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Rod Franklin's Nokedli Pictorial

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 November 2012 at 11:22

Following is Rod Franklin's outstanding method of Hungarian dumpling noodles, called nokedli in Hungary:

Originally posted by Rod Rod wrote:

Lets talk nokedli, spaetzle, or as I've always called them, dumplings. These things were and always are made of whole eggs, flour, water, salt and pepper and yes, if you have them, mashed chicken livers.

The first thing to do is put a big pot of water on to boil:



Now we have to talk about equipment related to your chosen method of making these things. The time honored method is to mix the dumpling dough to a thickness that will slowly drool out of a tipped mixing bowl. This bowl of dough would be tipped and held over the boiling water and as the dough drooled over the edge of the bowl a knife would be used to shave thin dumplings off the edge of the bowl and into the water, dipping the knife into the boiling water to clear the blade and stir the dumplings so they didn't stick to one another. Typically this would end with some real horse choking dumplings as the cook tired of shaving hundreds of small dumplings into the water and would let them get bigger and bigger towards the end. This is what I grew up with, big dumplings.

But it need not be so. I created the tool shown below; a pie pan from a premium frozen pie with holes punched in it:



This requires a slightly thinner dough and because it covers the whole top of the pot of water, it requires the cook to lift this pan off the top of the pot to stir the dumplings to keep them from sticking. Not a great problem, but one the cook needs to be aware of. It's easy to feel like you can dump the entire recipe of dough into the pan because a lot of dough will fit in the pan, but it needs to be put in there in installments to make the lifting and stirring part easier. I used the pan this time and I did it in 3 installments without trouble. It works good and doesn't cost much.
 
Then there is the classic spaetzle maker:

 
This works real well. It needs to be loaded more often, but it allows you to see into the pot of boiling water and stir the dumplings without removing the speatzle maker from the top of the pot. It uses a dough of the same thickness as the pie plate thing. It's got a lot more nooks and crannies to clean out when you're done.

To make the dumplings, crack whole eggs into a bowl. I used 6 eggs because I wanted extra, but you should use 5:

 
The 1/2 egg shell in the bowl is interesting because it is the measure for water. I filled that egg shell with water one time per number of eggs used. In my case 6 times.

Add the water, salt and pepper to taste and the mashed chicken liver if you have it. Add flour to the proper consistently. In my case I used about 3 cups of flour. Using one of the methods above get the dough into the pot and cook for maybe five minutes after the last of the dough is in the pot.

Here's a picture of the dough falling through the altered pie tin and into the water:
 

I'm not pushing it through. It is just slightly thinner than it should have been.  However, the dough should fall through the holes but a little more slowly than I hope is indicated here. You just need to help it along with a spatula, if that makes sense. And stir more often... so as to avoid that pile up of dough in the pot.

Here's a nice pot of dumplings:

 
Strain the dumplings and put them in a bowl with some chicken fat and butter:

 
And stir them to mix well:

 
That's it - easy as pie!
 
From here, the nokedli are ready to be added to any number of Hungarian dishes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 November 2012 at 09:12
Although of an entirely different thing, and it looks good too, this video shows the viscosity of the dough.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5YnwhQpIhY&playnext=1&list=PLA65F99660CC32601&feature=results_video
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2012 at 12:09
Rod - I was finally able to give this a try last night - excellent!
 
We were making supper, which was nothing really special, just some cubes of venison that were seasoned and seared, and then simmered in a sort of mushroom sauce veloute (alright, alright, it was cream of mushroom soup!) with some peas added ~ no big deal. The beautiful Mrs. Tas was grabbing some potatoes to boil for mashed potatoes, and I said, "HOLD ON! I'm going to try Rod's dumplings!"
 
Made them pretty much exactly as you describe above: a ratio of 1 egg, 1/2 eggshell full of water and 1/2 cup of flour, plus salt and pepper. We made 4 eggs' worth, and because I had no black pepper on hand (don't ask), I used a little white pepper and a healthy shot of paprika instead. the dough seemed just right, thicker than honey by a long shot, also a little thicker than in the photo above - yet viscous enough to drip from the spatula and run to the edge of the bowl.
 
While mixing the dough, I also got a pot of lightly-salted water boiling, then prepared them according to the bowl-cut method you describe, which worked like a charm. I took extra care to keep from getting the horse-choking big dumplings, and was pretty successful with that. They expanded well in the boiling water and seemed to perform just as they are supposed to. Mine weren't nearly as consistent-looking as yours in size and shape, but as far as their cooked properites, they looked exactly the same.
 
