Thursday, April 23, 2009

kapusta calling...

so i have this very cute little grandma, and she has always made wonderful "peasant" food - lots of cabbage, potatoes, and sausage. and when we were hit over night with a lovely spring storm, the snow and chilly weather made me feel a longing for some kapusta. (spoken as ka - poo - sta) i remember sitting in my grandma's kitchen when i was little, and eating lots of kapusta with fresh brown bread and butter with my grandpa. its good with lots of things, like smoked pork hocks and mustard, perogies, sausage, mashed potatoes, ham. (note all the porky things! LOL)

what is kapusta? well, its basically saurkraut, but with the addition of fresh cabbage, bacon, and onion.

so i called my grandma after picking up the requisite cabbage and onions (the rest was in the fridge and freezer) and asked her for some directions. which were somewhat fuzzy in description.

(you must also imagine a fairly heavy eastern european accent here)

"first you slice up the cabbage. put it in the water. but don't cook it too long. you don't want mushy saurkraut."

ok. done.

"and then you cook the onion and the bacon. make sure there is lots of bacon. cut it up in dices. don't cook it too long, you don't want the bacon too done."

ok. done.

"drain the cabbage in that thing. you know the one. the thing with the holes."

- a colander, grandma?

"yes, that's the thing. drain it. then add the saurkraut from the jar. then cook it a bit more. but not too long, you don't want it mushy." (mushy = moooshie *giggle*)

"cook it some more. i put in a bay leaf. or maybe more. and some pepper. maybe some salt. add some shookar if you think you need it if its too sour" (shookar = sugar)

got it.


its what's for dinner. with some farmer's sausage and perogies.


1 small green cabbage - sliced fine (like a really small cabbage - mine was the size of an oversized softball, the smallest i could find)

1 jar more or less of saurkraut

3/4 lb bacon, diced

1 large onion, diced

pepper & salt to taste

2 bay leaves

a spoonful or 2 of brown sugar

slice up the cabbage (i used the food processor - goes lickety-split) and put it in a large pot. cover with water and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. drain. put it back in the same pot, add the jarred saurkraut. bring to a simmer, cook another 10 minutes or so. meanwhile, start the onion and bacon in another fry pan, saute until the onion is translucent and the bacon is just starting to turn crisp. add to pot with the cabbage mixture. (don't drain the bacon/onion - you need it for the flavor) add a generous amount of pepper, a some salt, and some brown sugar to cut the vinegar as you like. add a couple of whole bay leaves and let simmer for another 1/2 hour or so.

this keeps well, and will fill your home with lovely stinky cabbage-y goodness.


1 comment:

April D said...

mmmm, gotta try that! I love saurkraut! My grandpa used to make the best...boil canned/jar saurkraut and then add some fried bacon ends and add flour to thicken it up and ohhh, so good. My husband mom makes it by boiling the saurkraut and then dropping by spoonfuls a mixture of I think some eggs, flour, salt and water and then they poof up after cooking for a bit into awesome dumplings. Put it on a plate and add butter...lots of butter, lol to the dumplings and it is soo good I eat too But this sounds like another great variation that I will have to try as well.