Celebrate Oktoberfest!

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Warm dishes for the first chilly days of autumn

By The Staff

A recent Octoberfest gathering gave me the chance to dust off German-style dishes I don't prepare that often. Several visitors asked for a few of them. Here are a few, including a Reuben dip that  can easily be made in a slow cooker and is wonderful on crackers or with small cocktail bread.

Editor Vince Luecke

Reuben Dip

1 can sauerkraut, drained

1 package dried corned beef, chopped

1⁄2 cup thousand-island salad dressing

8 oz. Swiss cheese, cubed

Heat slowly until cheese melts and serve hot with crackers or breadsticks. Dip stays nicely warm in a small slow cooker.

Reuben Appetizers

1 cup sauerkraut, drained

10 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded

2 packages dried corned beef, chopped

2⁄3 cup thousand-island salad dressing

Place ingredients in small saucepan or slow cooker. Heat, stirring to melt cheese slightly. Spread onto cocktail rye bread or cocktail crackers. Place on cookie sheet and broil until cheese is bubbly.

Authentic German Potato Salad

3⁄4 cup onions, chopped    

1 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip    

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour    

2⁄3 cup cider vinegar    

1 1⁄3 cups water    

1⁄4 cup sugar    

1 teaspoon salt    

1⁄4 teaspoon pepper    

6 cups sliced, cooked, peeled potatoes, medium-sized    

2 medium dill pickles

In a large skillet, cook onion until tender.

Stir in flour, blend well.

Add vinegar and water; cook and stir until bubbly and slightly thick.

Add sugar and stir until it dissolves.

Add mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.

Chop pickles; gently stir in pickles and potatoes.

Serve chilled.

Curry Wurst

1 1⁄2 pounds cocktail sausages (wieners) or frankfurters cut in 1 1⁄2-inch pieces

2 cups tomato sauce spiced to taste with basil and oregano.

curry powder to taste

paprika to taste

Put wurst in tomato sauce and keep hot in a chafing dish. As wurst is served onto plate, sprinkle it with curry powder and paprika and spoon sauce over it. If it seems like too much bother to do this every time a guest takes a portion, add 1⁄2 tablespoon each of curry powder and paprika to tomato sauce and stir in well.

Pork Schnitzel

4 boneless pork chops, pounded thin. Pork tenderloin also works well

flour for dredging plus 2 tablespoons

1 egg, beaten

1 to 1 1⁄2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs

garlic powder


salt & pepper

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 large leek, white part thinly sliced and rinsed well

2 shallots, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons capers

vegetable oil

Sprinkle pork with garlic powder and dredge in flour, dip in egg, and dredge in bread crumbs. (Pat crumbs firmly on chops.) Heat large skillet with 1⁄2 inch vegetable oil and fry chops until done - about five minutes per side. Remove to platter, blot with paper towels, then cover with foil and keep warm in oven.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from pan. Saute leeks and shallots over medium heat until soft. Season with tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with flour and saute one more minute. Add chicken broth and simmer until sauce is thickened. Add white wine and lemon juice and simmer two more minutes. Add capers and spoon over chops. Serve hot with buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

German short ribs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 pounds beef short ribs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 slice onion, sliced

1⁄2 cup dry red wine

1⁄2 cup chile sauce

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1⁄4 cup water

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and pepper. Coat the short ribs with the flour mixture.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown short ribs in olive oil.

In a slow cooker, combine onions, wine, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and chili powder. Mix thoroughly. Transfer the short ribs from skillet to slow cooker. Cover, and cook on low six to eight hours. Remove ribs and turn the slow cooker control to High. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour with 1⁄4 cup water, and stir into the sauce. Cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Egg Noodles

6 cups flour

8 eggs

1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 to 4 teaspoons salt

2 quarts cold water

Combine flour, eggs, salt and 1 cup of the water. Beat until smooth. Add water if needed. Roll and cut into slivers and add noodles into boiling water. Remove as soon as they float to the surface. Remove with slotted spoon.

Noodles can be sauteed in butter before serving.

German Cheesecake


2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

4 tablespoons butter

(not margarine)

1⁄2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

In mixing bowl, blend all the ingredients, cutting in butter and working the mixture with your hands until it is well mixed and workable. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions.

Use one-half to line the bottom of a greased 9-inch spring-form pan, the other half to line the sides of the pan. Either roll out the dough or press it in with your fingers.

Chill before filling.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


3 cups cottage cheese

1⁄2 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1⁄2 teaspoon lemon rind, grated

1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

1 cup raisins

Press the cottage cheese through a sieve. Combine cornstarch and baking powder and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese with sugar, eggs, lemon rind and vanilla extract.

Beat until very smooth. Add the dry mixture to the cheese and blend well. Stir in sour cream and raisins.

Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared crust and bake for one hour or until done. The center will remain soft.

Turn off the oven and prop the door open. Allow the cake to cool.

Serve at room temperature.