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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Calling all Cooks! Need help with sauerkraut!

I happen to HATE sauerkraut. My Dad (the full-blooded Swede that he was) LOVED it, so I can still remember the nauseating stench that wafted through our house whenever he made it. And I was even coaxed into trying it a couple times. YUCK!

I've since tried it as an adult...YUCK!

But there was ONE way that I liked it: in a dip. There is a wonderful dip recipe, involving a mixture of corned beef, cream cheese, swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut. At, I found a review that mentioned using the sweet/mild bavarian kraut, so that's what I picked up.

But here's my question...some reviewers mentioned draining/rinsing the kraut. I will certainly need to drain this stuff, but does it also need to be rinsed? Is that always true? Or does it depend on what kind of kraut is used (the basic putrid bag stuff or the sweet/mild bavarain also-likely-to-be-putrid-but-less-so-stuff)?

Any advice out there from any kraut lovers with lots of kraut experience?

UPDATE: Thanks to Just Me and Adrienne and Melody, the dip is now complete. And it's very good. The stuff I had last spring was better, but this is good enough to make you choose it over a lard IV.

Here's the recipe I used:

1 (16 ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained/rinsed [I used the sweet/mild bavarian in a bag]
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened [1/3 less fat Philadelphia]
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups shredded cooked corned beef [combination of 1/2 lb deli and some Budding ]
1/4 cup thousand island dressing

In a slow cooker, combine the sauerkraut, cream cheese, Swiss cheese, corned beef and thousand island dressing. Cover, and cook on high for 45 minutes if you're in a hurry, low for longer if you're not, or just until hot and cheese is melted. Stir occasionally while cooking. Serve with cocktail rye or crackers.

I toasted cocktail pumpernikle rye slices, and also used some Ritz Garlic/Mozzarella crackers. Yummy either way! And you can't even TASTE the kraut!

This is an easy, high-fat, salty dip you can serve for...anything. The fact that it's made in a slow cooker makes it even better. It might kill you, though.


JustMe said...


Here's what you do. Just drain it and, rinsed or not, fling it into a heated frying pan of margarine or butter and fry it. Oh, mmm... like cranberry sauce, a little 'kraut goes a long way--the craving for it stays away for a whole year.

At the nursing home I worked at most recently, they would serve red flannel hash after a big holiday or two--hard to imagine hash, beets, AND sauerkraut, but there you have it.

No, they didn't eat it, lol.

adoro said...

LOL! Thanks Just Me, but your answer won't help me make the dip.

I need to know whether I need to rinse this kraut before I throw it in the crockpot or not. I know I need to drain it, but do I need to rinse it also, or JUST drain?

The recipe doesnt' call for it to be fried, and I gotta be honest...I have no interest in filling my house with that terrible smell!

(then again...maybe doing so would be an aid to fasting during Holy Week...)


Adrienne said...

Yes - you need to rinse the kraut for a dip recipe.

I can make a sauerkraut lover out of you. Here's what you do. Get out your crock pot or a large roaster. I use the big jars of sauerkraut from Costco (cheap). Rinse the kraut, throw it in the bottem of the pot, add chopped apples (Granny Smith are nice) and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pile on a bunch of pork chops or country style pork ribs and cook for about two weeks (only kidding). The sauerkraut comes out tasting like candy.

It is a German recipe I learned from a nice German lady that lived next to us in St. Paul. Try it - you'll love it!!!

Adoro te Devote said...

Adrienne ~ Thanks. And maybe, one day, if I'm brave, I'll try your recipe.

I have to warn you, though, what some people have told me tasted like "candy", I found out really doesn't.

Here's my list of things I was told would taste like candy:

* Chewing Tobacco (I was 5 and that's what my brother and cousin said it would taste like. Blueberry bubble gum, specifically.) It didn't taste like candy.

* Candied Yams - nope

* Sweet Potatoes - nope

* Squash - nope

So, given the above, please forgive me for being a bit...distrstful!


Melody said...

I vote for rinsing the kraut, too. Our parish has Polish roots. It seems they can't do anything without kraut and kielbasa; even wedding receptions and a dinner celebrating a priestly ordination. (Don't even ask what is in their Easter soup!). I'm not Polish, so I just go straight for the dessert table. Oh yeah, and you have to have a polka band to go with the above menu.

Adoro te Devote said...

Melody ~ Oh yeah, kraut and kielbasa...those are staples in southern Minnesota!

My Dad's side is 100% Swedish Lutheran, and so functions at their church and with their friends involved those things, too. (Not the polka, though. They were Barbershoppers and Sweet Adelines)

The deserts were to DIE FOR, though! My aunt Hilda used to make the most divine meringue cookies!

The kraut is rinsed and currently marinating with corned beef and cheese!

If this recipe is good, I'll post it in its entirety. :-)

Ray from MN said...

This is the first time that I have ever posted a comment on a cooking blog.

Actually, I have no cooking qualifications.

But I have eaten lots over time.

And I happen to love sauerkraut, the tangier, the better.

So imagine my disappointment when I was stationed in the Army in Upper Bavaria southeast of Munich for 30 months or so. Kraut (as they just call it there, meaning "cabbage") was regularly served with meals. And invariably, it was lukewarm or cold and extremely bland. And it was thinly sliced, but in much wider strips than what I had been used to in the States.

I didn't care for it at all.

I would certainly think that if you don't like the salty brine taste, rinsing would the "order of the day."

Adoro te Devote said...

Ray ~ I think the opinion of those who like to eat always trumps the opinion of those who like to cook.

And I think you would like this dip. :-)