Pumpkin Goat Cheese Polish Kluski with Bacon Lardons
2 Cups of all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup to 1 cup of water depending on the size of your eggs
INGREDIENTS FOR PUMKIN GOAT CHEESE SAUCE
1 Cup of heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup of pumpkin puree ( 100% Pumpkin only)
4 Oz of Creamy goat cheese
1/3 cup of diced Shallots
3 garlic cloves Minced
2 tablespoon of fresh sage sliced about 7 large leaves
1/2 cup parmesan
1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon of ground Cloves
1/8 Teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
10 Oz of bacon lardon sliced 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thickness
1. I am very excited this week to introduce you to my Grandmother's Polish kluski. My Father's side of the family is 100% Polish and we ate this Polish dumpling on a regular basis. I remember my Grandmother making Kluski as a side dish for our Sunday dinner that consisted of Roasted Chicken, vegetable and Kluski. I have put my own chef Spin on this traditional noodle dumpling dish the kluski. Kluski was always served either fried up with butter or topped with chicken gravy from the roast chicken. The word Kluski in polish means a soft dumpling and that is the texture of this dumpling. I am going to top this fall inspired recipe with Bacon Lardons. If you are unfamiliar the word lardon it is just a very thick cut of bacon. Normally thick cut bacon in the stores that are pre-sliced are under 1/4 inch thick and that is not a lardon but if that is the thickest cut you can find please use it. I asked my butcher to cut 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick slab bacon. When I take the slab bacon home I cut it by hand to finish the lardon pieces, slice them approximately into 1/2 inch slices pictured below. Place the bacon in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up and the knife slices through easier.
2. Starting with a cold sauté pan add the lardon pieces and turn the burner onto medium Low. This is an important step because we want to render out the fat of the bacon. After 10 minutes the bacon fat will render out and the bacon will start to crisp up on the outside. You want to flip the bacon to make sure both side have nice crisp brown edges. What is great about Lardons is that they have this crispy crunch of the outside but also the nice tender juicy middle, the best of both worlds. After about 16 minutes depending on your stovetop the bacon lardon should be finished remove them with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate to soak up all the oil. You want to reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat and remove the rest from the pan.
3. To make the Polish kluski in a large mixing bowl add the all purpose flour and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the 2 large eggs. With a spatula break open the yokes and mix into the flour. Slowly add 3/4 cup of water and with the spatula keep mixing until all liquids are incorporated with the dry ingredients. I start with a spatula because when I start with a whisk it tends to clump up inside the whisk. Then after all ingredients are incorporated, then switch to a whisk and make sure that their are no lumps of flour left. The kluski mixture should look like a very thick pancake batter as pictured below. Depending on the size of your eggs is the reason you could use from 3/4 of a cup of water to 1 cup. Then transfer the batter to a flat plate.
4. Bring to a simmer on the stove top a large pot of water add a teaspoon of salt. Bring the flat plate of kluski batter next to the simmering water and with a small spoon scrap half the spoon of batter and dip it into the simmering water. The batter will fall off the spoon and fall to the bottom of the pot. When it floats to the surface of the simmering water cook the kluski for 3 minutes longer. You want to work in batches at least 2 or 3 depending on how fast you work.
5. After the you cook the kluski remove them with a slotted spoon drain all the water off and place them in a bowl. A great tip to keep them from sticking together is to add a little butter to the bowl and stir to incorporate when you remove them from the water.
6. Return to the same sauté pan that use used for making the lardons. Turn burner on Medium low and add the 3 tablespoons of bacon fat back to the pan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes until shallots have turned translucent. Then add the fresh sage and mix into the bacon fat to flavor the oil. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the sauté pan and then add the pumpkin puree and mix together. Add the parmesan and soft goat cheese and break it apart so it melts into the sauce. Add the spices cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and stir to incorporate everything. You want to keep the sauce on a medium low and the sauce should not be boiling or simmering just hot and creamy. Add the kluski to the pumpkin goat cheese sauce and coat all the dumplings with this rich and creamy sauce. Plate with the Bacon Lardons on top so they stay crispy. ENJOY AND HAPPY COOKING