whisk together 6 eggs and the milk. Add sauerkraut, pepper bacon, cheese and onions, and mix together. Pour into a well-greased casserole dish, and bake for 25-30 minutes, til the cheese is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Bread & Butter Pickle Meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those foods, much like Brussel sprouts, that always seems to get a bad rap.  Perhaps because it makes many think of the dry, tasteless meatloaf served in many school cafeterias, a nondiscriminant chunk of unappetizing meat that was worthy of disdain.  This recipe, however, is very juicy, flavorful, and packed with so many ingredients, it should really be called an omnivore loaf! Our bread and butter pickles combined with other veggies to make this an extremely flavorful meatloaf that is sure to change the minds of any meatloaf haters out there. It’s also very easy to throw together quickly, making it a great meal for any day of the week!

Bread & Butter Pickle Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef

1 egg

⅓ cup crackers

½ cup or 1 deveined kale leaf, chopped

¼ cup celery, chopped

½ cup bread and butter pickles, chopped

⅓ cup baby carrots, chopped

½ medium red onion, chopped

½ cup BBQ sauce

½ cup shredded cheese

¼ cup molasses

*salt and pepper, to taste if desired

Optional glaze: Mix 1/2 cup BBQ sauce with 1/4 cup molasses

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop all vegetables. Combine meat, egg, crackers, chopped veggies, cheese, ½ cup BBQ sauce and molasses and mix together well until all ingredients are spread consistently throughout. You can use a food processor, or your hands if you don’t mind getting dirty. If you’re using a very lean beef, such as 90% or up, lightly grease a loaf pan before forming the meat into it. If you’re using a ground beef with a higher fat content, you can put the meat in the pan directly, without greasing it; the fat will lubricate it as it bakes and keep it from sticking.

Optional- if you desire a glaze on the top, bake for 45 minutes and then drizzle ½ cup BBQ sauce mixed with ¼ cup molasses over top of the meatloaf; return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat, and let the meatloaf sit in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.  This will give it a delicious, sticky, caramelized sauce on the top as seen in the video.  If you’d like to forgo the glaze, bake for 55 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool for at least 15-20 minutes prior to serving. Garnish with extra bread and butter pickles if desired.  Enjoy!