Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dumplings --- FOR REAL!

Before I get any wise crack comments about Jamaican dumplings let me just say that these are in NO WAY related. This is the real deal. Simple-dimple! Chilly nights are coming & there's nothing better than coming home to a warm bowl of stew & dumplings. Eh, Nina? She knows what I'm talking 'bout!

So gird up your loins of cooking & let's be off. Here are your ingredients:

3 tbsp shortening (if you're in a pinch margarine will do)
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp dried basil/oregano or parsley
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c milk

Assembly is straightforward. Mix dry in a bowl, cut shortening into the flour with your fingers. (NOTE: it's OK if not all the crumbs are uniform in size. STOP obsessing, please!)
Using a spoon very gently mix in the milk. AGAIN, DON'T over mix the batter. Remember.....LUMPS are your friend. RESTRAIN YOURSELF, if you please!

Now I hope you have your soup ready. It should be already thickened & totally prepared, and heated to nearly boiling. The heat should be on low!
OK, no snickering at my stew. This is a genuine "Mommy's-hand- dandy-lunchie-munchie-Chicken/black & green bean/rice/corn & carrot-special-stew-for-sickie-kids" (of science!)

Now, drop the dumpling batter by tablespoon-fulls on top of the stew, it should make about 10-12 dumplings.

(HINT: Be careful of a stew with too little filling & too much soup or your dumplings will sink completely, you want them only partly submerged, same thing with very watery stew as they'll just sink to the bottom)

Wait till your stew comes to a simmer. Be patient, don't give in to the temptation to turn the heat up or you may have to deal with burnt filling on the bottom. Simmer with the top off for about 5 minutes. (It's just coming to a boil in this picture.) Now, cover & simmer for another 10 minutes till they expand & are dry on the top. Resist the urge to check on it repeatedly because you don't believe that this is ever actually going to work! Oh ye of little faith! Just keep the lid on & sit tight.....or go set the table or something.
Here we go. Almost done in this pic. (See the tops are still a bit shiny)
And that should do it. Not the most beautiful of foods but certainly a comforting one.

I have to warn you though, this won't work in much larger quantities than this unless you have a pretty wide soup pot, since you can't exactly make them one on top of the other.

Well, that's it for today! Till next time, be ye warmed & fed!


Nina said...

Oooh, yes, she does know what you're talking about; there's hardly any more comforting meal than gd ol' chicken soup w/ herb dumplings!

Those r decidedly un-eraser-like, & I'm so glad u posted the recipe for it, complete w/ all the warnings/assurances that appear to hv been made w/ me in mind, haha!

One Q: If I want a more broth-like soup, wld it work to take out & reserve the liquid until the soup is at the chicken & veggie level, & then add it back after the dumplings r done? or will that just ruin them?

Junior said...

You can bet anything you own that I will be trying this one out within the next few days, looks damn good.

Junior said...

You can bet anything you own that I will be trying this one out within the next few days, looks damn good.