Cabbage Roll Casserole

This one is far more than the sum of its parts. Don’t get squicked out by the rice and noodles – the small amount of rice only serves to add some body and richness to the sauce. And the smoked paprika isn’t just me being fussy; the smoky flavor enhances the beefiness of even humble ground beef. Serves 6-8.

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves chopped garlic
14.5 oz or 400g can tomato sauce
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 small head cabbage, cored and chopped, tough ribs discarded
1/3 c uncooked rice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 (14 oz) can beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large skillet, brown beef, onion and garlic in oil over medium high heat until pink is gone. Drain off fat.

In a large mixing bowl combine the tomato sauce, Worcestshire sauce, cabbage, rice, salt, pepper and paprika. Add meat mixture and mix all together. Pour mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour broth over mixture and bake in the preheated oven, covered, for 1 hour. Stir, replace cover and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve hot over buttered noodles and top with sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Susie’s German Potato Salad (Kartoffelsalat)

I have been craving this for quite a while. The potato salad here in Germany is actually very similar to my mom’s, but not exactly the same. And no matter what, your mom’s version is always the best.

6 large red potatoes
6 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 T flour
1 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
black pepper (to taste)
3/4 c water
1/3 c cider vinegar

Boil potatoes (whole and unpeeled) for 20-30 minutes on low. Potatoes are done when you can stick a knife in and the potato slides off. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool. Once they’re cool, peel and slice potatoes.

Fry bacon until crisp in deep skillet. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Add onion to pan and fry in bacon grease until soft. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and add to onions, stirring frequently until forming a crumbly paste. Pour water and vinegar into skillet, stirring until a sauce forms. Bring sauce to a boil for one minute and stir until thickened.

Add crumbled bacon and sliced potatoes to skillet and stir until coated with sauce. Allow potatoes to sit for at least one hour and serve warm (but not hot).

Asian Cole Slaw

I detest creamy cole slaw, but the more vinegary kind is pretty tasty, I find. We were going to a Thai barbeque and needed to bring something that would compliment the other dishes. I think we found it!

6 T rice wine vinegar
6 T vegetable oil
5 T creamy peanut butter
3 T soy sauce
3 T brown sugar
2 T minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 T minced garlic

5 c thinly sliced green cabbage
2 c thinly sliced red cabbage
2 c shredded napa cabbage
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. In a large bowl, mix the green cabbage, red cabbage, napa cabbage, red bell peppers, carrots, green onions, and cilantro. Toss with the peanut butter mixture just before serving.