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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Don't mistake a a savory Italian entree for a luscious treat: DISHING UP VERY DIFFERENT DUMPLINGS (3 recipes; includes techniques)

By Kathy Hunt





JewishWorldReview.com | When I tell friends that the first dumplings I ever tasted were brown butter-coated gnocchi, more than a few eyebrows raise. Accustomed to the whole-apple-baked-inside-a-flaky-dough dumpling, they think that I am confused. How could I mistake a savory Italian entree for this luscious treat?

Sweet or savory, pea-sized or the expanse of a fist, dumplings vary from cuisine to cuisine. Some, like gnocchi, remain unfilled. Others, such as pierogis and wontons, are packed with fruits, meats, cheeses or vegetables. Served as a main dish, a side dish or added to a stew, their roles and flavors depend largely upon their homelands.

Eastern European Jews cook matzo balls from a mixture of matzo meal, eggs and chicken fat, and feature them in soups. Ukrainians dine on onion-topped halushky, while Poles favor onion and potato-stuffed pierogis. Meanwhile, Asia offers such pork and shrimp-laden delicacies as the wavy-edged wonton and semi-circular jiaozi. Great Britain serves a plethora of dessert and dinner dumplings, including the bread dough-based Norfolk and the beef dripping-infused Derbyshire.

The exact origins of dumplings remain a mystery. Some historians, such as the late Alan Davidson, point to Europe in the early 17th century, when the word "dumpling" supposedly first appeared in print. Others suggest that they arose in 10th century China and were later introduced to Russia and continental Europe by nomads.

All agree, however, that these globes of cooked dough arose from peasant cuisines. Dumplings were a way to stretch meals and satisfy hunger at a time when appetite-sating meat was a rare luxury. Added to a soup or stew, dumplings were an inexpensive way to expand these dishes. Topped with a sauce, gravy, butter or meat drippings, they became economical and hearty entrees in their own right.


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Scholars also concur on what makes a dumpling a dumpling. It boils down to three things -- method of cooking, basic ingredients and general shape. Boiling is one preparation technique. Steaming is the other.

Dumpling dough remains fairly simple, based on grains, legumes or vegetables such as potatoes. Many early recipes call only for flour, salt and water. A few insist upon a leavening agent, while others add eggs, butter and milk to the mix.

Dough from Germany, Austria and Bohemia consisted of bits of stale bread soaked in milk or water then combined with egg, cheese, bacon, minced liver or herbs. In Scotland it was flavored and colored by herbs, nettle leaves and dandelion greens.

Given such a wide variation of ingredients and cooking styles, there is a dumpling to suit every mood and taste. When making plain dumplings, I decide on a recipe based on the ingredients I want to incorporate, and then I have two paths that I can take. I can either pull off bits of dough and roll them into balls or push the dough through a sieve to make tiny dumplings.

For gnocchi I take an additional step and run a fork over the balls to make small ridges. These channels help retain the sauce. Grooved, wooden gnocchi boards are available at most cookware stores, but I find that a fork works just as well.

Having formed the orbs, I drop them into lightly salted boiling water or broth. In three to five minutes they will rise to the surface, a sure sign that they have finished cooking. I wait another 30 seconds -- the time that it takes to unearth a skimmer or slotted spoon -- and skim the bobbing dumplings from the liquid. I then arrange them on plates, drizzle over a sauce and serve.

If plain dumplings sound a bit dull, I can always opt for filled ones. Once the dough is made, instead of making those little balls, I knead and roll out the dough until it's about 1/8 inch thick. Using a plain two- or three-inch cutter, I make a series of circles large enough to hold about a tablespoon of fruit, vegetable, cheese or meat stuffing.

After spooning the filling into the center of a dough round, I either fold the circle in half or place another round of dough on top. Then I moisten and seal the edges. As with the plain dumplings, these are plopped into boiling liquid and cooked for roughly five minutes. Depending upon the contents, I finish these off with a dollop of sour cream, a pat of butter, a spoonful of sauteed onions, or, in the case of dessert dumplings, whipped cream or a light fruit sauce.

