The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Tortellini: This is how we do. February 10, 2012

Filed under: Main Dishes — Meg @ 8:42 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Tonight, I decided to make some Ravioli. I made Tortellini instead…

Bloggies, if you want to make it, I assure you, you can. If I can do all of this in under an hour, AND take a low-grade cellphone photo of it to boot, take the plunge and try it as well! I used my old hand-crank pasta machine to get the dough, and yes, I made the dough with my Kitchen-aid, but we can all take a little help here and there!

End result:

(I still can’t find the Olympus, sorry!)

To make the dough, mix together and knead 1 cup of flour and 2 eggs. If you’re using a machine, knead with the dough hook for 8 minutes on highest kneading settting (2 on a Kitchen-aid). Jamie Oliver has a nice method using a food processor, as well, but you can do the same by hand, kneading till firm, very smooth and somewhat dry. No sticky! Put it in a plastic bag or cling wrap for about 15-30 minutes, whatever you’ve got. Cut it in two, and use a pasta machine (I went down to 6 of 7 thicknesses) to roll it out. You can do this on a floured board with a rolling pin, too. Shoot for about 1millimeter or so. Or thicker, I don’t care! Cut into 2″ squares, flour, and let it sit under a damp tea towel as you work.

While the dough rests, mix these ingredients until combined and slightly sticky:

  • 1/2lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan, if you want)
  • 1 egg

    Now, when everything is ready, prepare an eggwash (just mix an egg up very well. Add a splash of water, if you like), and have a brush on hand. Line up a bunch of your squares, and eggwash the edges to make a 90 degree angle on each square. Add 1/2 tsp or so of filling to each square (you may need a little less to avoid ‘splosions). Fold over, seal tightly and remove air pockets. With the point up, wrap the bottom edges around your pinky finger, and squeeze them together to seal. Take it off your finger, and fold the top edge down. You can also fold the whole top over (edges) if you want a little more pizazz to your tortellini. That’s it!

    Now all you have to do is cook ’em! I think the best way is just to cook in boiling, salted water, until they float to the top. Check by cutting into them to see that the meat and pasta are cooked through. Serve these however you want, and keep in mind, they freeze very well. Make sure, if you do freeze them, do it on a floured board, keeping them separate. Then transfer to a freezer bag.

    That is all I want to say! Make some and enjoy!

 

Lima Bean Busy February 6, 2012

I’ve decided to make a feeble attempt to post something. It’s been a rather shame-inducing length of time since I actually did anything around here, so I think it’s due time that I get your bellies twist’n’shouting with something perhaps a little unexpected. Unless you’re one of those intriguing anomalies who doesn’t like anything legume-y, well!  I have just the ticket! My affinity for lima beans reigns supreme, once again, and I have a nice little soup that has passed inspection!

Oh yeah, Jon and I moved, so I’ll just let that take the blame for my extreme posting leave of absence. Can we just call it a leave of absence? Anyhoot, yes, Jon and I bought our first house and have been here for exactly 8 days now! I’ve gussied up the kitchen to my liking (including a glorious rolling wooden kitchen island from Ikeeeeeeeeea), and am seriously enjoying my recent cooking endeavors. We kicked off our first (non-takeout/fast food) meal here with Red Beans and Rice. Everything else has been pretty damn great! Now, I do apologize for a lack of pictures in this post, but you’ll have to forgive me because I haven’t yet located my camera, amongst the slew of boxes.

This is my idea of a real superbowl, and it doesn’t leave the most unsavoury aftertaste of Madonna’s pigskin-esque body shaking around, afterward. Now that your appetite is raring to go, let’s do this.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Ritzy Lima Bean Soup (I’m sorry, I’m Mad Men-ing again)

Ingredients

  • 4 (or 5?) strips of bacon, sliced 1″
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (I removed half the seeds and ribs)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed 1″
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup corn niblets
  • 2 cups frozen (or fresh, if you’re lucky) lima beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • water (or stock)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (whatever kind you want)
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

First things first, fry up that bacon. It’s fine right in your cooking pot, which doesn’t have to be too huge, medium-large is good. Once it’s brown and crisp, drain the fat (save it, save it!), and add butter. Yes, this is what you’re doing. Add carrots, onion, celery, jalapeno, potatoes, and garlic, and saute until lightly browned. Add corn and lima beans, and bay leaf. Stir and add enough water or chicken stock to cover all ingredients about 1″. Add basil, paprika, a little salt and pepper (to season the vegetables as they cook). Let it come to a boil, and drop the heat to a simmer, around medium-low. Cook for 25 minutes or so, until the lima beans are soft and buttery. Add cream, stir, check seasoning and serve!

