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Baked Saurkraut with Mushrooms ("VEGAN")

1 jar (22 oz.) lo-sodium organic saurkraut
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms (also called dried cepes)
4 oz shitake mushrooms, stems removed
4 oz brown crimini mushrooms, or regular white mushrooms
oil and water
1/2 small red onion
1 1/2 granny smith apples
2 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 c apple cider
8 oz seitan sausage, prespiced with tamari and a touch of hot pepper
1 T sweet red paprika
dash of dried oregano
dash of dried thyme
stalk and tendrils from a fresh bulb of fennel

sour cream
fresh baguette or crusty wheat bread, heated

Drain the saurkraut, but do not rinse. Boil a little water, add
dried porcini mushrooms, boil just a bit longer and set aside,
covered. Gives off this heavenly aroma that you don't want to
evaporate. Slice shitake mushroom caps, and slice or chop the
crimini mushrooms. Place mushrooms in a hot pan with a little oil
and water. Cover and simmer for several minutes so that the
mushrooms' liquid is released. Combine saurkraut and all 3 types
of mushrooms and most of their liquid. Place in an oiled casserole
dish, cover and place in 400 F oven for about 10 minutes.

Slice onion thinly, start to saute it in the remaining mushroom
liquid, or add a little oil and water to saute. Add chopped garlic
and shake the pan to coat the onion and garlic with the oil and
water. Peel and core apples, and chop into tiny wedges. As onion
is beginning to caramelize, or dry off (if very dry, add cider or
water), add apple wedges and 1/2 cup of the apple cider, cover and
cook for a few minutes. Deglaze the pan with remaining cup of
apple cider.

In a separate pan, saute the seitan sausage over a little oil or
water until heated through. Remove from flame. Add paprika, and
dash of oregano and thyme. Mix in the onion/apple mixture. Take
saurkraut out of the oven, and carefully mix this seitan/onion/apple
mixture into the saurkraut. Cover and place back into 400 F oven.
Bake until it releases an aroma that permeates the room, about 45
minutes. Garnish with chopped fennel. Serves 3 or 4.

Serve with warmed baguette and dollops of sour cream. It is yummy.

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