multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
So, I meant to just make the filling for these today and get to the dough maybe tomorrow, but I ended up finishing them up. That was way too much to take on - my feet hurt, my back hurts, I'm hugely irritable, and I'm  not even done! But each step was so easy, I just kept getting sucked into doing the next one, and by the time the buns had risen I pretty much had to go ahead and steam them (these you steam before you freeze, unfortunately).And the recipes supposedly make 24 of each but I ended up with 37 pork buns (Zhu Rou Baozi) and 47 mushroom (Xiang Gu Baozi). Added to the 64 manti yesterday, that's about 150 dumplings in two days. Too much.

But, as I said, each step is pretty easy. The pork filling is just ground pork and chopped onions and grated ginger and carrots and a soy sauce marinade sort of mixture. The mushroom filling is slightly more involved - dried shitake and wood ear mushrooms that get soaked in hot water and cooked with ginger and carrots and the soaking water and a similar soy sauce slurry sort of thing. But pretty straightforward, at least with the help of the food processor to do all my chopping and slicing and grating for me.

The dough is just a yeasted bread dough with some shortening (or lard) and baking powder kneaded in. That's nice for me, because I felt really confident handling it and had an easy time shaping the buns (which is even a similar technique to how I do piroshkis and not far off from how I shape a regular sandwich loaf). I tried marking1/8" up from the bottom of the baking powder canister to judge how thin I was rolling out the dough, but that only sort of worked - good for making sure it's thin enough, not effective at all at keeping from going too thin (hence the way too many dumplings, probably). I have got to figure out something for that.

The real headache was in steaming all of them. The recipe calls for using a steamer pot, but the only one I have is small and can only accommodate six of even these little buns (they are wee enough to pop whole in your mouth, which is pretty nice!), which will be fine for reheating enough for one meal but would have taken for-freaking-ever to get all of them done, so I hauled out the giant pot that is the only one big enough to hold the large bamboo steamer and used that. Which worked fine but still only holds 24 at a time so, self, remember this now, only make 24 of these at a time in the future! Seriously, it's plenty.

Anyway, once they are steamed they are quite nice! I am surprised how different the pork version and mushroom versions taste when the seasonings are so similar, but they are both yummy. I have the last batch of mushroom buns in the steamer now, and a couple of wayward pork buns in the toaster oven just to see what happens (baked pork buns are a nostalgic treat for me. I used to pick up a baked pork bun every day on my way to campus when I first lived in Chico, they were so good!). I still need to get all these frozen, which might have to happen in shifts - my freezer is getting pretty full what with the 5 different types of dumplings in there...
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
So, I planned on making pork buns next because they are old favorites of mine and they're a May recipe. But when I went to buy the ground pork, I also found ground lamb, and since last time I went looking for ground lamb I couldn't find it anywhere (this was a couple of years ago, but it made an impression!) I picked up a pound. And browsing through the cookbook brought me a recipe for lamb dumplings that I hadn't made yet that was filed under April and, perhaps most importantly, that I had all the ingredients for: Oven-simmered Lamb-filled Dumplings with Minted Yogurt, a Turkish recipe.

It took me a week to actually make it, but I finally got to it today. The filling is pretty simple: lamb, onion, mint and oregano. The dough id also pretty simple, but needs to be rolled out thin, which is a big part of why I kept putting it off. As it turned out, getting it rolled out what wasn't too hard, but cutting and shaping 64 dumplings was pretty tiring, so I took a break halfway through. And while I was on that break my dad called and we ended up having a big emotional talk about fixing my car, which was good in that we got some stuff resolved but made the dough sit longer than I had intended. That doesn't seem to have hurt it any.

I'm not great at the "bottleneck fold" that is used on these - you are supposed to end up with a little cup of dough surrounding the filling with an open neck at the top. Which I guess I got, but mine do not look elegant. A teaspoon of filling in a two-inch square of dough seems like too much to me, although some of that may be measuring error on my part (some of my squares? Not so square). But the batch I cooked up tasted great! They are baked for, like, 15 minutes and then chicken broth is added to the pan to simmer in the oven until it is absorbed by the dough or evaporates, which is one of my favorite ways to make rice (uh, without the initial baking, but the principle is the same). I should probably have used a smaller pan - I cooked up a quarter of the recipe and put the rest in the freezer and it was unclear from the recipe if the size pan they recommended was for a full recipe or any portion thereof. They were extremely tasty, but much more baked than simmered, like tiny little lamb pies covered in garlicky minty yogurt. The sauce, btw, super simple and delicious. All in all, yum. 

