Monday, February 28, 2011

Potato Dumplings

My daughter begs me for these and I swear would eat them every day if I let her. My mother made them for me when I was a kid and I'm sure my daughter will make them for her kids. These dumplings are more of a Polish tradition than anything, but the "recipe" I use resembles the Norwegian dish, Kumla.

3 potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces
3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
 2 qt water with a bit of salt (you can also use ham, beef or chicken broth)

2 onions, diced finely
1 cup of butter or margarine

Bring the water to a boil. While it's heating up, put the diced potatoes in a food processor or blender with just enough water for the potatoes to be pureed. They should be a milkshake consistency. Pour them in a large bowl with the salt and baking powder. One cup at a time, stir in the flour. I usually mix by hand so I can feel the consistency as I'm mixing.

(It's hard to describe the consistency the dumplings should be - you don't want them as hard as noodle dough, but it shouldn't be liquidy either. The dumplings should hold their shape, for the most part, but if you hold them for any length of time they'll start to flatten out just a bit.)

Once the dough is to the consistency you want, rinse your hands in COLD water, this way the dough won't stick to your hands when you're forming them into golf-ball sized balls. One by one, slip them into the boiling water, putting each dumpling in a different spot in the pan. Once they've been in the boiling water for a minute or two, their shape is set and you don't have to worry about them sticking together too much. Once all the dough has been formed into dumplings and put into the boiling water, very carefully, stir them with a wooden spoon and turn the heat down from high to medium. Let them simmer for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the dumplings).

While the dumplings are cooking, melt the margarine in a sauce pan and add the diced onions. The onions will become transluscent and tender.

Serve the dumplings (if you cooked them in broth, feel free to serve it with the broth) and pour some of the butter and onions over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

These are excellent in the winter or on a rainy day. They stick to your ribs (and you're ass, unfortunately. They're NOT conducive to a healthy diet, that's for sure!).

1 comment:

  1. I LOOOVVVEEE these too. And I too still make them. But I think I also put an egg in, but I don't think it matters... I don't think I originally did. This is one of those recipes that we as kids thought were a treat, but my GUESS is that they might have been considered a treat by mom and aunties, BUT I bet the recipe came about because all someone had in the house during the depression or something was a potato or two (Cause you can make with less potato if times are REALLY hard) and flour. It is possible that it was something to literally put ANY food in the belly, yet we consider it a TREAT!!! Funny how food and traditions come into being. The HISTORY of food is very interesting to me.

    Also, pierogie... our INCREDIBLE favorite. What are the main ingredients? (The same as potato dumplings...) Potatoes and wheat. Do you know what the main crops in Poland are?? Yep, you guessed it, wheat and potatoes. Every country, before ease of travel or food transport had to find ways to use what they grew creatively. Hence certain locales have a few main ingredients. Interesting huh!! Ok. I'm done.