On frenetically paced days when the thought of mixing, kneading and cutting dough seems far too labor intensive, I pull out a wonton recipe that I adapted from my husband's stepfather. A native of Vietnam, as well as a periodic Asian-food caterer, Luong Vo spent a sultry summer afternoon coaching me on how to make the perfect time-saving wonton. His trick? Store-bought wheat flour dumpling wrappers. These can be found in specialty grocery stores and the Asian section of some supermarkets, as well as online.

Unlike homemade dough, the wrappers must be moistened and softened before using. To achieve the right consistency, we draped a damp dishtowel over the sheets and let them sit for a few minutes.

Once the wrappers were limber, we stuffed and sealed our dumplings.

We set aside half the dumplings for wonton soup. The others we boiled and paired with a dipping sauce of two parts soy sauce to one part honey and rice vinegar. In the end we had two fabulous meals made in half the time as other stuffed dumplings.



GNOCCHI


SERVES : 4



  • 1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled, cut, cooked and drained

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

  • 1 cup all purpose flour, more or less as needed

  • 6 to 8 quarts salted water, for cooking


Using either a potato ricer or a food mill and a large bowl, puree the potatoes. Add the egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and enough flour to make a soft, satiny dough. Depending on how moist the potatoes are, you may need to add more or less flour. Keep in mind that the more flour added, the heavier the dough (and gnocchi) will be.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide it into four equal portions. Roll the dough between your hands and work surface until a 1/2-inch thick strand has formed. Using a knife, cut off 3/4-inch pieces and press one side of each piece into the tines of a fork. Place on a floured baking sheet and repeat the same process with the other portions.

Bring the salted water in a stockpot to a boil and cook the gnocchi in batches, about 5 to 8 minutes. They will float to the surface of the water when ready. Use a slotted spoon to remove the dumplings and place in bowls or on plates. Top with butter and grated Romano cheese, pesto or a marinara sauce, and serve.



CHEESE AND POTATO PIEROGIS


SERVES: 4 to 6



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled, cut, cooked and drained

  • 1 3/4 cups white cheddar cheese, grated

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 6 to 8 quarts salted water, for boiling the pierogis

  • Water, for sealing the pierogis

  • Sour cream, for garnish


Sift together the flour and salt. Add the egg and water and stir together until a soft dough forms. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until soft, smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball, cover with a cloth and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, make the filling by placing the hot potatoes, cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using either a potato masher or an electric mixer, mix on low speed until creamy. Allow to cool slightly.

Bring the salted water to a boil.

On a floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2- or 3-inch cutter, cut out circles until all the dough has been used.

Using a spoon or small scoop, place roughly a tablespoon of potato filling in the center of each of the circles. Fold the dough over, moisten the edges and press together to seal.

Place the pierogis in the boiling water. When they float to the surface, remove and place on plates. Top with sour cream and serve.


CHERRY DUMPLINGS


SERVES: 4 to 8

Based upon Ukrainian and Czech fruit dumplings, these can be consumed at breakfast or for dessert.




  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk

  • 1 quart cherries, washed and with stems and pits removed

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 8 quarts salted water, for cooking


In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Slowly add the mixture to the flour and, using a wooden spoon, stir together until well combined. A soft, elastic dough should form.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until soft, smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball, cover with a cloth and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

While the dough rests, place the cherries, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring the contents to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Stir the cherries, cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

Leaving the juice behind, remove the cherries from the pan and place them in a bowl. Bring the remaining juice to a boil and cook, uncovered, until reduced, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2- or 3-inch cutter, cut out circles until all the dough has been used.

Place a teaspoon of cherries on each round. Fold the sides together to make a crescent then pinch the edges closed.

In several batches cook the dumplings in the boiling water until they float to the top, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in bowls. Drizzle the reduced cherry juice over the dumplings and serve immediately.


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© 2012, Kathy Hunt. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.