Slovenia is famous for its natural beauties, diverse landscapes, cultural heritage and the endless love we share for potato filled dumplings called “Žlikrofi” (pronounced Zhlee-kro-fee). In addition to our ultra traditional Sunday potato dish, which we call »restan krompir«, »tenstan krompir« or »pražen krompir«, this is another very special potato dish, written in our book of traditional Slovene recipes. It is a distant relative of the previously mentioned »pražen krompir« dish, and it originates from a small Slovene town called Idrija. It is known as a žlikrof dumpling – and making many of them on a single plate will change the name of the dish to žlikrofi.
The letter “Ž” in žlikrofi is pronounced the same as the letter “j” in “bon jour”!Tim’s revelation while re-writing this part of the recipe
Wanna start cooking? Ok then. Click here and jump straight to the recipe.
So who or what is a žlikrof?
Idrijski žlikrofi are a well-known culinary specialty prepared from regular noodle dough stuffed with potato filling. They have a characteristic shape that defines a true Slovene žlikrof. The exact origin of the dish is unknown due to the lack of historical sources, but the traditional recipe and preparation were first described in the middle of the 19th century.
Idrijski žlikrof is the first Slovenian dish that was protected at the level of the European Union as a TSG or »traditional specialty guaranteed«.
The recipe and the method of preparation of this beautiful dumpling are protected. That means that producers and restaurants wishing to offer the dish under the name Idrijski Žlikrof must be certified. The production is not geographically limited though.
So, in order to not upset anyone, we won’t call our žlikrofi »idrijski žlikrofi« but just … žlikrofi 😉 And we start with the recipe in 3…2…1…
Traditional Žlikrofi dumplings with potato filling
Let’s start off with the pasta dough. Yes, it’s not just the italians that make pasta as their traditional dish. Slovenia also has a humble variety of pasta dishes with excellent pasta dough. And we will use this dough to envelop only the best potatoes ever to grow on this planet. So for the dough you will need,
white bread flour
water or milk
Mix your flour, egg, a tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of water in a large bowl and knead it on a floured surface until the dough no longer stick to your hands. The dough should be soft, flexible and just slightly sticky to the touch. Make sure the dough is nice and compact with no air bubbles. When the dough is ready, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest in a cold place (preferably a fridge) for at least half an hour.
While the dough rests, let’s prepare our potato filling
Ingredients for the potato filling
Place your washed unpeeled potatoes in cold water and bring to a slow boil. Cook approx. 25 minutes or so long that the potatoes are completely cooked. You can easily check – poke them with a knife and if it pierces through with no resistance, they are ready. When the potatoes are done, drain them and let them rest for a while so that they can cool down. When they are not lava-hot anymore, go ahead and peel them. Meanwhile, you can fry the finely chopped onion in the crackling fat. When the potatoes are sufficiently cooled, but still warm, mash them well. Then and add the fried onions, finely chopped chives and marjoram. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Shape the potato mixture into tiny balls. To make this step easier, you can help moisten your hands with oil or water.
Assembling your Žlikrofi Dumplings
Roll out the rested dough very thinly. Then place the small potato balls on it (there should be one finger of space between them). Roll the dough around them and squeeze well so the mixture won’t escape while cooking. Trim the dough around the žlikrofi, then lightly press with your finger to get them into the characteristic shape. For the exact procedure, watch the attached video!
Use the ol’ pasta roller because you don’t want to do this by hand. Trust me. The dough should be thin. Thin enough for you to see the shadow of your hand through it when held up to light.Head Chef Andrej in a random conversation in our FB chat
Cook the prepared žlikrofi dumplings in salted boiling water until they float to the surface.
Žlikrofi can be served as a stand-alone dish, topped with cracklings or as a side dish with various sauces.
We prepared them with a modern twist and served them with lamb shanks braised in a sweet wine and shallot sauce. The second version we made was with a creamy cucumber and pork crackling sauce.
If you want to find out more on how we prepared the sauces, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram or Facebook. We’ll be publishing the recipes for braised lamb shanks & creamy cucumber sauce, served with traditional žlikrofi 😉.
If you still feel the need to stuff something, be it with potato or otherwise we have options for you. Go ahead and check out our stuffed tomato recipe with buckwheat and fetta. Or our potato stuffed zucchini recipe with a sexy bulgur salad. With will fulfill your stuffing needs and afterwards you can stuff your mouth with them until you pass out.