I have quite a bit of filling left over, maybe it should go into a pie...
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Or in stock, anyway. Sometime in the dim and distant past, Republic of Tea came out with a bunch of teas with Jerry Garcia artwork on the tins, which DH and i gave as gifts to everyone in our families, keeping the Jerry Cherry Tea for ourselves. I really like it, and it was a limited edition, so once I got down to having just a few bags left I've been loath to use them up since I knew I couldn't get more, while at the same time worrying that they would be losing their tastiness sitting in the cupboard. For some reason I checked the Republic of Tea website the other day and four that they have refills available, again for a limited time, so I ordered a couple of packs (and browsed through their other teas but, wow, too many options for me to do a little impulse shopping!). Hooray! And, knowing I had replacements on the way, I went ahead and brew up one of the bags I had on hand and it was still delicious.

On an unrelated note, I got behind in my dumpling making, partially due to Passover, so to catch up I made two Tibetan recipes yesterday: Shogo Momo (Wheat Dumplings Stuffed with Turmeric-stained Potatoes) and Sha Momo (Wheat Dumplings Stuffed with Beef and Onion). Yum! The dough is pretty much the same as the Ting Momo that I liked so much, but without the leavening and rolled out like won ton wrappers. I didn't do a great job of rolling it out - between taking on a doubled recipe and my inherent inability to judge when dough is 1/8" thick, results were uneven, and having the dough floury enough to handle but sticky enough to seal up around the fillings continues to be a tricky proposition. But neither of those was a big problem. My finished dumplings don't look quite right, but  they taste fine. The fillings are delicious - the beef is mixed with ginger and garlic and green onions so it's like having the flavorings that often go in dipping sauces inside the dumpling, and the potato is basically turmeric mashed potatoes. It tickles me to have a meat and potatoes meal that is entirely Tibetan dumplings. Tasty and filling. Oh! This was my first time using the layer of lettuce leaves in the steamer pot technique (hard to believe that that hasn't come up before, it's so common!), so, nice to have that under my belt. I'm still a little behind dumpling-wise, so I'll probably do another two-fold recipe next time.

On Wednesday I went to the Western Railway Museum with my folks to take the wildflower excursion. It was a beautiful day, not a lot of wildflowers (there's been plenty of rain but not a lot of sun lately and those flowers are so picky about weather conditions!) but plenty of nice scenery. As we poked around the gift shop afterwards, I couldn't help but think "On an unrelated note, I'm into trains now" while looking over the striped engineers caps for sale...
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Tiny Gnocchi and Cranberry Stew, although my gnocchi were not quite as tiny as they are meant to be, and I substituted pinto beans for the elusive cranberry beans (as suggested by the recipe, though I might seek out cranberry beans now that I have a recipe for them that I like, I'm pretty sure my mom has a source), this turned out really well. I don't think I've ever done a straight up cold soak of dried beans before, I usually do the quick bring to a boil and then soak thing, but that apparently worked fine. I was cursing my decision to get fresh plum tomatoes rather than canned, but I eventually got my magical tomato saucing gadget to suction cup itself to stove properly and it all went much more smoothly from there on out.

This would be an easy recipe to turn vegetarian or vegan - it's got bacon but that would actually not be a tragedy to omit, and the parmesan is stirred in at the end so that could be made a post-serving addition. The dumplings are made of flour, bread crumbs (not potatoes! I don't know what makes a gnocchi a gnocchi. Or what the singular form of gnocchi might be. Gnocchus?), salt and hot water - so simple, but they held together quite well. And they are fairly easy to form, you roll the dough out into narrow "ropes" and then cut them into little pillows (if you are ambitious you can shape the little pillows further. I did that with the first eighth of  the dough that I worked with and decided I did not have the patience for that. And I don't regret it), which is much quicker than most recipes that make a large quantity of tiny dumplings. Between the soaking of the beans and the simmering of the stew, it did take pretty much all day to make, but most of that time did not require actual attention being paid. And smelled really good. The dumplings are cooked separately from the stew, which is always a bit of a pain, but they don't take very long, being tiny, and are stirred in as soon as they are cooked so it's still fairly simple.

