Wiener- Kraut

Weiner-Kraut with Spatzele

Weiner-Kraut with Spatzele

I’m a little late getting this post up.   I made this dish several weeks ago with a nod to Octoberfest.  But what the heck, just call it Novemberfest.

What’s Oktoberfest if not an excuse to indulge–isn’t that why we co-oped the German holiday, after all?

This is an old Mennonite recipe, brought by those folks when they immigrated to this country.   I found it in a catalog from the Penzey’s Spice Company.  It’s relatively quick to prepare and perfect for a chilly fall day after working out in the yard.  It can be served over mashed potatoes, or egg noodles, but when I made it I used a package of Spaetzle and served it all with fresh green beans.  A cold glass of beer goes very well with this dish. Dirndles and lederhosen not required.

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WIENER-KRAUT

Yield:   Serves 6 – 8IMG_8467

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. butter or vegetable oil
  • 4  Polish or German-style sausages ( 1 1/2 – 2 pounds), sliced 1/4-inch thick.  (I used kielbasa.)
  • 1 onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper, 1 medium
  • 4 cups sliced or shredded cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp. Krakow Nights, or Tsardust Seasoning (from Penzey’s)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice ( in a pinch, use chicken broth)

Directions:

1.  In a large deep skillet, melt the butter  or vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the sausage slices and brown, about 4 minutes per side.  Add the onion and cook until tender 3 – 5 minutes, stirring often.

Browning the sausage with onions.

Browning the sausage with onions.

2.  Add the vinegar to deglaze the pan, being sure to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add the apples, bell peppers, cabbage, seasonings and apple juice or cider.

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Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes, until the cabbage is tender but not mushy.

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Serve with mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or spaetzle.

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SOURCE:  Penzey’s Catalog

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Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Several months ago, my husband’s office staff got together for a pot-luck luncheon.  One of the dishes that was prepared for the luncheon was this one, that Mr. D. described as “layered like lasagna without the noodles”, and he declared that it was fabulous.  I suggested that he ask for the recipe which he did.  I want to thank Maggie for first making the dish and also Cheryl for sharing the link to the web site where I got the recipe.

This dish is basically a deconstructed version of stuffed cabbage, so if you love stuffed cabbage, you’re going to love this dish.  The idea is to layer shredded cabbage with ground beef, brown rice and a tomato sauce, then bake and finish off with melted cheese on top.

Just as good the second time we had it .

Just as good the second time we had it .

I had the remains of a large head of cabbage and wanted to do something with it besides make coleslaw, so remembering about this casserole dish I went looking for it.   Since the web site is called “Skinnytaste.com“, I felt pretty sure it would fit into my new diet routine.  Actually, I was browsing the web looking for a skinny person to eat, but this is what I came up with instead.  It will have to do!  🙂

To make a long story short, it turned out great.  Even though stuffed cabbage doesn’t usually contain cheese,  the addition of a cheese topping here seems like the finishing touch to a very delicious casserole.  A full recipe is meant to make 10 servings.  If this is too much you can make half the recipe, or make and freeze some.  It can be reheated for another time.  As you can see here I portioned the left-overs into individual casseroles for ease in reheating, covering with foil and reheating them in the oven.

STUFFED CABBAGE CASSEROLE

Servings:   about 10

Ingredients

Cabbage, onion, ground beef, tomato sauce, and seasonings.

Cabbage, onion, ground beef, rice, garlic, and seasonings.

  • 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp.sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 large head cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can ( 14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can ( 15 oz ) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese

Instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray.   My dish was 13″ X 9″.

2.  Heat a large frying pan on medium heat.  Add the ground beef and cook until it’s browned and cooked through, breaking apart as it cooks.  Remove and set aside.

Browning the meat

Browning the meat

3.  In the same pan, add 1 tsp. olive oil, chopped onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook about 2 minutes more.

Cook onion and garlic with seasonings.

Cook onion and garlic with seasonings.

Then add the diced tomatoes and juice,plus the tomato sauce.

Add the tomatoes and sauce.

Add the tomatoes and sauce.

Then add the ground beef and water to the pan.  Simmer until it’s hot and slightly thickened,  about 15 minutes.

