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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Kniddelen - Luxembourgish Dumplings with Bacon


Kniddelen are one of Luxembourg's oldest dishes. Once upon a time they were considered the poor man's meal because all you need is flour, eggs, milk and bacon. Over the years, the traditional dish has almost transformed into a delicatessen because only a few still know how to prepare them. For a decade now, restaurants have put them back on the menu because people are again looking for more traditional restaurants in the jungle of international cuisine.


For me personally, Kniddelen is more than just a dish. Kniddelen is what I cook for my international friends if I want to share Luxembourgish culture with them or for myself when I just have to feel like home while living abroad. I prepared them in France, Serbia and Macedonia for a bunch of friends from different corners of the world.

My first Kniddel-sharing was in Aix-en-Provence; the city I studied in. As you may know, the local cuisine is rather light. My local friends shared loads of family recipes with me and invited me to their homes to try local food. One sunny day in spring, I decided to give some of it back and invite them to my place to share a piece of home with them. They really really liked them and are still talking about Kniddelen a few years later.

One and a half years ago, I turned back to Macedonia after having first discovered the country in summer 2011. My two local friends, Gorana and Darko made me try as many traditional dishes as possible during my several stays. Once again I decided to give something back and suggested that one night, I would prepare dinner; Kniddelen my favourite Luxembourgish dish. My friend's brother literally said that I am officially allowed to come back as I prepared a wonderful dinner. I guess these words speak for themselves.

Last but not least, during my stay in Serbia, I prepared Kniddelen as well. The first time was a co-production with another Luxembourgish volunteer for our international EVS friends. The second time was in the midst of summer, 42° and I wondered why not to prepare Kniddelen. I have to admit that with these temperatures savoring the hearty dumplings is a bit more difficult. Now I am back home but still returning regularly to Serbia and not later than on my last visit I gathered some friends around a glass of wine and prepared the dumplings again. 


Next to the Kniddel-adventures during student life, Kniddelen are also my all-time favourite comfort food. My grandmother used to prepare them quite often and I still remember the days when we went to hers to have family lunches or dinners. She used to cook a lot and very good and I wish I had been older when she was still fit to cook with her more often. But I think, part of my own passion for food was passed on from hers as well.


For 4 portions you need:
800g flour
4-5 eggs
450 ml milk
400g thinly sliced bacon
butter


Pour all the flour into a large bowl at once and mound it like a volcano. Add the eggs into the hole and start beating. Add the milk little by little and keep mixing until you get a sticky dough.

In a large pot bring the water to the boil and add some salt. Now turn the temperature down to middle heat. With two table spoons, form little dumplings and throw them into the hot water. The Kniddelen are ready when floating on the surface. Depending on their size let them simmer for another 30 seconds if you think they're not yet ready.

Enjoy!!!!!



4 comments:

  1. I forgot that you made these for us - I'm definitely going to have to try to make them for myself soon. :) Bisous des Etas-Unis! :)

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  2. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

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  3. Thanks for this recipe! I'm from Luxembourg and remember my grandmother making this delightful and sinfully unhealthy treats as a kid. She died without my getting any of her recipes, so I'm glad for this one! (I'd completely forgotten how key bacon is to it.)

    Faith

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