Hi, I'm Andie.

I live near the Swiss Alps, in Bern, and I love not only melting cheese, but all kinds of Swiss cooking. 

En Guetä!

Capuns
 
 

They weren't kidding when they said there were as many versions of Capuns as there are grandmothers in Graubünden.

Capuns are basically a kind of dumpling, wrapped in greens, and simmered in milk or cream.

A quick google search will bring up numerous different recipes using not only varied fillings (all possible proportions of Bündnerfleisch or Salsiz, bacon, cheese, onions, mint, chives, parsley), but many different cooking methods as well (boil in milk, fry, simmer, oven bake...)

Although there is no agreement on filling or method, it is clear that Capuns originated in Surselva, a region in the West of the canton. Originally this was food for peasants, but now it is a specialty served in restaurants throughout the region and loved by tourists and locals alike.

Like most foods that take a bit of handiwork, it is perfect for a multi-generational meeting around the kitchen table, older generations sharing knowledge that extends far beyond the best way of wrapping the Capuns.

Full disclosure: I am still confused about exactly what leaves these are and what they are called in English. Many recipes say to use Mangold or Schnittmangold leaves, and if you can't find Mangold then to use Krautstiel (though I have also read that Krautstiel is the same as Mangold). The English translation I get for all of these different plants is simply, chard. I suspect that any sort of leafy, chardy plant would do, though you might have to cut away any larger stalks.

Many thanks to Sam for the photographs on this post.


 

Base recipe for filling

3 eggs

300 ml milk

salt, pepper, nutmeg

300 g flour


Whisk together the eggs, milk, and seasonings. Add the flour while whisking, and then continue to whisk until you can see the batter bubbling up. Cover and let sit for at least one hour.

You can add in any of the following, according to your taste:

fried onion

salsiz or langjäger (dried sausage)

Bündnerfleisch

bacon

shredded hard cheese (like Sbrinz)

chopped herbs (mint, basil, rosemary, oregano, parsley, chives etc)

Stir into the batter.


To assemble:

Chard leaves


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Wash and clean the leaves. As soon as the water is boiling, add the leaves in batches, letting them float for about a minute, then fishing them out and gently dipping them in cold water. Carefully roll out the leaves and place them on a clean tea towel.

Now for the assembly. Place a softened chard leaf in your hand, put about a tablespoon of batter on top and wrap it up. If the stem is unwieldy, carefully cut it out.

Put these aside.


To cook:

500 ml stock

500 ml milk


(Depending on the size of your pan, you probably need to do this in batches.)

Mix together the stock and milk. Bring to a simmer and add the capuns. Cook for about 15 minutes. Remove and keep warm in the oven, or start garnishing and serving.


To garnish

rohschinken/proscuitto or bacon in strips

shredded hard cheese (like Sbrinz)


Fry up the rohschinken or bacon until crispy.

Place the capuns in a serving dish, ladle over some of the cooking liquid (you can spike this with cream if you have it) and top with the fried rohschinken and cheese.


  • Although some recipes use chard leaves that are not pre-boiled, I found it nearly impossible to wrap the filling unless the leave had first been softened.
  • Some recipes boil the capuns first, then put them in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake in the oven.
  • Our version contained: one fried onion, 100 g cubed bacon, 100 g salsiz, 100 g sbrinz, parsley, basil and rosemary.

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