Sunday, March 9, 2014

Choucrôute garni

Eastside Road, March 8, 2014—
COOK TURNED TO HER SHELVES for one of the treasured old books from the Time-Life series Foods of the World, which issued hard-bound larger-format books with lots of travelogue-style color photographs, accompanied by these little spiral-bound books.

We still find these books handy and in many cases authoritative. Recipes: The Cooking of Provincial France (New York: Time-Life Books, 1968), for example, was written by M.F.K. Fisher, and soon afterward republished under her byline. Apparently many people kept the hardbound photo books and got rid of the spiral-bound recipe books: they made a mistake. (You can still find many of these titles, both the photo books and the recipes, used, online, often at good prices. Richard Olney was the consulting editor for a later Time-Life series, The Good Cook, not to be confused with the earlier series.)

Anyhow, we've been eating this delicious "garnished sauerkraut," a famous old Alsatian standby, for three days now, and it just keeps getting better. I think Cook made very few changes in the recipe. In the past she has added smoked pork chops to the mix, and I've always liked that, but we were startled to find smoked pork chops impossible to find within fifteen miles of our kitchen — perhaps no one knows about them any more. I hope not.

Lindsey cooked the kraut in Pinot grigio; Pinot blanc or Riesling would be perhaps more authentic, but that hardly mattered — Pinot grigio works fine, and besides we had some good bottles of white wine for these three feasts:
Pinot Grigio, Villa Sonia (Veneto), 2012; Pinot blanc, Fleurelle (Alsace), 2012; Gewurztraminer, Michel Léon (Alsace), 2012; Riesling, Ulrich Langguth (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer), 2012

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