German Hefekloesse – Yeast Dumplings

When I think of the various German meals my mother made when I was growing up, the only words that come to mind are ‘comfort food’.

It seemed there was no end to the ways in which bread or just dough in general could be used. Dumplings are a favorite food throughout Germany. The ingredients will vary depending on the type of dumpling. Most often they are shaped in a ball, then boiled or steamed in salt water. Dumplings can be served as a main meal, side dish, part of a soup or served sweet for dessert. Then, of course, there are the varieties with fillings such as cheese, fruit or meats.

There is no one way to define German cooking. Each region in Germany has its own specialties and variations. This is usually based on the foods available locally.

My mother cooked a wonderful mix of both German and Canadian meals. Although my parents were Canadian born, their parents had come to Canada from Germany/Russia. That knowledge of German cooking had been passed down to my mother and has left lasting memories for us siblings.

This particular meal of  ‘HEFEKLOESSE’  was a meal my mother would usually make on a day when she was doing her weekly bread baking. It was served with fried potatoes and onions and a side dish of some of her stewed plums. Of course, at the time it was just another one of those fabulous ‘ comfort food’ meals that we all took for granted. Now all these years later, trying to recreate that taste is near impossible.

Every once in a while I get the courage to give it a try again and usually I rate my effort as good but not quite like mom’s.

Along with our dumplings and stewed plums I served some turkey kielbasa which rounded out the meal nicely.

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German Hefekloesse - Yeast Dumplings
The joy of comfort food!
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine German
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine German
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Dumplings / Potatoes & Onions
  1. In a small bowl, pour lukewarm water; sprinkle with sugar & yeast. Place in a warm, draft-free spot & allow to stand 2-3 minutes. Stir to dissolve; leave 5 more minutes or until mixture almost doubles in size. In a large bowl, whisk together beaten egg, margarine, milk, salt & yeast mixture.
  2. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix until well combined; turn out on a floured surface, kneading for about 10 minutes. When dough is smooth & elastic, place in a greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap & a tea towel.
  3. Allow to rise for about 1 hour or until dough doubles in size. Punch down & knead for about 3-4 minutes. Pinch off pieces of dough; shape into 24 balls about 1 1/2" in diameter. Lay dumplings on a floured board & allow to rise again until doubled in size.
  4. In a large heavy skillet, layer potato & onion slices. Add about 2 cups of water, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt & 1 Tbsp margarine (or bacon drippings). Bring to a boil, partially cooking vegetables. Add dumplings; cover & cook about 15 minutes or until the water is completely gone. Usually you will hear a 'hissing' sound at this point. Potatoes & onions should be nicely browned.
Stewed Plums
  1. Bring all ingredients to a very gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool & serve.
Recipe Notes
  • I recall a favorite old cast iron pan being used for steaming these dumplings in. Definitely it worked much better in obtaining a brown crusty bottom on the dumplings & potatoes then I could achieve in the pan I used. 

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Chutney

As I mentioned before, pork tenderloin regularly pops up in my supper menus. Over time, I have prepared it in many different ways and hardly ever remember any that we didn’t care for.

Since my three rhubarb plants seem to still be producing those lovely stalks, why not use them! This blog recipe is easy, wonderful tasting and a great presentation all in one. Here’s my interpretation of Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Chutney. Enjoy!

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Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Chutney
The spice rub 'marinating' adds so much to the overall flavor.
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Course Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Pork Tenderloin
  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine spice rub ingredients. Butterfly pork tenderloin & flatten to uniform thickness. Place in plastic bag with spice rub & shake to distribute seasoning well. Close bag & allow to stand in refrigerator for several hours.
Rhubarb Chutney
  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine first 9 chutney ingredients. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add rhubarb, onion & dried cranberries; increase heat to medium & cook until rhubarb is tender & mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Can be made ahead of time & refrigerated until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a piece of aluminum foil & place on a wire rack on a baking pan. Cut plastic bag open; lay tenderloin flat with cut side up. Spread chutney over tenderloin & carefully roll (using plastic bag), starting with the long side as you would with a cake 'jelly roll'. Place on greased foil on pan.
  3. Lightly rub a small amount of olive oil or a 'fig balsamic dressing' over top of tenderloin. Bake for about 45 minutes or until tests done. DO NOT OVER BAKE! Remove from oven & allow stand for a few minutes before slicing.

Summer Picnic Menu #2

                                                                MENU

WILD MUSHROOM & GOUDA QUICHE  — SHRIMP & VEGETABLE QUICHE                        

      FRESH SPINACH SALAD —  FRUIT KABOBS & HONEY YOGURT

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Summer Picnic Menu #2
Quiche is great whether it is served hot or cold making it a nice picnic meal.
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Rating: 5
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Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Wild Mushroom & Gouda Quiche
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice green onion & mushrooms. Saute in margarine; add garlic, stirring often. Allow to cook for 5 minutes uncovered so moisture will evaporate. Cut broccoli into florets; add to pan along with red pepper & bacon bits. Cook another 6 minutes; remove from heat. Whisk together eggs, milk & seasonings.
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 of the Gouda cheese in quiche shell. Top with vegetable mixture; then remaining Gouda. Gently pour seasoned egg/milk mixture over all. Bake about 40 minutes or until quiche tests done. Since quiche is made with milk instead of cream (to lighten up on the calories) it tales a bit longer to bake.
Shrimp & Vegetable Quiche
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Microwave vegetables ONLY, for a few minutes to soften SLIGHTLY; lay on paper towel along with thawed shrimp to take up some of the moisture. Whisk together eggs, milk & seasonings.
  2. Sprinkle Italian cheese blend over bottom of quiche shell. Top with shrimp, vegetables & cheddar cheese. Gently pour seasoned egg/milk mixture over all. Bake on middle rack for 50-60 minutes or until just 'set'. Cover crust with foil, if necessary, to prevent over browning.
Fresh Spinach Salad
  1. In a large salad bowl, combine salad ingredients. Toss with salad dressing just before serving time or let each person put their own on at the picnic.
Fresh Fruit Kabobs with Honey Yogurt
  1. In a small bowl, combine yogurt & honey (cinnamon if using). Prepare fresh fruit of choice, cutting into bite size cubes. Thread onto 8" wooden skewers. Place in serving container along with sealed container of honey-yogurt dip.
Recipe Notes
  • If you prefer, quiche can be made individually for easy serving.