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.

Pierogi with Chicken & Raisins & Walnuts

This is my 250th post!

So I have decided on this Polish classic with a new twist – one I will certainly be making again.

Last Easter time I was in Gdańsk and I got to eat many old favourites and several new dishes.

I tried pierogi in several restaurants, choosing some unusual fillings and have written about some of these already such as pierogi with duck

I did find that some of the meaty ones were too big – I use a 7cm diameter cutter, which for me gives a better filling to pasta ratio.

On one menu I noticed a filling of chicken, raisins and walnuts.  I did not get the chance to eat these but decided that this was a must to try out.

Ingredients

  • 150 -200g of cooked chicken or thighs – roasted or poached  – amounts are not critical.
  • 50g of raisins
  • 30-50g of walnuts
  • Pepper to taste

Method

  • Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water.
  • Leave for an hour till they swell up.
  • Place them into a small saucepan heat them slowly and simmer stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Once you have a pulp of the raisins leave them to go cold.
  • Chop the walnuts into small pieces.
  • Chop or mince the chicken.
  • Mix the ingredients together.
  • Season with pepper.
  • *
  • Use this filling for the pierogi – instructions for the dough are given below.
  • *
  • Serve with melted butter.

I have written much previously about pierogi  – but have included the instructions for the dough again below to save you looking it up.

Ingredients – Dough

  • 250g pasta flour or strong flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tablespoon oil – sunflower or light olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk

Method

  • In a jug or bowl mix together the water, oil and the yolk.
  • Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the liquid from the jug and initially use a knife to mix this into the flour and then use your hands to mix the liquid and flour to get a ball of dough.

 

  • Turn this out onto a floured board and knead the dough for a few minutes until you have a smooth ball.
  • Cut the dough into quarters.
  • On a floured board roll out a quarter at a time until you have a sheet of thinly rolled dough.
  • Now prepare a large tray and cover it with a clean tea towel and sprinkle this with flour.
  • Have a large surface such as a tray covered with a cotton or linen cloth which has been lightly floured ready  and place the sealed pierogi on this until they are all made, do not let then touch each other.
  • I cut them out using a 7 cm diameter cutter.
  • The excess dough can be re-mixed and rolled out again.
  • Around a half tablespoon of filling is put on  each circle and then they are folded over and the edges pinched together to make a good seal.
  • You learn from experience how much filling to put in as too much will make it hard to seal them and if not properly sealed they will burst on boiling.  Do not worry if you have a few mishaps – it still happens to me even with experience – it is hard to salvage one that has gone wrong – just accept that there will be a few that you do not cook.
  • To cook the pierogi, use a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt and a drizzle of oil.
  • Drop the pierogi in one by one and allow them to boil.  I usually do about 6 to 8 at a time.
  • As they cook they will float to the surface, let them boil for 2 to 3 minutes and then remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and put them into a colander above a pan for a few seconds to drain.
  • Continue boiling batches in the same water.
  • If you want to make all the pierogi to serve together then you need to get a large shallow dish and put melted butter into the dish.
  • Keep the dish warm in a low oven.
  • As you take out the cooked pierogi add them to the dish, mix them with the butter to prevent them sticking.
  • Keep on adding more as they cook and keep shaking the dish to coat and mix them.
  • Fried pierogi

  • All the butter coated pierogi that are not eaten can be fried up later – equally delicious!
  • Any that are not eaten should be spread out so that they cool with the melted butter around them.
  • Later, you can then fry them up gently so they are golden in parts.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Kapuśniak made with Sauerkraut

In the first year of writing this blog,  I wrote a post – Poles love to eat cabbage and now as I am writing about soups I am going to write about a Polish classic – kapuśniakcabbage soup.

There are two types – ones made with fresh cabbage (written about in my previous post) and ones made with sauerkraut.

Now I am going to write about ones made with sauerkraut and these are certainly soups that have the sour taste loved by Poles.