It looked like an enormous amount of food in the pot, but I was able to eat a full serving (the recipe says it makes 4 servings). I suspect that if I ate anything alongside - a salad or bread to sop up the sauce, say - I'd want less, but on its own it made an extremely satisfying dinner. I'll probably see how it fares as leftovers tomorrow night. I expect it to hold up well.

Mmm, so full of good food and drowsy.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I should get myself a dedicated dumpling icon.

Anyway, Ting Momo! Tibetan Cloud-Shaped Bread Buns. It's a February recipe, but I meant to make it two weeks ago and just got around to it today. Just barely late.

These were pretty easy and pretty healthy - it's a yeast dough, mostly whole-wheat and no fat whatsoever. Once the dough has gone through it's first rise, you roll it out to pieshell thickness, cut it in strips, stack the strips four high, and tie the stacks into knots. Reminded me of my beloved challah knots, and though they have no eggs you glaze these knots with turmeric so they are nice and yellow. The glaze has a little oil, but it's less than a teaspoon per dumpling.

The recipe calls for steaming in a steamer pot for 15 minutes. My steamer pot is tiny, so I opted for the bamboo steamer, and then I worried that the top layer of the bamboo steamer would need more time than the bottom layer and also didn't enclose the whole steamer in a lidded pot but perched it over boiling water in my dutch oven (which isn't tall enough to hold the whole steamer), so I added some time and pulled out the bottom layer and steamed the top for another 15 minutes just in case. in the interest of science (or something, probably not actually science) I sampled dumplings from each layer of the steamer and found them quite tasty! evidence supporting my general theory that extra time steaming probably won't hurt dumplings. These were chewy and toothsome with a really nice flavor from the turmeric. I may just eat them all and call it dinner...
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
These are way outside my comfort zone. Milk-Steamed Buns with Vanilla Custard Sauce from Germany. First off, they're basically sweet yeast rolls - store-bought yeast! I haven't used store-bought yeast in years. And second, they are steamed in milk. i've never been a milk drinker and I typically substitute for it when it's called for in recipes, as the only milk I buy is pretty much immediately made into yogurt. But I have noticed in my yogurt making that the step where I heat the milk smells absolutely delicious - it's one of those warm kitchen smells that evokes safety and comfort like baking bread or roasting garlic. I don't know what memories I could have attached to it, as mom is not one to cook with milk, either, but it must be something. Anyway, the milk in this recipe is ultimately all cooked away so that dumplings brown after steaming, like potstickers. I love the results of this technique, but I'm not good at it - I tend to worry overmuch about burning (and doubly so with milk, which I'm always afraid will scald or something - recipes that heat milk always say DO NOT LET BOIL and I'm not sure what happens if it does come to a boil but I'm sure it's bad) and turn the heat too low so the liquid takes forever to boil off. But I get ahead of myself.

Anyway, the yeast bun (that's the word! Sweet bun) aspect of these is pretty straightforward - sugar, flour, yeast, eggs, butter. It's a pretty small amount of dough compared to the loaves of bread I'm used to, so I'm not absolutely sure that mine doubled in size for the first rise (I'm used to sourdough needing all day to rise, so this hour and half rise is hard to credit and it's always tough to judge whether an amorphous blob has doubled in volume), but the balls puffed up nicely while they were simmering. They look like bread on the outside, but the texture is almost like cake when you bite into them, which is pleasant. The recipe doesn't say how long after the dumplings are "steamed" to expect the liquid all to be gone, but it's implied that the milk might not even last through the initial simmering process. It took a good hour, maybe hour and half, for my dumplings to start sizzling. For my own future reference, 2 is too low a setting for this recipe, bump it up a notch. I don't know whether that long sort of resting/sort of steaming period would have done to the dumplings, but they didn't turn out terrible. in any case, the milk coats the dumplings with a sweet residue and browns up into a sort of caramel flavor that's very nice indeed.

