Monday, November 13, 2006
Kroppkakor - potato dumplings
Another traditional Swedish dish! It can't be made during the summer, when there's only new potatoes - they won't hold together, and will just become a gluey mass. (Trust me, I know this from first-hand experience. Sigh.) A kroppkaka is quite simply a large potato dumpling filled with bacon and onions. (Although it translates a bit scarily into "body cake".)
It's slightly different depending on where in the country you are but I grew up with my grandmother's version, and those kroppkakor were always white - made from mashed boiled potatoes. Some people prefer grey kroppkakor, made with half raw potatoes. You can eat these with lingonberries and melted butter, or with a white sauce flavored with allspice. I prefer the sauce. And extra filling on the side, please!
From Stora Kokboken ("The big cookbook", a Swedish classic)
8-10 large potatoes (750g-1 kg)
1 egg yolk
150-200 ml flour
For the filling:
100 g bacon or pancetta (ideally salted, but unsmoked, pork.)
100 g smoked ham
1-2 tbsp minced yellow onion
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2-1 tsp allspice
Peel the potatoes and cut into smaller pieces. Boil until soft, drain the water and let the potatoes dry. Press through a potato ricer into a large bowl, and wait until it's completely cold.
Cut the bacon and the ham into small dice. Fry the onion and the meat in the butter until lightly browned. Season with allspice, and let cool completely.
Mix together the riced potatoes, the flour and the egg yolk, and a bit of salt. The dough should be well mixed and easy to handle. Roll into a sausage-shape, and cut into even pieces. Each dumpling should be between a golf ball and a tennis ball in size - fairly large. This recipe makes about 12.
Roll each piece into a round, and make a hole with your thumb. Fill with plenty of filing, and close the hole. Roll again so you get a nice, even dumpling, and flatten it slightly.
Boil the dumplings in plenty of boiling, salted water, a few at a time. They need about five minutes on each side. Serve with melted butter, lingonberries or sauce béchamel with allspice.
Recipe in Swedish: