This traditional German recipe, Potato Dumplings, is from Walter Staib's cookbook, Black Forest Cuisine.
It is said that the best and most varied knödel (dumplings) are found in our neighboring region, Bavaria. This might be so, but it is also undeniable that potato dumplings are another typical example of the quickly prepared, satisfying dishes we often enjoyed in the Black Forest. They are somewhat deceiving, however. As basic as they are, even my mother, an experienced cook, often said they were a lot of work. The recipe is hardly complicated, but the most successful dough relies on the detailed eye of a watchful cook who will ensure that it is neither too wet nor too dry. In addition, once the dough comes together, shaping the dumplings requires a fairly light touch.
Lest you should be deterred, fear not. These dumplings are worth the effort and are wonderful accompaniments to rich stews and ragouts, dishes that drench the tender morsels with flavorful sauce. At home and in Gasthaus restaurants, we served them beside these dishes as well as alongside hearty braised meats. Because they require a bit of care and attention, it was, and still is, common for Gasthaus restaurants to serve them as much anticipated specials during the week.
- 15 slices day-old white sandwich bread, crusts removed
- 1 cup whole milk
- 7 large red-skinned potatoes, peeled and grated (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
- About 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 3 large eggs, beaten well
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
1. Place the bread in a large bowl, pour the milk overtop, tossing to coat, and set aside until soggy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze the milk out of the bread, discarding the milk, and set the bread in another large bowl.
2. Stir the grated potatoes, onions, parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and marjoram into the bread, add the eggs, mixing to combine, and shape the dough into 24 round dumplings about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
3. Bring 2 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Dredge the dumplings in flour, coating generously, and slip them gently into the water. Return the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cover the pan, simmering until the dumplings expand and float to the surface, about 15 minutes.
4. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon or a spider. Serve on a large platter, garnished with chopped parsley.
Black Forest Cuisine
The Classic Blending of European Flavors
by Walter Staib with Jennifer Lindner McGlinn
Forewords by Tim Ryan and Franz Mitterer
Running Press, 2006
Full-color photographs throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
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This page created February 2007