Add the browned beef and water to the pan.

Add the browned beef and water to the pan.

4.  While it simmers, core and cup up cabbage.  Heat remaining olive oil in another large frying pan or dutch oven;  add the cabbage and cook over medium heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks.  Season with salt and pepper.

Saute the cabbage until wilted.

Saute the cabbage until wilted.

5.  When the meat and tomato mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups cooked rice and gently combine.

Add the cooked rice.

Add the cooked rice.

6.  To prepare casserole,  layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture.

Layering it up.

Layering it up.

Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes, or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges.

Cover with foil and bake.

Cover with foil and bake.

7.  Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese.  Bake uncovered an additional 15 – 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown slightly.   Serve hot.

Cover with grated cheese and bake until melted .

Cover with grated cheese and bake until melted .

This freezes well if you have left-overs.  To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then either microwave until hot or heat in the oven in a baking dish covered with foil.

SOURCE:   Skinnytaste.com

Peasant in a Pan

Sauted cabbage, cheddarwurst and pierogies.

Sauted cabbage, cheddarwurst and pierogies.

This dinner is about as rustic and peasant-like as it gets and it doesn’t have a recipe.  This is a put-together that I make because Mr. D. loves it, and it is so easy.  Besides that it is nutritious, utilizes convenience foods, and tastes super-good.  My only concern when I make it is the sodium content, which can be high when you use processed meats.  So be mindful of that and check labels when choosing your meat.

This is not a meal that I ever thought I would include in my blog because it is so ordinary,  but at the urging of my husband here it is.  Whenever I make it, this is what he says after the first bite:    “MMMMMMMM”      I think this is probably a “guy’s meal”.

Simple to make, hearty to eat.

Simple to make, hearty to eat.

This dish is a take off on the traditional kielbasa and sauerkraut but it also incorporates pierogies, and onions.  This is how I prepare it:

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 package frozen peirogies, filling of choice.  We like potatoes and onions.
  • 1 package Cheddarwurst individual sized kielbasa, 6/pkg.  Or you can use frankfurts, or bratwurst.
  •  1/2 a medium-sized cabbage, roughly sliced or chopped.   More if you like and are feeding a large group.
  • 1 large onion, halved, then sliced into half-moons
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • seasonings that may include nutmeg, 5-spice powder, or some type of bavarian spice blend.
  • small amount of water

WHAT YOU DO:

1.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  Cook pierogie according to package directions.  Do not overcook.

2.  Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet. (large enough to hold everything–this is a one pan meal.)  Add sliced onions and sauté to soften.  Add the chopped cabbage and continue to sauté to lightly brown and soften the cabbage.

3.  Season this mixture with what ever spice blend you may have.  Usually nutmeg is a good choice.  I use Tsardust Memories from Penzeys Spices and it includes salt, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and marjoram.

4.  Place the cheddarwurst on the cabbage mixture and cover. If it is sticking to the pan, add a small amount of water just to keep from sticking. Allow this mixture to steam slowly while the pierogie are cooking.

5.   Add cooked pierogie to the pan, spooning some of the cabbage mixture over them.  When everything is cooked and thoroughly heated through, serve.  I like to melt some additional butter and drizzle it over the top just before bringing to the table.

A complete meal in one pan.

A complete meal in one pan.

On this occasion when I made it, I had a small amount of kale to use up, so I added the chopped up kale leaves to the mixture just before putting the cheddarwurst in the pan.  A nice way to get in some extra fiber and nutrition.   I must say that when you know how to make a meal like this you can then swap in other vegetables or substitute a different type of meat –or no meat at all for a vegetarian version–and you will never be at a loss for a quick meal idea.

Try this out,  give it your own spin,  and I hope you will like it.

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SOURCE:   This is a Carolyn invention.

Sauteed Cabbage and Kale

Cabbage and Kale Sautee

Cabbage and Kale Sautee

Kale seemed to be the darling vegetable of 2012, and its popularity does not seem to be letting up in 2013.  Whether cooked in soups or with other vegetables or eaten raw in salads, this is one vegetable that packs a nutritious punch.

