Food and Recipes

A North Dakota Dish

Why is that in the dead, bitter cold of winter in North Dakota, carb heavy dishes are so wonderfully filling and warming? It’s probably because our bodies are wanting to store as much fat as possible to keep warm – a feat that is nearly impossible most days around here. With that in mind, I have a truly yummy dish that speaks to our local German-Russian roots (which is not mine – my roots are straight German, but my husbands family claim that heritage).

I should note that around here I’m able to get frozen knoephla from our grocery store, but anywhere else I’m sure this is unlikely. [Knoephla is essentially a dumpling dough (if you mix 3 cups flour with 2 eggs, 1 cup warm water and some salt you’ll have it ready to go). You then snip it off and boil it (about 15 minutes) just as you would pasta.] Another substitute you could use here would be potato gnocchi (if available). I’d use about 1 lb or so.

Baked Ham and Knoephla
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup ham, chopped
1 quart half and half (or cream if you’re feeling particularly decadent)
Knoephla (see above)

Heat oven to 350.
Saute onion and ham until onion is tender and translucent. Dump into a roasting pan with the boiled knoephla, season well with salt and pepper and pour half and half over all. Bake this about 1 hour.

You probably should serve this with some kind of green veg for a balanced meal, but in the dark, cold suppertime hours here there’s something satisfying about curling up on the couch in a blanket with a bowl of this dish and a glass of wine.

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