October 17, 2010

Nebraska Runza and Win a Great CD with YOUR Noodle Recipe!

We're finishing up our Nebraska meals today and after a quick retreat back to Missouri (we've got a great new picture book to preview and a dessert) and then Kansas to pick up some more sides, we'll zero in on Oklahoma. Friends have lined up some, shall we say, rather unique recipes for southern-stylin' Oklahoma and it's neighboring Arkansas. I'm excited to get your input on these recipes.

It's never too late to share your recipes from your favorite state(s). In fact, I'm requesting you quickly leave in comments your BEST noodle dish. Why, noodles, you ask? Come on, what kid (and adult) doesn't eat noodles? So what does the chef of the best recipe receive? Well, Bob Drew, in honor of our friend, singer/songwriter, kid rocker and all-around-good-guy Jim Cosgrove (a.k.a. Mr. Stinky Feet) and his new CD titled "Swimming in Noodles" the best noodle recipe of the week gets a FREE "Swimming in Noodles" CD!

We hope to get oodles of noodle recipes. We'll award points for creativity, ease in making and representation of your state. Wisconsin Mac & Cheese? New York Penicillin? American Macaroni Salad? Bring forth those noodle recipes! (Also, I'm curious to know why Yankee Doodle Dandy called his feather in his hat 'macaroni.' Had he just spent too much time hanging out with Samuel Adams? Anyone know?)


My Nebraska consultant, friend and fellow mom, Nicci Ericksen, convinced me that the essence of the Runza was the filling and that to make this fit a family friendly meal I shouldn't have to spend all day baking bread. (I do plan to double my grandmother's sweet dough recipe and use a quarter of the dough for Runzas the next time I want to spend all day babysitting dough.)

For simplicity sake, I relied on the ever-versatile crescent roll dough to work as the covering for a fairly easy filling of ground beef, onion and cabbage all tossed in a skillet and seasoned with salt and pepper.

I may experiment with seasonings next time because it seemed a bit bland to my tastebuds. I cooked the onions first, added the hamburger until it was cooked through and then added the cabbage, making the meal prep a bit longer, but not as long bread dough from scratch. We added poppy seeds to the top of the crescent packages for a little texture -- in honor of the Czech rolichs which always had poppy seeds on top, but I don't think this is an official approved topping!

If you have the time and want to be authentic check this homemade Nebraska Runza recipe here. Also, fellow Kansans can refer to bierock recipes, which are basically the same sandwich.

And if you need a side, perhaps your table guests aren't into that cabbage in the filling, here's a corn casserole from our friend, Mick Ratzlaff, who grew up in Nebraska. Mick likes to cook for his family and has a collection of his grandmothers' recipes.

1 large onion, chopped
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups frozen or canned corn
2 cups long grain wild rice, cooked
1 can diced tomatoes
4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Saute onions and peppers in large skillet with butter until tender. Mix with flour and remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup cheese. Pour into a well-greased 2-1/2 quart baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and let stand 6 to 8 minutes.

I'm intrigued with the wild rice and Worcestershire sauce in this version, but I think I'll opt to leave out the eggs. My youngest shies away from food that contains identifiable eggs. (NOTE: She will not approve of noodle recipes that LOOK like they have egg in them.)

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