Recipe by rosie316
I am not a fan of the typical Reuben sandwich, but many of my family and friends are. So I found a way to please everyone, including myself, with this concoction. I absolutely love these, and could eat them daily, which is the nice thing about this recipe. They can be prepared all the way up until the fry-time, but then frozen to use "as needed/wanted"... (in the directions below) for up to a month. These make for a fantastic appetizer for a party/gathering, or for an afternoon/midnight snack! (see freezing instructions). Fry up 3 for yourself as a late night binge, or fry up 20 for unexpected guests. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. (Please just be sure to read the directions carefully, so they are as delicious for you and yours as they are for us). *NOTE: Prep time includes refrigeration time. Also, using ingredients 1-5 and steps 1 & 2, you can easily make this into a creamy spread for cocktail rye (or whatever makes you happy), just microwave the mixture for a few seconds
- 1 (12 ounce) can corned beef (Hormel brand)
- 1 (14 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained, rinsed, chopped, dried (Franks brand, see instructions)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temp (1/2 of 8 oz block of Philadelphia brand)
- 4 ounces swiss cheese, shredded (1/2 of 8 oz block or 1 cup)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons minced dried onion (dehydrated)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup plain dried breadcrumbs (out of the canister)
- 3 cups vegetable oil, in a deep heavy sauce pan (or 2 inches of oil)
- 1⁄2 cup thousand island dressing (optional) or 1⁄2 cup Russian salad dressing (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- Pour the canned sauerkraut into a colander, "drain" and "lightly rinse" under running water. (If using fresh kraut, you may not need to rinse, your choice). Using your hands, "squeeze" as much water out as possible. Place kraut on a cutting board, pat it "dry" with paper towels, and chop it up finely. (It is very important to do the "drain, rinse, squeeze and dry", otherwise they will not cook properly or be too tasty)!
- Crumble the canned corned beef into a large bowl, add the 2 cheeses, chopped up sauerkraut and dried onions. Using your hands, mix (smoosh) it all together (like your making a meatloaf). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, to let mixture get firm and the dried onions to soften.
- In the meantime, place 3 plates and 1 bowl on the counter to make an assembly station.
- Plate #1: flour, Bowl: milk, Plate #2: dried bread crumbs, Plate #3: just somewhere for your balls to hang out while waiting for the fry.
- When the meat has been chilled for about an hour and has firmed up a bit, start making BALLS! I usually try to do 1" size. Roll some in your hands, toss 'em in the flour, dunk them in the milk, roll thru the bread crumbs and set them on Plate #3! Easy peasy, but messy! Just be sure that each of these steps are completely covering your balls.
- This is where you can choose to fry them right away, or put them on cookie sheet and place in freezer for an hour, and let them freeze thru. Then toss them all in zip-lock baggies to use as a "when needed" basis. Just be sure to let them rest on the counter from freezer to fry (DO NOT try to defrost in microwave).
- Frying: Heat up the oil over med-high heat.The oil should be hot enough to make a pinch of the flour we used bubble. (I never use a thermo, I always just guess at the temperature. One sacrificial ball goes in at the start of the fry)! Depending on the size of your pot of oil, DO NOT over-crowd it, or the oil temp will drop, and you will end up with very greasy balls (that is why I test one first). Make batches at a time. They will stay hot for a very long time. Fry for approx 1 - 2 mins, turning with a slotted spoon, until the coating gets browned (DO NOT burn them, they will taste "icky" then)! Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- I serve these with cups of Thousand Island dressing (or Russian) for a dipping sauce, but I don't eat the balls with either. Plain is fine by me! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.