Here in New York City, the day has continued to get increasingly dreary and ominous, with winds and rain picking up throughout the day. While she may keep me from going to work, force me to fill my bathtub with water and have pots and pans filled with boiled drinking water all over the kitchen, I refuse to let Sandy get the best of my stomach!
As Con Ed has been threatening to shut off our power all day, I had a think about the perishables in my refrigerator that likely wouldn’t last an outage. Mainly, just the milk, cream, and sour cream. So, this morning (yes, morning) began with hurricane ice cream. And to be clear, I don’t classify this as a dumpling!
I heated up milk, cream, sugar, and scraped a vanilla bean pod in a pot until 170°, let the mixture cool, and then threw it in my KitchenAid ice cream maker for 15 minutes. The hurricane part? Mixing in whatever I could find in my kitchen, which ended up being two types of Mast Brother chocolate bars and marcona almonds.
A bit later, I started to get hungry again. I defrosted some kielbasa I had tucked away in the freezer, cut up an onion and a red pepper, and made a handful of potato pierogi out of the half pound of fingerling potatoes I had laying around.
Pierogi are quick and don’t require a very refined technique to make, in my opinion. And they allowed me to use the sour cream that threatens to spoil if the power goes out.
The dough is flour, sour cream, salt, butter, and an egg. Knead for around 5 minutes until it’s no longer sticky. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, peel and boil potatoes. Once soft, mash with butter and salt and sour cream until it is smooth in consistency.
Roll out the pierogi dough and cut (I use a glass) into circles. Fill, fold in half, and use your fingers to seal the edges.
Sauté sliced kielbasa with onion and pepper and the pierogi with olive oil, until sausage is cooked and pierogi are browned.
Happy hurricane-ing & stay safe everyone!
Tried a bacon themed prix fixe from Rickshaw Truck. The dumplings were only okay, which is surprising considering they were bacon, but they were wrapped sloppily and there was simply not enough filling. However, the bacon sticky rice was excellent and seems quite simple to make:
Short grain rice, cooked with extra water
Salt, to taste.
For those who grew up eating Chinese food, pork is a big star. I’m always jealous of the people that have the space that affords them a meat smoker, so I am living vicariously through Chef Gresge of L’etoile in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Watch this video of a classic preparation for curing leg of ham. The presentation isn’t bad for hearty, southern dining, either.
Thanks Men’s Journal and Porsche for pulling together this lively series of webisodes. I particularly like this one as the slow food movement is important to share to a broader audience.
We’ve all been disappointed by a dish that, in theory, should have been amazing. The ingredients were solid. The flavor profile was good. But somehow, the dish itself was lackluster.
This is the first of a few posts about ratios. As Wikipedia simply states, a ratio represents ”for every amount of one thing, how much there is of another thing.”
In food, it matters how much one thing there is in relationship to another thing. Yet, a disregard for the ratio is a common and unfortunately reoccurring gripe with many recipes, dishes, and restaurants.
Let’s begin with the obvious dish: the dumpling.
While some ratios are purely subjective (what’s the right ratio of garlic to pork? Vinegar to soy sauce?), there are many aspects of a dumpling that do have an ideal set of ratios.
The filling to dough ratio is perhaps the most important. For a boiled dumpling, the amount of filling in relationship to dough rolled out should be somewhere around 3:1, respectively. The dough must be thin enough that the filling is the centerpiece yet sturdy enough to withstand boiling or steaming without breaking.
This ratio increases for a soup dumpling, and slightly decreases for a pot sticker.
Too often, I find the ratio of filling to dough is disproportionately low: not enough meat, too much dough.
In reviewing Mission Chinese Food’s lamb cheek dumplings, unfortunately, the filling:dough ratio was around 2:1. If only that ratio had been right; the lamb was gamey and flavorful and the heat of the broth was refreshing, yet the texture and power of the flavor was thrown off by the too-thick dough.
Even good restaurants don’t get it right. With Mission Chinese Food, most of the other dishes were excellent, though they did challenge your tolerance for heat. Too bad about those dumplings.
This doesn’t seem like a bad use of an afternoon… or morning.
Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe with lots of photos of the prep work that goes into these tasty bites.