Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kroppkakor: The Dumplings that are as Fun to Say as they are to Eat

But not so much fun to make the first time around, as it turned out.  

I started making the dough the night before.  Little did I know that starchy old russet potatoes are the key to the texture of the dough and I - thinking a potato is a potato when it comes down to it - used reds.  So I cooked and mashed half and grated the other half in the food processor, squeezing out the extra liquid.  After I mixed in the right amount of flour, and then twice the amount of flour, I had a bowl of sticky mush.  And then, since the dough was made with half raw potatoes, I ended up with a bowl of horrifyingly gray sticky mush the next day when I went to assemble the dumplings.

The filling was easy and delicious - just minced ham, onions and allspice browned in butter.

The recipe says to roll the dough into a 12-inch log and then slice it into eight pieces.  Wasn't happening.  I sort of shaped it into a gloppy slug on a heavily floured board, and with the help of lots more flour squished the filling into the middles of eight limp blobs.  The dough was so soft I was certain the dumplings would disintegrate as soon as I dropped them in the boiling water, but they actually kept their shape.  

The second hardest part about the recipe was finding lingonberry jam for serving.  I know Ikea sells it by the bucketful but didn't feel like driving 45 minutes.  The third place I looked - the big Whole Foods on North Main in Providence - does carry it.  It reminds me of cranberry sauce but without the bitter edge.  It makes for a delicious combination of savory and sweet.

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