1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked Minute rice
1 can sauerkraut
Mix beef, egg, salt, pepper and rice together. Form about 24 balls. Place a layer of sauerkraut in a casserole dish; place a layer of meatballs and sprinkle with paprika. Repeat layer, ending with sauerkraut. Sprinkle top with paprika; cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or cook in Dutch oven with lid on for 1 hour on top of the stove. Brush with butter; glaze with powdered sugar and boiling water mixture. Yields 8 servings.
GLUHWEIN (GERMAN WINTER WINE)
2½ cups water
3 bags mandarin orange spice tea
2 cinnamon sticks
2 lemons, sliced
1 large orange, sliced
2 teaspoons ginger
1 bottle red Burgundy wine
2-3 cups sugar, to taste
In Crock Pot on high, combine first 7 ingredients and simmer 45 minutes. Add wine and sugar. Simmer another 2 hours. Discard spices and fruits. Serve hot.
18 ounces onions
18 ounces lean beef or ready-cubed braising steak
2 Tablespoons butter OR cooking oil, such as sunflower, divided
Salt and pepper
4 slightly rounded teaspoons tomato puree
1 cup hot water
1-2 dashes Tabasco sauce
Peel onions, halve and cut into slices. Rinse beef under cold running water, pat dry and cut into 1¼- inch cubes. Heat half the butter or oil in a pan; add cubed meat and brown well on all sides. Add remaining butter or oil and onions. Brown with meat. Season meat mixture with salt, pepper and paprika powder. Stir in tomato puree. Add water; cover and braise over medium heat for 1¼-1½ hours until cooked. If too much liquid has evaporated, add a little water. Season again with salt, pepper, paprika and Tabasco.
Note: You can substitute red wine for half of the water if desired.
WARM POTATO SALAD
2¼ pounds firm cooking potatoes
2-3 Tablespoons herb vinegar
Salt and pepper
3 ounces fatty bacon
1 pinch sugar
4 ounces vegetable stock
4 teaspoons chives, chopped
Wash the potatoes, put in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes. Peel the onions and cut into cubes. Dice bacon; put in frying pan and cook over medium heat so the fat is released. Strain fat through a sieve into a small bowl and reserve bacon.
Add diced onions to stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir in bacon fat.
Drain the potatoes when cooked and rinse briefly in cold water. Drain again and peel while still hot. Cut into slices and arrange in a heat-resistant dish. Pour salad dressing over potatoes and mix well. Let stand a few hours so the flavors can soak in. Preheat oven to 300°. Check seasoning and add salt, pepper and vinegar to taste. Put dish in oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chives, scatter bacon on top and serve warm.
DEUTSCHER GEBACK (GERMAN COOKIES)
½ pound butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 cup nuts, chopped
½ cup strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 325°. Grease 8-inch square cake pan. Cream butter until soft. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and blend well. Add flour slowly and mix thoroughly. Fold in nuts. Spoon half of mixture into cake pan. Spread jam over the top and add remaining mixture. Bake 1 hour. Cut into bars. Yields 16 servings.
OLD GERMAN HONEY COOKIES
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup honey
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cups flour
In a saucepan over low heat, melt together sugar, shortening and honey. Let cool. Mix together eggs, vanilla, baking soda and ginger. Gradually add to cooled honey mixture. Slowly add flour to mixture. Stir until well blended. Bake at 350° until golden brown (12-15 minutes).
1 cup self-rising flour
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 can milk
1 stick butter
Fruit, fresh or canned, to cover bottom of pan
Melt butter in 11x13 pan in oven while preheating to 350°. Remove from oven. Cut up (if necessary) fruit and place in baking dish. Mix together flour, sugar, vanilla and milk. Pour over fruit. DO NOT STIR!! Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown. Great served hot with ice cream!
Note: Sonker is a type of berry pie or deep-dish cobbler and the word is unique to German-settled areas of North Carolina. My grandmother used to make this dish when I was growing up. You can use almost any fruit – peaches, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, etc. I have even seen a recipe for a sweet potato sonker, but it is more complicated.
KIELBASA POTATO CHOWDER
½ pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1½ cups water
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 kale leaves, torn, or 1/3 cup fresh spinach, chopped
½ cup heavy whipping cream or 2% milk
In a large nonstick skillet, brown kielbasa and bacon; drain, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings. Add onion; cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
In a large saucepan, bring broth and water to a boil. Add potatoes, bouillon and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add meat mixture and kale; cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or until kale is wilted. Reduce heat. Add cream; cook 1 minute longer or until heated through.Yield 4 cups.
