The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Maple Granolies with Lots of Goodies August 22, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast,Desserts,Uncategorized — Meg @ 9:59 am

4 cups oats (not instant!)
1 cup oat bran flakes
1 cup coconut (shredded is nice)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)
1/2 Tbsp milk
little pinch o’salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large (LARGE!!!) bowl, or a roasting pan works well, mix ingredients from oats down to nutmeg. Place butter, maple syrup, milk and salt in a small saucepan, and stir to combine over low heat, until homogeneous. Pour evenly over oat mixture, stir very well, but don’t break it up too much (clusterfuck granolie is what you want). If you’re using a roasting pan, just keep it in there. Otherwise, place on a large baking sheet with edges. Place in oven, for 20-30 minutes, stirring about every 10. Be careful for scorching, this recipe is fast and wonderful, you just have to pay attention!

Fall in love with a bearded man, start wearing sandals all year round, and enjoy a bowl with some yogourt and Jerry Garcia.

 

Fermentation Station March 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meg @ 9:02 pm

Hey guys!

Sorry I’ve been so bad for not posting recently, however, I’ve been busy with, well, fermenting things. These things take time! I’m still seeing how they turn out, perfecting the process. Tonight I made homemade kimchi (with Maangchi’s recipe). The fresh stuff tastes pretty awesome so far, we’ll see how it goes when it’s nice and ferment-y. I also have delved into the world of sourdough and sourdough starters, made some buns that really didn’t have a lot of success, as well as some bread, which was a huge, sparkling success.

Proof (HAH, BREAD JOKE):
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I will think of some tasty new recipes soon, probably not fermented though! Just thought I needed a quick update. Okay, back to kimchi-eating and obsessing shamelessly over Katy Perry’s strangely compelling Teenage Dream album… WHY?!

 

“A mangiar questa minestra o saltar questa fincestra.” January 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meg @ 3:09 pm

“Either eat this soup or jump out this window.”  Italian folk sayings, you SLAY me.
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Now that the iron-clad restraining order with my camera cord has been resolved, I think now would be an appropriate time to post some new recipes. I’ve got the Italian buzz again, once again, I will blame it on the Brindisi Rosso. The wine so nice, in one week I bought it thrice. … Don’t you judge me.
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Okay, well on that note, New Year’s kissed our rosy cheeks this week, but I will spare you the “Happy New Year, Guyz! What a crazy year we had! Oh, well, haters gon’ hate. Fresh start! Lolz!” Instead, I will skip to the meat of it. What New Year’s really means to the masses. No, not resolutions, not losing 20lbs, not trying to forget the many shames we experienced in 2010. New Year’s means, in it’s truest essence, a really, really terrible hangover. Now, I’m not going to to unload all the debauchery-filled goodness of the particular soirée that I hosted this year (although rather tame, to be fair), but I will leave you with a cure-all recipe. Perhaps it’s a good idea to make this ahead of time, so you can slump off your hangover the next day with ease, but I happened to triumph through with many glasses of orange juice and coffee, and some bread I made before my guests arrived (secret cure-all bread that I hid in the oven). Then, when you’re feeling better, maybe you’ll be in the mood for some nice lemon biscotti.
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Minestra per Dopo-Sbornia (soup for hangover, more literally “soup for after-drunkness”)
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Okay, a pretty simple soup, not a terribly complex flavour, but all of you lushes will appreciate it, I’m sure. A rich chicken broth (brodo!), romano beans (fagioli!), cabbage (cavolo!) and pasta (spaghettini, in this case). Peasant-tastic!