I wouldn’t exactly know what to serve with this, as it’s extremely good on it’s own, and that’s how I enjoyed it. However, it’s one of those cute, yet elegant dishes, where you feel like Melba Toast should be in the picture somewhere. I don’t know, whatever that guy at the Maidstone Club is having with it?

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Dass all I have for now, I hope that you are enticed, despite pictures, and that unabashed jab at Madonna. I promise you though, it is beautiful and serves up very attractively. Even if you have unattractive dinnerware!

Happy trails then,
Meg.

 

Hearth Soup August 22, 2011

I honestly had no idea what to call this recipe. There is so much going on in this soup, but it all fits together so, so nicely. It’s the kind of soup that makes you feel cozy, warm, and just comfortable in general. It makes you feel good about everything. The same kind of feeling you get when you drink from your favourite old, chipped pottery mug, and the coffee is the best you ever tasted. That feeling. Home. The hearth. If I had to give this recipe a name based on it’s ingredients, however, it’d be Brown Rice, Lentil, Sweet Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup. That’s a mouthful, nawp.
.
Anyhow, I’m sharing this recipe with you now, and I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a coon’s age! I don’t even think I have a legitimate excuse, just laziness, I guess. If it’s any consolation, if you continue to scroll after this post, I’ve posted several recipes that I’ve come up with in the past little while (and believe me, there are lots more beyond those). Buttermilk-blueberry pancakes with maple-lime blueberry syrup, zucchini bread with cashews and cranberries, and some tasty maple granola that is CHOCK FULL of little treats. I haven’t stopped cooking in my posting absence! So, please take a look at those, they aren’t as carefully laid out as most of my posts, and they don’t all have pictures, but they’re there, and I promise they’re good!
.
Moving on with this one though!
.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
.
Hearth Soup
.

.
.
Ingredients
.
6 oz bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1 sweet potato, in 1/2″ cubes
1 carrot, in 1/2″ cubes
1 leek, (washed) sliced in half and cut in 1/4″ pieces (moons)
1 stalk celery, sliced lengthwise and in 1/4″ dice
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed and sorted for any stones
1/2 cup brown rice (basmati brown, if possible, amazing aroma)
6 cups water or chicken stock
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper (not too fine)
1 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp dry oregano
3/4 tsp dry basil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
.
Method
.
In a large saucepan or pot, saute bacon until browned somewhat (I like to start it out with a little water, to sort of cook it through and evenly bring out the fat, and let it evaporate). Add sweet potato, carrot, leek, celery, and saute until browned, maybe 4 minutes or so. Add garlic, and cook till fragrant, a minute or so. Add water (or stock), a little at a time, stirring on the bottom to de-glaze the pan (collect the brown bits for flava-flav). After it’s all in, bring to a simmer, add lentils and brown rice, along with all remaining ingredients. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until lentils are soft, and broth is well-flavoured. Adjust seasoning to your tastes, and serve with some crusty brown bread, and then feel the sudden urge to call your parents and tell them you love them.
.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
.
Now scroll!
(I’ll try to keep up with the frequent posts, sorry again!)

 

Homina, homina, hominy. July 4, 2011

Smokey Hominy Soup, my chickens!
.
Yesterday, Jon brought home this “When Country Comes to Town,” 2011 Brant County Culinary Guide (see here!). Page 9, Three Sisters Soup caught my attention (Jon’s boss, Matt Lee is on page 13 with a soup recipe that looks rather nice too), and I went on this bender trying to figure out what I had and if I could make it. No, I couldn’t. So, I got my friend Laura‘s recipe from her blog, and decided to start with that. Well, it’s Summer. Summer means I like smoky, cumin-y things, and I started to make that soup… And then I got carried away. I couldn’t stop adding things, and here’s what happened.
.

.
If you haven’t tried hominy, PLEASE do so. It’s got a really unique texture, nothing at all like normal corn. It is delicious, a bit nutty, and.. agh. Just, love.
.
Smokey Hominy Soup
.

