I am currently enjoying the wonders of Omaha, Nebraska! Whenever I go on a trip somewhere new I like to see what there is to do there and what kinds of food the area is famous for. Before this trip I had only ever hear of Omaha Steaks (which are delicious), but there are all sorts of other culinary delights that are famous in Omaha. Yesterday I shared a gluten-free Reuben salad, which was my take on the famous Reuben sandwich that originated in Omaha. Today I made something that I had never heard of before! A runza!
A runza, which is sometimes called a bierock, came to the Midwest with the German, Russian and Eastern European immigrants that settled there. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the runzas I made. They were delicious. I am partial to Eastern European food, so cabbage, onion and meat can’t really be bad in my book. With the addition of some spices and extra-lean ground turkey (they are traditionally made with ground beef or pork, but that’s not my style) to light it up a little, the end result was a perfect hand held sandwich. If I was the make runzas again (which I just might, because I think they would freeze and keep really well) I would probably add some grainy dijon to the cabbage mix. The flavor was good, but I think mustard would make it perfect. I was a bit short on time this week, so I cheated and rolled out some Chebe dough for my crust, which worked perfectly. I was able to get 8 big runza out of one bread mix. I ended up with a lot of left over cabbage and meat, so next time I might try to make mini ones instead.
Gluten Free Runza (or Bierock)
For the Filling:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 1/4 pounds extra-lean ground turkey
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
smoked paprika, to taste
salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 small head of cabbage shredded (or a bag of cole slaw mix)
For the dough:
1 box of Chebe bread mix, or dough recipe of choice
For the Filling:
Heat olive oil in a large pan. When heated add onion and cook until well browned and starting to caramelize. Add turkey and break apart to cook. Add spices and brown the meat.
Add the cabbage and cover pan with lid slightly off to allow steam to escape. Remove lid when cabbage is almost completely cooked and allow excess moisture to evaporate.
When cabbage and meat are both cooked through, remove pan from heat and allow filling to cool slightly.
For the Dough:
Follow instructions on box and when dough is mixed, roll out on flat, well floured surface.
Cut the dough in to 8 pieces that you will be able to fold it into a rectangle.
Place filling in center of each piece and fold together into a rectangle
For the Runzas:
Heat oven to 375. Place folded runzas on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Well, I am off on a trip today and I’m quite excited about it. Most might associate the Reuben Sandwich with New York City, but according to the internet, the Reuben originated in the wonderful city of Omaha, Nebraska, which is where I am off to! One of my best friends moved to Omaha last year and since I am always up for an adventure, I decided Nebraska would be the perfect spot for my spring break!
One of my favorite things about traveling, is trying the local cuisine and specialties. I am fairly certain I have never actually had a Reuben sandwich and since Rye bread is not gluten-free, I probably never will, but luckily you won’t even miss the bread in this salad. I was actually kind of surprised by how well this salad turned out. I was a bit wary of adding sauerkraut to a salad, but in the end I think it was my favorite part. I made my own Russian dressing as well and while it was very tasty, on its own it turned out a bit sweet for my taste. With the salad however, it did go quite well with the sauerkraut and pickles. Due to my prolong stint living in Eastern Europe, I have to absolutely love anything pickled and dill pickles and sauerkraut are two of my favorite foods. If you aren’t so big on those, this might not be the salad for you, but if you love a good Reuben sandwich this will be right up your alley.
I first had this coleslaw at a Texas barbecue place in Tokyo. It’s owned by a real, live Texan, so it was pretty much perfect. I had never had ribs or brisket that tasted that good before. But me being the odd person that I am, the thing that I enjoyed most about the meal was the coleslaw. I’ve never really been a fan of coleslaw before, but since I’ve been on this weird brussels sprout/cabbage bender the last few months, I have a new-found appreciation. In my mind, this might be the perfect combination for a coleslaw. Since cabbage is a fairly bland base, you need to jazz it up a bit and the sweetness of the apples and honey and the tart vinegar in the dressing definitely do that.
I will admit, I just bought a bag of already shredded cabbage. It definitely sped up the preparation process. I was also happy to discover that the (little bit of) leftovers kept really well overnight and made for an excellent morning snack. I am already looking forward to making this all summer long.
Apple Coleslaw with Poppyseed Dressing
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/4 cup honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium cabbage, cored, finely shredded or one package of shredded cabbage
2 large carrots, peeled, julienne
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 Fuji apples, cored and chopped
Prepare the Poppy Seed Dressing. In a medium bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients together until well blended. Set aside.
Prepare the salad. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, scallions, and apples. Pour in the dressing and toss until well blended. Refrigerate at 30-60 minutes before serving, mixing the salad at least once to distribute the dressing.