Butternut squash pecan dumplings

Butternut dumplings

I invented these little dumplings because I wanted something to serve with my pecan tarator sauce. I tried to think of something that would complement the earthy nutty flavor, but that would bring some surprising elements of its own to bring to the table – the dinner table, that is. I think these have a nice balance of flavors and textures. Sweet soft roasted squash, sharp briny capers, crunchy pecans, and smoky smoked gouda. The pastry on these is different from a regular paté brisée. It’s softer, and (as I imagine it) more dumpling-like. It’s actually loosely based on knish-dough recipes that I have read. It contains no butter! It’s not vegan, because it has an egg in it. But if you’re trying to avoid butter (why would you do that?) this is a good one to try. I added a little Spanish paprika to the crust, to echo the smokey flavor of the gouda, and to make them a lovely rosy color.

Here’s Johnny OtisHarlem Nocturne, which is just a remarkable piece of music.

PASTRY

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. Spanish paprika
1 t. baking powder
1 egg
3 T olive oil

Mix the flour, salt, paprika, baking powder in a large bowl. Add the egg and olive oil, and mix till you have a nice workable dough. You might need to add a few tablespoonfuls of water to bring it all together. Knead for a couple of minutes, till it’s nice and smooth. Wrap and put in the fridge till you’re ready to use it.

THE FILLING

One medium sized butternut squash
1 or 2 T olive oil
1 shallot, very finely chopped
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
3 t. capers, chopped
1 cup grated cheese – a mix of smoked gouda and sharp cheddar
1 t. basil
1 t. rosemary
1/2 t. thyme
1 garlic clove – toasted or roasted
1 egg, beaten

Peel the squash, scoop the seeds out, and cut it into 1/3 inch dice. Mix it with the shallot, thyme, rosemary and basil, and spread it evenly on a baking sheet. Roast at 425 till it’s starting to brown and caramelize, about 20 minutes to half an hour.

In a large bowl, combine the squash/shallot mixture, the capers, the pecans, the cheese, a little black pepper (the capers should make it salty enough)

Mix in all of the beaten egg except a tablespoonful or two.

TO ASSEMBLE

Take the dough out of the fridge. Break off a golf-ball-sized amount and roll it into a rough circle about 1/8th inch thick. It will be 5 or 6 inches wide.

Scoop a heaping tablespoonful of filling in the middle. About 1/4 cup. You should have an inch of pastry all around.

Pull the pastry up around the filling, and squeeze the neck together like pulling the drawstring on a sack, leaving a pretty flower-like top.

Arrange on a baking sheet. Poke with a fork in two places each. Brush each with the remaining beaten egg.

Bake at 375 for about 1/2 an hour, till they’re starting to brown.

Serve with pecan tarator sauce, or pesto sauce, or tomato sauce, or any sauce you like!

About these ads

One thought on “Butternut squash pecan dumplings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s