Author Notes: Cepelinai is originally a Lithuanian potato and beef filled dumpling.
When I first tasted Cepelinai I thought that it is very difficult to make them, but I liked them so much, that I had to try. I didn’t have the recipe but was determent to make it perfectly. Finely I got it right: the measurements, the ingredients, and the cooking technique.
Now I am brave enough to share with all of you. I made them with chicken meat, because now days many people are not eating beef.
Serves: 6 (two per portion)
• 6 large russet potatoes
• 6 chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
• 1 egg
• 1 medium onion
• 4 pieces thick cut bacon (cut in ½ inch bits)
• 3 large cloves of garlic
• ½ a teaspoon dry coriander
• ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 of the 6 potatoes cook or bake in the skin. In a skillet, render and brown the bacon bits until really crispy. Drain bacon and almost all of the grease (leave just 1 tablespoon) thru a fine sift to small, tall bowl. Sauté the meat (cut in bite size pieces) until lightly browned. Dice, and add the onion, salt, pepper and coriander; continue to sauté for another 10 minutes. In the last 2-3 minutes add minced garlic. Take of the stove, let cool to room temperature. When it’s cooled, run thru a meat grinder to a medium bowl, taste for seasoning, and mix in the egg (lightly beaten) and set a side.
- Meanwhile, peel the cooked potatoes and grate them on the large side of a grater to a bowl. Then peel the raw potatoes and grind on the small side to the same bowl. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth and homogenized. Get a little flour on your hands; take a full tablespoon of the potato mixture and flatten it. Make an indentation; put in ½ of a tablespoon meat mixture, close, and roll with your hands to an oval shape of a Zeppelin. Lay them out on large cutting board sprinkled with flour, and then sprinkle some flour on the top of the dumplings.
- Bring a very large and wide pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and with a strainer lower four dumplings, (1 at the time).When the water comes back to a boil; turn down the flame to medium-low. When dumplings come to the surface, cook them not more than for 5-6 minutes. Get them out carefully with the strainer; orange cooked dumplings on a large platter in one layer, and keep them in the oven at 200 degrees. Repeat the same step two more times if you wont to serve all 12 dumplings right a way, or freeze the rest.
- Serve with your favorite sauce, but do not forget about the crispy bacon that you cooked in the beginning, skater bacon or caramelized onions on top of the dumplings. I like to serve Cepelinais with a not to thick homemade mushroom-sour cream or tomato sauce. You may also like to serve them in a clear flavorful broth. Garnish with herbs of your choice. Try to make Cepelinais and you will cook them again and again.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Potatoes
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dumplings