Hi friends! Happy Sunday! I have some more cooking inspiration for you here today. It is a recipe for potato dumplings.
Dumplings are a common side dish in many countries around the world, but almost every country has got their own special recipes for them.
Czech food (often) means dumplings
As you might know, dumplings are an important part of Czech cuisine. We have several different types of them - bread dumplings, sourdough dumplings, Carlsbad dumplings (these are fancy ones!), bacon dumplings, potato dumplings, sweet dumplings (filled with fruit), so-called hairy dumplings... and the list could go on!
Every region and corner of the country has got their preferences, but the most traditional way to serve and eat dumplings in the Czech Republic is to have them with rich sauce or cabbage and a portion of roast meat (usually pork or beef, and on special occasions also lamb, geese or duck), with goulash OR the sweet way - with hot fruit, melted butter and icing sugar (this is more of a summer dish, can be both main and dessert).
Restaurants sometimes serve a variety of dumplings together with main course, so everyone finds their favourites on one plate.
Making dumplings can be challenging and quite time-consuming, so people usually buy ready-made ones in local shops and then just reheat them in a steamer before serving.
But, there are a few types of dumplings that are relatively easy to make!
Potato dumplings are a simple and effective side dish
Potato dumplings could honestly have their own category. You can recognise them by their look: they are slimy on the outside and squidgy on the inside. They can be served in many different ways too - as chunky bits, thick slices, thin slices or what we call 'nočky' (a Czech word for gnocchi).
Potato dumplings are so popular in the Czech Republic, people even make jokes about them!
Their popularity is perhaps related to the fact that they are fairly simple - and so people cook them often at home. They also contain some pretty basic store cupboard ingredients, which is another reason to make them!
I feel like this could be enough of an introduction for the moment. Although I could indeed continue, I will save it for next time! Now, let's have a look at how to cook these easy potato dumplings.
Czech potato dumplings
- 900 g potatoes
- 100 g semolina flour
- 150 g plain flour + more for dusting
- 1 free-range egg
- 1 pinch salt
- Carefully wash the potatoes and boil until soft in slightly salted water.
- Let the potatoes cool down for 5 minutes. Then peel the skin off, using a butter knife.
- Grate the potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
- Break the egg, add both of the flours and a pinch of salt. Work the mixture with your hands until it creates a thick dough.
- Fill a large stockpot with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to boil on high heat.
- Dust the worktop with some plain flour and use this area for rolling the dough.
- Divide the dough into two parts. Take one part and roll it into a regular, about 5cm thick and 20cm long roll with flat ends. Do the same with the second part of the dough. Sprinkle some more flour on the worktop if needed (it stops the surface from being sticky).
- Add both dumplings to the boiling water, lower the heat to medium-high and cook for 20 mins, regularly stirring and checking if they aren't stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Towards the end of the cooking, the dumplings should be floating on top - this is a sign they are cooked properly.
- Cut into 1cm thick slices and serve with roast meat and spinach or cabbage. Enjoy!