I’m sure some of you knowing that I come from Eastern Europe would expect to see something more related to my origins, rather than all these Italian pasta and Sicilian travels things 😉 So here you are. Recently I’ve been mad busy, but predicting periods in my life like this one now, I prepared some recipes long time ago, hoping that one day I could share them. This morning I called my mom, and she told me “listen I’m kind of busy, I’m preparing the cabbage for winter!” If you remember my About, I mentioned this time of the year, when my mom and my grandma were making the sour cabbage with carrots. It was like a ritual. The whole house basically needed to be reorganized for this- imagine cabbage and carrots all over the place, clay pots of respectable size, big stones and two women chopping the cabbage, yelling at my dad and telling stories from the old times. The stories part that was my grandma of course, and she was heading the whole operation! Now it sounds like the yelling one was my mom, but I think my dad was always a bit troublesome during that time- probably feeling bored out of his mind that’s all. Anyway, after talking to my mom all those memories suddenly came back, and I decided to share the recipe for Polish dumplings. My grandma taught me how to make them when I was around 12 or so. Since then I make them always the same way, so does my mom. I also thought it would be a perfect timing to post it now, because it’s getting colder and dumplings are perfect for long autumn/winter evenings. To be honest dumplings are always good, and any time I go home to see my mom, the first thing she cooks for me it’s dumplings.
My grandma was always telling me ( so is my mom now) the dough is the key if you want to make really good dumplings. If you make pasta I’m sure you know what it means to knead the dough but the one for dumplings is different. Here you can check out my little tutorial on how to make pasta at home. The main difference between these two types of dough is the water- its temperature to be more precise. The one for dumplings needs to be really hot. If not, the dough will be hard and chewy and in general it is not going to be a dinner of the year. This recipe is the most traditional you can find. Simple dumplings with potato and cheese filling. Before Christmas I will show you another version, also very tasty and prepared only for that time of the year.
Makes about 40 servings, preparation time- it really depends, for my mom 20 min, for the rest of us about 45, cooking time- not more than 10 min
For the dough
- 1 egg
- 500 g of flour- any type, also have another 200 g aside which you will use for kneading the dough
- hot water- prepare 0.5 L
- pinch of salt
For the potato and cheese filling
- 3-4 big potatoes
- 150/200 g of white cheese- quark
- 1 onion
- black pepper- half a teaspoon
- butter- 100 g
- 2 small onions
In advance boil potatoes in a salty water until soft. Drain and rinse. Chop the onion and fry it in a small skillet until golden. In a glass bowl place potatoes, cheese and onion. Add some black pepper/if you feel like add also some salt. Combine the ingredients and leave aside.
On a work surface sift the flour and make a well in the middle. Place the egg and some salt in a well and start mixing the ingredients. Remember to have the hot water ready. Knead the dough until is soft. While you knead remember to keep adding the hot water.
Here below you can see the dough is almost ready. Another 5 minutes or so…
Look at this picture- here you can see how the dough should “behave” when you pull it. It’s sort of flexible.
When the dough is ready you can start making the dumplings. There are two ways of doing that. I use the traditional way- which means I simply pull the dough- just get a small part of it and form a little ball. Like on the picture. However, if you think this method is too difficult to follow ( once you get more practice you will see that’s actually less time consuming and very easy), spread the dough with the rolling pin and use a glass to cut the circles you can see on the pictures.
You can form these balls, start making the dumplings and then go back to making balls first and continue with filling the dumplings. Anyway once you have a few ready, spread them with the rolling pin like below
Now it’s time to fill the dumpling. Like on the picture place a teaspoon of potato and cheese mixture on each dumpling.
Fold each dumpling in half and pinch the ends together to seal it. Be delicate, but use some energy when you seal the edges, otherwise dumplings will open in the boiling water.
When the dumplings are ready, boil water in a big pot, add some salt and start dropping dumplings into the hot boiling water. Cooking time shouldn’t take longer than 8-10 min in total.
Once cooked, drain dumplings and add some butter and fried onions. Season accordingly. Serve hot. If you have some leftovers fry them in a skillet until golden and crispy- this can be delicious lunch, especially with sour cream or thick Greek yoghurt. I hope you are going to like my favorite dumplings 🙂