Guys and gals, every Sunday is food blog day. It’s my one day a week dedicated to testing out recipes, meal-planning, and chasing daylight. This past weekend, I decided to have a go at German potato dumplings (aka Kartoffelklosse or Kartoffelknodel), and frankly it was a bit of a fail.
They weren’t inedible, I just felt they could be better. (I’m really selling this, right?)
I’ve been going back and forth on whether to post this or not. On one hand, I’d like to be in the “Only Posts Fantastic Recipes” club. If I’m only posting four times a month at minimum, that’s not much. I should make each post count. On the other hand, I’d like to be totally transparent and share my experiences, whether good or bad.
So, here it goes…
The good news is I’m learning! I have enough cooking experience to know what went wrong in a recipe, and how to improve it, so if I make a few mistakes, I’ll let you know how you can avoid them. I also test out completely different recipes. I’ll only share the best of the bunch.
The bad news is I’ve never eaten an authentic kartoffelknodel, so I have no idea what they’re supposed to taste like.
- 2 lbs Potatoes, Peeled
- 1 tsp White Vinegar, Optional
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Slices of Bread, Cubed
- 1 Egg, Beaten
- 1/4 Cup Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, Grated, Optional
TIP I used Russet Potatoes, which are pretty bland and tasteless to begin with. Try some Yukon Golds or even Red Potatoes if you’re feeling adventurous.
DON’T use rye bread. Rye bread will likely be too dense and won’t crisp up when you fry it.
Step One: Finely grate half of your peeled potatoes. You’ll want to use the side of a box grater that looks like it was punched through with nails. It’s the side you’ve likely never used, and also the hardest to clean. DON’T use the shredding side, it won’t be fine enough.
The trick here is to grate each potato halfway (save those fingertips!), we’re going to boil the other halves. Genius.
Step Two: While the potatoes are boiling, cover your raw, grated potatoes with a bit of water and a splash of white vinegar (The vinegar will keep your potatoes from turning brown, hopefully). If you don’t have any vinegar in the house, no worries.
Step Three: Over a medium bowl, using cheesecloth or a clean dish towel, squeeze the liquid from the raw potato. Squeeze hard! Remove as much liquid as you can, and set the bowl aside. Keep the water.
Step Four: In a medium frying pan, add 2 Tbsps of butter and fry your bread. You’re making croutons here, get ’em nice and crispy. Add some salt for more flavor.
Step Five: Are the boiled potatoes done yet? Test them with a fork, drain the water and let them cool, then mash them in a large bowl.
Step Six: Remember that potato water we saved? If you still have it, very gently, tilt the bowl. At the bottom there should be some thick white stuff, see it? That my friends, is potato starch.
Carefully drain the water until you have just the starch left. If you accidentally tossed the water or used unstarchy potatoes, you can use corn starch, tapioca starch, or flour instead.
Step Seven: When your mashed potatoes are cool, add the starch, grated potato, egg, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until combined. I used my hands, it’s more fun that way.
To bring these to the next level, add half a finely grated onion to the dough. Pulse it in a food processor instead of grating to save yourself some tears.
Step Eight: Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil and form the dumplings. With a handful of dough, baseball-sized, roll it into a ball. Using your thumbs, form a hole in the center and stuff it with several cubes of bread. (Add more than I did, I didn’t add enough.) Pushing the bread down, seal up the hole, trying not to leave too much air on the inside. Your ball should be free of cracks. Make sure none of the bread is poking out or else the dumplings will break open when you boil them.
Step Nine: Boil the dumplings in some salted water. They should float when done; mine floated almost immediately. If yours are stubborn like mine, boil them for about 15-20 minutes. And you’re done!
These were pretty easy to make, so I may make them again (with improvements). They’re dense and heavy (carbs on carbs), but pair wonderfully with a roast or stew with gravy. Personally, I think they’d be great stuffed with meat or cabbage. What do ya think?