Monday, February 20, 2012

Lacto-Fermented Curtido

A couple days ago at this time I was wearing capris and short sleeves and walking my dog in the great outdoors. Admittedly, it was a little brisk, but not to a point that I regretted my choice of clothing. Then today it does this. Rude.

My first instinct was to bake something, but I've been wanting to make this curtido for a little while. Honestly, at least twice I'd bought all of the stuff to make it, but used it up on other things. A girl's got to eat, right? As a result, this recipe kind of turned into a cleaning-out-the-fridge project.

I used:

1 small red cabbage
1/2 green cabbage
1/2 onion
1/2 bunch radish
2 smallish carrots
1 jalapeno
1 t. oregano
1/4 C. whey

I layered all ingredients on a glass bowl as I prepped them. Quarter, core, and thinly slice your cabbages. Using a food processor here is not advised. It turns into coleslaw. Yech. Grate your carrots. Thinly slice the onion, jalapeno, and radish. If your radish tops are in good shape you can try slicing them and adding them as well.

 Sprinkle on the oregano, and 2 T. salt, and pour in the whey.

When my mom used to make sauerkraut she would layer it all in a stone crock with salt and use her fist, mashing down as she went. That method sucks because it tears up your hands, and I guess I am just not hardcore enough for that. I use my hands to squeeze and massage it, a la Sandor Katz.

After 10 minutes they should be nice and juicy, and a lot smaller than they started out. Pack the veggies into your fermenting vessel. Mine is a gallon jar. Add enough water to cover the veggies. I used 3 cups. I wanted to end up using 1T of salt for every cup of water, and since I had already added 2T, I added 1 more tablespoon. Usually I like to press a large zip bag down inside the jar and fill it with water, but I am out of zip bags, so I just rubberbanded a paper towel over the top of the jar to keep the buggies out. I've never had anything go moldy, but you need to keep an eye out for that. When it comes to ferments, the bubblier the better, in my opinion. I think I'll leave this for 2 weeks and then go from there.