Yid.Dish: Sauerkraut with Smoked Fish or Fried Tempeh

By Leah Koenig

Published June 30, 2005.
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I owe the inspiration for this dish to my dear friend Paul Vandewoude , a marvelous chef from Belgium and proprietor of New York’s charming Miette Culinary studio. I always look forward to working with Paul and sharing an impromptu lunch of smoked fish on buttered rye bread with thinly sliced onions, sauerkraut, and glasses of yeasty Belgium Abbey Beer.

A jar of sauerkraut from a natural food store will be tastier and have better texture than the pouches of cabbage sold as sauerkraut in most supermarkets. This recipe calls for 2 pans, for the two proteins—if you double the fish or tempeh and exclude the other, just use one large pan. Smoked paprika and salt give the tempeh a great smokiness, but even one of these ingredients will do the trick—look for them in gourmet food stores Serves 4

Tempeh:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces tempeh, sliced crosswise into 8 pieces

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

3/4 teaspoon smoked sea salt or sea salt

Sauerkraut:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

3 cups thinly sliced onions

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1 whole smoked white fish or 1 pound kippers, sliced crosswise into 3-inch chunks

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or dill

Tempeh:

1) Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the tempeh and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Add the white wine, paprika, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until all the wine has been absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes.

2) In each of 2 medium saucepans over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add half of the onions, carrot, celery, apple, and caraway seeds to each pan and cook and stir until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

3) Divide the wine between the pans, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir 1 cup sauerkraut and 1/4 cup water into each pan and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

4) Lay the fish over the vegetables in one pan and the tempeh over the vegetables in the other. Cover the pans and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Add half of the dill to each pan and simmer 1 more minute before serving.


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