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Croatian Potato Plum Dumplings

Croatia is on my travel bucket list. I have heard that it is breathtakingly beautiful. Located in Eastern Europe and bordering the Adriatic Sea, its cuisine is wide, varied and definitively regional. Potato dumplings made with cheese or plums are native to the Croatian region of Dalmatia. They are considered both a lunch (which is the main meal in Croatia) and a dessert.

These plum dumplings are not hard to make, but they are time consuming. They are different than anything I’ve tasted before, but I did like them. Mind you, I love to try new foods. I’ve had guinea pig (disgustingly rubbery), cow’s udder (you might as well eat a sponge), alpaca (not bad), witchitty grubs (surprisingly good) and blood sausage (not good). I always get sick when I travel because I insist on eating all the local foods. Thankfully, these dumplings won’t make you sick and you will still get to try something different.

I cooked them two ways. First, you need to boil them. Traditionally, you then fry them with breadcrumbs. I found they tasted like stewed plums and fried mashed potatoes when cooked this way. With the second batch, I rolled them in toasted breadcrumbs and baked them. I then poured some stewed plum sauce on top. I personally preferred them this way because the dumplings were a little drier. This recipe makes 40 dumplings so I was able to freeze 1/2 of them for later.

To make these you need to first peel and chop 4 lbs of russet potatoes. Boil them until tender and then mash. You then mix in flour, semolina, salt, nutmeg and butter. Once slightly cooled, you mix in 2 beaten eggs to form a dough. (You may add more flour if the dough is too soft and sticky to work with.)

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Take a small handful of dough and roll it into a ping pong sized ball. Flatten it into a disc and place a plum (pit removed) in the center. Wrap the dough around the plum and roll it back into a ball.  Place on a parchment lined baking tray.

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Boil the dumplings in a large pot until they float. Then transfer them to a skillet with butter and breadcrumbs. Turn carefully to coat and fry all sides.

Alternatively, instead of frying, coat boiled dumplings with toasted breadcrumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Watch carefully for burning. Cover with plum sauce.

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Croatian Potato Plum Dumplings
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs russet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup semolina flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 lbs prune plums pits removed
Step two:
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Sauce:
  • 2 cups plums chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and mash.

  2. Add butter, flour, semolina, salt, and nutmeg to mashed potatoes. Mix well.

  3. When slightly cooled, mix in eggs to form a dough.

  4. Make ping pong sized balls with the dough and then flatten into a disc in your hand. Put one plum in the center of the disc and wrap dough around it. Roll into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking tray. (Freeze 1/2 on the tray to prevent sticking. Once completely frozen you can transfer the dumplings to a bag or container)

  5. Boil dumplings until they float.

  6. Method 1: fry in butter and breadcrumbs.

  7. Method 2: coat in toasted breadcrumbs and then bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Watch carefully for burning.

Sauce:
  1. Combine sauce ingredients with 1/4 cup water in a small sauce pan. Simmer until thickened. Serve over the dumplings.