I’ve never been much of a cook, but when I got my own place, some of the first meals I learned to make had to…
- be quick to make,
- have cheap and easy-to-find ingredients,
- and be absolutely delicious!
Fortunately, most of the stuff I make almost always meets at least two of the above criteria because I am a) cheap and b) lazy.
Living it up the cheap and tasty way
One of my favorite meals is one my Oma taught my sisters and I how to cook, and one she made often for big family lunches and dinners. This meal is home for me.
Oma grew up in Germany during a time that was rife with chaos and war, and as a result her family often ate meals made with ingredients that they grew themselves or could easily find at the local grocer’s. Out of this came a classic staple – fried potatoes and dumplings.
Keeping with how people used to cook back then, there aren’t any hard measurements for how much of this or that needs to be used, but I’ll share roughly how you can put together this meal! This recipe only uses 5 ingredients, is super adaptable, and can be scaled up or down for families of any size. The amounts I use below will feed roughly a family of four-ish, give or take a mouth or two, and it costs maybe $5 to make the entire dish.
Fried Potatoes and Dumplings
- 1 onion, diced
- 4-5 smallish potatoes, peeled and cubed
- vegetable oil
- salt, pepper, and other seasonings (i.e. garlic powder, onion powder, etc.)
- shredded cheese to garnish (optional)
- Add just enough oil to saute onions in a large nonstick pan/skillet over medium heat.
- Once the onions are translucent, add the cubed potatoes to the pan with a little water. Cover and cook. Keep an eye on the potatoes and add water as needed, cooking until they are fork tender. (note: you can always add water, but you can’t take it away. We are cooking with water, not oil. The goal here is to have enough water to keep the potatoes from sticking to the pan.)
- When the potatoes are fully cooked, add oil, toss the potatoes, and turn up the heat to begin frying them. When frying, it is best to let the potatoes sit for a bit until they can brown. Use a spatula to flip groups of the potato at one time until browned to your liking.
- While the potatoes are frying, we can make the dumplings. Fill a large sauce pan with water and boil. While the water comes to a boil, mix together flour and egg until it reaches a sticky paste consistency (note: how many eggs and flour you use depends on how many dumplings you want. I usually do 1-2 eggs and add flour to reach the consistency I want.)
- Drop small spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into boiling water. When they float to the top, they’re done and can be tossed in with the potatoes (note: dumplings may stick to the bottom of the pan; when you unstick them, they will float to the top because they’re done).
- Salt and pepper to taste, adding other seasoning if you so choose.