Knedle – Polish Potato Dumplings

The word knedle comes from a German word knödel which means dumpling.

Knedle are similar to kopytka, both can be called potato dumplings. They are different in shape but both are made with boiled potatoes, which have been left to go cold.

I  often boil potatoes the day before – the exact amounts are not critical but you must use starchy potatoes. When you have made these once you will have a good idea of the amounts involved.

Traditionally they are served with either melted butter or skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon) or charred fried onions.

Ingredients

  • 650 -750g boiled starchy potatoes – such as King Edward or Maris Piper
  • 1 egg & 1 yolk
  • 200g potato flour or plain flour or a mixture of the two.(I prefer a mixture or just plain flour)
  • salt

Method

  • Peel the potatoes, cut them up into pieces and boil them in salted water.
  • Drain the potatoes.
  • Leave the potatoes to cool.
  • Mash them so that there are no lumps – I have a ricer which is very good for this.
  • Use a large bowl and put the mashed potatoes into the bowl.
  • Lightly beat the egg and the yolk together and add this to the potatoes.
  • Add a little salt.
  • Weigh out the flour to give an idea of how much is needed – this will depend on the type of potato and the size of the eggs.
  • Add the flour and mix first with a wooden spoon and then by hand.
  • You might not need all the flour or you may need more.
  • Mix until you have a soft dough.
  • Have ready a large floured board to put the knedle on.
  • With your hands take small amount of the dough and roll into walnut sized balls.
  • On the board flatten the ball to a thick disc.
  • Made a thumb print in the centre of the disc (this allows them to hold more sauce when served).
  • Repeat this with the rest of the dough.
  • Fill a large pan with water, add some salt and bring this to the boil.
  • When the water is boiling, add the dumplings one by one, do not over fill the pan or they will stick together, around 5 at a time.
  • As they cook they will float to the surface then let them cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Then remove them with a slotted  or a perforated spoon and put them in a colander.
  • I have a colander sitting in an empty pan by the side of the large pan in which I am boiling the knedle.
  • Served here with melted butter, charred fried onions and mushroom sauce.

Served  in soup dishes by Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 -1988.

Pyzy

Pyzy are potato dumplings, usually stuffed with meat and then boiled.

Traditionally they are served with some skwarki – crispy smoked bacon bits or slightly charred onions, a mixture of the two or just melted butter poured over them.

  • There are many recipes, some made with raw potato, others with boiled or steamed potatoes and some using a mixture of the two.
  • I have found that using a 50:50 mixture of  fine grated raw potatoes and boiled potatoes gives the best results.
  • You will need some flour, which can be wheat flour, potato flour or a mixture of the two (I prefer just wheat).
  • You also need eggs or egg yolks – around 1 egg to 1 kilo of potatoes.
  • For the filling you needs some cooked meat such as from a klops – meat loaf, cooked kotlety (meat balls/burgers) or meat filling for pierogi.

My mother never made pyzy and I must admit the first time I had them in Poland, I thought they were much too big & heavy! Since them I have tried out many different version and have liked them very much.

In Gvara, a restaurant in Gdańsk, I tried a soup with some pyzy in it.  It was utterly delicious.

Dried mushroom consommé with thin sliced mushroom carpaccio* and pyzy filled with pork & shrimp.

* Usually thinly sliced raw meat or fish -named by Giuseppe Cipriani (1900 – 1980) bar owner in Venice, because of the colours used by the Venetian Painter Vittore Carpaccio.

Ingredients

  • 750g of raw potatoes
  • 750g of cold boiled potatoes
  • 1 egg and 1 yolk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of plain flour  & extra for dusting
  • Salt

Method

  • Grate the raw potatoes using a fine grater.
  • Place the potatoes on a clean tea cloth.
  • Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Mash or use a ricer to get the boiled potatoes smooth and lump free.
  • Mix the two sorts of potato together in a large bowl.
  • Add the egg and the yolk and mix together.
  • Add enough flour to make a stiff dough.
  • Add some salt.

 

Ingredients – Filling

  • 250g of cooked and then minced or finely chopped meat(usually pork)
    such as from:

    • Klops – meat loaf
    • Cooked minced kotlety (meat balls/burgers)
    • Meat filling for pierogi.
  • Half a grated onion
  • 25g of melted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs – bułka tarta
  • Salt & pepper

Method – Filling

  • Mix all the ingredients together to make a stiff filling.
  • Season to taste.

Making the pyzy

  • You are aiming for balls around the size of a large walnut.
  • Take a small handful of the mixture and shape it into a flat disc.
  • Place this onto a floured board.
  • Add a teaspoon amount of the meat filling.
  • Bring the potato mixture around the filling and with floured hands shape into a ball.
  • Repeat this with the rest of the potato mixture and meat filling mixture.
  • Have ready a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt.
  • Place around 5 pyzy at a time into the hot water.
  • Let them rise to the top then simmer for 4 – 6  minutes, depends on the size –  not too long as they will start to disintegrate.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander over a pan.