I even made the vanilla custard sauce to go on them. Custards are pretty much a mystery to me, and I cut this one down to 1/3 the recipe which is always a little dicey, but it came out really well and in an amount that seems appropriate to my needs.  The dumplings are best hot from the pan, but not bad cold, and reheat in the microwave okay.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Well, this recipe didn't get followed accurately. Unfortunately, when I made sure I had molasses before I went to the store, I did not confirm how much molasses I had and it was well short of the 1/4 cup required, so I made up the difference with maple syrup. Shame to get that wrong after I went to the trouble of having graham flour, but so it goes. Then I was interrupted in the middle of mixing the wet ingredients and my kitchen was cold so the melted butter didn't really stay melted so the batter was considerably lumpier than it's meant to be. And I forgot to put the egg in entirely, only realizing that after the I had started steaming, so I panicked and just stirred it into the pan as best I could right there on top of the stove.  And somehow kind of undercooked the whole thing - you'd think steaming, especially at sea level, would be pretty damn standardized but somehow I manage to find variation.

Even so, warm, underdone, slightly messed up gingerbread with a dollop of whipped cream is not too shabby. 
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I am so curious how dumplings come to be called "Priest Stranglers". Such an evocative name, but evocative of what? I'm not sure.

I was a little doubtful because these are bread-based and the full recipe calls for 10 cups of bread cubes. That's like a whole loaf. A loaf can last me for two weeks, so using one up for four servings of dumplings gives me pause. I compromised by making a half recipe (though I used a whole "bunch of spinach" because what's a half a bunch, anyway? That's just a smaller bunch. And spinach cooks down like crazy, so even if it's too much, it probably doesn't matter). I'm glad of that because a whole recipe would not have fit in my skillet to brown in the sauce.

So basically, the dough is bread squished up with spinach (and "spinach water" which is the water that you squeeze out of the spinach before you chop to up) and eggs and some spices and parmesan. It's really easy to work with, though mine kept getting extra sticky and needing extra flour. Oh, yes, there's flour in the dough. It's all kneading with your hands, too, which was good today because I was aggravated by all my non-dumpling related tasks going badly and kneading dough (especially when it's actually squishing goop between your fingers) is a healthier outlet for frustration than throwing things. Probably. Anyway, you roll the dough into little cigar shapes, simmer them in water, and then brown them in flavored butter. Delicious! I have come to the conclusion that any time dough is simmered in water and the browned in butter I am going to like it. Nom. These are also very green, which is pleasant. And spinach + nutmeg + cheese generally equals yum.

I had fresh spinach for this batch, but I think using frozen would not be a problem and I might be able to cut the recipe in half again to make only one serving at a time, which would not clean me out of bread quite so badly. If I can get some consistency to my baking I might even have "extra" bread at some point. I would like to try a vegan version for my mom, too, I think she'd like them.

It's a January recipe in January! Nice.

I made a batch of the fancy matzo balls on Friday, too, but I didn't make the beef broth to go with so it doesn't really count. Still good with chicken stock, even without meat or vegetables in the broth
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
This time, I used a stewing hen which didn't completely work. The dish ends up pretty much a stew, but the chicken isn't really cooked that long. I went aead and doubled the cooking time because I figured I like tomatoes and peppers more the longer they are cooked, but the chicken was still a little tough. I'll try reheating the leftovers slowly in the oven and hope that helps. It's not terrible, though.

Other compromises - I used canned tomatoes, and made the dumplings with a frozen egg (my fresh eggs come from two sources, one delivers very 4 weeks (which drifts through the month) and the other I can pick up in the first and third week of the month, so sometimes I have way too many eggs and sometimes I have none. Right now I have none except the few I froze one time when I had way too many). That didn't work as well as I hoped. Even surrounded by whites, the yolk somehow thickens up, almost solidifies, in the freezer. Which is kind of gross. Once it was all mixed into the batter I don't think that made much difference, but it's just weird and off-putting to work with. I was figuring on using those frozen eggs for baking, but I think they might actually be more appetizing scrambled up or in a quiche or something.

All in all, not my most successful dumpling dinner, but still pretty satisfying on a cold evening. Mmm paprika.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
That's apparently German for Large Beef- and Spinach-Filled Dumplings in a Beef Broth, which is a pretty accurate description. They are like raviolis filled with meatloaf and cooked like pelmeni. Actually a November recipe, but it is barely December, so I feel okay about that.

I was able to clear off enough of the table to roll the dough out there instead of on a counter or the pull-out cutting board and that was a big improvement. Better motivation to keep it cleared than using it for eating. My back is still sore; as I was rolling out the dough I would think to myself "didn't I read something about not pressing down on the rolling pin? I should try that" but I kept muscling through. Just been rolling out dough that way for a long time, y'know?

