It’s Monday again, and I’ve been experimenting once more in the kitchen with a meat-free recipe for Polish noodles or Kluski.
In Poland, (along with many other Eastern European nations) dumplings are a traditional dish and they can take many forms. Pierogi are the most popular in Poland. They are hand made, little pockets of dough filled with either cream cheese and potato, cabbage, wild mushrooms, meat or even fruit.
There are also smaller gnocchi-type dumplings known as Leniwe which means “lazy” (because they are not filled) and then there are Kluski (a more generic term) which are simple and plain also unfilled noodles.
Whichever form they take, the dumplings are usually made with flour, egg and water and are dropped into a pan of boiling hot water until they float up to the top.
Polish dumplings are much lighter than a traditional British dumpling which are usually made with suet and cooked in a stew. I would probably compare the Pierogi or filled dumplings to dim sum or gyoza. They are wonderful with a little melted butter or, once cooked, they can be pan-fried to crisp them up a little.
Speaking to my mum on the phone, she told me (albeit very quietly since she’s lost her voice!) the noodles or dumplings that I attempted were called “kluski lane.” Literally translated, this means “poured noodles” since the batter is quite runny and you pour it through a sieve (or according to Mama a funnel works too) to achieve short pasta-type bits. Anyway, they were good and they tasted just as I remember them tasting at home.
My first batch were pan-fried with some lightly sweated onion and garlic, mushrooms and parsley. The second lot went into some clear stock soup, which the children loved! Don’t forget to add some salt to your boiling water!!
|A great Meat Free Monday recipe!
Here’s how you make them:
Polish ‘Kluski Lane’ or Poured Noodles
Beat the eggs with the water and salt. Add a small amount of flour to thicken it up slightly and then add the rest of the flour.
Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon or whisk until the dough is smooth. (It will be quite runny.)
Place a large pan of water on to boil and add your teaspoon of salt. Once it is bubbling place a sieve or a colander (not too fine) over the pan of water and slowly pour a small amount of the batter through the sieve into the water.
Alternatively, take a teaspoon, dip it in the hot water, scoop a small amount of batter and drop them into the water. This will take a bit longer to do but you will have bigger shaped pieces (see photo below)
Either way, leave them to boil gently and wait until they rise to the top of the water. This means they are ready.
You will probably have enough batter to make quite a few batches.
Take out the first batch with a slotted spoon or drain them into a colander.
Once they are cooked, you can then pan-fry them gently with butter, or add mushrooms, garlic and herbs or drop them into a stock-based soup, either vegetable (for Meat Free Monday) chicken or pork.
|A clear stock soup with teaspoon dropped Kluski