 

  • Place into a warm serving dish and top with skwarki – crispy smoked bacon bits, slightly charred onions, a mixture of the two or just melted butter.
  • Keep the dish warm and continue adding to the pyzy in the dish as they cook.
  • The fat in the topping stops them sticking together.

Serving tureen – Gaywood by Ridgeway – Made in England.

 

Dumplings … just one word!

In Polish cookery there are many items, made with flour or potatoes, which when you look up English words to describe them, you find just one word … dumplings!

Some are similar – some quite different – some I have already written about – some I will be doing in the future.

Below is a list – with links to those already written about.

 

See also:

I am planning to write about pyzy soon and then will start to make all the rest.

 

Gypsy Soup

Zupa cygańska is Gypsy soup and is so called  because it contains red peppers.  I think the smoky meats may also evoke the idea of camp fires.

Ingredients

  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 red or orange peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 100g smoked bacon – chopped into small pieces
  • 200g of Polish sausage – sliced and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 grains of allspice
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • a little sunflower oil for frying
  • Chopped flat-leaved parsley to serve

Method

  • Use boiling water to skin the tomatoes and leave to cool.
  • Chop the tomatoes into quarters.
  • De-seed the peppers.
  • Chop the peppers into small pieces.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces.
  • Fry the onion gently for a few minutes in a large frying pan.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes & peppers.
  • Fry gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the bacon & sausage and mix.
  • Cover the mixture with water and cover with a lid.
  • Cook gently for around 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the ingredients to a large saucepan.
  • Add the bay leaves, all-spice and peppercorns.
  • Add around 1.5 litres of water and bring to the boil.
  • Cover with a lid and simmer gently for around 30 minutes.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into large “cubes”.
  • Add the potatoes to the soup and cook gently until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Serve with chopped flat-leaved parsley.

Note

Do not let the potatoes disintegrate into a pulp.

 

 

Served in Royal Stafford – Blossom Time from the 1950s.

Note

If you do not have the fresh ingredients  you could use tinned tomatoes and bottled peppers.

Karoflanka – Potato Soup

When I was young and I told my friends that my mother made potato soup, they all thought this sounded rather weird & tasteless.

Whereas, it was one of my favourite soups and like most Polish soups, it is not a purée, it has chucks of potato in it.

This following is based on my memory of my mother’s recipe.

For the best results, I use rosół (chicken bouillon) or homemade chicken stock when I have it.

Ingredients

  • 750g – 1 kilo of potatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 200g smoked bacon
  • 2 litres of chicken stock or rosół
  • Large bunch of flat leaved parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 grains of allspice
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • A little oil for frying
  • Chopped flat leaved parsley to garnish
  • Extra seasoning may not be necessary because of the bacon and rosół/stock.

Method

  • Chop the smoked bacon into small squares.
  • Slowly heat the bacon in a heavy bottomed pan or good Teflon red spot non stick pan without oil.
  • Let all the fat cook out.
  • Chop the onions into small pieces and fry them with the onions.
  • You want the onions well browned, even some slightly charred.

 

 

  • Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks.
  • Fry them lightly in oil so all sides are done.
  • Mix the potatoes with the smoked bacon and onions in a large pan.
  • Add the chicken stock or rosół.
  • Chop the parsley leaves and add them with the allspice, bay leaf and peppercorns.
  • Add 1.5 to 2 litres of water and bring this to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat, put a lid on the pan and simmer gently for around 15 minutes.
  • You are aiming for cooked pieces of potatoes – do not let it disintegrate to a pulp! 
  • Garnish with chopped flat leaved parsley when serving.

 

Served here in Royal Stafford – Blossom Time from the 1950s

Creamier Version

Looking through other recipes for this soup, I found that often some soured cream was added at the end just before serving.

So add 3 to 4 tablespoons of soured cream to some slightly cooled soup in a little dish and then mix this into the pan and serve.

 

 

Served here in Royal Doulton –  Burgundy – 1959 to 1981.

Note

Both are super –  but my vote is for my mother’s version!

Dutch Cold Dish & Other Salads

I recently returned from a trip to The Netherlands to visit my friend again.

I always have a great time visiting different parts of the country and enjoying the wonderful hospitality.

One dish I have had many times is Koudeschotel – this translates as Cold Dish.

I think it is a sort of  “posh cousin” to  several Polish cooked salads such as Potato Salad and Mixed Vegetable Salad.

It is often made in large quantities as the centrepiece in a buffet meal.

There is a central mound made with boiled potatoes mashed with mayonnaise, onions, peas, carrots and cooked meat like chicken, pork or beef.

This is then decorated with items such as hard boiled eggs, gherkins, silver-skin onions, prawns or shrimps, asparagus, tomatoes, cooked or smoked meats and dusted with a little sweet paprika.

 

The koudeschotel on my arrival from England this year.

If the central mound is made without meat it is sometimes called Huzarensalade – Huzar’s Salad.

Ingredients – for the central mound

The original recipe  was for a large amount suitable for a big party – I have scaled it down.