.
Ingredients
.
3 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz smoked pork belly (or other smoked pork stuffs), diced
1 medium onion, small dice
1 stalk celery, sliced on the bias (small though)
1 carrot, same as celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (Campbell’s soup size, whatever that is) hominy corn, drained and rinsed
1 medium sized new potato, diced
8 cups water (go ahead and use stock if you have it, veggie or chicken, or porkish)
1 156mL can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp hot paprika
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp dry oregano
1 can (Campbell’s size) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper, to taste (lots of both, if you ask me)
.
Method
.
Okay, grab a biggish cooking pot, turn ‘er up to medium-high, add the olive oil. When it’s hot enough to saute the veggies (test by throwing a piece of onion in, I always say!), throw ’em in there. By which I mean, the onions, carrot, celery, along with the pork belly. When those are good and browned, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or until fragrant. Then, add all the other ingredients, starting with the water, to deglaze (scrape the brown bits off the bottom, a little water at a time). Bring to a simmer, and drop the heat to low. Cook until potatoes are done, if you’re short on time, but if you want good soup, REALLY good soup, cook it for a long time. The slow-cooker, even, would be amazing for this. I cooked this for 7 or 8 hours (mostly because I was waiting for bread to finish all it’s many risings, and also, because I was really irresponsible and fell asleep for 3.5 hours). Anyhow, serve it with huge hunks of bread and be done with it. So good.
.
I’m done. Have to eat more of this soup now. Yeaaaaaah. Here’s Laura’s recipe, before I go: Laura’s Three Sisters Soup!
Her blog never ceases to amaze me. She is a wonderful woman.

 

Wine Not? July 3, 2011

Filed under: Beverages — Meg @ 2:13 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ahhh, you’ll never know what a thrill I get out of these stupid blog post titles…
.
Anyhow, word ’round these parts is that Jon and I got married last Saturday. I honestly didn’t think I had it in me to post something for at least another week, but I’ve got an abundance of recipes built up (and new pots and pans from Momma, YIPPIE, Lagostina Padova hot-cha-cha!!!)… To get to the point… Weddings mean wine. Ours meant that we bought too much, and now Jon and I have a wonderful amount of our favourite, Brindisi, amongst some whites that I’m going to play around with soon. Also, it’s been hotter than the hinges of hell lately, and that can only mean SANGRIA.
.
I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I’ve made a lot of Sangria this week, here’s my recipe.
.
Simple Berry Sangria (no clever titles here)
.

.
Ingredients
.

3 cups red wine (Brindisi Rosso)
2/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp lime juice (or Limoncello!!! My sweet Robert brought us some back from Europe, amongst other goodies)
4-5 Tbsp sugar
¼ cup blueberries or raspberries (set aside)
½ cup blueberries or raspberries
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced,
1 orange, sliced (optional)
.
Method
.
Mix fruit juices with sugar and stir till sugar is dissolved. Blend ½ cup berries with 1 cup wine in a blender, add to juices with remaining 2 cups of wine. Add remaining ¼ cup berries, citrus fruit slices, and stir to combine. Chill in fridge for 1-2 hours minimum. Try not to get it all over yourself when you drink it, you schmucks. Who am I kidding, I’m no better…
.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
.
S’all for now. I’ve got bread to bake, comrades.  One more thing before I go though… Anthony Bourdain. SERIOUSLY. You bastards need to quit searching for pictures of Anthony Bourdain on here. It was funny initially, but now it’s just goddamn annoying. Stop. Please.

 

If you want a subject, look to pork! June 12, 2011

Filed under: Main Dishes — Meg @ 11:07 am
Tags: , , , , ,

– Charles Dickens, “Great Expectations.”
.
Oh, hell, I guess it’s time. I’ve been letting a few recipes stew away in my brain since, oh, April… Yet, here we are, it is June. While I have been documenting most of my new concoctions with photos, writing down the recipes, none of them really made me feel the need to post. Lots of repeats, and, well, I’m busy! Anyhow, I thought I’d let this one slide on through before I get even busier (gettin’ murried in 13 days, folks).
.
Last night my dad came over, and for time’s sake, made some pork tenderloin, and hoooo-eeee, it were good. If you don’t like liquid smoke because you’ve heard it is full of carcinogens, please direct yourself back to Facebook, or wherever the hell you came from, now. This is not the time to be a pansy about a little liquid smoke. It is the time to embrace it, because I’ve waited a good two years to actually remember to buy the stuff at Sobey’s, and I’m gonna post a damn recipe that uses it!
.
Carry on!
.
I was originally going to barbeque this, but, again, because of time, and my general sloth-isms, this is a sauceless, badass loin that you will enjoy. It includes some nice barbeque-y notes anyhow, it’s supah easy, and goes hideously well with my recipe for Asparagus and Potato Salad. I would link you to that, but, once again, lazy… I’ve got favours and decorations to make, dresses to sew, appointments to go to, on top of my self-imposed housewifing duties! Anyhow, this was going to be all Plain Jane barbeque, but then my whimsical, whimsical father took note of a bottle of Southern Comfort sitting in my kitchen, banished from my overflowing freezer. “You should add that,” he said, my father, who I don’t think I’ve even seen drink a whole beer. Well, good idea, Dad. You are a triumph of good choices and alcohol-infused gastronomy, and antique kitchen presents. Thank you. We like to think the SoCo adds a hint of fruity spice. Just like us.
.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
.
Southern Comfort Poke Tenderloin
.

