Deep fried sauerkraut ballsDeep fried sauerkraut are a delicacy that is enjoyed by the German communities in Northeastern Ohio. I actually had my first experience with sauerkraut balls while traveling to New Ulm, Minnesota. The Kaiserhoff restaurant has sauerkraut balls on their appetizer menu that is to die for.

The best way to explain the taste of sauerkraut balls is that its a lot like eating a deep fried reuben sandwich. The outer shell is crispy and the insides are creamy sauerkraut and pork sausage texture. You can dip the balls in either thousand Island, Russian dressing, or Cocktail sauce. I served the balls as my second course for the YWCA’s Men Who Cook event and they met with rave reviews.

Recipe after the break.

Sauerkraut balls

Black Forest Sauerkraut Balls

Black Forest Restaurant & Lounge recipe, 513-777-7600

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1/2 medium onion
1 pint fresh sauerkraut, drained
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 egg
2 soup spoons flour
salt and pepper
egg wash (beaten egg with milk)
fine dry bread crumbs
oil for deep frying

Sauerkraut balls in the fryerBrown the sausage with onion, stirring so as to break up the meat. Add the drained sauerkraut, cream cheese, mustard, egg, flour, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill. Form into one-inch balls. Flour them lightly and then dip into the egg wash. Cover the balls with bread crumbs. Chill. Deep-fry in hot oil as needed. Serve with cocktail sauce.

Serves twelve.

Couple of tips, refrigerate the balls for at least 12 hours. They are a lot easier to work with when the batter is cold. Also, after forming and breading the balls, I like to freeze them before frying them. Then you can make a large batch and fry up however many balls you need.