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Ingredients
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For the broth:
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8 cups water (honestly, I’m just guessing at this, enough to nearly cover a chicken carcass, capisci?)
1 raw chicken carcass (or a few chicken backs, horror of horrors)
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 stalk celery, roughly cut
½ green bell pepper, in chunks
12 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1.5 tsp coarse sea salt
2 cloves whole peeled garlic (smash ’em up if you want)
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Okay. Huck all of that in a big pot. Bring to a simmer, skim the scum off as you go. Unless you don’t really care. Sometimes I don’t really care, either…  Cover with a lid, ajar, over low-ish heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Until the broth tastes good. Check for salt at this point. So, now, just strain everything, and return the broth back to the pot. Feed chicken to your cat. I was too lazy to pick it off into the soup, but, hey. Do what you will.
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For the rest of it:
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1/4 head of green cabbage, chopped into 2 inch pieces (or however you want, it’s your goddamn cabbage)
1.5 cups cooked romano or cranberry beans (or kidney, again, do what you want, I’m just painfully in need of semi-authenticity)
Enough spaghettini to cover 1.5 inches in diameter, now BREAK IT IN HALF.
1 tsp dried basil
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Now, huck all of THAT in the pot. When the spaghettini is cooked, your soup is done. Eat with more bread than you think is humanly possible.
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Lemon Biscotti
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For the cookie:
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1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2-3 Tbsp lemon zest
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups flour
milk
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So, vegetable oil and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix until well blended. Add egg. Mix till well blended! Add lemon zest. Add flour and baking powder (perhaps sift them first, I am too lazy, and thus, mix baking powder in first), stir until combined, adding little, teeny splashes of milk if needed, to just moisten. Dough should be moist, but not too sticky. Then, on a greased cookie sheet or baking pan, place the dough-batter-stuff. Wet your hands with water, and pat it down into a rectangle (I rounded the ends though), about 3/4 – 1″ high, and about 4-5″ in width. Place in a 350 degree oven, bake for about 30 minutes, until top is slightly crisp and brown. Take out, and slice on the bias, about 1/2 ” thick.  Turn back onto pan, cut sides down. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until browned slightly, turning if necessary. It should be crisp on the outside, but still a bit soft on the inside. Not brick-like in any way. You get the idea. So, once those are fairly cool, ice ’em!
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For the lemon glaze:
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1 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
a few Tbsp water, if necessary
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Mix icing sugar, zest and lemon juice. Stir until there are no lumps. Thin with water until you get a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over biscotti, and you’re done!
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Okay, so, for now, that is what you get. I’m playing with a few other recipes I’d let to get up on here (meanwhile trying to teach myself small amounts of Italian on the side), including a tomato-olive-basil pesto with walnuts, of all things. Delicious. Okay, now let that stew in your mind for a while. I’m out.
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November 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meg @ 1:55 pm