.
One more, because we had fun arranging this.
.

.
Ingredients
.
A 1lb pork tenderloin
2 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp garlic (minced, or use powder, I do not mind)
1 tsp minced onion (dehydrated is never a bad call)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper (do not get lazy here)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
5 drops liquid smoke
2.5 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Southern Comfort (not the hurricane mix, the real stuff. The… good stuff. Cough.)
.
Method
.
Okay. This is some easy business, folks. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then mix all of the ingredients together, tenderloin aside, of course. Then, slather it on the tenderloin, all sides. Whack it in the oven for 40 minutes, or till it hits 160 degrees Fahrenheit (internally), and then broil it until it reaches 165, which is the “safe” temperature. Just for crisping and browning, etc..  Slice it on an angle, arrange it on a plate, and drizzle pan juices (you want to do this, you really do) over top, and savour the flavour. Yuh.
.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
.
megohm, over and owt!
.

 

Poundcakin’ April 11, 2011

Filed under: Desserts — Meg @ 12:47 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m having a Southern day today. This is something I’ve never been able to control. Some people have days off where they sleep in bed until 2pm, some people have binge-drinking days, and some people  have mental health days. I have Southern days. There is something in my bones that needs the zang of a good, homemade barbeque sauce or something buttermilk-driven, the calm and twang of downhome music (by which, I do not mean pop country, in the name of all things holy and well-written…), and the scent of smoke permeating the air. I start wanting to wear things made of light cotton and I really can’t put my finger on what triggers this. Maybe it’s the good weather, or maybe I’m delusional. Either way, I’m having a Southern day today. Jon’s outside working on smoking a pork roast (we’re doing a South Eastern North Carolina style today, no gloppy ketchup sauces, unsweet and spicy!),  we’re gonna have that with some damn fine homemade coleslaw, on fresh, toasted bread that I made last night*, and maybe some kind of baked beans. I’m inside for the moment, listening to Hank Williams, and I just made a nice, old-timey lemon poundcake. In the spirit of simple, straight-to-it, no-nonsense lemon poundcakes, I will just give you the recipe now.
.
Simple Old-Fashioned Poundcake
.

.
You can make this any old way you want, you can substitute some vanilla for the lemon zest, and add anything you want. Cherries, pineapple, coconut, chocolate chips, blueberries, orange zest, just about anything! Along with the nice Southern vibe this has, it uses shortening, which means it’s rather economical (no butter), but by all means, use butter, if you want/can!
.
Ingredients
.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon zest or 1 tsp lemon extract
2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening (or butter!)
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (feel free to use sour cream here, instead)
.
Method
.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Mix well, or use a sifter. Stir in lemon zest. In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and shortening very well, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well each time. Next, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture (this tends to help it hold together better, the batter won’t “break”). Pour into a well-greased bundt or tube pan, and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 60 minutes, or until it tests clean with a toothpick/knife, and cake springs back when touched.
.
You can serve this any way you like, I made a lemon glaze, but you could also serve with a custard, or with fresh berries, or a berry sauce. Whatevs.
To make the glaze though, I mix 1.5 cups icing sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1/4 cup lemonade, but you could also use milk or water.
.
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
.
That is that! I must go see whatever the hell Jon is hammering away at outside now, I fear for the lives of the neighbours. Also, I would like to commend whoever searched, “Mama Tit’s Grocery,” on this site… I don’t know who you are, but I think we’d get along real well. megohm, over and out!
.
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
.
* Here’s the bread I made last night. I’m only posting this because I’m hella proud of it. Just plain old Neil’s Harbour White Bread, shaped-up.
.