This recipe for Polish potato dumplings or kopytka (koh-PIT-kah) is made with cooked mashed potatoes. Their name means "little hooves" because of their shape.
Don't use leftover mashed potatoes that have previously been mixed with milk and butter. Potatoes cooked in their jackets and freshly mashed or ground in a food mill are the way to go.
Many people consider these dumplings the Polish equivalent of Italian gnocchi. Kopytka are excellent with buttered bread crumbs (polonaise-style) as a side dish or with the pan juices or gravy from roasted meats or poultry. Compare kopytka with pyzy dumplings.
- For the Dumplings:
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (cooked in their jackets, peeled and mashed or ground)
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
- For the Polonaise Topping:
- Optional: 3 tablespoons butter
- Optional: 3 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
- Place mashed or ground potatoes in a large bowl. Add egg, salt and a, much flour as necessary to form a smooth, cohesive dough. But don't overwork the dough because it will toughen.
- Put a large saucepan of salted water on to boil. On a lightly floured surface and with lightly floured hands, roll pieces of dough into 1/2-inch-thick cylinders. Cut at an angle into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Repeat with remainder of dough.
- Drop dumplings into the boiling water (in batches, if necessary, so as not to crowd) and return to the boil. Reduce heat and cook 1 to 5 minutes (remove one with a slotted spoon to test for doneness). Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked dumplings to a colander and drain.
- If serving with Polonaise topping, melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the breadcrumbs and fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer drained dumplings to a serving dish and sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs on top.
Note: If serving these dumplings with pan juices, omit the Polonaise topping step.