  • 1 Kg of cold boiled potatoes
  • Around 200ml of mayonnaise – real full fat is best
  • 100g of cooked peas
  • 1 large onion chopped fine
  • 2 boiled carrots – diced
  • 200g of cooked chicken, pork or beef – shredded (meat used to make soup or stock is good)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Notes

Many supermarkets and delicatessens in The Netherlands sell this mixture ready made.

Method

  • Mash the potatoes with the mayonnaise.
  • Add the peas, carrots, onion and meat and mix well.
  • Season to taste.
  • Arrange the mixture in the centre of a serving plate.

Decorate with a selection of the following:

  • Hard boiled eggs – sliced or quartered
  • Gherkins – small or large ones sliced
  • Silver-skin onions
  • Cooked prawns or shrimps,
  • Cooked asparagus spears or slices
  • Tomatoes – quartered
  • Cooked or smoked meats – chopped or in little slices
  • Dusted with a little sweet paprika.

Now is the time to be a little creative with the decoration – I tend to do rows of the different ingredients and dust with sweet paprika at the end.

(For smaller gatherings sometimes the mixture is placed in a bowl and the eggs and gherkins etc are just placed on top)

Other Salads

One day we went to a neighbour’s house for a BBQ and koudeschotel was one of the dishes served with the grilled meats.

We were also served the following two lovely salads –

Cabbage & Pineapple Salad

Ingredients

  • Small white cabbage
  • 8 rings of fresh or tinned in juice pineapple
  • 50 – 80g of raisins

Method

  • Soak the raisins in pineapple juice for at least 30 minutes
  • Shred and chop the cabbage
  • Chop the pineapple rings into small pieces
  • Mix the cabbage, pineapple and the raisins in juice together

Salad with Smoked Salmon & Capers

Ingredients

  • Crunchy lettuce such as Cos or  Little Gem – I used a Red Little Gem
  • 100g Smoked Salmon
  • 2 or 3 sticks of celery – finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 100g of cooked small sized pasta
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Ground black pepper

Method

  • Hand tear the lettuce into medium sized pieces.
  • Chop the smoked salmon into small pieces.
  • Mix the smoked salmon, capers and pasta together and
  • Mix this with the lettuce.
  • Pour the lemon juice over this and mix.
  • Season with black pepper.
  • Extra salt should not be needed because of the capers & smoked salmon.

 

You could serve this as a starter using a few lettuce leaves as a bed on each plate with the smoked salmon mixture in the centre.

Kopytka z serem- Cheesy Potato Dumplings

I wrote about kopytka – Polish potato dumplings a good while back.

Since then I have tried another version which uses cheese as well as potatoes.

Traditional recipes use twaróg – Polish curd cheese – I have found that crumbly, white, mild, English cheeses such as: Cheshire, Lancashire or Wensleydale are also good.

Whilst looking at many recipes, I saw that the proportions of boiled potatoes to cheese varied greatly.

I have gone for roughly equal weights of boiled starchy potatoes to cheese.

The exact amounts are not critical but you must use starchy potatoes such as King Edward or Maris Piper.

IMG_20150910_122355675

Serve with either melted butter, à la Polonaise (buttered breadcrumbs) or skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon) or a hot sauce such as mushroom.

Ingredients

  • 300g of boiled starchy potatoes
  • 300g of twaróg (curd cheese) or white, crumbly cheese such as Lancashire
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 160 – 200g of plain flour
  • Salt
  • Oil to add to water for boiling

Method

Use a large bowl and put the cold boiled potatoes into the bowl.

Crumble the cheese and add it to the potatoes and mash them both together.

Add the yolks to the mixture.

Add a little salt.

Weigh out the flour to give an idea of how much is needed; this will depend on the type of potato and the size of the eggs.  Add the flour and mix first with a wooden spoon and then by hand, you might not need all the flour or you may need more. Mix until you have a soft dough.

Divide the dough into quarters and using a floured board shape the dough and roll it with you hands until you have a long sausage about 3cm in diameter.  If the dough sticks to the board then you need to add more flour.

Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into pieces, make the first cut at a diagonal and make the thickness about 1 to 1.5cm. You will get a sort of oval shape.

Repeat this with the rest of the dough.

Fill a large pan with water, add some salt and bring this to the boil.

When the water is boiling, add the dumplings one by one, do not over fill the pan or they will stick together. I tend to do this in 4 batches.

As they cook they will float to the surface, give them about another minute and then remove them with a slotted  or a perforated spoon and put them in a colander. I have a colander sitting in an empty pan by the side of the large pan in which I am boiling the dumplings.

IMG_20151020_094418143

 

 

 

 

 

I find that the maximum from putting  them into the water to taking them out will be 3 minutes, if you cook these too long they will start to fall apart.

Served on –

  • Royal Douton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998
  • J & G Meakin – Topic – around 1967
  • Wedgwood – Chelsea garden – early 21st century.

Here served as suggested above with  melted butter, with skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon) and a gulasz.