This post is sponsored by Kraut Rocks
I've written about the semi-complicated process of sponsored posts. I love them, I need them, I also kind of fear them because I tend to overthink them. What if the client hates it? What if you guys hate it? Cue the self-doubt-fueled writer's block gaaaaahhhhhhhhh.
But then sometimes a sponsored post comes along that involves hanging out with an old friend, gossiping, drinking beer and cooking mussels and hot dogs and sauerkraut over an open flame on a bar counter wait WHAT.
There's a month-long sauerkrautaganza going on in D.C. right now called Kraut Rocks. Top Chef's Spike Mendolsohn is the host and several other local chefs are featuring their take on sauerkraut on their menus. I was asked to write a post about it.
Amy's Mouth: Sure! Why not?
Amy's Brain: Why not? You mean other than the little fact that you don't particularly like sauerkraut?
Amy's Wallet: QUIET, YOU FOOL.
At first I thought maybe I would do a cooking demonstration of my own, or we could visit one of the participating restaurants and photograph me attempting to gain a new appreciation of sauerkraut the superfood, but then when I saw the final list of chefs I remembered that OH YEAH, THIS HAPPENED.
"This" = appearing as a judge on an episode of Throwdown With Bobby Flay, once a upon a time, a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away where I only had ONE CHILD and was only about 10 weeks pregnant with Ezra.
As I (repeatedly) mentioned in my posts about it, Throwdown judges are punked right along with the local chef. In our case, the local chef was Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore's. We've been buds ever since.
(You may also remember him — or a totally unfairly edited, pretty much fictional version of him — from The Next Food Network Star. He's shrugged that one off; I still get rage-face-y over it. SHUT UP TELEVISION YOU ARE FULL OF LIES.)
(Holy cats, this is the longest wind-up ever, no?)
Teddy seemed like 1) the perfect person to re-introduce me to the wonders of the kraut, and 2) the perfect opportunity to get paid for doing something I'd totally do for free.
In this case, consume some alcohol and then come dangerously close to setting my hair on fire.
(Look at those percentages. LOOK AT THEM.)
(Look at how well this could end. LOOK AT IT.)
Teddy, being awesome AND a fairly regular, long-time reader of this very blog, came up with a pantry-raid idea for our little cooking experiment. He grabbed a ton of typical kid-friendly ingredients and other stuff most of us are likely to have on hand, and proceeded to explain that you could make a broth for mussels (his specialty) with just about all of them.
Right down to the dehydrated cheese packet in a box of macaroni-and-cheese.
(Cook milk, butter and shredded real cheese with powdered cheez product, add mussels, serve over the pasta and favorite chopped herbs.)
Then he put me to work on our Frankenkraut creation.
He offered to let me actually cook the mussels, at which point I put down the knife and laffed and laffed, because dude. I like you. I really don't want to burn your restaurant down.
So, into the pan went:
An apple juice box
Beer (a pilsner)
AH NOM NOM NOM.
These suckers smelled amazing. The sauerkraut broth? So full of win. I loved it. I am totally stealing it. I am brining my Thanksgiving turkey in it. I am going on a sauerkraut recipe bender AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME.
Here's a video of Teddy making another version of kraut mussels and then drinking beer with Spike, Mike Isabella and Ryan Wheeler. So basically a recreation of our cooking session, only with more talent and dignity.
(Locals can actually order this dish at Granville Moore's this month...the rest of you GET IN THE KITCHEN AN' MAKE ME SUM MUSSELS)
Giveaway! Check out the recipes and pick a favorite. Tell me which it is and win a $100 prize pack (t-shirt, coffee mug, one of those beer steins from the video that I am TOTALLY COVETING and a restaurant gift card).