For years I wouldn’t even look at kale.  I thought it was only used as a garnish in fancy restaurants. Its leaves and surface are so rough, all I could imagine was trying to eat a brillo pad.  Until last year I had never even purchased kale.  But being a person who does not want to be left out of a good thing,  I realized that I owed it to myself ( and the people I cook for) to at least give it a fair chance.  So my first endeavor was to put some in a soup, where I would not have to meet it face-to-face.   I could tolerate that because it was mixed with the other vegetables, and every thing tasted quite good.  My second encounter with kale was not so successful.  I made Kale Chips.  So many articles and blogs raved about baked kale chips; crispy, a little salty, addictive.  Yup, they certainly were—-and I over did it.  Unpleasant side effects!  Mr. D. had the same reaction, so there has been a lengthy time lapse since that experience.

Where food is concerned, a good picture will get me every time.  So when I saw a picture of this dish on My Gourmet Connection of kale sautéed with cabbage, onions, and scallions, I decided to give it one more chance.  This time it was a winner.  If you are a fan of this leafy green vegetable that becomes soft and silky smooth when cooked, you must give this recipe a trial run.

Because you want to caramelize rather than brown the cabbage in order to develop its natural sweetness, this dish takes a little time to prepare, but I think you will find that the flavor is well worth the extra effort.  It is a great side dish that goes with all sorts of entrees.

SAUTEED CABBAGE AND KALE

Take time to slowly cook the cabbage until it is browned.

Take time to slowly cook the cabbage until it is golden.

YIELD:   about 4 – 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small head of cabbage, chopped or roughly cut
  • 1 lb. fresh kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, ( 4 – 5 ) chopped
  • salt and pepper

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to soften.  Add the garlic and continue cooking just until fragrant, 1 minute longer.

2.  Add about 1/3 of the chopped cabbage, season with a pinch of salt and cook until wilted and reduced in bulk.  Repeat with the other two batches of cabbage, being sure to season with a bit more salt each time.

3.  Continue cooking, stirring often until the cabbage is caramelized and golden in color, 15 to 18 minutes.  Add the butter, a few grinds of black pepper, and adjust the salt  to taste.

4.  Add the kale and continue cooking until it’s wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then add the scallions and cook until they’re slightly softened, but still bright green.

Add kale and scallions to the pan.

Add kale and scallions to the pan.

Transfer to a serving dish.

A great side dish ready to be enjoyed with any entree.

A great side dish ready to be enjoyed with any entree.

SOURCE:   MyGourmetconnection.com

Creamy Garlic Coleslaw

Creamy, Garlicy Cole Slaw

Creamy, Garlicy Cole Slaw

In the days before food processors, making coleslaw was a laborious task involving cutting the cabbage with a knife.  In my growing up years I was very used to having coleslaw that was cut extremely fine, and mixed with a dressing consisting of mayonnaise, thinned with a little vinegar or pickle juice.

I had an aunt who was my mother’s sister, and she spent a great deal of time at our house.  One of her special skills was cutting the cabbage for coleslaw.  She removed the hard rib from each leaf, tightly rolled up the leaf (like a cigar), and cross cut it into very fine shreds. She thought nothing of spending an hour or more doing this, and it was her contribution to dinner.  I share this story with you so you will know that where coleslaw is concerned I am very ” spoiled”.  I like it shredded very thin therefore,  I rarely use packaged coleslaw mixes.

My solution to getting cabbage shredded thin is to use a plane grater which is adjustable for thickness, and it does a pretty good job of getting the cabbage as thin as I like it.  Which brings me to my recipe for today.  I cooked fish this past weekend, and I aways think that coleslaw is a good side dish with fish, so I made some.  Besides the usual cabbage, mayonnaise and vinegar, this recipe includes shredded carrots, a few stuffed green olives sliced thin, and some parsley for color.  The dressing includes garlic, grainy mustard, and sugar.  There is such a good balance of flavors that no single one stands out, but together they make a tangy, cool, crunchy, taste sensation.

Cool, Crunchy and Tangy

Cool, Crunchy and Tangy

CREAMY GARLIC COLESLAW

SERVINGS:  about 12 – 1/2 cup servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups  shredded cabbageIMG_2083
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 12 – 14 pimiento-stuffed olives, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 or 2 small garlic cloves, minced ***
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • ***note to myself in my recipe book: ” Be sure to use enough garlic”

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, carrot, olives, and parsley;   mix well and set aside.

