Saturday, October 8, 2011

Potato Cheese Dumpling Buttons

This is not really a quick recipe at all, but these little dumplings are so tasty, I think it's worth the effort from time to time. In addition, if you like pierogi or are looking for a cute appetizer or really like mashed potatoes, or just have plenty of time to kill, you will really enjoy this recipe. I find myself craving these little dumplings a few times a year and I plan a little time on the weekend to make them, and the whole family is very, very happy when I do.

So anyway, that's my disclosure statement on the time involved and now on to the recipe.....

1 medium onion, chopped (or some onion combo- I used half a medium and several green onion stalks)
2 - 3 tbsp olive oil or ghee plus more as needed to cook the dumplings
3-4 medium to small potatoes, chopped in one inch small pieces - I use Russett because they are high in antioxidants
3/4 cup grated cheese, like Muenster, Gouda, Jarlsburg, Cheddar
One package dumpling wrappers (I used Nasoya Round Wraps)
Sea salt to taste

How To:
1. Make Your Filling: Peel, chop, and add potatoes to a medium saucepan. Boil in salted water until tender, about ten minutes. In the meantime, cook onions in butter over medium heat until golden brown, about 15 minutes. When potatoes are done, drain and mash (just use a potato masher). Then add onions and grated cheese, mix well.

2. Make Your Buttons: Put a rounded tablespoon in the center of a wrapper and cover with another wrapper. Press and curl up the edges to seal. Form remaining dumplings in the same way. Make sure your fingers are a little damp to help with the sealing process.

3. Cook, and Cook, and Cook: Cook dumplings, seam side up, in oil/ ghee (covering bottom of a medium sized to large saute pan) over medium to medium low heat for about 2-3 minutes each, until golden brown. Then flip and press down gently with a spoon and cook another 5 minutes (approximately) until golden brown. Unless you have the largest saute pan I've ever seen, you will need to cook in batches. I did about four or five at a time and then allowed the finished ones to rest on a plate covered with a paper towel. You will probably need to add a little more oil or ghee here and there.
I believe this makes about 27-28 dumpling buttons. They taste like crispy pierogi so I cooked up a quick batch of carmelized onions and served mine with the onions on top. Very tasty. I also dipped a few in chili my husband was cooking and that was also good! I can hear my husband in the kitchen right now sneaking more of these.....
As a really good variation, I made a super quick marinara sauce (sauteed three cloves of chopped garlic in about 1/4 cup olive oil, maybe a little less, until just starting to brown - add a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes, or chop two or three fresh tomatoes, and about 1-2 tsp Italian seasonings and simmer five minutes). I had sauteed onions from the night before, so I threw them in as well. Sprinkled with grated parmesan. Delish.

These little pain-in-the-butt dumplings ended up going a long way and being a really nice treat. The six-year old only tried the leftovers but he loved them--said they were better than pasta.
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