As half a large jar is enough for each of the soups, I often freeze the other half of the sauerkraut to use at a later date.

 

Kapuśniak – Version 1

Ingredients

  • 400g sauerkraut
  • 200g smoked Polish sausage
  • 1.5 – 2 litres of vegetable stock (can be from powder or cubes)
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 large onion
  • Oil for frying (originally pork fat/lard would have been used)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • **
  • More sugar & lemon juice  to adjust the sourness might be needed at the end.

 

Method

  • Chop the sauerkraut into shorter strands.
  • Chop the sausage into small pieces.
  • Into a large pot of vegetable stock add the sauerkraut, sausage, peppercorns and bay leaf
  • Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and allow it to simmer until the sauerkraut is tender.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces and fry up till nearly charred.
  • Stir in the flour and heat till well browned.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of soup liquid and stir to get a thick roux.
  • Add this onion mixture to the soup, mixing it in well.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Add salt and pepper if necessary.
  • You might want to adjust the sourness which will depend on the sauerkraut used.
  • I rarely add more lemon juice but sometimes add a bit more sugar.
  • The soup is supposed to be a little sour!

 

 

 

 

 

Served here in Royal Doulton – Burgundy  -1959 to 1981

Kapuśniak – Version 2

Ingredients

  • 400g sauerkraut
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 100g chopped smoked bacon
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • **
  • More sugar & lemon juice  to adjust the sourness might be needed at the end.

Method

  • Chop the sauerkraut into shorter strands.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces
  • Into a large pot of vegetable stock add the sauerkraut, sausage, peppercorns and bay leaf
  • Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and allow it to simmer until the sauerkraut is tender.
  • Add the caraway seeds.
  • Chop the potatoes into small to medium chunks.
  • Add the potatoes to the cooked sauerkraut and simmer gently till cooked.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Add salt and pepper if necessary.
  • You might want to adjust the sourness which will depend on the sauerkraut used.
  • I rarely add more lemon juice but sometimes add a bit more sugar.
  • The soup is supposed to be a little sour!

 

Served here in Royal Doulton – Tapestry  -1966 to 1988

 

Ogórkowa – Gherkin soup

Four years of blogging today!

I can hardly believe it!  I posted my first post four years ago today. The time has gone so quickly and there is still much more to do.

This will be post number 208 – so averaging at 1 per week.

Today it just has to be a very Polish recipe.

Ogórkowa gherkin soup is a classic Polish soup.

It is sour and as I have written before, this is a taste much loved by the Poles!

It can be made in the winter from stored ingredients but it is also very refreshing on a summer’s day.

The most traditional soup is made from brine fermented gherkins but you can use pickled gherkins.

 

Ingredients

  • 250g gherkins
  • 125ml  gherkin liquid
  • 1.5 litres of soup greens/vegetable stock (can be from cubes or powder)
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled – boiled or steamed
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Chopped dill to serve

Method

If you have some potatoes boiled already this is a very quick soup to make.

  • Add the gherkin liquid to the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Rough chop the gherkins.
  • Drop the gherkins into the liquid and simmer for around 20 -25 minutes.
  • Chop the boiled potatoes into rough cubes.
  • Add the potatoes, stir and simmer for around 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in the soured cream and chopped dill.

 

Using brine fermented gherkins

 

 

Served in Royal Doulton, Burgundy soup plates, 1959 – 1981.

Using pickled dill gherkins

 

Served in Royal Doulton, Tapestry soup plates, 1966 – 1988.

Pierogi with Duck

I have recently returned from a super, short holiday in Gdańsk during which I tried out many old favourites and several new dishes.

I tried pierogi in several restaurants, choicing some unusual fillings and have been inspired to make them with some new fillings.

I did find that some of the meaty ones were too big – I use a 7cm diameter cutter, which for me gives a better filling to pasta ratio. and have been inspired to make some with some new fillings.

