Wish Upon A Dish: Canederli - Bread Dumplings in a Napkin

January 7, 2012

Canederli - Bread Dumplings in a Napkin

When I saw this recipe on another Italian family blog, I knew they would be perfect with pork and also, get me back on track with Gnocchi on Thursday. I added a pestata to the ingredients for more flavor (just like Lidia did with hers) and wrapped it in cheesecloth instead of a napkin (I image they did not have cheesecloth when this was made back in the day). I would try to make the dumpling a few days ahead and just slice and heat in the oven while you prepare the meat.

Always looking to pump up the nutritionals, I added quinoa flakes, my new love but bulgur would be great also. Just remember they expand as they cook so keep the mixture on the moist side.

Remember these? I used them as the rolls in this recipe. Next time I make this I will buy onion rolls, it made that much of a difference.

Canederli (ca-net-erl-le) Tirolesi (Bread dumplings in a napkin)
Adapted from Scavone Family Cookbook

* 5 stale bread rolls, cut into cubes, or 500g unflavored stuffing cubes
* 13 ounces milk, warmed
* 6 eggs, lightly beaten (I used 1.5 cups egg sub)
* 3 cloves garlic
* 1/2 cup cooked onions and carrots
* 1/2 cup quinoa flakes or bulgur (optional)
* 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
* salt and pepper

Process carrots, onions and garlic to a small chop. Saute in olive oil until they soften, about 5 minutes.

Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Combine milk, eggs, vegetables, nutmeg, carrot mixture (pestata), salt and pepper and pour over bread. Add quinoa (optional).

Let sit a few minutes to allow the bread to soak up the liquid, and then gently mix with your hands to form a dough.

Mixture should feel like a loose meatloaf mixture.

Place mixture onto a 9" x 12" rectangle of three layers of cheesecloth or the width of the pan you will boil them in.

Before you form it into a cylinder, make sure it will fit into your pot. Go length-wise over the cloth (or plastic wrap) to about 1-1/2" from the edges. Roll up tightly around the dough and tie ends and middle with kitchen string, leaving enough to make a 'pull-out-of-the-water' string. I had enough for two rolls. I made one using plastic wrap rolled in foil to see if the results were the same as the cheesecake wrapped one.
I know some people find it hard to get cheesecloth.

Cook in a large pot of salted boiling water about 35 minutes. Remove from water, drain and cool. Carefully remove towels from dumplings and slice into 1" slices. Serve in place of boiled potatoes, for instance on the side of goulash, or a roasted meat with good broth or gravy.

A serving is 4 coins.

Review: They taste like a basic stuffing does but compressed. I love stuffing. The additions are endless. Sausage, sweet potatoes, cheese. The Nudge said it had a weird but delicious taste. I gave him a cold sample but heated with a good meat gravy and a simple roasted chicken breast or pork chop, these would be wonderful. I froze one roll, leaving it in the cheesecloth but first wrapping it in butcher paper and then into a zip bag (don't forget to label).

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