I’ve been missing in action writing here, and cooking in general. I went on a last minute trip to ARMENIA! with my husband to be.
It was mainly to see his family, but I had a lovely time being somewhere different and learning about the culture. It’s a beautiful place that many people do not know much about, and I encourage people to visit, there is a lot of history there and it is a very unique place. The food was really great, since it is such a small country it seems that much of the food is very local and fresh. We ate a lot with Gevork’s aunt, she would make very simple dishes and they were all so good! Lamb patties with herbs, lamb chops with tomatoes and herbs, eggplant and other veges slow cooked, chicken with mushrooms or again with tomatoes and herbs, meatballs without anything basically except seasoning (really gotta learn this trick!). My favorite salad was just simple tomatoes, peppers, red onions, and cucumbers cut thick with oil, salt and again lots of herbs (cilantro, dill, parsley, and some other ones I am not sure because they were not translated to me in English – one was purple, maybe purple basel or lovage?). Everything was served with fresh lavash that she would get every morning. I am obsessed with lavash, it is the coolest tastiest secret, only in Armenia can you get really good lavash.
I hope to be a better story teller next time, it was definitely a new experience for me, but also a bit overwhelming with family stuff and getting comfortable. So I will be prepared next time to share the wonders!
This recipe is similar to the lazy dumpling in my last post, however these might be my favorite dumplings. I didn’t eat these much growing up but they are still somehow special to me. On my last trip to Poland I went to a restaurant in Krakow and ordered these because I wasn’t eating meat and I was so happy I did, they were delicious! I also remember eating one of the best mushroom soups I’ve ever had there.
500 g potatoes – pick a sturdy cooking potato (once peeled and cooked will weigh 400g – even if it doesn’t, just use that much for the dough)
100-150 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp potato flour (it makes for a softer dough)
15-20 small RIPE Italian plums (not so ripe that they are rotten, just with a nice squish when tested)
2 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup sour cream
– Peel and chop your potatoes into cubes. Boil in a pot of salted water until cooked. Drain and mash them very well so there are no clumps. Let them cool.
– Cut each plum longways on one side. If they are ripe the pit should come out really easy, so that is a good test. Remove all pits and set aside, plum should still be attached just cut on the side.
– Once the potatoes are cool mix them with 100g of flour, the potato flour and the egg in a bowl. Mix well with your hands or with a spoon if too sticky. It will be very sticky but if it is not coming together add more flour. Every type of potato is different so you have to figure it out as you go. The more flour you use the denser the dough will be and we don’t want that for these. Let it sit for a bit. Flour your work surface well.
– Fill a big pot with water and salt well. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil while you do the next part.
– Make sure you have very well floured hands for the next part. Take a third of the dough and roll it into a log about two inches thick and six inches long, cut it into pieces, you want to be able to fit a plum in there so use your own judgement on how big your plums are. Flatten out each piece. Fill a plum with a little powdered sugar and place it into the dough with the cut side facing side. Pick it up in your hands and gently start pushing the dough up so it covers the plum. Seal it with your fingers, keep flouring those hands if you need. Roll it around in your hands so it seals shut and let it sit on a floured surface or plate while you repeat. Repeat until you run out of dough or plums.
– Once the water is boiling gently place the dumplings in the water, in batches. Once they float to the top let them cook another 5 minutes. Take them out with a slotted spoon and let them drain in a strainer for a second and them place them on a plate.
– Mix about 1 cup of sour cream with 1 1/2 tbsp of powdered sugar. Serve with the knedle. There is also the option of sautéing them in butter and sprinkling with sugar, or even bread crumbs, but I was quite satisfied with the sour cream 🙂