APPLE STRUDEL DOUGH
2.78 cups flour (conversion of 12-¼ ounces)
1 Tablespoon oil
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
3½ fluid ounces water, lukewarm
1¼ pounds tart apples, (peeled, cored and sliced)
3½ ounces butter, melted
3½ ounces biscuit breadcrumbs
1¾ ounces light brown sugar
Raisins, cinnamon, chopped nuts, lemon juice
Peel apples and cut into thin slices. Gently brown biscuit crumbs in butter. Combine all ingredients for the filling.
Mix flour, salt, oil and lukewarm water. Knead together with the kneading hook on the mixer or in a food processor for approximately 10 minutes until the dough has become smooth and elastic. Roll the dough into a ball and brush with butter. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross at the top of ball of dough and then leave to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, wrapped in cling film.
Sprinkle a patterned tablecloth evenly with flour. Roll the dough out as thinly as possible on the cloth. Place your hands, stretched out flat, under the dough and draw the dough over the back of your hand so it becomes thinner and thinner. You know the dough is ready when the pattern on the tablecloth is recognizable through the dough, or when you can read newspaper print through it.
Fill and roll the strudel together, being sure to use the tablecloth to help you by raising the end with the filled dough just enough the strudel begins to roll on its own accord. Grease strudel with melted butter and bake in preheated over at 400º for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Note: The pastry chef on the VIKING Vienna demonstrated how to make the strudel and gave us the recipe. There was also a tasty topping that accompanied the dish, but it was not included!!
The actual recipe for this chocolate and apricot cake is a well-guarded secret. It is produced by the Sacher Hotel in Vienna, Austria. A dense, not-too-sweet concoction, this is a lot of work, but well worth the effort.
4½ ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped9 Tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 Tablespoon) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour (spoon gently into cup and level)
¼ cup water
¼ cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons dark rum, divided
1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves
1 Tablespoon water
9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces heavy cream
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400º degrees. Lightly butter 9-inch spring form pan and line bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper. Dust sided of pan with flour and tap out excess.
In the top of double boiler over very hot, but not simmering water, OR in a microwave at medium power, melt chocolate. Remove from heat or oven and let stand, stirring often, until cool.
Beat butter in bowl of a heavy-duty standing mixer fitted with paddle blade on medium-high speed until smooth, about one minute. On low speed, beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Return speed to medium-high and beat until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in chocolate and vanilla.
Beat egg whites and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until soft, shiny peaks form. Do not overbeat. Stir about a quarter of beaten whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it; then fold in the remaining whites, leaving a few visible wisps of whites. Sift half of flour over the chocolate mixture, and fold in with a large balloon whisk or rubber spatula. Repeat with remaining flour.
Spread evenly in pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. (The cake will dome in the center.) Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove sides of pan and invert cake onto rack. Remove paper and re-invert on another rack to turn right side up. Cool completely.
To assemble: Using a long, serrated knife, trim the top of the cake to make it level. Cut cake horizontally into two equal layers. Place one cake layer on 8-inch cardboard round.
For filling/glaze: Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. When the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear, remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons rum. Brush a third of syrup on the cut side of the cake bottom. Puree the apricot preserves with 1 tablespoon water until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining rum. Spread a third of jam mixture onto cut side of cake bottom. Place top of cake onto the bottom. Brush the outside of the cake with the remaining syrup. Spread remaining apricot preserves over top and sides; refrigerate until chocolate icing is ready.
Icing: Melt chocolate over double boiler or in microwave until smooth. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir into melted chocolate. Cool slightly, stirring often, until the chocolate reaches a spreadable consistency.
Set cake on cooling rack set over a cookie sheet or waxed paper to catch any drips. Pour the icing on top of the cake and spread around the edges; allow excess to drip through the rack. Cool cake to room temperature. Carefully remove from cooling rack using a spatula. Transfer to dessert plate and store in refrigerator, at least one hour, until glaze is completely set. Remove from refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.
To serve, slice with a sharp knife dipped into hot water. Serve with a large dollop of whipped cream on the side. Yields 12-16 servings.
Note from Mary: I think I gained 10 pounds sampling the recipes, but it was worth it!
Thank you, Susan. Not too many people would have spent part of their vacation hunting down recipes for us. Let’s enjoy something a little out of the ordinary this month.
I am looking for cooks of all ages, cooking traditions and skill levels to feature in this column. I want to hear from those in Alabama as well as our out-of-state readers. The simple requirements for being a featured cook are to love to cook (and eat) and to share your story with us. Get those recipes coming! Email me at email@example.com. --Mary