Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kohl Und Hackfleisch (German Cabbage Casserole)

Cabbage is one of those vegetables I'll never forget the smell of. When I was in college, there were a number of cabbage fields nearby and the smell of rotting cabbage after the season was over was always in the air during the late fall months. It was horrendous! That alone made me avoid cabbage for a few years.

It's not exactly one of my favorite vegetables but I've been buying it more often these past few weeks to use in some ethnic dishes. When my friend, Kelly, prepared this dish for our German Wine & Dine event, I can honestly say it was the best cabbage dish I've ever had. Wow! Unlike traditional cabbage rolls, this one is made as a casserole with no tomato sauce. Instead, it's cheesy, creamy and so flavorful. To add to the original recipe, Kelly added some caraway seeds - an ingredient used often in German cuisine. That really gave it a touch of flavor.

If you're looking for a cabbage dish that will surprise you, this is it. It did it for me and I happily took the leftovers and ate them the next day. Yum!

Kohl Und Hackfleisch (German Cabbage Casserole)
recipe adapted from Recipezaar

1 lb lean ground turkey or ground beef
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove, minced, more if desired
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
1 medium cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Brown meat, onion and garlic until meat is no longer pink and onion has turned clear. Drain grease from pan and discard.

Add cabbage and cover. Cook until cabbage is clear.

Add cheese, caraway seeds and sour cream mixing well. Pour all into greased casserole and top with bread crumbs.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.