Mushroom Tater Dumplins’
Potatoes are really the only edible of any substance I have left growing in my yard this season, for this recipe I used potatoes I found growing in our compost bin. A quick look through my wife’s gluten free pantry uncovered some potato flour and tapioca starch. I believed/hoped these flours together with the potatoes would be able to be fashioned into some gnocchi dumplings. This recipe took several attempts to get just right and a 50/50 mix of the two flours is perfect for a soft yet chewy gnocchi. Chanterelles can be dried after the fall/winter harvest and stored long term. Dried mushrooms usually come in 1 oz packages at the store and I use about 1/4 of the package for this recipe. These can be made several hours ahead of time, and simply boiled in water when ready for dinner. They take a little prep time and elbow grease but are well worth the effort. Each time I make these it seems like the dough is crumbly and tends to fall apart easily. I have found they just need some coercing. The secret is to just muscle the dumpling dough into shape and continue to make it as dense as possible throughout the entire process and they will always turn out perfect. Whose in charge anyway, you or a bunch of tater dumplins’?
Mushroom Tater Dumplins’
russet or yukon gold potatoes weighing 1.5-2 lbs
1/2 cup potato flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (starch)
1 egg yolk
small handful dried porcini mushrooms
1 tsp salt
Set oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375. Cover dried mushrooms with boiling water and let soak until needed. Pierce potatoes with a fork and put on baking sheet in middle of oven. After one hour remove and cut each potato in half to help it cool. Mix both flours and salt in a small bowl. Strain and mince the mushrooms, saving a little of the liquid. Peal and grate potatoes with a cheese grater using the med size (the size of rice). The potatoes will break apart from time to time, this is okay – just mash them through the grater. Make a well in the middle of the grated potatoes and add the flours, the mushrooms, and egg yolk. Mix the ingredients in the center first with a fork at first and then begin mixing the potatoes in with hands. Knead the dumplings like dough and work it into a really solid ball. This can be done in a large salad bowl. If it is too sticky sprinkle a little tapioca starch over ball, if it is too dry add a drizzle of the reserved mushroom liquid or warm water. It helps to use a little of one of the flours throughout the dough making stages to keep it from sticking. Chop the large ball into 4-8 smaller balls and rework them to make them very solid. Roll them all out into snakes and if they break apart, just continue to work them back into shape. Cut them into one inch segments and once again pick up each one and work and compress it a little bit in your hand until you have a solid gnocci. They can sit out for several hours, refridgerated over night, or used right away. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook in batches. Add a couple handfuls of dumplings at a time and boil for about a minute each batch. They will sink and then begin to rise to the top of the water when they are cooked. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and let rest on a plate until they are done steaming. Top with Winter Pesto or any pasta sauce.