Monday, May 19, 2008

Celebration Dumplings/Ravioli

When our dinner plans got cancelled last weekend because of our poor sick girls, I wanted to make a recipe that was fancy, but not too difficult. I bought some fresh garden peas from a produce farm near our house last week - West Produce - and saw another tasty looking recipe on 101 Cookbooks, so decided to give Plump Pea Dumplings a try.

It was super easy to make, just really time consuming to fill and fold. I pan fried mine in olive oil, but that went pretty fast. I didn't have shallots, so I used about 3/4 of a huge clove of garlic, grated with the microplane. The sweet peas with the yummy garlic and lemon zest made such an interesting filling! I wasn't sure I'd like them, but I did! And so did my husband. He thought they tasted fancy and complex. (Although he didn't like calling them dumplings, because they were italian in filling, so he called them ravioli) So I think I accomplished my goal with our celebration meal! (Thanks again for another great recipe, 101 - aka Heidi Swanson!)

Plump Pea Dumplings

2 cups (about 10 ounces) cups peas (freshly shelled or frozen)
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
scant 1/2 tea spoon fine grain sea salt
1 small shallot, minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
zest of one large lemon
1 package of wonton
wrappers, or round wrappers
special equipment: bamboo steamer

1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Salt the water (as you would pasta water) and add the peas. Cook until bright green in color and puffy, about a minute if the peas were frozen, less if you started with fresh ones.Drain the peas and run under cold water for one minute to stop the cooking.
2. With a food processor (or hand blender) blend the peas, ricotta cheese, olive oil, and salt into a puree. Return the mixture to a big bowl and stir in the shallots, Parmesan, and lemon zest. Taste. Add more salt if needed.
3. Fill the dumplings using an assembly line technique - a dozen at a time (for the most part following the instructions on the wrapper packaging). Place twelve wrappers out on the counter, drop a very scant teaspoon of filling onto each wrapper, rub the perimeter of each wrapper with a wet finger seal, fold (most packages have diagrams), and set aside on a plate. Do the next dozen and repeat until all the filling is used up.
4. Set up your steamer, rub each dumpling with a bit of olive oil, arrange the dumplings in a single layer (being careful not to overlap), and steam for about three minutes - until the dumplings are tender and translucent. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and enjoy.
4. Pan-fry them in just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Cover and cook in a single layer until the bottoms are deeply golden, flip using a metal spatula, cover and cook until the other side is browned.

Makes about 4 dozen dumplings.

The pictures on 101 Cookbooks look so good, you can't help but want to try them. My pictures are just ok - but they tasted great!

Pea/ricotta puree (using my new immersion blender), wonton wrappers - ready to be filled

I added filling to all, then folded each; I folded in half diagonally, then pinched the corners together and folded them over to one side.

Ready to cook ( I had 2 full plates like this from the recipe), pan frying in my new saute pan
The finished product! You can see I overcooked (burned) a few, but they were still good!
The tasty Limoncello cocktail Scott made for me - made with strawberry puree, limoncello, and vodka. Cheers!
For my husband, I also made a modified version of the Tex-Mex Tilapia. Instead of olive oil and lime juice, I used olive oil and lemon juice, and I added some garlic that I grated with my microplane. I let it sit in the oil, juice, and garlic for about 45 minutes (enough time to bathe my girls and put them to bed), then chopped the 4-5 salvageable basil leaves I had lurking in my fridge and added it to the pan with some diced tomato. I pan fried them while the dumplings were cooking. My husband said he liked it - so I'll take his word for it!
* How much do you love my new cookware? I got it last week - my mom sent me $$ for my birthday to buy myself a new set. After looking around ALOT, I decided to go with an Emerilware Stainless Steel 10 pc set. I wanted a hefty bottomed pan, stainless, with a glass lid. The set of Emerilware was at a great price at the PX on Ft. Bragg - and no tax! So I bought it! So far - so good!
**- Sorry about the strange formatting I sometimes have on my posts. I think I need to work out some of the finer points of blogging, or Blogger has some issues. But I find it annoying when some of my post is double spaced, some is single spaced, and when I try to make something normal sized, it still show up as smaller size. Weird.

1 comment:

taste tester1 said...

These dumplings were incredible! I think they were even better the next day!! I highly recommend this one to all. Worth the work (especially if there is a very talented cook doing the work for you;)