The part of Slovenia where I come from is called Brkini. This region has that kind of soil that is perfect for harvesting the best potatoes in quantities that last for a year, as well as cabbage that is turned into sauerkraut and stored to last through the winter too.
"Krompir v zevenci" or potato cooked with sauerkraut is a traditional dish that was usually served for dinner in those past days when food was not as abundant as today, and is served today for special occasions as delicacy and a staple of the region. What gives potato in this dish that special "aha"moment is the sauerkraut pickling liquid that kind of hardens the potatoes' outer layer and prevents potatoes from overcooking and mushing. Traditionally hot pig fat with crunched sausage is poured over the top to bring the dish together; but as I don't consume pork I always use olive oil and smoked turkey ham.
POTATOES with SAUERKRAUT and CRUNCHED SMOKED TURKEY HAM (for 2 persons)
(for printable recipe click here)
6 small potatoes, peeled and cut in half
14 oz. sauerkraut with pickling liquid, about 2 cups
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
water, enough to cover the potatoes in the pot
1 cup cubed smoked turkey ham
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Into a big enough pot, put potatoes, salt, and black pepper. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add sauerkraut with pickling liquid, bring to a boil again, lower heat to medium, and cook until potatoes are soft, approximately 15 minutes. Drain the liquid, cover the pot, and set aside.
Into a hot skillet over medium heat, pour olive oil and add cubed smoked turkey ham. Cook until ham becomes browned and crunchy. Don't forget to add garlic to ham 2-3 minutes before ham is done.
Onto each plate arrange 6 potato halves, half of the sauerkraut, and pour over hot olive oil with crunched turkey ham. For those who are not meat fans, just olive oil and garlic will give the same delicious tasty results!
Hope you enjoyed being accounted to one more of my home country traditional meals!