While I’m convalescing after surgery, I’ve asked my friend, Sue, to share her recipe for Sauerkraut Relish and write a guest post. We were lucky enough to attend the cookout Sue mentions and to be sent home with some of the leftovers! The beautiful color was the first thing to strike me about this relish, and the flavor and texture were also awesome! Thanks, Sue, for sharing and helping me out! Now, I’ll hand it over to Sue:
My foodie brother introduced me to sauerkraut relish (or marinated sauerkraut), when he was in his brat phase. (That’s “brat” as in “bratwurst” … the other kind of brat phase was when he was much younger.) When I was invited recently to a cookout with the theme of “cookout classics,” I decided to bring sauerkraut relish to accompany the hotdogs. Rather than get my brother’s recipe, I pulled out my cookbooks that are collections of recipes from mid-last-century from the midwest. The sauerkraut relish had reminded me of my father’s cousin’s family recipe for shoe peg corn salad, as well as my Aunt Marion’s bean salad, so I also went through my recipe box. There seems to be a genre of mid-century midwestern marinated vegetable salads that all have similar themes and ingredients. The main hallmark seems to be a dressing composed of vinegar and sugar (ranging from equal parts to a preponderance of sugar), and the vegetables added to the main ingredient include onion, celery, and bell pepper (with some also calling for pimiento, jalapeño pepper, and/or grated carrot).
So, I sort of combined recipes and picked what sounded good. Since I had roasted a red pepper for an appetizer for the cookout, I opted not to use the pimiento, and I used a combination of yellow and orange bell peppers. I added a jalapeño pepper but wasn’t sure of the guests’ heat tolerance so removed the seeds and membranes. And I didn’t measure, so quantities are approximate.
My brother served the sauerkraut relish as a hot dog condiment, but the guests at the cookout treated it as a side dish. Which is, of course, perfectly OK.
- One 32-oz jar sauerkraut
- Several ribs of celery
- One-half red onion
- One bell pepper
- One large jalapeño
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup vinegar
- ⅓ cup oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Drain the sauerkraut well
- I also squeezed it over the colander till fairly dry
- Dice the celery, onion, and bell pepper
- Remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeño and dice
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar and vinegar and stir till dissolved
- Let cool
- Add to the vegetable mixture with the oil and salt and pepper to taste