Kluski śląskie edition 2015

Having successfully fed my family and friends over the  number of years this implementation of  kluski śląskie I  finally gave in to various pressures and decided to review my approach – as a variation on theme rather than as a replacement. Unmentioned but very much noticed visits to ‘the old country’ and my many desperate attempts to retrieve the only kluski ślaskie experience i remember from my childhood (bary mleczne, mostly) i felt ready to admit something was not quite ok with this adventure.  It will still cause discussions and generate suggestions – that is the cost, the challenge, and the opportunity to grow (:-) i welcome gladly.

Kluski Śląskie (Silesian Potato Dumplings) are usually prepared when you have some leftover mashed potatoes – but can be made ‘from scratch’, starting with real raw potatoes. In such case you should boil potatoes in salted water, mash them, and then measure the amounts to achieve the balance. Mashing is easier when potatoes are still hot..

Served as an accompaniment to meat (Goose, pork roasts..) with sauce, or as individual dish with sauce, with veggies, or bacon bits.  The texture of these is much like regular potato dumplings (Kopytka, made with regular white flour, not the potato starch), but they are much more ‘rubbery’, and you must work the dough differently, forming each piece in your hands, instead of rolling the dough on the table surface.

Good candidates for freezing and reheating when needed. Before freezing you must pre-boil them (see below) and cool in a single layer on flat surface (large platter) so that they cool down without sticking to each other.

For 12 people as a side dish, you need

  • Good 1500g of mashed potatoes (room temperature)
  • 400 g potato starch – feel free to add more, if dough seems soft
  • 1 egg  (should you feel constrained, try adding a second egg yolk, but avoid using the second full egg – more eggs makes the result tougher – still quite edible, but, if you can choose..)
  • salt

I usually make a lot and freeze – unless some of it goes onto a dining table right away – the freezer and a very easy re-heat option make a single time effort lay out many times in the future. The portion above took me less than one hour to compose – and I have more 4-5 dinner sets ready..

  1. Put the big pot filled with water on the stove, add some salt to water, bring it to boils as soon as possible
  2. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl
  3. Push the potatoes in tightly, to create a smooth dense flatish layer – remove 1/4 of the potatoes (draw a cross, determine 1/4, remove one pizza slice)
  4. In place of removed potatoes drop the potato flour – in my experience it somewhat approximates 1/4 of the potato’s weight – why? not sure
  5. Return the removed potatoes
  6. Drop in the egg(s) and salt
  7. Gently mix the stuff (I do it with potato masher, or the half-moon device used to crunch hard boiled eggs for egg salad).
  8. When somewhat mixed, take it onto the table surface and continue,. work gently, patiently folding and gathering rather than forcibly squashing it as you would with the regular pasta pastry
  9. When the dough looks uniform in texture, take out a chunk, form a little sample and be ready to use it as a tester for boiling –
  10. When the water is boiling, drop in your tester and observe – does it stay together while boiling, or is it falling apart? If falling apart, you need to add some flour to the dough and knead it (back to step (5) above..)
  11. Scrape and wash your hands.
  12. Brake off a small chunk of the dough; each chunk will make one dumpling; I take a generous teaspoon full as an approximate one-kluska-measure
  13. Roll the dough in the palms of your hands, shape into a round pieces could push a bit of a well in each, but it really is optional.. . set aside.
  14. Grab more dough, make more dumplings
  15. When water boiling, gently pick up your ready make pieces and immerse in boiling water.
  16. Stir the pot gently with the wooden spoon
  17. Now you can return to point 9, until the whole dough is gone, but must check the pot frequently.
  18. When dumplings start showing up at the surface of the water, they are ready for freezing (see noted above).IMG_0342
  19. Otherwise you let them boil (simmer) for a few minutes. Take one out to test for doneness (must taste cooked!).
  20. Out of the pot they will come quite sticky and will want to retain very close contact with their brothers and sisters. you prevent it by applying some greasy substance (oil? butter? melted bacon fat?..) or by placing them far from each other on a flat surface. the latter method must be used when kluski are to be frozen.

Here they are,  frozen, ready to be placed in the really cold freezer… brrrr..IMG_0344

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