Fermenting, Foody things, Preserving

Cucumber craziness!

image

I have been debating if I should write this post or not. I have been given friendly advice by some to keep my cards close to my chest when sharing recipes, particularly if it’s something I’d like to sell one day. I have taken this on board but a big part of me writing this blog is to share information. Not everyone has the money to buy products and I’m a firm believer that what goes around comes around. I’ve been inspired by many different chefs and bloggers in my time and I hope that my writing can inspire someone else in their journey.
So today I am sharing my versions of cucumber kimchi and sauer gurke -that’s sour cucumbers like sauerkraut only with cucumber not cabbage.
image

We have had a abundance of cucumber this year. I may have been overzealous with my plantings and ended up with three plants that just went crazy! So with 10 kilos in the fridge I really needed to get my thinking cap on.
I found a few recipes for cucumber kimchi and with my first batch I loved the flavour but the texture of the cucumber cut up wasn’t my favorite. It was good but not great.

My second batch I decided to shred the cucumber. Now usually I do everything by hand but 10kg is a lot of cucumber. Instead I used my usually idol food processor and wow what a machine! All the cucumber was grated in about 3 minutes!

For the Sauer Gurke
image

I massaged in about a 1/4 cup of sea salt and let it sit for 5 minutes. After this I drained the liquid but kept it aside in case I needed extra for the brine. I then added a teaspoon of minced ginger and 3 cloves of minced garlic stirred it through and pressed the whole mix into the fermenting jar. After weighing down the cucumber I added a little of the left over brine/liquid to ensure the mix was well covered. Popped on my fermenting cover and left it to do its magic. I liked it after 5 days but you could go as far as 14 depending on how sour you like it.
We had it on sausage sandwhiches and it was delicious!

Cucumber Kimchi
image

For the kimchi the start of the process was the same as the sauergurke. Grate the cucumber and add your salt. After draining the liquid as above I then mixed through 2 teaspoons chilli powder, 5 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp ginger and 1/4 C soy sauce. Once mixed through I pressed it all into the fermenting jar and left it for 5 days.

Now the kimchi flavour improves with age so if like me you have loads of cucumber make a huge batch and don’t worry about having enough to last a few months.

Enjoy!!

Baking, Fermenting, Uncategorized

Sauerkraut and Zucchini Brownies

We are enjoying a few days of quiet and rest after three whole weeks of different visitors. Its been absolutely fabulous catching up with family and old friends and I have talked and laughed so much in a long time. We’ve still been keeping busy with our homesteading chores taking guests foraging and getting help planting the next lot of seeds. It makes such a difference having extra hands and I’ve half a mind to permanently have someone here to play with the children!

Now everyone has gone and we are left with the rosy glow of company and laughter and a lot to catch up on. We were very generously gifted a cabbage from a neighbor and I’ve made a second attempt at sauerkraut. You may assume I would be a expert at this considering all the other things I talk about fermenting but for some reason I always fail at sauerkraut. My last guest who was staying showed me a hilariously bizarre but informative you tube video with instructions so i thought I would give it another stab!

You can find the video “Sexy Sauerkraut” here if you’d like to watch it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8S9R34gkVM

I omitted the sexy from my own and I’ll just be happy with regular old Sauerkraut.

IMG_5197

Saurkraut

IMG_5199

Thinly shred your cabbage however you like (food processor, mandolin, knife)

IMG_5200

I didn’t measure ( which is probably why I fail!) but I added about 2 Tbs of sea salt and massaged it in to the shredded cabbage for about 5 mins \

IMG_5201

I have weighed the cabbage down with a plate and Jar and covered with a tea towel crossing my fingers! I will check it every few days and see how it’s going.

IMG_5202

IMG_5203

I will ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days depending on taste.

Now I promised in my last post that I would share my zucchini Brownie recipe. These brownies are absolutely delicious and a great way to use up extra zucchinis if you have a lot growing. I unfortunately haven’t taken a photo of them as we ate them too fast and I’ve been baking other things but I will share the recipe with you now and add the photos another time.

Zucchini Brownies

Ingredients

2 Zucchini finely grated

50g salted butter melted

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence or extract

1/4C sugar (you can add 3/4 but I bake with low sugar)

2/3 C cocoa powder

 1/2 C Self raising flour

1/2 block dark cooking choc chopped

Frosting

1/2 block dark choc chopped

1/2 C cream

Method

Preheat your oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a 9″ square pan.

  1. To make the brownies: Combine the zucchini, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl and mix until smooth
  2. Add the sugar, cocoa powder and flour and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the chocolate and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the brownies for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it; you shouldn’t see any sign of wet batter. Remove the brownies from the oven, and allow them to cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting: Combine the chocolate chips and milk or cream in a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan. Heat until the milk is steaming, and the chips are soft. Remove from the heat, and stir until smooth.
  6. Spread the frosting atop the brownies. Place them in the refrigerator for an hour or so, to set; then store them at room temperature, covered, for several days though I doubt they will last that long!