Inspired by the unabashed charms of homey mashed potatoes, generations of Eastern European Jewish cooks recast them in infinite incarnations. They reappeared as chremslach (crispy fried balls) or mixed with golden onions as savory fillings for knishes, blintzes, and kreplach.
My kreplach, with a voluptuous stuffing of buttery potatoes and burnished onions, fall somewhere between boiled and fried—prepared, in other words, like Chinese pot-sticker dumplings. They make a sensational appetizer, brunch, or dairy side dish.
Put the potatoes, garlic, and
While the potatoes are cooking, in a
Mash the potatoes until smooth (unlike knishes, kreplach are too small for a few homey little lumps), using your favorite tool—food mill, ricer, potato masher, or electric mixer; just don’t use a blender or food processor, which would make a gluey mess. Return the potatoes to the saucepan. With the heat on very low, beat in the fried onion and all of the cooking fat, the remaining
Have a small bowl of water at hand. Place a wonton wrapper on a lightly floured surface, leaving the remaining wonton wrappers covered with a damp dish towel. Mound
Serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped scallions and dill, and accompanied by sour or yogurt cream.
“Without the potato, the Jewish Lithuanian household could not have existed. Mother was in her element with it. It was as if all her creative force bore down on that lowly tuber to transform it into one tempting magical form after another.”
Don Gussow, Chata Sonia
© 2008 Jayne Cohen. All rights reserved.