Tossed them in a bowl with some melted butter and served them as a bed for the vension/mushroom/pea concotion, and they tasted great! Mrs. Tas, who was raised on halušky, also really liked them, even though she commented that they didn't look anything like the dumplings she was familiar with - so I explained the similarities and differences.
 
Anyone who likes good, cold-weather comfort food needs to give these a try!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2012 at 13:02
This makes me happy. I'm glad they turned out so well on your first attempt, and especially that you and your wife liked them.

Easy to make too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 November 2012 at 15:25
I wanted to post a short addendum here -
 
Saturday night, we made turkey soup out of our leftover turkey. The soup was great, but my point in this post is that when I asked the Beautiful Mrs. Tas whether she wanted noodles, rice or potatoes in it, her reply was one that brought tears of joy to my eyes:
 
Originally posted by The Beautiful Mrs. Tas The Beautiful Mrs. Tas wrote:

Make those dumplings you made a couple of weeks ago."
 
Well, she SAID it, rather than WROTE it, but the answer is the same.....
 
What can I say? Every now and then, I get one right, thanks to a little help from my friends here!
 
Anyway, I made them, using Rod's ratio of 1/2 cup of flour to one egg to 1/2-eggshell of water. As before, it turned out just about right, maybe a bit thicker than the photo above, but it seemed like it would work well. I seasoned the dough with a little salt, pepper and paprika, and we were ready to go.
 
As I turned to the stove, ready to do the bowl-drop-cut technique and wondering when I would get time to modify a pie plate, I happened to glance up to the shelf above the stove....
 
And then it hit me:
 
 
Yep, it worked almost perfectly, fitting over the pot that I made the soup in. All that was needed was a child to hold it steady so it wouldn't slide, while I dropped the perfectly-formed batter into the grilling wok/skillet. I used a spatula to "scrape" the bottom of the skillet, pushing the nokedli dough through the holes, and down into the soup. I gave them a moment to cook, then lifted the skillet and stirred the dumplings around in order to see what I got....
 
To my delight, they cooked up just right, tender and "dumplingy;" just like in the picture where texture is concerned. They looked like a bunch of little elongated dumpling balls about 3/8 to 1/2 of an inch wide and in lengths varying from 1/2 to 1 inch....not quite as long as the ones in Rod's pictures above, but very nicely and uniformly formed, and tasty! They were perfect for this soup, and extremely easy to make. It wasn't much more effort than it would have been to open a bag of noodles and dump them on, and certainly less effort than peeling and cutting potatoes.
 
Thanks again, Rod! Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 November 2012 at 16:36
WOOO! HOOOO!

If that ain't a glowing endorsement, I don't know what is!

I'm glad you found something to make them with too.

NOW brother. NOW you just move yourself right along to the home style soup version of Paprikas. For if you do, you will have lead yourself and your family to the PROMISED LAND! And from there my friend. And from RIGHT THERE! There will be NO turning back! Because you and your loved ones will have ARRIVED! Can I get a WITNESS?       

HALLELUJAH!

But I get carried away...

They are easy. Home style paprikas is just as easy. It could become a regular the TasunkaWitko household, and I would have brought yet another into the fold!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 November 2012 at 16:39
And Sir, many extra points for using the secret word of the day!

Dumplingy!


DING! DING! DING! DING!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 November 2012 at 08:35
yep ~ these nokedli will certainly get an AMEN from me ~ and "dumplingy;" ain't that just the RIGHT word?? Wink
 
paprikas is on deck; i'm shooting for this weekend, but it may be next weekend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2012 at 11:54
Tas and Rod,
 
DUM PLIN GI TO maybe easier to pronounce, and ITO is small in Spanish; Pepito = Little José !
 
Great Pictorial ... Thanks for posting.
 
 
Best regards.
 
LOL Margi.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2013 at 09:44
Here are some photos showcasing the nokedli that I made during for a recent meal of Paprikás Csirke, using Rod's recipe:
 
 
As you can see, the nokedli are pretty much perfect, as far as I can tell. Rod's simple formula of 1/2-cup of flour and 1/2 eggshell of water per egg, with a little salt and pepper, should not be messed with, because it works, period:
 
 
Using the grill wok/skillet (pictured above), I was able to make some wonderful nokedli, and since then, my wife bugs me at least once every couple of weeks to make some more of them. Luckily, with her being Slovak, we're able to come up with a multitude of dishes that work perfectly alongside nokedli; and I ever run out of ideas, the fact is that I can drop them into any soup as home-made noodles.
 
 
All I can say is, if you want to learn to make nokedli, try Rod's method before any other, because there won't be any need to complicate things by searching for anything else.
 
More photos and details, as well as an easy-to-follow pictorial for this traditional Hungarian meal, can be found by following this link:
 
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