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Betsy’s Kuchen, Mexican Corn, Pickle Dip, and Fried Knoephla & Pulled Pork with Sauerkraut

bowl of Mexican corn

It’s time for a new podcast episode and this week, my North Dakota sister-in-law Betsy Ziegler joins me to talk about the German dessert Kuchen, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, beloved maple bacon long johns at Bearscat, and cruising the Missouri River and drinking blood-red cocktail pouches from The Paddle Trap.

Listen to Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens in the player below or search for it wherever you get your podcasts.

family on a pontoon

Betsy shares her recipes, most of them using the “eyeball” method, for a non-mayo-based German potato salad, bacon and cheddar ranch dip, chicken and wild rice soup that she makes using a box of Uncle Ben’s wild rice and seasoning, Mexican corn, pickle dip, and smoked pulled pork and sauerkraut with fried knoephla, along with her secret to lightening up the “krautiness” of the sauerkraut.

If you listened to Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens episode 19, you already have Betsy’s eyeball recipe for hash brown casserole.

Cruising the Missouri River is such a blast. Some of the sandbars could fit a couple thousand people.

family and a dog on a sandbar on the Missouri River near Mandan North Dakota
Betsy, Jason, Russell, Russell Jr., and Luna on a sandbar on the Missouri River

Fried Knoephla with Smoked Pulled Pork and Sauerkraut

Betsy came up with this twist on traditional kraut, kielbasa and knoephla (knefla). Instead of the kielbasa, she used smoked pulled pork and she fried the knoephla.

She shared her secret to lightening up the “krautiness” of the sauerkraut in the podcast—she doesn’t go overboard with it, she rinses it and she adds it to the meat so it soaks up the juices.

My Scandinavian self talked about being hesitant and not too enthusiastic to try it, but my oh my…it was delicious! It reminded me I have plenty of German blood in me too. I can’t believe I might actually buy sauerkraut for the first time in my life. Thank you, Betsy!

crockpot full of smoked pulled pork and sauerkraut with fried knoephla

Knoephla soup is popular in North Dakota. Here’s a recipe for you from The Norwegian American. https://www.norwegianamerican.com/knefla-soup-a-midwestern-tradition/

German Potato Salad

Betsy’s German potato salad is a good option for her son, Russell Jr., who tries to eat gluten-free as much as possible. No need to get the mayonnaise and mustard from the fridge because she’s only stirring in cooked potatoes, chives/green onions, sugar, vegetable oil and apple cider vinegar.

big bowl of German potato salad

Kuchen

Although kuchen, a traditional German dessert, is the state dessert of South Dakota, North Dakotans love it just as much. The bottom layer reminds me of a cross between cake and pie crust and it’s topped with fruit filling and a sweet, but not too sweet, custard.

When Russell and Betsy got married, Russell’s aunt Henrietta made kuchen for their wedding reception in lieu of cake.

Pictured below is a slice of rhubarb kuchen from Grandma’s Kuchen in Ashley, North Dakota. I could have eaten many slices! Here’s all the places you can find Grandma’s Kuchen in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

slice of rhubarb kuchen from Grandma's Kuchen in Ashley ND
Rhubarb kuchen from Grandma’s Kuchen in Ashley, ND

South-Dakota-made Pietz’s Kuchen Kitchen & Specialties can be found at these locations. I just picked one up from the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum in Brookings, South Dakota.

I haven’t made kuchen myself, but now that I’ve eaten a few flavors at Betsy’s place, I’m thinking I need to learn to make it.

There are thousands of kuchen recipes for all kinds of flavors like peach, apple, strawberry, rhubarb, blueberry, cottage cheese, cherry, plum and apricot. But I think I’ll start with this German Immigrant Recipe from German Girl in America. Now I just need to forage for rhubarb.

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, Mandan, ND

Being a home school mom and history buff, Betsy is a fantastic tour guide for all things educational. She took us to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park a couple of years ago and it was really cool.

earthlodge village at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in Mandan North Dakota
Earthlodge village at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, Mandan, ND

Also mentioned in this episode is Cattail Bakery in Red Lodge, Montana. And here’s the recipe for grilled marinated kebabs that Betsy uses.

For Betsy’s “eyeball” recipes for bacon cheddar ranch dip, pickle dip, chicken wild rice soup with the help of a box of Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice, non-mayo non-mustard German potato salad, and her delicious fried knoephla with smoked pulled pork and sauerkraut listen to podcast episode 22 of Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens wherever you get your shows.

Sweet wishes,

signature

Betsy’s Bacon and Cheddar Ranch Dip

Staci at Random Sweets
Add bacon and shredded cheddar cheese to a package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix and sour cream and you have a veggie dip that all your guests will like.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 20

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
  • 16 ounces sour cream, or 8 ounces of cream cheese if you like your dip thicker, like a spread
  • 1 cup pre-cooked bacon bits
  • cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions
 

  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Cool in refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.
Keyword bacon, cheddar, cheddar cheese, Hidden Valley Ranch, ranch dip, sour cream

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

Betsy’s Mexican Corn

Staci at Random Sweets
Jazz up a can of corn with butter and taco seasoning.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 87 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sauce pan on medium heat, heat the corn, butter, taco seasoning, and salt and pepper.

Notes

This recipe is shared by my sister-in-law, Betsy Ziegler. 

Nutrition

Calories: 87kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 494mgPotassium: 75mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 259IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword butter, corn cake, taco seasoning

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

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