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Thursday, October 17, 2013

dumplings

 photo 2013-10-161_zps2cdc97d6.jpg

(or dumprings, as mr p likes to call them)
(he's Asian, so he can get away with putting on a fake Asian accent without sounding TOO racist)

i told you guys earlier this week that we made dumplings on sunday after our little day date in Brooklyn.  the truth is... we ALSO made dumplings the night before.
we also woke up Saturday morning at 11:30am
we also never got out of our pj's the entire day.
we also never showered.
and it was GLORIOUS.

for some people, the "hassle" of making dumplings at home is not worth the return.  ....especially when everyone around here seems to know about "that place on mosco street that has 5-for-$1 dumplings" in Chinatown manhattan. mosco street is only 1 block long, people, so we all KNOW we go to the same place.

but for mr p and i, it's just fun.  who wouldn't want to spend a day getting messy in the kitchen in your pj's? I bet if I said we were making cookies everyone would understand (even though we all know there are awesome cookies at practically any bakery or grocery store)  "to each their own," I say, and for us last Saturday, it was dumprings dumplings.

let me just point out that this experience was pretty darn awesome, mostly because we had no timeline, and no people to please but ourselves.  the last time we made dumplings we used wonton wrappers (totally not as good) and started making them mere hours before people arrived. oh and we made 200. we were nuts.

dumplings are pretty simple though... the dough is just water, flour, and salt, and requires no kitchen aid mixer, just your own 2 hands.  the filling can be whatever you want (my mind was going crazy thinking about the different dumplings we could make, more on that later, hopefully when we've actually tried my  crazy-brain idea of putting truffled mac-n-cheese with bacon and sage inside)

we made 2 very similar fillings using ground pork, onions, ginger, LOTS of fresh cilantro, and chili peppers.  the recipe we loosely followed was this one from eCurry (it was featured on thekitchn.com).  the only difference is we added a pinch or two of salt to the dough, and mixed the chutney with a vinegar/soy sauce mixture (TO DIE FOR!!) one of the fillings had cabbage for an extra crunch, and we made 2 different shapes to distinguish between the two fillings.

the key to making good dumplings is to get the dough right.  i'm not talking about texture (though that's important too), i'm talking about thickness and shape.  that's the part that takes practice. anyone can follow the recipe from eCurry and "make" dumplings. but it's when you KNOW you've got the dough thickness down and the shape right that it will actually be fun...  that's the part that takes practice.

the first day we got the dough thickness right, but the shapes all wrong (until we started youtubing how to wrap dumplings)

the second day when we got the shaping technique down, the thickness was WAY too thin so they were difficult to shape.

the good thing is they tasted pretty darn amazing both days, AND we have probably 100 more in the freezer to pull out whenever we're not in the mood to cook (and too cheap to order take-out).

stay tuned for our net adventure in dumpling-making... perhaps the mac-n-cheese version I mentioned earlier, or maybe we'll "go big or go home" with SOUP dumplings!

cheers.
jenn

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