Next week will feature a fascinating episode of “Amish, Etc” when I interview cookbook author William Woy Weaver about the roots and history of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and how it differs from Amish fare. All of this is discussed in his new book “As American As Shoofly Pie.” We’ll be talking about soft pretzels, chicken and waffles, and other goodies. This is a preview recipe from his book.
(Gnepp fun Schunkefleesch-un-Kees)
These are fairly easy to make with a food processor. If you
prefer to use onions instead, just substitute the 4 ounces (125g) of cooked ham with 4 ounces (125g) of finely chopped onion that has
been sautéed in butter or with bits of slab bacon. Omit the 2 teaspoons of melted butter.
Yield: 28 mini-dumplings
4 ounces (125g) warm curds reserved from beer cheese soup (recipe above)
4 ounces (125g) cooked ham (or equivalent amount from a cooked ham hock), coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons melted butter
1/4 cup (30g) bread crumbs
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper or to taste
Put the curds, chopped ham, butter, bread crumbs, and egg yolks into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is reduced to a smooth paste. Put the paste on a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour.
Divide the dumpling mixture into 28 equal pieces and roll into balls, each about the size and shape of a chestnut (they should weigh about 10g each). Let stand 30 minutes so that the dumplings dry and mature. Then cook them in the simmering soup stock for 10 minutes or until they float.
Serve immediately as directed in the soup recipe.
Note: The uncooked dumplings can be deep-fried for about 1 minute and served crisp and piping hot in the soup. The dumpling mixture can also be used as filling in half-moon pies, Dampfgnepp, and Mauldasche or put in casings to make sausage. Smoked beer cheese sausage is an excellent addition to the soup, especially when a little hot pepper is added to the sausage filling.