The past couple of weeks have been totally insane: long hours at the office, traffic jams that extended my travel time from about 45 minutes to well past an hour, strange weather that’s blistering hot at one moment then followed by torrential rain. Small wonder, then, that I’ve found myself utterly drained and unable to indulge in even a wee bit of cooking or baking on weekends. Fortunately, preparing things in advance has proven to be a great help when it comes to managing to whip up something nice for a Saturday afternoon snack or a nice side dish to go with a store-bought roast or a mess of fried chicken.
For this particular recipe, all I had to do was boil up some potatoes, garlic, and carrots till they were tender. Stored in a covered container in a fridge, they kept rather nicely till the weekend when I heated the lot up in a microwave, mashed them up with a bit of butter, a splash of milk, and a sprinkle each of salt and pepper. The addition of tinned mushrooms made the mash a bit more substantial than usual, adding flavor and a meatiness. Rolled into deep-fried dumplings, these were utterly lovely – and I felt much better for working in the kitchen even for a bit.
Incidentally, the flavors in this dish are just plain gorgeous: potatoes, cheese, mellowed-down garlic, herbs, and mushrooms give an earthy, umami character while the carrot added a slight sweetness.
Garlicky Potato Dumplings
- 1/2 kilo potatoes, peeled
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 5 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon rock salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 small can button mushrooms, drained and finely chopped
- additional salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, halved
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- oil for deep-frying
Boil the potatoes, garlic, carrot, and rock salt in enough water to cover till tender. Remove from the heat, drain, and set aside to cool.
Mash up the cooled veg and add butter and milk. Mash until a smooth-ish puree is formed, then mix in the mushrooms and half the Parmesan. Leave to chill for an hour or overnight. Form the mash into balls, using about 1 tablespoon of mixture for each.
Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan. Combine the flour, remaining cheese, and Italian seasoning on a plate and dredge the potato balls in it. Deep-fry the balls until golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and serve as soon as possible.
Makes approximately 2 dozen dumplings.
You can serve these with a salad for a vegetarian main or drizzle over some balsamic and stick in some toothpicks to serve these as cocktail snacks.