I had several delicious meals in a restaurant in the Old Town called Gvarathe name is based on the Polish word gwara which means dialect (Polish does not have the letter v !). This restaurant serves Polish cuisine – often with a modern take and it has given me much inspiration for some new recipes.

One of the dishes there was pierogi with  duck in the filling.

On the way back to the airport the taxi driver told me that his wife would be cooking duck with red cabbage for Easter Sunday – this set me thinking!

Because I had several ducks in the freezer, I roasted these and took off all the meat – however in the future I would just buy duck breasts or legs and roast or poach them.

3 Duck Fillings

Cooked duck meat – roasted or poached  – is used in these recipes – amouts are not critical.

Fillings must be left to go cold before using.

Duck & Apple

  • 150g of cooked duck meat
  • 4 eating apples – Braeburn or Coxes are good

Method

  • Core the apples and place them in a oven proof dish
  • Cook them in a medium oven until the flesh is soft
  • Scope out all the apple flesh
  • Chop or mince the cooked duck meat
  • Combine the duck and apple flesh together.

 

Serve with melted butter – here on Royal Worcester – Evesham from 1961 onwards.

 

 

Duck, Red Cabbage & Cranberries

  • 150g of cooked duck meat
  • 300g red cabbage
  • 50g of dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Method

Rather than boiling, steaming or slow cooking the red cabbage, I used a sort of stir-fry & braising method which worked really well.

  • Put the cranberries in a dish a cover them with some boiling water and leave them for about half an hour.
  • Shred the cabbage.
  • In a deep frying/ saucepan heat some water and add the butter.
  • Stir in the cabbage and simmer gently for a few minutes.
  • Cover the pan – a glass lid is good so you can see what is happening – you need to check and stir occasionally.
  • Simmer for around 10 minutes.
  • Add the cranberries & water, stir and on put the lid back on.
  • Simmer for around 10  to 15 minutes.
  • Keep a check on the water so it does not dry out.
  • If the cabbage has not cooked enough – adjust the water and cook for a bit longer.
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Use a mini-chopper or stick blender to shred the cabbage mixture.
  • Chop or mince the cooked duck meat.
  • Combine the duck and cabbage & cranberry mixture together.

Serve with melted butter – here on La prune by  Jet for Ter Steege in The Netherlands.

Duck & Sauerkraut

  • 150g of cooked duck meat
  • Around half a large jar of sauerkraut
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Pepper to taste

Method

  • Put the sauerkraut with the liquid from the tin or jar into a pan and cover with boiling water.
  • Simmer the sauerkraut gently for about 30 minutes.
  • Then uncover and boil off as much of the liquid as possible – without burning the sauerkraut.
  • Allow the boiled sauerkraut to cool.
  • Strain it using a sieve and pressing it down with a spoon to get the mixture as dry as possible (If you want you can put the strained mixture into a clean dry cotton or linen teacloth, twist the ends together to squeeze it to get it really dry).
  • Chop the sauerkraut finely with a sharp knife.
  • Chop the onion finely  and fry it gently in the butter until it is soft and golden – leave it to cool.
  • Chop or mince the cooked duck meat.
  • Combine the cabbage mixture, the fried onion and the chopped sauerkraut.
  • Add some pepper to taste.

Fried pierogi

All the butter coated pierogi that are not eaten can be fried up later – equally delicious!

 

I have written much previously about pierogi  – but have included the instructions for the dough again below.

Ingredients – Dough

  • 250g pasta flour or strong flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tablespoon oil – sunflower or light olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk

Method

  • In a jug or bowl mix together the water, oil and the yolk.
  • Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the liquid from the jug and initially use a knife to mix this into the flour and then use your hands to mix the liquid and flour to get a ball of dough.