Anyway, it's a pretty easy dough to work with. I didn't quite get it as thin as I was supposed to - something to remember for next time - but that will be easier to get right if I cut down the quantity I make. It's like rolling out 4 large pies. That's tiring. The full recipe is supposed to make 24 dumplings and I only eked out 19, and didn't come close to using all  the filling. I made a sort of mini-lasagne-esque thing to of the leftover scraps of dough (the book says they'll be too dry to be re-kneaded and rolled out again, but I tried and was able to manage that once) and the leftover filling. That was pretty good, too. The thicker dough made for a very chewy dumpling (that needed to simmer a little longer than the recipe called for), which wasn't bad, but I imagine thinner will be better.

I totally cheated on the beef broth and used store bought. Not bad, but  when it's just dumplings in broth, the broth is kind of important and I've had homemade recently enough to really notice the difference. Some time when I haven't just made a vat of turkey stock I'll do a proper Beef Broth with German flavors and try some of these in that. 3 servings in the freezer, after all.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Got over to my folks' house about noon, yesterday. Traffic was not a problem, though it looked awful going the other direction. Put together the Turkey Stew with Stuffing Dumplings, which turned out delicious. The stew is turkey, sweet potatoes, chicken stock, and some herbs and spices, basically. Delicious. And the dumplings are leftover stuffing bound together with a little egg and flour, simmered in water and then simmered in the stew. So good. My mostly vegetarian parents liked it, too.

The Cranberry Pudding we put together using olive oil instead of butter and egg replacer instead of eggs and that didn't work great. It was still pretty delicious (a molasses-y batter and cranberries is not a combination I would have thought to our together, but it turned out very tasty!), but didn't hold together when it came time to unmold.

Mom roasted brussel sprouts with walnuts and garlic, and butternut squash, and made a beet and orange salad. Altogetehr not our typical Thanksgiving Day spread, but a festive one, and we were all pleasantly full to watch football and Punkin Chunkin - we flipped over during the lull between the Dallas game and the 49ers and soon found ourselves rooting for particular teams/events (the guys who measure how far the pumpkins have flown are our favorites, I think)

I left the pudding leftovers with mom and dad, and there was no pumpkin pie, and I am missing having dessert for breakfast today. I have sufficient ingredients for pumpkin pie, but I am feeling very lazy. To wit, I am out of coffee and dry cat food, so I am getting by with instant for me and dog food for the cats (I will give them surprise extra gushy food in a little while to appease them) so that I can stay by the fire in my robe and slippers rather than getting dressed and leaving the house. I really want to spend most of today curling up and reading and I think I can make that a reality. 
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Only approximately. I didn't feel like going out and trying to track down golden syrup (I think I'll be able to find some, it's just, I'm about to fill my fridge and pantry up with Thanksgiving supplies (I love traditional Thanksgiving food and I'm not letting that just-cooking-for-me business get in the way of roasting a turkey with stuffing and making mounds of sweet potatoes so I can eat leftovers for a long time. But I digress)) so I substituted maple syrup. I may have made grand-père? Or something like it. Anyway, I also decided to make a half batch, which may have messed with cooking times a bit - I used a smaller pot to try to compensate, but it's hard to say if that was effective

Anyway, what it is is some basic eggy biscuit-like dumplings simmered in a syrup. It's kind of donut like, but what it really reminds me of, I think, are cinnamon rolls. You know how the sugar + cinnamon filling gets a little caramelized by the baking process? The syrup kind of does that. 

Quite tasty! Not as overwhelmingly sweet as I was afraid it would be, and not super rich. Will try again with golden syrup at some point, and maybe try to adapt to get even closer to cinnamon rolls, which I can't figure out how to make in small batches.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Check me out, making November recipes in November. A German recipe, this time, Kartoffelklösse. I seem to be incapable of buying "medium" baking russets when it's possible for me to buy large ones (I should have realized when my potatoes wouldn't really fit in a small pot to be boiled that I had erred), so I ended up with too much dough that was more full of potatoes than it really ought to be. Once I got the 16 dumplings (probably too large) that the recipe says it makes formed, I shaped the remaining dough into a patty and fried it in butter. Yum. Also, I used beef bacon instead of bacon bacon, because I like beef bacon and if I see it for sale I will buy it, apparently. I can't imagine that made a whole lot of difference to the end product, but, hey, full disclosure.

