Kreplach, by Panina Katzir. Photography by Ortal Svetlana Becker
Kreplach, by Panina Katzir. Photography by Ortal Svetlana Becker
Recipe

Liver Stuffed Kreplach

Panina Katzir of Sirte, Romania is a Holocaust survivor who continues to prepare the foods of her childhood. She make this dish on Rosh Hashanah

Panina’s grandparents were professional bakers who knew how to perfect every dough. Their traditional kreplach dough incorporates potato puree, which makes it particularly easy to work with, keeps it soft, and prevents the dough, and consequently, the finished kreplach, from drying out.

Panina serves the kreplach in freshly prepared chicken broth, with its own special patent, which Efrat Anzel, the talented food blogger, saved through the event series, Memory in the Kitchen – a documentation project partnered by FOODISH and Memory in the Living Room.

Ingredients for Kreplach

For the dough:

  • 1 medium-large potatoes or 2 small-medium potatoes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil

For the stuffing:

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup chicken meat from the cooked broth: deboned and cleaned
  • 4-6 Chicken liver
  • 1 level teaspoon Salt
  • A pinch of ground black pepper
  • A pinch of Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg beaten

Instructions

Preparing the dough:

  • 1. Boil the large potato (or the two small ones) in a good amount of salted water. Remove a 1/2 cup of the cooking water and keep aside for later. Drain, cool, peel, and mash the potato to a puree. Measure out 1/2 cup of compressed mashed potatoes and reserve for mixing into the dough.

  • 2. Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the center.

  • 3. Beat the egg yolks with the reserved 1/2 cup of cooled potato water set aside earlier.

  • 4. Pour the egg yolk and potato water mixture into the well, add salt, oil and mashed potatoes, and stir in circles with your fingers. Slowly incorporate the flour on the outside of the bowl. Mix together for about five minutes to get a uniform and soft dough.

  • 5. Form the dough into a ball, place it in a bowl, cover it with a towel and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Preparing the stuffing:

  • 6. Heat oil in a wide pan, add chopped onion, salt, ground black pepper and sugar and fry over a medium-high flame for 6-8 minutes, stirring, until the onions brown.

  • 7. Add chicken livers and fry for another 15 minutes, occasionally turning the livers until they are browned on the outside and cooked on the inside. Remove from heat and cool.

  • 8. Chop the livers and transfer to a bowl together with the fried onion and the oil, add the shredded chicken, the beaten egg, and the bread crumbs. If you prefer a completely smooth stuffing, you can grind the mixture in a food processor or meat grinder. Set aside.

Preparing the filling and shape of the kreplach:

  • 9. Fill a large stock pot with plenty of water, add 2 heaping teaspoons of salt, or chicken soup powder, and bring to a boil.

  • 10. Take a small amount of dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until about 3 mm thick and cut into squares approximately 5 cm x 5 cm.

  • 11. Place a heaping teaspoon's worth of the filling in the center of each square. Take one of the squares and fold into a triangle, pinching the edges to close tightly, then fold two corners inward to create a sorth of crown (similar to tortellini). Repeat with the remaining dough squares. If desired, or making ahead, you can transfer the kreplach to the freezer at this stage. Lay out the dumplings in one layer in a wide, sealable box with plenty of space between (so that they don't stick to each other and tear). Continue rolling out, filling, and folding until the dough is finished.

    קרפלך של פנינה קצר, רגע לפני הסגירה והעיצוב. צילום: אורטל סבטלנה בקר
    קרפלך של פנינה קצר, רגע לפני הסגירה והעיצוב. צילום: אורטל סבטלנה בקר
  • 12. When the water in the pot is boiling, cook the kreplach, in batches, for about 15 minutes (if you put too many kreplach in the pot at once, they will cool the water and may even stick to each other). Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a wide plate.

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