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Appetizers, Sides, Vegetarian

Pretzel knodel (pretzel dumplings)

Pretzel knodel (pretzel dumplings)
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Let's get this out at the start: Almost nothing said by the main character of this story, chef Stefan Richter, is accurately quoted. Otherwise, it would be a bleepin' tiresome story to bleepin' read all the bleepin' way to the ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes | Serves 10
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for sauteing
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound baguettes or soft pretzels, cut or broken into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Pinch of white pepper

Step 1In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onions until they are translucent.

Step 2Stir in the parsley and marjoram; cook briefly (until aromatic) and then set aside to let the mixture cool.

Step 3Place the cubed bread in a large bowl and season, if desired, with salt. (If you used salted pretzels, you may not need to season at all.) In a small saucepan, heat the milk almost to boiling and pour it over the cubed pretzels. Set aside to cool and go relax for 15 minutes.

Step 4When the bread-milk mixture is cool, mix in the onion-parsley mixture and the eggs. Add the bread crumbs, garlic and white pepper and mix well. If the mixture seems too soft to hold a shape, add more bread crumbs until it is thick enough. The mixture should be firm enough to form into dumplings that hold their shape.

Step 5Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Dip your hands into cold water and make a test dumpling, about the size of a large golf ball. Lower it gently into the simmering water and cook. If it doesn't hold up, add more breadcrumbs to the mixture. Once you've found the right consistency, shape the mixture into 20 dumplings.

Step 6Gently lower the dumplings into the simmering salted water and cook until they are puffed slightly and cooked through, about 7 minutes. When they are boiled and sexy, you can take it up to another level and brown them in a saute pan with a tablespoon of butter and some extra chopped parsley. That's what I do.


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