I don’t want you to get the idea that everything I makes comes out good. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I do my best to fill you in on my exciting failures, but lately most of them haven’t ended very dramatically. Just disappointingly. And the only drama is me cleaning up after dinner by tipping the table into a garbage bag, dishes and all, and then letting the bag clank and smash all the way down the stairs to the street.
You can tell when things aren't going my way in the kitchen when I don't post any recipes or mediocre photographs, and I’m going on and on about the Farmer or the news or my period. Really anything to draw attention away from the fact that I’ve lost my ability to cook. This week, however, has been a good week (so far). So, let’s look at a couple of ways that bacon can make everything better.
1. Roasted Root Vegetable Pot Pie
The other thing I made this weekend, besides a sandwich, was a pot pie. I found a recipe over at Hogwash that basically named off every single ingredient I get from the farmshare (carrots, parsnips, turnips, celery root, onions, potatoes — aaaaaaand we have a winner!). I was behind in eating my vegetables, so I needed to make a pretty large dent.
Many substitutions were made. I got rid of all traces of mushrooms, for example (you may recall my mushroom problem). Enter bacon. The mushroom-soaking water was replaced with duck stock. Instead of puff pastry, I just made regular old pie dough. You’ll probably want to try it her way, but my way was really good, too.
2. Bacon and Sauerkraut Strudel
This strudel was awfully delicious, and made me appreciate, once again, how awesome my sauerkraut came out. Since that comprised the bulk of the strudel filling (the rest was potato, bacon, and onion), there would have been no getting around it if the sauerkraut sucked.
Be sure to serve this with sour cream. Lots of it. The following was overheard in my kitchen last night: “Please, God, please let there be a container of sour cream in the refrigerator. I don’t care how old it is.” There was. (March 3. Score!)
Bacon and Sauerkraut Strudel
It’s been a while since I made this, and I’ve since lost my recipe. But, I found a similar one over at Fresh Approach Cooking that I worked of off, tweaking things a bit to match what I remember.
2 large potatoes, peeled, cut into large pieces
6 thick-cut slices of bacon, cut into large dice
1 large onion, diced
1 bay leaf
4 cups sauerkraut, drained
1 tsp. caraway seeds (my sauerkraut already had plenty of this)
Salt and pepper
8 sheets phyllo dough
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
In a large pot of salted water, boil the potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash coarsely, leaving plenty of lumps.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium pot over medium-low heat, sauté the bacon, onion, and bay leaf until just browned, about 8 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Add potatoes, sauerkraut, caraway seeds, and salt and pepper, and stir until any excess liquid is gone.
On a rimmed sheet pan, place a sheet of phyllo dough. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with remaining 7 sheets, but don’t butter the top sheet. Dump sauerkraut mixture down the middle of the stack of phyllo the long way, leaving several inches on all sides. Very, very carefully, fold over the short edges, and then roll lengthwise like a burrito. You want the seam on the bottom. If it breaks, no big deal. It’ll still be good. Brush the outside with melted butter.
Bake 35 minutes or until phyllo is golden. Slice and serve with sour cream.