Sunday, October 04, 2009

Going Old-School with Caraway & Kraut

It was with great fear and trepidation that I decided to make German meatloaf for dinner. I knew the Amish-style fried noodles would be a hit, but I was fairly certain both wife and child would balk at meatloaf with sauerkraut, caraway and rye crumbs. Amazingly, the boy ate it and the wife actually really liked it, liked it enough to pack herself some for tomorrow's lunch. The boy is asking for more noodles as I type. With these German-y dishes, I served the Trader Joe's blend of edamame, corn and red pepper they refer to as "soycotash." Good stuff!

German Meatloaf
2 c. fresh rye crumbs
1 14 oz. can sauerkraut, drained well
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. caraway seeds
A good grinding of pepper
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. ketchup (I served this with ketchup on the table, too, but it didn't need it)
2 lb. burger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything but meat together. Add the meat and mix gently with your hands. Pat into a foil-lined loaf pan. Bake 1 hour & 15 minutes. I like to put a pizza pan underneath just in case. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Fried Noodles
3 1/2 c. fine egg noodles
3 tbsp. ch. onion
2 tbsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. hot sauce (I just eyeballed it & probably used closer to half a tsp.---I like Lousiana hot sauce, but use whatever you like)
1/2 stick butter
Cook & drain noodles. Add all but butter. Melt butter in skillet. Add noodles to skillet & pat into an even layer. Cook on medium 15-20 minutes, until golden. It may take longer than did for me, but I started my noodles on low.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A Homey Dinner for a Chilly October Night

J loves chicken casserole, as well as broccoli casserole, so every so often I try to make something like that for her. Last night, I made a chicken & stuffing casserole, mashed potatoes with chicken gravy and corn. I was a little iffy about the casserole, but we both really liked it. Not so much the boy, but he picked the chicken out and had plenty to eat with the sides. He and his brother are not really casserole people, particularly if there is a creamy element to the dish. But, if you're a casserole person and you're not too high & mighty to cook with cream soups, I think you'll like this one.

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced and cooked

14 oz. can chicken broth (I use the lower fat, lower sodium kind)

1 can cream of chicken soup (98% fat-free tastes just fine)

1 can cream of broccoli soup

8 oz. sour cream

1 bag herb stuffing mix (whatever kind you like is best. I used Pepperidge Farm in the red bag)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken in an even layer in a 13x9 baking dish. Mix the soups and sour cream together. Pour over chicken layer. Top with stuffing & pour broth over the top. Brown the top. This will take about 15 minutes. Turn the heat up to 375 degrees and bake another half hour. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. This will feed 6-8. By the way, if the damn ring on the soup can comes off before you get the can open, do not attempt to open it with a can opener. It doesn't work on either end. Instead, get out a meat mallet and pound the top a good few whacks until it cracks open and then pry it the rest of the way up with a butter knife.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce

Okay, the idea sounds a little odd, I admit, and the last time a dish like this was popular was probably when I was in middle school. However, I made it for dinner the other night and it was utterly delicious. I found it in an old garden club cookbook from who knows when under the appetizing name "Beef Balls Burgundy" and decided to give it a try, with a couple of modifications. My wife loved it so much she ate it for breakfast the next morning and it was a big hit with the 14 y.o., too. It tastes like being taken care of. I served it over egg noodles with steamed broccoli on the side.

Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce
1 1/2 lb. burger (I used ground round)
1 egg
1 slice of bread's worth of soft breadcrumbs
1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. Paula Deen's House Seasoning
3 tbsp. butter
1 lb. frozen pearl onions, thawed
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 can condensed beef broth
1 c. dry red wine
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
Mix beef, egg, breadcrumbs, milk and 1 1/2 tsp. seasoning together gently. Shape into 24 meatballs. Melt butter in Dutch oven. Add onions & mushrooms. Sprinkle with sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned. Set aside. In same pot, brown the meatballs. Add to onion & mushroom mixture. Blend flour & 1/2 tsp. seasoning with drippings in pot. Add broth, wine and carrots and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add meatballs, onions & mushrooms back into the pot and heat through. Serves 6.