Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Getting Back to my Roots: Klesla

Klesla is a religion in my Dad’s family (no, we’re not huge hockey fans as google would have you believe). The must have replacement for mashed potatoes in every holiday meal these dumplings are essentially German gnocchi and only have three ingredients: potatoes, flour and egg. The egg is mostly optional and the source of much discussion at family gatherings – it helps bring the dough together but if you add just the right amount of flour you shouldn’t really need it – as a klesla newbie I’m a fan of the egg. You’ll need to rice the potatoes which requires a potato ricer – I’m not positive if this is a unitasker but I know of no other use for the contraption, luckily the’re pretty cheap.

I think yesterday was my first foray into solo klesla making and it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I didn’t work enough flour into the dough and the dumplings came out a bit mushy. I’m overly sensitive when it comes to cooking and this minor setback (I won’t say failure since the klesla still got eaten) left me in a bit of a pout. Klesla should be solid and sliceable even when hot and when piled in a serving dish the dumplings should not stick together.


3lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (Russets are also fine)

2-2.5cups flour

1 egg

Boil the potatoes until just fork tender (if they get to mashable you’ve gone too far). Let the boiled potatoes cool then peel and rice. Add one egg and ½ cup of flour to the riced potatoes and knead to bring together. Continue adding flour ½ cup at a time until the dough is shiny and elastic (mom’s words). Bring a large pot of water to boil. Divide the dough in half and roll into two 3 inch think ropes. Cut the ropes on an angle into 3 inch potions (just like how you'd cut a baguette -- the idea is maximum surface area). Drop the dumplings into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the top. Slice into bite sized pieces and serve with gravy (I have at least one cousin that forgoes gravy for butter).

Left over klesla is a prized breakfast treat – cut into bite sized pieces and fry in a little butter or oil – I like mine with a fried egg.

1 comment:

themikestand said...

Yum yum...sign me up for some of that. I'm a big potato pancake lover, so I can only imagine these would be as good if not better.