Wow! Still a shocking amount of traffic on the Split Pea Soup recipe! Anyhow, someone searched “what will dumplings do if they sit an hour or two,” and I thought I’d address that. They’ll still be dumplings, little fluffballs of dough (I’m guessing the question was pertaining to steamed drop dumplings for soup/stew), and still very good, but I would recommend eating them as soon as they’re done, within the half hour, so they don’t, well, “tense up.” They might become denser and less fluffy in texture, but still, they’re totally okay if they sit an hour or so. If that’s the case, try to keep them warm. At any rate, they’ll be better than left overnight. Hope that helped!

– Meg

 

Italy Strikes Again (From a few days ago) October 31, 2010

I love going on food tangents. My house has smelled like a goddamn basil plant for the past few days, because I recently had some nice talks with Rob (you know, the one who moved to Nice, France not too long ago) and his friend Francesco. Rob went to Napoli to visit Francesco this past weekend, and as a severe comrade of mine, he complied in reporting all things Italian Foodstuff to me, and did a damn fine job of it! My East Coast rampage has died down, and I’ve eaten nothing but homemade Italian food for the past few days (okay, and a bag of Miss Vickie’s Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar, fuck off). At this point, I feel I owe a blog post to both of them. …Man, I could really save on Christmas gifts if I just gave out dedicated blog posts…
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Anyhow, in all seriousness, I thought this fierce Adriatic wind of a cooking storm deserved to be on the interwebz. So, here’s what I’ve been up to. The first night, I made my old-school marinara recipe (see below), with fusilli. Very good. That’s been documented, so moving on. That night, I made a delicious Molise-style country bread, hearty and crusty and insanely soft inside. Probably because I kept getting sleepy and forgetting the dough was rising… Oh well, punch it down, rise it again. I think in the end, it went through 4 or 5 risings. HAH. Super-gluten. But, honestly, I think that might have made a big difference in how wonderfully it turned out! My dad enjoyed it, as did I.
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So, from the bread, around rise #4, I cut off a hunk of dough and made myself a pizza. A nice, little abstract-looking thing with the previously-made marinara, mozzarella, fresh basil and olives. Goddamn delicious. Here’s a picture.
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That day, my dad came over for dinner, so we used up the rest of the marinara, cooked some rigatoni pasta, mixed in some olives and tons of mozzarella and Romano, baked it in the oven, and died of happiness. So, with that, three meals out of bread dough and marinara. I think the total was around $6, not counting this little tidbits of things I already had around the house (olives, basil, etc.). Three meals to feed 2 or 3 people. Pretty good, right?!
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So, tonight, I was lurking around Italy Revisited, an amazing site, which I visit regularly. The big draw for me is that the majority of the recipes are from Molise (family!) and generally, all of them are authentic. I cannot express my love for that. I’ve learned a lot about the region (which is TOUGH, because it’s the smallest in Italy), but know a good deal about the food culture there. Something I’ve been wanting to try for quite some time now is homemade cavatelli. I don’t even think I’ve seen it in stores anywhere, but I certainly have looked. Well, I had a lot of free time, so tonight, I wore thumbs down to mere nubs (not really, but they hurt a bit ahah), shaping the little buggers by hand. I made the dough in my Kitchen-Aid  mixer, so as not to kill myself. Then I wrapped it in plastic wrap, let it rest for an hour or so, and started cutting out strips after rolling it 1/8″ thick. Then into little 3/4″ pillows. Then pressing with my thumbs on each one (two at a time!), and dragging it along the board until they were little shell-like things. Wonderful! So, let them dry an hour, then cook in boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes, till they come to the top. Nice! So economical, too. Mixed up with a garlicky ricotta-spinach sauce, even more delicious.
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But, wait! There’s more! The ricotta. I made it. From scratch. Seriously, it is so easy, you will be smug as hell afterward, if you make it yourself. I used 8 cups whole milk (homo or no-go!), scalded it (just until it starts to boil lightly and then take it off the heat), added about.. half of a 1/3 cup measure of white vinegar. Let it sit ten minutes, stirred in half a teaspoon of salt, then poured it into a cheesecloth-lined colander over a bowl. Let the whey (the yellow-y liquid. Little Miss Muffet?) strain out, and you’re left with little, soft, creamy curds of cheese. It’ll keep about a week in the fridge. SO EASY. SO GOOD. I am so impressed with that stuff.
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Anyhow, that’s the score for now. If you’re interested in any of the recipes, lemme know! I’m glad to share them. I’ve got some cavatelli that needs a stern talking to, so I’m off to that!
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Megohm over and out!

 

I love the search agenda on this page. October 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meg @ 2:34 pm

To whoever wanted to know about cooking dumplings without putting them in a stew:
Just simmer them in a covered pot with stock/broth in it (or water! You could use water too! Maybe salt it first though.), let them cook away for 15 minutes. That is, for the typical drop-dumpling, typical of stews. Make sure you start them (the dropping into the pot) at a nice sturdy boil though.
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If it’s for a Chicken & Dumplings type (noodle-esque), leave the lid off and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring gently.
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Hope that helps.
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Whoever wanted to know about “gravy-filled cheddar rolls,” I sincerely regret saying that I cannot help you. 😀

 

Two Things I Am OVER. October 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meg @ 12:26 pm

1. Pumpkin baked goods. NO. After having done my fair share of handling puréed pumpkin at work (with more to come this week), I would like to state that it is DISGUSTING (texture-wise), makes everything taste dank and faintly moldy/senile, and should be condemned as a food, aside from 1 pie per Thanksgiving/Christmas. That is ALL. Why not make a nice muffin of Gerber Chicken, Liver & Carrot baby food instead?
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2. Tuscan White Bean Soup [Insert leafy green vegetable addition here], also anything labelled “Tuscan,” that is not actually from Tuscany/made by a Tuscan. WHY. Can’t any of you jerks be more creative than that? You’re spamming up my favourite recipe boards and websites! Oh, big deal, you threw in some leftover turkey, you want a badge or ribbon for healthful and worldly eating? You should be tarred and feathered. Now get off my internet and go stuff your face at The Olive Garden.
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Sons of bitches…
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/rant/
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*** It took a lot to refrain from using excessive, and I mean EXCESSIVE profanity in this post. ***