Czeching into my roots

On this Fat Tuesday, it only seems fair to pay homage to my Czech and Catholic roots. My grandparents have always been excellent examples for me throughout my life. Always staying true to their roots, whether that involved family, Catholicism, Czech food, baseball, or their beloved Nebraska homeland. I have very fond memories of my grandmother’s fluffy Czech potato dumplings and holding ump-teen barn kittens at my Aunt’s farm near Utica, Nebraska. I had the pleasure of visiting my grandparents and Nebraska side of the family last May and I am just now getting around to talking about this fun little trip.

One of my favorite parts of this trip involved checking out the famous Bohemian Cafe in south Omaha. This family owned restaurant features authentic European dishes (and uniforms I might add) since 1924. Their mouth-watering Czech dishes have not only attracted my devoted Czech grandparents, but fellow foodies like myself from all over the world.

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My grandparents, Mom, and me outside the Bohemian Cafe.

This liver dumpling soup and roasted duck with dumplings and gravy was so delicious, it inspired me to make my own Czech potato dumplings. The recipe was so easy and left me with an abundance of fluffy dumplings to add to my favorite soup, serve with your choice of roasted meat, or freeze for later.  Enjoy friends and happy Fat Tuesday!

Czech Potato Dumplings

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 cups Wondra flour
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Soy milk as needed (or your milk of choice)

Directions:

  • Boil peeled potatoes until soft. Drain and mash with 4 Tbsp butter and milk. Allow potatoes to cool and mix in eggs. Add one cup of flour in at a time and mix well. You may need additional flour until the dough is firm. Use your hands as needed to add in the last cup of flour.

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  • Separate the dough into two balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball of dough into two long ropes about 2 inches in diameter. You should have two dumpling rolls when you are finished.

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  • Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a bowl. Take a sharp knife, dip the knife in flour and cut dough into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces. Run the knife through the flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to knife.

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  • Once water is boiling, add dumplings from one roll into the boiling water, stir to avoid the dumplings sticking to the bottom, and boil for 15 minutes. Spray a metal cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and place on the tray. Drizzle dumplings with 2 Tbsp of melted butter. Place tray in the oven on warm. Repeat the boiling process with the remaining dumplings.

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Dumplings can be served with your favorite roasted meat topped with gravy, added to your favorite stew or soup, or frozen to use at a later time.

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Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Just A Pinch Recipes.

-EAW