Tailgate Recipe: Mouthwatering Cabbage Recipes
Tailgates are a special kind of event because they often involve outdoor activities, eating and drinking, and watching sports games.
Tailgates are especially popular during football season which usually starts at the end of summer and goes throughout fall and winter.
In this article, we discuss some of the most mouthwatering cabbage recipes. Inasmuch as, that people can prepare for their next tailgating event.
In particular, we walk people through a recipe for making sauerkraut and fermented vegetables. Towards the end of this article, we briefly discuss what meals we would recommend pairing with this sauerkraut.
The Importance of Local, Organic, Seasonal Ingredients
It’s important to note at the outset that we recommend purchasing as many of your ingredients from organic, local sources as possible.
In terms of cabbage, this shouldn’t be that difficult, as the crop thrives in cool weather. Considering, that can also be harvested during the summer months depending on what variety is planted.
What this means is that you should never have trouble finding local cabbage. At the very least, you could plant this crop in your own garden, as it’s perennially considered one of the easiest crops to grow.
As for organic ingredients, finding these only requires a bit of persistence and confident skepticism. We recommend attending local farmers markets and directly asking farmers about their process. A list of the standards for certified organic farming can be found here.
Remember that just because a farmer has not had his methods certified as organic doesn’t mean his production is not organically produced. Furthermore, just because produce has been certified organic doesn’t necessarily mean the product is of high quality or tasty. You should use these labels as a guide but ultimately choose your product based on whatever appeals to your senses at the moment. Food is alive, and if it wants to be eaten, it will attract you.
Lastly, we recommend purchasing seasonal ingredients whenever possible. These foods travel for a less distance and are thus able to be picked later. This results in a more mature, developed, healthy, tasty food. This shouldn’t be too difficult with cabbage, though other ingredients might be difficult to find seasonally depending on the time of year and where you live.
Acquiring All of the Ingredients
First things first, once we’ve accepted the importance of local, organic, seasonal ingredients, we make a list of all the ingredients we need for this sauerkraut recipe. This list helps us stay organized throughout the process and also gives us a canvas for jotting down creative ideas as we go.
This sauerkraut recipe will feed a group of 5-6 people when paired with complementary foods that we discuss below.
We use 2 heads of cabbage. We prefer purple cabbage due to its higher antioxidants and unique color. Green cabbage can also be used as well as Napa cabbage, though each will result in a unique fermentation.
When creating sauerkraut, we also like to ferment a number of local veggies in each jar. We usually use one red bell pepper, one beet, one radish, one cucumber and one carrot for this recipe. Depending on what size vegetables you acquire, you might need several large mason jars.
Once you’ve acquired your vegetables, the only other ingredient you need is salt. Any kind of salt can be used, though we think more unrefined salts tend to be higher in various vitamins and minerals. This includes Himalayan pink salt as well as some sea salts.
Cutting the Ingredients for the Fermentation Process
Next, we take a large bowl and a cutting tray and cut our cabbage. We do this by taking a large sharp knife and making downward cutting motions to result in thinly cut strips of cabbage.
You can ultimately cut your cabbage in whatever way you want, just as long as it’s cut. Cutting the cabbage allows the cabbage to start leaking out its juices which will form part of the eventual brine for your fermentation. This brine will be critical for some of the cabbage recipes we discuss later in the article.
Once we cut all the cabbage, we put it in a bowl and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of salt on it. Then, we message the salt gently into the cabbage for about 5-10 minutes. By the end of this time, plenty of juices should be present in your bowl. You should have so much salty cabbage juice that picking up your mixture will result in a cascade of running liquids.
After messaging the cabbage, we set it aside and prep our remaining vegetables. Sometimes we like to leave some small vegetables whole, as this results in a uniquely tender bite when it comes time to eat them. Keep in mind, however, that thicker vegetables will take longer to become tender during the fermentation process. Thinly cut vegetables, on the other hand, will become tender much more quickly.
Sometimes we add herbs as well, as these can create a powerful combination of flavors that will perfect for any tailgate event. Cilantro, mint, and ginger are popular options that many people use. Just make sure not to use too much, as a small amount goes a long way.
Packing the Jars with Food
This is one of the best parts of this sauerkraut recipe. All you have to do is pack all of your ingredients into a jar or bin of your choice. We usually use a mason jar, as these are cheap and effective.
The key here is to make sure everything you’re fermenting is submerged in the liquid brine that was engendered by messaging salt into your cabbage. If any part of your mix is not submerged in this brine, then we recommend adding some salt water to the jar.
Once you’ve packed the jars with your foods, then they should be covered lightly and left to ferment for at least 2-3 days at a temperature between 70- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit. In warm weather, this period of time will be sufficient to create a soft, delicious product. In the colder months, you might need up to 3 weeks to produce an ideal fermentation.
Meals to Pair with the Sauerkraut and Fermented Veggies
In this section, we give a brief overview of some meals that people can use to complement the sauerkraut and veggies that result from the fermentation process.
The Avocado Toast Cabbage Recipe
This is one of our favorite cabbage recipes for tailgating because it’s easy to make and delicious. In particular, we use the following ingredients to feed a group of 5-6 people:
Despite this simplicity, this recipe will blow your mind as long as you’ve put in the work in the initial fermentation process. In order to enjoy these ingredients, each person at your tailgate gathering can mash some avocado on a slice of a toast and then top it off with some sauerkraut and fermented veggies.
The Lettuce Wrap Cabbage Recipe
This is another great cabbage recipe for the game day, though it requires a bit more preparation than the previous avocado toast cabbage recipe. This recipe also feeds 5-6 people.
In particular, the filling for the lettuce wrap will be composed of the following ingredients:
This recipe is great if you’re able to make the chili ahead of time. Many tailgaters like to do this and then bring it with them in insulated containers to keep it warm.
Basically, for this recipe, you just use a large romaine lettuce leaf as your wrap. The filling for this wrap will be composed of the chili and will be topped with your sauerkraut and fermented veggies.
To make your chili, we recommend a combination of beans, vegetables, and herbs.
The Summer Salad Cabbage Recipe
Some tailgates take place in scorching hot weather when cooling meals like a salad are preferable. Anything heavier than this during the long hours of tailgating can impact your digestion and happiness.
In order to feed 5-6 people with this salad, we bring the following ingredients to our tailgating event:
These are the basic ingredients for our salad. It is usually tossed these ingredients in a container before heading to our tailgate event, as this makes serving the salad easier.
Usually, you have to keep the sauerkraut and fermented veggies separate, as this allows us to top our salad with these foods. Subsequently, we don’t think a dressing is necessary here, as the mouthwatering brine that was deepened through fermentation will be tasty enough for most people.
At the end of the day, if you follow the guidelines that we outlined throughout this article, you will surely leave your next tailgate event feeling nourished, energized, and happy.