Cepelinai, as in Zeppelin air ships, is appropriately named. They're giant Lithuanian dumplings usually stuffed with cheese, meat and potatoes. Making the Cepelinai potato dough ingredients: 700 g. raw peeled potatoes 200-250 g. peeled, boiled and mashed potatoes Grate raw potatoes with a small-holed grate; Lithuanians say that the potatoes must be grated by hand, and that dumplings aren't dumplings without at least a drop of blood shed during the process. Then squeeze the juice from the mass through a cheesecloth, reserving the juice. Put the potato juice to the side. Take a break if you like, then come back and place the grated raw potato mush and the mashed potato mush into a bowl. Then take the dish you have reserved the potato juice in and pour off the liquid; you should have potato starch left on the bottom. Scrape out the starch and put it in the bowl with the potato mush; add salt to taste. Mix the mush well with your hands (almost like kneading dough), and put it aside. Making the meat stuffing ingredients: 70 g. ground pork 50 g. onions cooking oil Peel and dice the onions, and cook in oil until tender. Put them aside to cool. Place the ground pork, the cooled and drained onions in a bowl; add salt and pepper to taste, and knead as if you were making hamburger or meatloaf. Putting it all together Take a fistful of the potato dough and make a flattened oval patty from it in your hand, about 1 cm. thick and about 3/4 the length of your hand. Take some ground meat, also in the form an oval, and place it in the center of the patty. Then enclose the patty around the meat, squeezing and smoothing it with both hands so that the edges of the patty become glued together and you have a shape about like a lemon, and the size of your fist. Place the dumplings in boiling water and boil for approximately 25 minutes; potato starch may be added to the water as well. Lithuanians traditionally eat these dumplings with either sour cream, sizzling bacon-bits, or both. Courtesy of Rita Dapkus, the owner and creative force behind two of the finest restaurants in Vilnius: Ritos Sleptuve (Rita's Hideout) and Ritos Smukle (Rita's Tavern).
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