The end result is pretty much what you would imagine - mashed potatoes wrapped around a crouton. I could hardly tell that the crouton was there (it's supposed to be a buttery and chewy surprise), but I had the fried leftover dough first so my tastebuds may have been over buttered at that point. I still have three servings to try out, at least one of which I plan to try simmering in chicken or beef broth because that just sounds good. I might try browning one serving in butter, because potatoes + frying = delicious. They are supposed to be served as a side dish with butter (which is how I had the first batch, except o main course for them to be on the side of), or with sauerbraten, or  "with your favorite stew or sauce". All of which sound pretty good.

Hopefully, next time I can manage to buy smaller potatoes to start with and try to make smaller dumplings; the croutons would probably gain prominence that way.

Even with my slipshod assembly, these were quite tasty.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
This is a Hungarian recipe Csirke Paprikas Galuskaval. It's also an October recipe, and I meant to make it last when I had bell peppers from the CSA, which would have been October, but I only had frozen chicken and blah blah blah that didn't happen. So, i'm cheating and making it not only in November, but without bell peppers (since I don't like them, I can't bring myself to go buy some to make this recipe) and with previously made tomato sauce instead of fresh plum tomatoes, though I am pretty sure the sauce is from a batch I made with peppers, so that's something.

Anyway, the chicken stew part with all the paprika and not a lot of liquid, right up my alley. Really really good. Though I think I might need to get a bigger pan or start making half recipes because browning a whole chicken (cut into serving pieces (which I am interpreting as cut into quarters because the recipe supposedly serves 4) in one layer barely fits in my chef's pan. Possibly my chickens are bigger than the recipe calls for, I don't bother to weigh them.

The dumpling part is pretty simple - once again very biscuit like although my dough ended up more like a batter, but they ar dropped into water and simmered before being added to the stew, so maybe that's just what a "very moist dough" is supposed to be. Actually, it's got both an egg and butter in it, so sort of halfway between pasta and biscuit, but wetter than either. And no leavening. The batter reminds me of something, maybe muffins? Also, the recipe says it makes about 16 dumplings and I ended up with at least 24, so maybe that was too much liquid somehow. I did use one of  my larger eggs.

Regardless, quite tasty! I love the way the chicken came out and the dumplings are a nice variation. I may even try it with the peppers some time. Not quite a one pot meal, but it all ends up in one pot, so easy to pack up leftovers.

November has so any delicious sounding recipes, I am going to have to step up my dumpling production!
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
US recipe. Super classic! This particular recipe is a very light (that is, not so hearty) soup - the only vegetables in it are celery and onion.  Very far from the thick stew I am used to having with dumplings! I used a stewing hen to make it, so I simmered it for longer than the recipe called for. I might try it with a roaster and the shorter cooking time just because that will probably give a lighter still flavor which might be nice when it's not really cold out but I want chicken soup. There is cream, which is always odd to me just because mom's home cooking never included cream, but not so much as to make it seem like a cream soup, if that makes sense.

The dumplings are basically biscuit dough, though light on the butter, rolled out and cut into little strips and then simmered in the broth. Before you cook the dumplings you take out the chicken pieces (so you can strip the meat off the bones) so they have plenty of room to bubble around, and then add the meat back in. They end up almost like noodles. I like! The book calls these "slick" dumplings.

ION, I have a lot of Starting Stuff energy right now. I hope some of it eventually turns into Following Through the Stuff I Started energy, but I will worry about that later.

Friday was Simchat Torah and i took the opportunity to buy electronic versions of the Torah for the iPad and phone with the intention of keeping up with the weekly parshas (Simchat Torah marks the week when you start with Genesis, so a convenient time to start that particular project). Seems pretty doable, really. Commentaries, maybe later, we'll see. And, yes, I see the paradox in spending my Shabbos reading Torah on an electronic device. That's why the lady is Reform.

Also toying with doing NaNoWriMo this year. I've got a project I could work on and a super flexible schedule, so why not? It would be nice if I could establish some kind of discipline about something; if it's writing, that would be especially nice.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
This is a Canadian recipe, specifically Acadian. I really like it, it reminds me of the chicken and dumplings my mom used to make (probably because it doesn't call for cream or milk as many C&D recipes seem to, Mom never cared for dairy (she doesn't make chicken and dumplings anymore because she's mostly vegetarian these days)) - chicken stew with potatoes and carrots, drop biscuits on top. Simple. Nom.

