[QUOTE]Originally posted by logose:
[QB]Does anyone have a good tried and true recipe for making Sauerkraut.
Find a crock (2, 4, 6 gallon), make sure the crock is scalded, scrupulously clean with no hairline cracks in the crockery.
Layer shedded cabbage (like you are making slaw) sprinkle with kosher salt. This is the tricky as to the amount. Pack down about an inch of cabbage at a time as tight as possible, using a masher. One is creating a brine with salt and cabbage juice. It is a light brine so one has to use your cooking instincts to find the right amount. Add another layer, adding salt and mashing down, continue this until you have used up your cabbage, and/or have come to within a couple of inches of the top of the crock. The brine should be covering the cabbage. This is a real challenge when one is starting the process as the cabbage finds it hard to give up its moisture when it is crisp. Place a plate or similar flat object (also scrupulously clean) on top of the cabbage and press down until the brine shows around the the plate and place a weighted object on top to hold the plate under the brine (make sure the weight is sanitary as well) Put the crock in an out of the way place at room temperature (has to be in a warm enough place to have fermentation going on. Cover the whole thing with a dish towel, whatever to keep dust, flying objects,etc. out of the crock. The fermentation process is not one of the more pleasant smelling process so keep that in mind as well. Check it every few days, and clean the plate and weights periodically. When the cabbage changes to translucency (about two weeks) the kraut is ready for storage. I normally froze it in ziplocks or similar storage, just because I didn't want to can it, but it cans well in water bath.
It you want to try something that would make a hit with customers, use red cabbage. It can also be mixed with white cabbage for another eye appeal. Red cabbage comes out a beautiful magenta color, because of the fermentation it is bright and consistently colored. (like when you add acid to cooked red cabbage)