And so it begins—-the Tyranny Of The Dumpling. Today was one of those beautiful days that I had set aside for outdoor fun.
“First I’ll just try this one recipe for corn soup.” “And I need to make those porcupine meatballs again and see if they are fit for a party.” “And I really feel like eating those yeast rolls from the Model Bakery cookbook.” “And I have to make SOMETHING for dinner.”
And, for some time now, I have been thinking about making Green Eggs and Ham Dumplings. Why not today? Try them and you may, I say.
OBVIOUSLY I would rather have spent the day gardening, or bird watching. Instead I was compelled to make dumplings.
This dumpling-a-week business has enslaved me.
I did make the corn soup and the hardest part was straining it through a fine mesh strainer. It took forever, but the soup was velvety and luxurious and will be great with some crispy bacon bits—or fried shallots for my vegetarian friends.
I made poolish again–same recipe as the cheeseburger dumplings from last post, but this time I just made yeast rolls. They looked beautiful but sadly lacked flavor.
The tastiest dish of the day was the roasted pork tenderloin, also the Easiest and Least Time Consuming. I believe there is a teachable moment here somewhere. [Mix 1 tsp each of salt, pepper, paprika, chinese five spice powder, garlic powder, and a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar together. Rub the spice mixture over the entire surface of the meat, and roast at 375 for 20-25 minutes, till internal temp reaches 140.]
The porcupine meatballs were okay, a little dry—-and the black sticky rice which carries a lovely nutty flavor is just a bit too firm to make this a success, imho.
But this is a dumpling blog, and here is my tribute to Dr. Seuss:
Green Eggs and Ham Dumplings
2 cups raw spinach leaves, washed and packed tightly
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Blend spinach and water in blender till smooth. Heat spinach puree in small pot till almost boiling. Mix flour and salt together, then add 3/4 cup of the hot spinach puree and stir together to make the dough. Knead a few times and let sit for 30 minutes. This makes a gorgeous bright green dough. Cut dough in half and cover half with plastic wrap. Form the other half into a log and cut into 10 pieces. Flatten one piece of dough with palm of your hand, then roll into a round disc, leaving the center thicker than the rest of the wrapper. Repeat with remaining dough, forming 20 wrappers
20 quail eggs
1 pound ham–I used deli sliced ham, cut into 1 inch square
1 pound garlic chives (jiu cai)
1/3 pound ground pork
Boil 2 inches of water in a large pan. Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water, turn down to medium, and boil 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water. After the eggs are cool, peel.
Cut 3 inches off the bottom of the jiu cai and discard. Wash jiu cai at least twice in a large bowl of water. Shake off excess water and chop. Heat 2 tsp oil in shallow pan, add the jiu cai and cook over high heat, allowing evaporation till on the dry side, sprinkle with salt.
Place ham in food processor and pulse a few times till very coarsely chopped. Add cooked jiu cai and uncooked ground pork, a little pepper and touch of sage. Since the ham is already salty, and the jiu cai very flavorful, I added very little seasoning. Pulse a few more times till mixed.
Take a disc of lovely green dough. These are much larger than potsticker wrappers–since I had only 20 quail eggs I made only 20 wrappers instead of the usual 32. Put a generous scoop of ham filling in the center of the wrapper, make a little indentation in the center and place a quail egg in the center. Wrap as usual (see my Doughboy post).
I would like to pause here and mention this was my first time buying and cooking quail eggs. Yet Another WHY DIDN’T I MAKE THESE BEFORE Moment. First of all, they are unbelievably cute. Secondly, they are eggs and have all of the egg behaving qualities one would expect from eggs. Third, only $1.29 for a cute little box of 10.
I chose to pan fry these, pot sticker style. Which raises the question: Would you like them cooked with steam? Would you like them with Jim Beam?
Made under duress (see above enslavement reference) and purely for whimsy, these taste like breakfast. And I would eat them in a box and I would eat them with a fox and I would eat them here or there and I would eat them Anywhere.