Sunday, November 26, 2006

My Grandma Rocks!

What The?

I've shared stories about my grandmother before. Love her. Sadly she's no longer with us, but she has left me with few signature dishes that I've enjoyed and have had the pleasure of sharing.

One of those special recipes is the German Potato Dumplings.

The German Potato Dumplings were not an everyday dish. When made in the volume that Grandma made them, I can see that they are not an everyday endeavor, but when just making a few, they are quick, easy and cheap! Generally speaking, the dumpling were served with a roasted country style pork rib, sauerkraut and meatballs. I've made this all together in the past. It's a lot of food and tasty. But I seem to always have trouble making the pork ribs turn out properly and the meatballs...the way grandma made them, always come out really dry! Sadly.

Well, tonight I only made the dumplings. Served with some leftover turkey and gravy. Gravy is the key and without the gravy, it's not worth making the dumplings. Well, there are alternatives to no gravy, but really, what are dumplings without gravy?

German Potato Dumplings
(about 4 servings)

3/4 loaf of sandwich bread (blend of white and wheat is good)
1-2 potatoes
Salt/Pepper
Water

That's it. Now the disclaimer...the exact amounts very, but it comes down to texture and what your hands tell you.

Pull the bread apart into pieces, like you're feeding the birds. A good guide line-no larger than your finger nails. (1/2 inch pieces).

Peel the potato and chop into large, 1 inch pieces. Throw in a blender, with a little water. You want to blend this until it has the consistency of a thick milkshake. So don't use too much water, but you need some to get the potatoes whizzing.

Pour the potato puree over the bread pieces. Season liberally with salt and pepper. I did two large pinches of salt and a good 15 grinds of pepper.

Throw your hands into the mixture and mix. Squish. Blend. Mix.

When completely mixed, form into small balls. About two inches across. I got nine dumplings.

Gently place the dumplings into a large kettle of boiling, salted water. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from water and drain. Slice and smother in gravy!

The ingredients.

The pureed potatoes.

Getting ready to blend. Don't add all the puree at once, you don't want the mix too wet. You can always add more. If you do add too much puree, a light sprinkle of flour can help bring it back to the right consistency.

Blended.

Balled.

Smothered!!!

Two dumplings really is all you need to serve one person. But another might be shoved down your gullet, be warned...the dumplings sink to the bottom of your tummy like lead weights. This recipe gave nine dumplings. The leftovers...they are great. But. They turn to the most unappetizing color of gray you can imagine. Just chunk them up, nuke them and again, smother in gravy! Seriously...gray!

4 comments:

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

Ah, we come from common roots. My mom makes potato dumplings too. Hers are slightly different from yours. From her German side of the family, she learned to make sauerbraten with potato dumplings and it's one of my favorite dishes. She only makes it once in a blue moon and when she does, she freezes some for me to take back home with me. mmmmm...I can taste it now.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't believe you're cooking again already! No wonder we like so many of the same foods - it's those German roots. :-)

DC Food Blog said...

I love your description of tearing up the bread in the size you would to feed the birds.

Dancer in DC said...

These are so filling. And he's right - it's all about the gravy. What a wonderful, wonderful way to use up all our leftover turkey gravy from Thanksgiving (and there was a lot of it)!