2.  Combine  the garlic and salt in a mortar and press with a pestle until mixture becomes a paste.  Scrape into a small bowl.

3.  To the garlic paste, add the mayonnaise, and mix well.  Add the vinegar, sugar, and mustard.  Mix well with a whisk.

Shredded vegetables in one bowl, dressing ingredients, in another.  Mix together and chill.

Shredded vegetables in one bowl, dressing ingredients, in another. Mix together and chill.

4.  Pour dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate as long as possible before serving.  The time allows the flavors to meld, and the cabbage to become crisp.  It is best served cold.

Creamy, Garlicy Cole Slaw

Creamy, Garlicy Cole Slaw

Another way that I love this coleslaw is on a sandwich with pulled pork.  You won’t believe how good it is unless you try it!   XOXO

SOURCE:    Simply Vegetables,   Linda Fraser

Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This dish is intended to be cooked in a slow-cooker.   I can remember only one other time in my whole cooking-lifetime that I made stuffed cabbage rolls, and they, too, were cooked in a slow-cooker.   On reading this recipe I was intrigued by the promise of sweet – sour combination of flavors, so I decided to give it a try.

First off, let me confess that I don’t know my way around cabbage very well.   Mostly what I do with it is make coleslaw, and I let my processor do the shredding for me.  I also sometimes coarsely shred it with a knife to cook with Kielbasa. That’s about the extent of my cabbage repertoire.   So what I’m trying to say is that I’m not very adept at shaping and rolling a filling into a cabbage leaf.  If you are someone who can do this very well, please don’t laugh when you see the photos of my endeavors.  After all, pretty doesn’t taste any better, does it?

Secondly, there are several steps involved in getting everything ready to go into the crockpot–the recipe predicts a prep time of 20 minutes–but it took me much longer, about 30 – 45 minutes.  Plan ahead if you are going to make this, or assemble it the night before and start cooking in the morning.

INGREDIENT LIST

  • 1 small – medium head of green cabbage

    Have all your ingredients ready.

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced.  I used a large shallot.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cans tomato sauce, ( 8 ounce each)
  • 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 slices reduced-calorie wheat bread.  I used one multi-grain wheat thin.
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups cooked egg noodles

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Boil cabbage 12 – 15 minutes, then drain well.  Carefully remove outer leaves–you will need about 12.  Remove tough stem from each leaf and set aside.  Shred the remaining cabbage and place in the bottom of the slow-cooker.

2.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a large  non stick skillet over medium heat; cook onion 5 minutes.

Cooking the onion , garlic and seasonings.

Add garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg; cook 1 minute.  Remove half of this mixture and set aside.

Add tomato sauce, sugar and vinegar.

Stir tomato sauce, sugar and vinegar into skillet and remove from heat.

Use processor to make the meat filling.

3.  In a processor, pulse bread and milk until a paste is formed.  Add reserved onion mixture, beef, salt and pepper and pulse until well combined.

4.  With stem ends of cabbage leaves facing you, place 2 heaping Tablespoons of meat mixture in center of each leaf and roll up.

Meat filling rolled into the cabbage leaves.

5.  Place rolls, seam-side down, in slow cooker.  Pour sauce over all.

Pour tomato sauce over cabbage rolls in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours.  Serve with egg noodles.

Serve over egg noodles.

Our assessment of this recipe:  First I think the name of this dish is a misnomer;  the flavor is more sweet than sour, but not overly sweet.  Secondly, we both thought the meat filling was very compact and dense.  If I were to make this again,  I would not mix the filling in a processor, but instead in a bowl, like making meatloaf.  It would then be lighter and more textured, perhaps adding some cooked white rice would help. The tomato sauce was flavorful with a faint hint of the cinnamon, which I thought complemented the cabbage.  When we ate the leftovers, I thought the whole dish tasted better the second time around, and the meat filling was more moist.

SOURCE:  Family Circle Magazine, November, 2012:  Slow Cooker Suppers