My Chef's Hat - Runzas

I'm on this mission to regularly make more new recipes. I've got over 1,200 new recipes pinned on Pinterest, and I just keep adding. I also realized that I haven't done posts about a lot of those that are under "Made it Loved it".  Starting today, my goal is one brand new and one I've already made recipe per week. This recipe is one that I've made a bunch of times but never posted.

Iv'e been friends with Jack & Betty it seems like ever since I moved to Stillwater. They're both OSU grads and huge fans. Two years ago I went on an amazing trip to Playa del Carmen with Jack, Betty and our friend Barbara. Unfortunately my schedule hasn't worked out to allow me to go with them since then, but I'm determined to make it work next spring. Playa is so  much fun, especially with that group. Jack & Betty have said that they're going to retire to Playa. That wouldn't surprise me one bit, considering they go twice a year! 

One day I was at their house, and Jack had made runzas. Well, he called them bierocks. The name is interchangeable. What mattered is that they smelled amazing. So of course I had to try them. One bite, and I was sold.  I even got a doggie bag with a few runzas to take home with me. 

As soon as I got home, I went online to find the recipe so I could make them myself. That's when I realized I had tried them at the Nebraska football game. The one at the game was about 3x the size of the ones Jack made, and probably had at least twice as many calories. Jack and Betty are very health conscious, so Jack had found a great way to significantly reduce the calories and fat.

I found numerous recipes on Pinterest that call for you to make your own dough. That's great in theory, but not quick or convenient when you're making a quick lunch or snack. Jack uses Rhodes' Rolls that you find in the freezer section of the grocery store. I figure if those are good enough for him, they're good enough for me! 

Here is the recipe photo. Since I used the Rhodes' Rolls, I went with their recipe and photo

And here is my version

I really, really like these. You would think with so few added seasonings that it would be bland. But it's not at all. There's actually a lot of flavor in them. They're a little time consuming, but overall extremely easy to make. I've made my fair share of errors while making these: spread the rolls too thin so they exploded; overcooked them; forgotten to add butter to get the golden color; undercooked the cabbage. I've also put too much vinegar, and that is NOT a good thing. But thankfully the sugar balances it out. Today I'm very impressed with myself, because I did pretty much everything right! I always make too much filling. That's because I estimate the cabbage, and it's always too much. So I end up having a couple of spoonfuls of filling while I wait for the rolls to bake. I don't really count that one as an error. 

To lighten it up, I only use cooking spray to saute the cabbage and onions...and I add garlic. I use very lean beef, and use Smart Balance spread instead of butter on top. I also use Splenda instead of sugar. I've made it both with and without cheese.  I did no cheese the first time, since that's what Jack did. But I love cheese, so I use it. I've alternated between mozzarella and parmesan, and they are both delicious. 

Of course I will continue to make these. I have to admit I don't do it very often, because I usually forget to take the rolls out to thaw. I have to have this recipe on my mind and on my list to do it. But it's well worth the wait for such a scrumptious dish.

Recipe found on Rhodes Bread

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