It’s been cold and blustery recently, the kind of weather where you want something to eat that sticks to your ribs. This is potato dumpling weather.
I’ve never made potato dumplings. But I sure do like them.
While watching a youth hockey game today, a friend, Al Gunderson, kiddingly said I should write something about potato dumplings.Â I asked him if he made them, and he said yes. Al said he liked to put a little piece of ham or bacon in the center of his potato dumplings. He said they’re pretty good fried the next day, too.
That’s the kind of potato dumplings I’ve eaten. I usually get some of them a couple of times a year from another friend, Darrel Koehler, who likes to have make them several times a year.
One of these days, I’m going to have to get his recipe for potato dumplings. But in the meantime, I’m going to have to settle for recipes such as the following that appeared in the Chicago Tribuneâ€™s Taste section in 2010 and was deemed as one of the year’s best. They are stuffed with beef and spinach, an interesting combo.
Beef and Spinach Filled Dumplings
3 cups Â½-inch crustless white bread cubes
1/3 cup milk
3 strips bacon, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Â½ pound ground beef
Â½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Â½ cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
Â¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt
WRAPPERS AND BROTH:
50 round or square wonton or pot-sticker wrappers
8 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
For the filling, place the bread cubes in a large bowl; add milk. Work the mixture with hands until the bread becomes small bits. Squeeze out any excess milk by small handfuls; place the bread pulp in a bowl.
Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes. Add onion; cook over high heat, stirring, until bacon is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and the beef; cook, stirring to break up meat, until beef is browned, about 3 minutes. Mix in the nutmeg. Let cool slightly in the pan. Place in a food processor with the spinach; pulse until the beef is minced. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in the bread pulp, parsley, egg yolk and salt. Cover; refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.
Lay 4 to 6 wrappers on a work surface; brush half of them with a little water. Place a rounded tablespoon of filling in the center of each. Top each with an unbrushed wrapper. Press the edges of the dough together; pinch to seal. Place the dumplings in a single layer on a floured kitchen towel on a tray; keep covered with a towel. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
Meanwhile, heat the broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in the salt; cover. Reduce the heat to medium. Gently drop half of the dumplings, one at a time, into the broth. Stir carefully to prevent sticking. Cook until all are floating, 2 to 3 minutes; cook 3 more minutes. Remove to a plate; top with a spoonful of the broth. Cook the remaining dumplings. Return the first batch to the broth; heat to warm through.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 362 calories, 18 percent of calories from fat, 7 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 75 milligrams cholesterol, 52 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein, 1,970 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.