Beer Bratwursts. Last year's customers probably remember the opportunity to help us tweak the recipe on the beer brats. These brats are large (1.25# packages, 4 links) Berkshire pork bratwursts made with local beer from Market Garden Brewery. We chose a hoppier beer that shined through. We use the Wallace Tavern Scotch Ale.
This week's brats can be showcased nicely next to some creamy yukon gold potatoes and braised sweet potato greens.
Sweet Potato Greens. Trevor, what on earth are sweet potato greens? Well, I'm thrilled about this one. As most of you know, I love making braised greens and find them to be one of the most versatile dishes. They can be enjoyed for breakfast with a fried egg on top, served with pasta, or simply as a side dish to almost anything from chicken to pork to beef.
Well one under-utilized green is the sweet potato green. If you ever see a field of sweet potatoes growing, the greens grow dark green on long vines that cover the ground. The farmer usually just chops these off and leaves them in the field to rot.
I got to talking to David, our grower, about the greens. He packaged up a few boxes for me to play with. They are quite tasty and from my research, they appear to be a trending item on the menus of fancy restaurants down south.
The leaves taste a little like spinach and kale crossed. They are tender enough to use in a salad, but they also cook down well.
This is exceptionally exciting for the farmer. Sweet potatoes aren't the most profitable crop because of how variable they are in size. It is hard to tell if you are going to get a nice 1# potato or a bunch of index finger sized ones and then a large potato on the end. By being able to sell the greens, he now increases the attractiveness of growing sweet potatoes.
See below for some suggested recipes.
Sauerkraut: We've been out of the kraut for a while now. It is now back in stock and for the new subscribers this year, here is what makes it special.
Sauerkraut is a fermented food made from cabbage and salt. In our case, it is organic cabbage and fully mineralized pink Himalayan salt. To make it, the producer simply shreds cabbage, adds salt, and pounds it down to extract moisture. The cabbage eventually will be submerged below a "brine." Lactic bacteria in the air react with the cabbage to form lactic acid. This creates a safe environment for preserving the food.
Because our kraut has not been canned (heat processed), the good bacteria is still alive. This means it will continue to ferment and continue to release gas. Refrigerating the kraut slows, but does not end, this process.
Your kraut will come in a glass jar. There should be some pressure on the lid. If you can't twist it off, try puncturing the lid to release the gas.
The kraut will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 months before it starts to get softer. The trick is to keep the cabbage below the brine. If your brine drains off, add some purified water or a mixture of water and kosher/sea salt. Regular table salt and tap water can kill the good bacteria and ruin the fermentation.
Try enjoying your kraut raw for maximum health benefits. If that isn't your style, heat it gently with the beer brats this week and enjoy a tasty fall meal.
Additional jars of the kraut are available for $6 per quart.