As usual, I didn't notice the simmer for an hour followed by simmer for another half hour parts of the instructions when I started cooking, so I was really hungry by the time I was done and could finally eat. That added to the perceived tastiness, I'm sure. But the leftovers I've had since have also been delicious. There is just something about biscuits in chicken broth.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
I got Cold Kiss delivered to my iPad last night (hooray e-books!), so I have mostly been reading today, but this recipe comes together quickly, so I was able to wedge it in.

You're suppose to use wild grapes, or muscadine, or concord, and I did not. I used red flame because that's what Farm Fresh To You brought me. I also made a half recipe because 8 cups of grapes is just a lot (and 4-5 servings of dessert is also a lot, though I think the leftovers will be delicious). So possibly my version is not quite representative, but still very tasty. It's like a cobbler (the recipe says it is like a grunt, but that doesn't mean anything to me) - fruit stew with biscuit-like dough on top. I found the sauce a little thin, I suspect that I could get away with not juicing half the grapes. And I'm pleased with myself for figuring out (or, more likely, remembering someone's tip) that I could use a wire whisk as a pastry cutter. I like that the dumplings are cut into strips rather than dropped from a spoon, they go into the pot quickly and easily and, I suspect, cook more evenly, while still puffing up into deliciousness. Excellent afternoon treat!
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
As I suspected when I first saw the recipe, these are delicious. Just corn kernels, pulped, and corn meal mixed into a batter, wrapped in fresh corn husks and steamed over water and corn silk, they are sweet and taste intensely of corn. Wheat-free, no added salt, sugar or fat (unless you eat them with butter and salt, as we did and as the recipe recommends, but they are also quite good plain). Serious nom, this is a recipe I will make frequently and hope to have freezable surplus so as to be able to enjoy the taste of fresh summer corn in the winter. A June recipe, incidentally, but I didn't get a chance to make it until now, what with one thing and another. There are two more similar fresh corn "tamale" recipes under July, I'm looking forward to trying them (the book uses "tamale" in quotes like that for these particular recipes. I'm not certain what the distinction is).

I actually made a double batch last night (well, almost a double recipe I suppose, I cleaned out the Vegetable Patch of all their yellow corn but that was 11 ears rather than the 12 called for, but I also added more cornmeal to get the consistency right (or what seemed right to me and my SiL, neither of us having made this stuff before) and ended up making the full number of dumpings that the recipe predicted by wrapping a 1/2 cup of batter for each one), because my whole family was together for a couple of days, which has been nice but tiring. It doesn't take much extra before I feel stretched too thin and overextended, which is super frustrating. Anyway, the dumplings are not hard to make, but they do take a long time, especially doubling the recipe - husking the corn carefully to try to preserve the husks to make good wrappers, pulping the corn in small portions in the blender (the recipe calls for a food processor but my mom doesn't have one), wrapping 24 dumplings (again, not a hard fold to do, but by the time I'd done 24 of them my shoulders were pretty sore) and then they steam for an hour, so it's a good thing this wasn't meant to be dinner. The exteriors cool off enough to handle easily fairly quickly, but they stay hot inside their individual wrappers until they are opened. My niece drowned hers in butter and loved them while my mom had hers plain and also loved them.
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
 Because obviously I haven't cooked enough today, I decided to make Flattened Rice Dumplings with Grated Coconut and Anise Sugar. Also because they sounded pretty quick to put together and I had all the ingredients (except the anise, but I don't love anise anyway).

And they did were pretty easy to make. They're just rice flour and water, formed into balls, then flattened, simmered for a few minutes, coated with coconut and sprinkled with anise sugar (which you have to make out of anise seeds and sugar, but I just skipped the anise). The dough feels a little like oobleck and it is really really white. Like, made me really aware that all-purpose flour is not really white, because this was much whiter. I've had problems with dumplings that have no binders dissolving instead of simmering, but these maintained cohesion and all floated like they were supposed to (although not after 2 minutes, more like 5). Unfortunately, I'm not sure i like the texture. I might try making a smaller batch and make smaller dumplings, I'm not sure these got cooked all the way through (though I ended up with the right number so they should be the right size. IDK). Or simmer them longer, maybe. Good to know that that works, though.


multipurposegoddess: (Default)

July 2014

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