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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tirolese spinach-cheese dumplings (Austrian)

These dumplings from the Austrian part of the Tirol region are very similar to the "canederli" dumplings from the Italian part of Tirol, yet, they are quite different. Their filling is a little more complex, their dough a tad rough from the whole rye flour, their taste a little more countryside authentic. 
Quite a balanced and healthy meal, full of fibers and vitamins. Enjoy!
P.S: I admit I first had these when I was 17 or 18 at the local McDonald's in one of their limited edition summer menus. And I was hooked. But now, this is the real yummier and healthier version :P

Note: we made too much filling for the dumplings, but I wouldn't recommend using less of each ingredient because it would actually make the whole thing more difficult, and I have a simple and yummy way to use up the remaining filling into some warming Spinach and cheese crostini. Just follow the link :)

Ingredients (serves 2):
  • 100 g wheat flour
  • 100 g whole rye flour
  • 2 eggs
  • a little olive oil
  • 200 g boiled and drained spinach
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 knobs of butter (of about 20-30 g each)
  • 100 g salty cheese (like feta or a little lighter)
  • 1 potato (we used 2 small potatoes)
  • pepper and salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 50 g Parmesan
  • fresh dill leaves for serving

First, put the flours, eggs, olive oil an a sprinkle of salt in a mixer:

Work it into a dough, put it in a plate and let it rest for 30 minutes:

Boil the potato/potatoes (for 30 minutes or so depending on the size):

Peel the onion and garlic clove:

Chop them finely, heat a knob of butter in a pan and fry them gently until golden:

Put in a mixing bowl the spinach, cheese, nutmeg, fried onion and garlic:

Also add the boiled potato / potatoes and mix everything into a paste. Get the dough from its hiding place. Roll it out as thin as you can (it's harder than an usual one), then cut 8 cm circles out of it:

Get the circle in your hand, then stretch it more with your fingers until you've gained about 2 cm extra diameter. Then, put a large teaspoon of filling paste in its center:

Fold the circle once, then press the edges with your fingers to form a dumpling. If filling gets out, wipe it and close the dumpling by pressing, as already described. Heat some water with a pinch of salt, then boil few dumplings at a time (2-3 or more, depending on the pot's size - they should be far apart enough to prevent sticking):

Boil them for 15 minutes or so. When they float, it's a sign they are ready (but you should move them with a spatula once in a while to make sure they haven't sticked to the bottom). Repeat until all the dumplings are boiled, then divide them between 2 plates. Gather your remaining filling in a bowl and store it covered in the fridge for some delicious spinach crostini:

Grate the Parmesan:

Heat the other knob of butter:

Pour the melted butter over the dumplings:

Top with the grated Parmesan and the fresh dill. It's ready, dig in! 

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