Pizza dumplings

Pizza dumplings

The other night we made dumplings loosely based on our vision of the dumplings in Kung Fu Panda. While we were eating them, we all talked about the different kind of things we could fill them with. Malcolm came up with the idea of pizza dumplings. He wanted them to be like the earth, with layers. An olive for the core, a layer of cheese, a layer of sauce and a layer of dough. So that’s what we tried to do.

Malcolm is writing an essay for school about what he wants to be when he grows up. I’m going to share some excerpts with you. Remember, this is still a work in progress – he’s at the prewriting stage. Here we go…

Bang! Pishhh! “Hey, chef I need 3 pies.”
In my opinion being a chef is very fun.
I want to be a chef because I like to cook with my mom and she says that I have great ideas for cooking. One of my favorite things to do is invent and cooking is like inventing.
I want to travel so I can go to Scotland and find out what they eat there. Then I will learn how to cook food all over the world.

I hope he will!

Here’s Desmond Dekker with Sugar Dumpling.
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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.
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Chickpea/sweet potato/red wine stew

chickpea stew with rosemary dumplings

We’re still working our way through the sweet potatoes and carrots from the CSA. And I’m still fascinated by star anise. This is a nice way to incorporate both. The pleasing texture of chickpeas goes well with the sweet potatoes and carrots. The mild sweet flavors blend with the slight dryness of the wine to make a rich, unusual broth. Sage and thyme, star anise and cinnamon – delicious together. I made cornmeal dumplings, but lighter and less stodgy than you would expect.

Did you know that Neil Diamond wrote Red Red Wine? It’s true, he did!
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