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Last updated 9/14/2023 at 8:50am



Kraut Ranza’s are a popular item at German festivals, with each area of Germans from Russia have variations in the spelling of the name and numerous variations in recipe ingredients. All feature a yeast dough wrapped around a savory filling that includes sauerkraut.

Making the yeast dough is often the roadblock preventing folks from making these handy to serve and eat pocket sandwiches. Frozen Texas Roll dough to the rescue. Thaw the rolls 2 hours before ready to make and you have the perfect size to roll out and fill with your favorite Ranza filling.

I have shared this recipe before, but the concept is so handy for any type savory filling, it can be a year round recipe. Kraut Ranza’s freeze well and make a great after school snack or quick dinner on a busy night

Easy Kraut Ranza’s

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled fine.

2 cups chopped cabbage

2 cups sauerkraut, well drained

1-2 drops liquid smoke

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 package frozen Texas Rolls.

Two hours before you want to make, remove rolls from freezer and thaw two hours.

Meanwhile, prepare filling by browning hamburger and draining off excess fat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Stir in cabbage and cook until tender. Add sauerkraut and seasonings. Add bacon just before filling.

Roll each dough ball into a 5-inch circle. Fill each with 1/4 cup hamburger mixture. Pull up edges and pinch to seal closed over filling. Place on parchment lined pans, pinched side down, and let raise for 15 to 20 minutes.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place in oven and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately, or cool on wire racks for later use or freezing. Yield: 24 Ranza’s.

Cabbage Rolls are another common menu item at fall German festivals. Stuffed Cabbage Rolls is an easy recipe to prepare, and you may cook it stove top, oven bake or simmer in a slow cooker.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 large firm head cabbage

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked, long grain rice

1 onion, chopped

1 egg

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound sauerkraut, well drained

1 can (15 ounces) seasoned diced tomatoes

1/4 cup butter

Core cabbage and place in a kettle of boiling water. Carefully remove 20 leaves from the head as they wilt.

Mix the raw hamburger, rice, onion, cloves, garlic, egg, salt and pepper together thoroughly. Mix in half of the sauerkraut.

Place a spoonful of the mixture in each of the cabbage leaves and roll up, tucking in the sides.

Chop remaining cabbage and place half in the bottom of kettle, baking pan or slow-cooker crock. Add the cabbage rolls, layering as needed. Top with remaining cabbage and sauerkraut Pour the tomatoes even over sauerkraut. If cooking stove top, add 1 1/2 cups water, if baking, add 1 1/4 cups water and cover with foil and if using a slow cooker, add 3/4 cup water. Simmer or bake 1 hour, or 6 hours on high in a slow cooker. Yield: 20 cabbage rolls. Serve with wheat or rye bread to soak up the savory juices.

Stroganoff is another dish with German origins, and usually features steak sliced very thin, sauted and served over egg noodles, smothered in a mushroom cream sauce. Careful attention to browning the steak strips is necessary to keep the steak tender.

Hamburger Stroganoff is much more forgiving and easier to put together while the noodles cook. Served with a green salad or a vegetable medley, you have a quick to fix nutritious meal.

Hamburger

Stroganoff

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup butter

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 can (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 cup dairy sour cream

2 cups noodles, cooked and drained

Snipped parsley, garnish

In a large skillet, cook and stir ground beef and onion in butter until onion is tender and no pink shows in the meat. Stir in flour, salts, pepper, and drained mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in soup until smooth. Return to heat and simmer uncovered about 10 minutes, stirring often. Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large kettle of salted boiling water according to package directions.

Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve over cooked and drained noodles. Sprinkle with snipped parsley. Yield:4-6 servings.

Note: if your family prefers, the stroganoff mixture may be served over hot cooked rice. Additionally, you may use corn starch to thicken and serve over gluten free pasta, if gluten is a concern.

Germans from Russia were known for frugality, letting nothing go to waste. Chicken Liver Stroganoff might not be to everyone’s taste but if you like chicken liver, this may appeal.

Chicken Liver

Stroganoff

1 cup chopped onion

2 Tbsp butter

1/2-pound chicken livers

1 can (3-4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, undrained

1 Tbsp ground paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

2 cups hot cooked rice

Snipped parsley

Cook onion in butter until tender, add chicken livers and brown slightly. Stir in mushrooms and liquid. Stir in seasonings and salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken livers are tender. Stir in sour cream and heat through but do not boil. Serve over hot cooked rice. Garnish with snipped parsley. Yield: 4 servings.

Share your favorite German of fall theme recipes with your fellow readers by sending them to Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Record Times. P. O . Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159, email therecord@odessaoffice.com or place them in the granite canner on my front porch. You may also leave recipes at the Davenport office.

 

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