Smoked Sauerkraut

This holiday season, add this healthy Alsatian delicacy as a side dish to your festive table!

Do you like sour cabbage served with smoked sausages or pork or poultry? Everything we enjoy eating WITH smoked foods will also taste outstanding when smoke-roasted. This rule works for me every time. Though I experimented with adding smokey flavors to some unconventional foods, sauerkraut didn’t come to my mind until my friend mentioned a restaurant serving it smoked. Now, after making it at home time after time, fermented cabbage with its distinct tang looks like an obvious candidate for roast-smoking.

With Cameron’s stovetop smoker, it takes 20 minutes to add a hickory smoke flavor to fermented cabbage and another 5 to saute it with onions and heavy cream. It is as easy and quick as impressive for its complexity of well-balanced flavors. In France, it is served with cooked white fish, sausages, pork, and various poultry. Enjoy and happy holidays season!

December 22, 2018
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Miche | Heirloom Wheat Flours by Barton Springs Mill

Sandeep Gyawali ( and James Brown ( are two people responsible for bringing sourdough bread back to my kitchen. After their workshop and tasting a variety of bread loaves made with the heirloom grains available locally, I started baking sourdough bread on a regular basis again. With Sandeep’s permission, I am publishing an extract from the workshop — a universal formula for a delicious and healthy bread a novice can easily make at home.

September 8, 2018
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Cold Summer Soups: Vegan Okroshka

The best vegan okroshka is made with salted mushrooms (L.deliciosus/Ryzhik and L.resimus/Gruzd’), fermented apples, and malossol cucumbers with ice cold kvass, green onions, and fresh dill. In hot climate of Central Texas, we have to be careful when playing with long-term fermentation at home. I was wondering how pickled ingredients would work here…

May 31, 2016
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Kvass Batch 4 [Crystal Rye Malt]

This recipe is based on Crystal Rye Malt by Simpsons and rye sourdough starter. Flavor complexity of this drink is somewhat in the middle between kvass made of regular rye bread and special kvass bread. Filtering the extract is a bit challenging, but other than that the recipe is pretty simple and straightforward. Since crystal rye malt is non-diastatic, we need to add sugar to the extract. This batch was the least active of all I’ve made so far.

May 30, 2016
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Kvass Batch 3 [Rye Malt Liquid Extract]

This recipe is based on Rye Liquid Malt Extract by Briess and rye sourdough starter. Makes pretty decent highly carbonated but light every-day drink.

May 20, 2016
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Cold Summer Soups: Botvin’ya

This season I returned to making real kvass, which resulted in rediscovering some traditional kvass-based Slavic cold soups — Russian botvin’ya, Belorussian haladnik or bats’vinne, Ukrainian cold borsch, etc.

May 19, 2016
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Kvass Bread

Dry and crumbled kvass bread is considered a dry kvass starter. The next step is to extract its flavor with hot water. If this water extract is cooked down to a syrupy consistency, it becomes kvass suslo or liquid kvass starter. Both dry and liquid kvass starters provide more complex flavor foundation for the kvass in comparison with regular bread recipe.

May 10, 2016
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Sauerkraut / Kvashena Kapusta / Suan Cai, etc.

Хороша закуска квашена капустка!
И подать не стыдно, и сожрут – не жалко!

Sour cabbage is the best health salvage!
No shame to dish up one, no pity when all gone!

January 17, 2016
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Cold Summer Soups: Okroshka

Okroshka is one of the most popular cold summer soup in Slavic culture. The name suggests that ingredients are diced or chopped. Some of them are fresh and crunchy (cucumbers, radishes, scallions, herbs), some are cooked and soft (lean meat/poultry/fish, eggs, neutral tasting vegetables), all of them are lean. To make Okroshka, these ingredients are traditionally mixed with kvass and sometimes dressed with a dollop of sour cream just before serving. It’s a salad-like soup, light, refreshing, and filling at the same time. Every spoon of Okroshka is an entertainment for those who have an appreciation for diverse flavors and textures!

June 14, 2015
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