 

  • Turn this out onto a floured board and knead the dough for a few minutes until you have a smooth ball.
  • Cut the dough into quarters.
  • On a floured board roll out a quarter at a time until you have a sheet of thinly rolled dough.
  • Now prepare a large tray and cover it with a clean tea towel and sprinkle this with flour.
  • Have a large surface such as a tray covered with a cotton or linen cloth which has been lightly floured ready  and place the sealed pierogi on this until they are all made, do not let then touch each other.
  • I cut them out using a 7 cm diameter cutter.
  • The excess dough can be re-mixed and rolled out again.
  • Around a half tablespoon of filling is put on  each circle and then they are folded over and the edges pinched together to make a good seal.
  • You learn from experience how much filling to put in as too much will make it hard to seal them and if not properly sealed they will burst on boiling.  Do not worry if you have a few mishaps – it still happens to me even with experience – it is hard to salvage one that has gone wrong – just accept that there will be a few that you do not cook.
  • To cook the pierogi, use a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt and a drizzle of oil.
  • Drop the pierogi in one by one and allow them to boil.  I usually do about 6 to 8 at a time (I only do 6 at a time if using frozen ones).
  • As they cook they will float to the surface, let them boil for 2 to 3 minutes, a bit more if they were frozen, and then remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and put into a colander above a pan for a few seconds to drain and serve.
  • Continue boiling batches in the same water.
  • If you want to make all the pierogi to serve together then you need to get a large shallow dish and put the melted butter into the dish
  • Keep the dish warm in a low oven.
  • As you take out the cooked pierogi add them to the dish, mix them with the butter to prevent them sticking.
  • Keep on adding more as they cook and keep shaking the dish to coat and mix them.

 

 

 

 

Pea Soup with Dutch Connections

I have written about Polish pea soup which is usually made with yellow split peas.

My mother could not always get yellow split peas and sometimes used Marrow fat peas.

My Dutch friend in The Netherlands often talks about Dutch pea soup which is made using Marrow fat peas or green split peas.

The Dutch soup tends to be made as a much thicker soup and pork, such as a chop or pigs’ trotters, is often used and also as smoked bacon or ham; potatoes are often added as well.

I have made my soup more on the Polish thinner side and used a chunk of smoked  Polish bacon. – You can use smoked gammon or smoked bacon – use it in large pieces – cut it up after it has been cooked in the soup.

Version 1 – Using Marrow Fat Peas

 

 

 

Ingredients

250g Marrow fat peas

2 large onions chopped

400g piece of smoked Polish bacon (boczek in Polish, which means side)

8 peppercorns

2-3 allspice grains

1 Bay leaf

2 litres of vegetable stock (can be from a cube or powder – I often use Marigold powder).

 

 

 

Method

Put the marrow fat peas into a large bowl with around 800ml of boiling water poured over them  and leave overnight.

Some instructions say to add bicarbonate of soda to the peas – I prefer not to.

The following morning, drain and rinse the rehydrated peas.

I have started using my large slow cooker to make soups – you can also use a large stock pot and once brought to the boil, leave it to simmer on the stove or in a low oven.

Place all the ingredients into the pot and switch on and leave to cook for 4 – 5 hours until the peas have cooked to a soft pulp.

You might want to add some boiling water and stir the soup if it has become too thick.

Remove the piece of bacon and chop or shred the meat, then put it all back into the soup, stir and heat for a few minutes before serving.

You can use the cooked meat on for example in sandwiches and only put part of it back into the soup.

 

 

 

 

Served here with scalded rye bread on tea plates by Taylor and Kent of Longton.

 

Version 2 – Using Green Split Peas

As version 1, but use 300-350g of green split peas.

The split peas do not have to be soaked overnight, just use then as they are.

So this is much quicker to make as there is no overnight soaking.

 

 

You can add some chopped chives or the green part of spring onions before serving.

 

 

Variations

  • Add one or more  root vegetables such as:
  • 1 or 2 carrots – chopped,
  • around a quarter of a celeriac,
  • 1 or 2 parsnips – chopped
  • 1 large potato – peeled and chopped
  • Use smoked gammon, ham or smoked bacon
  • Add a pork chop
  • Use pigs’ trotters

Note

I have found that these soups freeze very well – portionned up into tubs for future use.