Everyday Gourmet (10/8/09)

The best Octoberfest

Oct. 8, 2009

By Kim Dannies

It’s the last-gasp time of year for outdoor potlucks and neighborhood block parties. Traditional foods for the season include grilled sausages, new potatoes, beans and beer. There are all kinds of delicious and healthy sausages in the supermarket these days, so choose a combination. Fresh sauerkraut from the deli section, some grainy mustard and a spicy relish are great condiments. Try crunchy potato salad and a fragrant bean casserole for tasty side dishes. “Prost!”

Cabbage and Bacon Potato Salad

Cut 2 pounds of new red potatoes into chunks. Bring to boil and simmer until they are soft in the center, 12 to 15 minutes. At the 6-minute mark, add 2 whole eggs to the boiling potatoes (for hard-boiled eggs). Turn off heat; remove eggs; drain the potato water and cover pot. Rest on stovetop.

Fry 4 strips of bacon until crisp; drain on paper towel. Clean and slice a large leek, using about 3/4 of the leek stalk. Add the rings of leek to the hot bacon fat and fry for 3 minutes, stirring. In a large prep bowl add crumbled bacon and the cooked leek. Peel and roughly chop the hard-boiled eggs; add to bowl. Add 3 to 4 cups of chopped green cabbage, the potatoes and 1/3 cup of drained capers. Gently fold in 1/2 cup of commercial coleslaw dressing (I like Marie’s brand). Adjust for seasoning with kosher salt and fresh pepper. Serve immediately warm, or it can be prepared one day ahead and served cool. Serves 8 to 10.

Four Bean Casserole

Standing in line at Adams Farm Market, a reader shared this fall potluck recipe with me. I’m sorry to say that I lost her name, but many thanks for this great recipe!

In an ovenproof casserole, fry 8 strips of bacon until slightly crisp; remove from fat, cool, and reserve. Sauté 4 sliced medium onions in the bacon fat for 15 minutes. To the onion sauté add 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Crumble bacon and add to mixture. Cover and simmer on the stovetop for 20 minutes. Pour in 1 16-ounce can kidney beans and green lima beans, each; 2 16-ounce cans lima butter beans (do not drain beans); mix well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour.

 

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.