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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Kielbasa Apple Skewers

Kielbasa-Apple Skewers

Kielbasa-Apple Skewers

Whenever our family gets together for a holiday gathering we usually start around mid-afternoon, but dinner is not served for several more hours.  Of course, everyone is hungry so we always have appetizers, and each of us brings one to share.  These were part of my contribution to the family gathering.  Bonkers awesome is what they were.  The men just loved them, and all that I brought disappeared in a flash.  Had I anticipated how good these would be I would have prepared more.

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Even when our main entreé is ham, I like to have kielbasa for Easter as well.  So I thought these appys would be a good way to work it in.  I used a precooked kielbasa that weighed about 1 pound, and warmed it through before cutting it up for the appetizers.  I paired it with Granny Smith apples because of their tartness.  I did not want a sweet apple.  The dipping sauce I made consisted of light sour cream,  whole-grain mustard and horseradish.  These were hearty enough to quiet the “hungries”, but not heavily laden with fat and calories.

Dipping sauce, all made, and its ingredients.

Dipping sauce, all made, and its ingredients.

These can be put together at the last minute by simply slicing the kielbasa, slicing up the apples, match them up in pairs, thread onto  skewers, and serve with the dipping sauce.  Easy.  Beautiful.  Deeeelish!

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KIELBASA APPLE SKEWERS

Yield:   I made about 36 skewers with the quantities given below.

Ingredients:

  • 1   (1-pound) precooked kielbasa, warmed through in a saucepan with some water, or grilled.
  • 1 -2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced or cubed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons, chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1.  Slice the kielbasa into 1/4-inch thick slices.

2.  Cut the green apples into thin slices or small cubes.   Thread kielbasa and apples onto skewers. (toothpicks)

3.  In a small mixing bowl,  stir together the sour cream, parsley, mustard, horseradish and salt.

4.  Arrange the skewers on a serving tray and serve with the dipping sauce.

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SOURCE:   Adapted from Food Network Magazine

 

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.