Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Before we begin, let me tell you: I. Do. Not. Like. Sauerkraut.

Another recipe from midwestern casserole maven JoAnna Lund and her Healthy Exchanges Cookbook.

It all started with a can of Bavarian Style Sweet Sauerkraut with Caraway Seeds that has been in the pantry for who knows how long, and a passing comment from Jim that we should try to use up some of the items in our pantry before we move, whenever that will be. He has said time and time again, he finds the Bavarian-style sauerkraut to be too sweet, and yet here is a can, daring us to use it. I am not a fan; Jim is a fan, having been raised in Pennsylvania Dutch territory: sauerkraut and apple pies are in his blood stream. “The only thing it would be good for,” he says, “is Reuben sandwiches.”

There was a recipe for Reuben sandwiches on the back of the can, but it seemed too work-intensive. It involved honey. The last time I checked, there was no honey on a Reuben sandwich.

What, I wondered, would JoAnna Lund have to say about Reubens?

Knowing that JoAnna Lund was from Iowa, and Iowa is on the edge of a part of the country whose basic ethnic background is German, Bavarian, Slavic, Scandinavian, and Dutch, and remembering in the back of my mind that she once mentioned her Bavarian grandmother in the headnote to one of her recipes, I figured that in the course of two cookbooks, she would have to mention Reuben somethings with sauerkraut at some point (she has a recipe for sausages and sauerkraut, and if I ever cook an Oktoberfest feast, that’s one the recipes I’ll probably employ. But not today). And I was right. In my more-favorite of her books, the spiral bound one, on page 177, is JoAnna’s recipe for a Reuben casserole.

It is simple, it is easy, and it is DELICIOUS. And remember, I don’t like sauerkraut.



This is a version of Giada deLaurentiis’s Turkey Meatloaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta. I’m not a fan of feta cheese, but I know that crumbled goat cheese, though it is slightly creamier than crumbled feta, can easily substitute. Giada’s original recipe can be found at the above link; I’m giving the modified recipe I used here, below.

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped garlic-and-herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a 9×5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine. Be careful not to overwork the meat.

Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve.

Next time I am going to use only 1/2 teaspoon of pepper; it was not quite but just barely too peppery for my tastes. I think I also might add a splash of Worcestershire sauce for a bit of savor; it seemed like the turkey was lacking a crucial spice that would make it *just right*.

Makes excellent leftovers.