Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
The dish is a part of Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish cuisine. Although it reminds Italian gnocchi, ‘Little Hooves’ are served in a different way – with onion, bacon or… sugar. Of course one can add variety of ways of eating those potato dumplings that remind with their shape little hooves. This is actually what the name ‘KOPYTKA’ derives from as it is a Polish word for hooves.
The dumplings are very easy and cheap to make. Its basic ingredient are potatoes - cooked (in salty water) and grated, they are afterwards mixed with flour and egg. The dough should be made until it does not stick to your fingers – add more flour if needed . To give it a unique shape you must roll out the dumpling dough into a ‘snake’ on a floured board and cut into thin noodle strips (that remind little hooves). Cook the dumplings in salted water – for about 3 minutes until after they start to float. Be careful so that they do not get stuck to one another (as they need space when being cooked).
1,5 kg of peeled, boiled and grated potatoes
30 dag of flour
The above ingredients should be enough for the dinner for 4 people. Kopytka may be addition to the main dish or a main dish itself. Such dumplings you can simply serve with onion, fried bacon or variety of sauces (mushroom or meat ones) or with goulash as a replacement of bread or potatoes.
Kopytka can be also sweet main dish or dessert. They taste wonderful (especially when reheated on a pan) with melted butter, sugar and slightly browned breadcrumbs (on a pan – without any grease).
The latter way of serving ‘kopytka’ allowed another sort of dumplings to be discovered. ‘Kluski Leniwe’ (Lazy Dumplings) are prepared very similarly as kopytka – however, the amount of potatoes (and flour) is diminished in favor of cottage cheese. They are softer than ‘Little Hooves’ and thanks to it they match even better with a little bit of butter and sugar. The topping may be still enriched with breadcrumbs or cinnamon with addition of cream.
‘Kopytka’ and ‘Kluski Leniwe’ are another proof that Polish cuisine is full of dishes made of flour or potatoes. Dumplings, pierogis… sweet, spicy… usually easy to make and wonderful in taste.