Dumplings From Around the World – Chef Jeanne Raffetto-Tentis

APPLE AND SWEET POTATO EMPANADAS                                      

Makes 1 doz

Empanadas de manzana y camote

2c peeled and diced tart apples such as Granny Smith

1c cooked sweet potato diced

¼c lightly toasted pine nuts

1/3c sugar

1T all-purpose flour

¾ t cinnamon

¼ t grated nutmeg

1/8 t salt

1T lemon juice

12 empanada wrappers

Confectioners sugar for dusting

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the apples, sweet potatoes and pine nuts with the combined dry
ingredients, then toss lightly with the lemon juice until well coated.

Scoop 2T of filling onto the wrappers and fold over.  Seal edges with a
fork.  Prick the top with a fork to allow steam escape.

Place on lightly buttered baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until
golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temp, dusted with confectioners sugar.

NOTE:  MAKE AHEAD.  PREPARE RECIPE THROUGH STEP 2 AND REFRIGERATE EMPANADAS
FOR UP TO 24 HRS.

SPAETZLE #1                                                          

Serves 6-8

Recipe by Jeanne Raffetto Tentis

3 eggs

3 c flour

1c milk

½ t salt

¼ t nutmeg

 Beat eggs until foamy and then combine with milk.  Mix together flour and
salt.  Add to eggs a little at a time.  The dough will be very stiff and
elastic.

Fill the square basket of the Spaetzle maker and place over a pot of boiling
water or cooking soup.  As the basket slides back and forth, the tiny
dumplings, or noodles drop into the boiling liquid.  When done, they will
rise to the surface, about 2-3 minutes.

Use a large slotted spoon to dip them out into a large covered bowl.  Repeat
the process until all the dough is used up.

Lightly butter (if desired) and salt to taste and serve in place of
potatoes, rice or noodles.

If the Spaetzle has become too cool during the process, put the covered bowl
into the microwave and heat for 30 seconds or until desired temperature.
Another way to reheat is to toss them in hot oil or melted butter in a sauté
pan until heated.  Be careful to not over heat.

PORK DUMPLINGS
Makes 40-45 dumplings

1 lb. pork butt, coarsely ground or chopped

3-4 scallions, finely chopped

3T soy sauce

1T Asian sesame oil

1T fresh ginger, peeled and grated

½ lb. Chinese Napa cabbage, finely chopped

1 1lb. package round dumpling wrappers (gyoza), 3-inches in diameter

1 recipe soy ginger sauce for dipping or portions of equal parts chili oil
and rice vinegar

 In a large bowl, combine the pork, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and
ginger.  Mix well so that the flavors will penetrate the meat.  Then add the
cabbage and mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  The
filling will not taste right if you combine all the ingredients at once.

Place one dumpling wrapper on a plate or a board.  Place one scant T of the
pork mixture in the center.  Moisten the edges of the wrapper with a little
water, then fold them over the filling to form a half moon.

Pinch the center together first, then stand the dumpling up on its base and
pleat one of the sides of the half moon twice, halfway between the outer
edge and the center.

Pleat the other side in the same way and leave the dumpling standing up.

Stand the finished dumplings on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Do not
allow the sides of the dumpling to touch each other or they will stick
together.

The dumplings can be made in advance and frozen up to 3 months or they may
be cooked immediately, either boiled or fried.  Serve with a dipping sauce
such as, Soy Ginger Sauce.

To Pan-Fry:  Pan fried dumplings are known as “pot stickers” because one
side sticks to the bottom of the pot, becoming delightfully crisp.  Heat
about 1 T oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Add as many dumplings as can fit
in a single layer.  Pour ½ c cold water over the dumplings.

Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, without
turning or stirring, until the water has evaporated and the dumplings are
golden and crisp on the bottom.

If dumplings are frozen, add additional ¼ c water and cook a little longer
until water has evaporated.

To Boil Dumplings:  Fill a large stock pot two-thirds full of water and
bring to a boil.  Add one third of the prepared dumplings.  Stir gently with
a slotted spoon or Chinese strainer to prevent sticking.

Return water to a boil.  The dumplings will rise to the top, but at this
point the filling will not be cooked.  Add ½ c of cold water and return to a
boil again.  When the dumplings float, taste one to see if they are done.
If not, add another ½ c of cold water and cook until the dumplings rise
again.

Adding cold water slows the cooking so the dough will not break, allowing
enough time for the filling to cook.

Remove with a Chinese strainer or slotted spoon and place them on a plate,
being careful they don’t touch or they will stick.  Serve immediately.

I f you wish to cook all the dumplings in advance, they can be reheated by
placing them in a single layer on top of cold blanched cabbage leaves to
keep them from sticking to the steaming rack.  The dumplings can be steamed
right before serving.

To Boil frozen Dumplings:  Do not thaw the dumplings first.   Add the frozen
dumplings directly to a pot of boiling water.  Once the dumplings float to
the surface, add 1 c of cold water.  Bring the water back to a boil, and
when the dumplings float, add cold water again.  When the dumplings float to
the surface again, taste one to see if it is cooked.  If not, repeat this
process one more time.  Drain and serve.

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