Just when I think I can't get anymore Austrian than that time I wore a dirndl at Kirtag, I learn how to make Knödel, a traditional Austrian dish, and krank up my level of Austrian to a whole new height!
My sweet friend, Arabella, who was born and raised in the beautiful mountains of Innsbruck, Austria, was gracious enough to teach me a thing or two about being a Knödel queen. She is also the reason I now know about Raclette (which changed my foodie life) and why I now own an amazing glass calligraphy pen. She's an absolute gem and why we haven't done this cooking lesson sooner is beyond me!
So, what is a Knödel, you ask? It's a delicious steamed dumpling sometimes containing bacon bits, sausage, cheese, spinach or surprise- sweet fruits, jams or chocolate! The sweet Knödel tend to be made out of a Töpfen, Quark, or a potatoe mixture. Our savory Knödel, however, were made of bread and were filled with sausage, onions, chives and a whole lot of yum.
1 bag of chunky bread crumbs
2.5 cups of milk
2 cups of bacon or sausage
1/4 cup of parsley
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup of fine bread crumbs (you might not use this)
1. Pour your chunky bread crumbs into a big bowl and pour your milk over it. Leave this to sit, to soak up the milk, while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Sautee minced onions and chopped bacon or sausage in a bit of olive oil on medium heat.
3. Pour the sautéed onions and meat into the bread crumbs and milk.
4. Allow it to cool a bit then add your eggs, chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
5. Combine it all with your hands, making sure to squeeze the mixture thoroughly. Don't be gentle, really get in there and smush it between your fingers to combine it all together.
(If the mixture is sticking to your hands too much, add a bit of the fine bread crumbs. If the mixture is not combining or is a bit dry, add a spash more of milk!)
6. Now you're ready to roll! Wet your hands with a bit of warm water, use a spoon to scoop out the mixture, and roll away! (Your Knödel can be any size you want- just make sure they are all about the same so they cook evenly.)
7. Drop all of the Knödel in a pot of boiling water. Allow them to cook for 15 minutes. Or until they float to the top of the water.
8. Sprinkle a generous amount of chives on top and enjoy them "zu Land" with salad, or "zu Wasser" with soup!
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
The Knodele soupzu wasser, or in soup, is the perfect comfort food for a colder day. It . . Itwarms your whole soul from the inside out. For all of my Americans, this is the Austrian version of Thanksgiving dressing/stuffing, just in ball form and it is so good,. And instead of gravy, it's accompanied by the beef soup and chives.
This recipe is coming from a Tirolian grandmother so you can't get anymore authentic, or anymore delicious! So if you want a taste of Austria, try this recipe out and let me know how it goes!
A very special thank you to Arabella for sharing this with me and for giving me my first real lesson in Austrian cuisine. I still need a lesson in sweet Knödel, goulash, some pork knuckles and schnitzel so I pray it's not the last!
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