News & Blog

October Local Food Recipe: Sauerkraut

Kielbasa with Spiced Sauerkraut


I admit that sauerkraut isn't my favorite food in the world.  I didn't grow up with it and I didn't even try it until I was well into my twenties.  But I have acquired a taste for it in certain preparations.  It is a traditional way to preserve cabbages in a part of Europe that excels in the quality and variety of its sausages.  So it isn't surprising that the two things are often served together.

I got this recipe from Bon Appetit magazine many years ago and it is a good cool weather supper that I serve with a dark rye bread and good beer.  I hope that if you, like me, are a bit leery of sauerkraut this will win you over.


Kielbasa with Spiced Sauerkraut

Serves 4

• 1 large onion, diced 

• 1 16-ounce can sauerkraut 

• 1 cup dry white wine 

• 2 bay leaves 

• 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds 

• 6 peppercorns 

• 1 pound Kielbasa sausage, sliced 

Combine onion, sauerkraut, wine, bay leaves, caraway seeds and peppercorns in heavy large saucepan. Cover and simmer mixture 30 minutes. Add sausage and simmer 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves and serve. 



Chef Deb Fernandez

Home Star Cuisine, LLC


Sauerkraut is one of those things that is very polarizing. People either love it or hate it.  I am definitely in the love camp.  It reminds me of slow cooked meals that make the house smell fabulous, of days turning colder and warm and soothing comfort food.   That could be due to my German genes and definitely from growing up in a German household.

Sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented in salt over a long period of time. That is it…salt and cabbage and time are the only ingredients.  When cooking with it you can decrease the sour taste by rinsing it well under water but, if you are like me, and you enjoy the sour taste then leave it as it comes. 

The acid in Sauerkraut makes it perfect to braise meat in since the acid breaks down the ligaments in tougher pieces of meat and the flavor brings complexity to the dishes with remarkably few ingredients. So today I will give you instructions on how to make Sauerkraut if you so desire and also how to use it.  

Welcome fall and welcome Sauerkraut!

Your Chef, Lara

Read More

September Local Recipe: Bok Choy

Bok Choy, the mild-mannered cabbage


Well, okay, bok choy isn't exactly a cabbage, but it is in the cabbage family, and it has many of the health benefits of the other members.  It is a powerhouse of vitamins A and C and it is a versatile vegetable that is popular in Chinese stir fries.

In spite of its name, bok choy can be used for non-Chinese preparations (I use it in bean soups sometimes in the winter but that recipe didn't seem as suited to September; it's more of a cold weather dish).  I like to stir fry but I don't always use the traditional Asian seasonings when I do.   You'll notice that the recipe below doesn't start with the usual trinity of garlic, ginger, and scallions.  Because the basil and cilantro in my garden are beginning to come to an end and I wanted to include them in this dish before they go away for the season so I flavored this dish with a good handful of them.  And to round out and brighten those flavors (and bring it to a little more Thai-inspired flavor profile) I added just a touch of spearmint.  But if you wanted to make this taste more Italian and serve it over pasta, you could leave out the cilantro and mint and add a judicious amount of oregano.  You could even add a couple of fresh wedges of tomato into the mix and a splash of white wine at the end.

Hidden in this recipe is a little bonus: in it I use a technique that I learned for dealing with one of the harder vegetables to stir fry, carrots.  I love to put carrots in the mix but I never could get them soft enough for my tastes (I don't like them crunchy) in the dry high heat of the wok.  So what I do now is I put them in a bowl once I've cut them, cover them with a plate, and microwave them for 3 minutes.  They steam a bit and they come out firm but not crunchy and cook to perfection with the rest of the vegetables.

So you can see that stir frying is a versatile cooking method and doesn't necessarily have to take on Asian flavors (though I love them and certainly use them sometimes).  I hope you enjoy this recipe and that it inspires you to create your own stir-fry dishes using whatever you might have on hand.



Bok Choy is technically a Chinese cabbage but it has a light, sweet flavor, crisp texture and fabulous nutritional value. Not only is bok choy high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and calcium, but it is low in calories. This vegetable is often used in stir fry (see recipe below) but is versatile enough to be used even in fancy dishes (see other recipe below). 

Read More

August Member Made Demo: Kimchi

Saturday August 23, 2014

2 - 5PM

Life is better with Kimchi!

Kimchi (or kimchee) is the traditional spicy fermented condiment of Korea. There are hundred of ways to make and enjoy Kimchi. When fermented It is loaded with vitamins A, B, C, and “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli. This good bacteria helps with digestion. 

At this Member Made Demo, Urban Greens Members Emmy Bright and Delia Kovac will demonstrate: The safe handling of hot peppers, how to create a brine, and how to safely ferment kimchi. There will be a homemade kimchi tasting and participants will go home with a kimchi sample.

Read More

Arugula Salad with Melon and Prosciutto Recipe

Arugula – you say “bitter”, I say beautifully versatile

This beautiful green is a summer leaf that is slightly bitter to taste but gorgeous to look at. While I do not eat this leaf alone, it is a fabulous foil to so many ingredients. The sweet fruits of summer along with a salty surprise brings out the pepper in the arugula. Arugula is a gorgeous leaf to brighten up any summer salad or even as a plating vegetable. Use Arugula to brighten up the flavor profiles of the fruits of summer!! Enjoy!!

Your Chef, Lara


Arugula Salad with Melon and Prosciutto

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 cup)



  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 cup thinly sliced peeled cantaloupe
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto



Place olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Add arugula to oil mixture; toss to coat greens. Top arugula mixture with cantaloupe and prosciutto.


Inspired by a recipe from: 401.737.5413


Read More