Sunday, October 27, 2013

Making Dumplings with Jamie

I'm going to mix up blogging about current things and things I should have blogged about within the last two years to catch up.  It's kind of nice because only the foods or moments worth remembering will be posted! A natural filter!

One of my best memories is living and cooking with Jamie in DC after we both graduated from policy school.  Jamie has lived in China and Brazil and is a constant learner of languages and a participant of different world cultures.  She loves adapting cultures that have been introduced to her into her cooking. She was the perfect housemate!

One of our favorite comfort foods is Chinese dumplings.  There's so much room for creativity in the filling that it never gets old!  We used to make a ton of these and freeze them so we can always rely on boiling some dumplings when we had nothing else in the fridge.

Chicken, scallions, napa cabbage, and shiitake filling

Chicken, cabbage, mushroom dumplings

This one time, we had too much filling and ran out of dumpling wrappers.  We had a jar of Tom Yum soup paste in the pantry so we improvised and made quenelles out of the chicken, cabbage, mushroom filling to fill a pot of tom yum soup!

Quenelles are basically French meatballs (usually with a seafood paste mixture) shaped by scooping a dollop of the meat mixture multiple times between two spoons until it takes on a firm oval shape.

Tom Yum soup base

Shaping the quenelles with two spoons

quenelles boiling in a separate pot

Tom Yum soup with Chicken Quenelles

Two other versions of dumplings we made were fennel and beef and lamb with spinach,  lemon zest, red onions and ginger.

Beef with fennel and ginger

Lamb with red onions, ginger, lemon zest, and spinach

We shaped the two kinds of dumplings differently so we can differentiate the two afterwards.  The lamb ones were flat while the beef dumpling sat upright.

Lamb dumplings and beef dumplings

This time, we had leftover dumpling skins, so we took leftover sweet potatoes from another night and made a dessert dumpling filling with brown sugar and ginger.

Sweet potato dumplings with honey and sesame seeds

I would love to start making dumplings again (I've been eating ones that my mom made and froze in my freezer) with Mike and my Madison friends. Perhaps a dumpling making party  is in order?

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