Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Every Culture Has Their Little Dumplings

Winter pierogi, soooo good.
The word dumpling that we use comes from the UK somewhere about early 17th century.  Dumplings make me think of a couple different things.  They make me think of sweathearts.  They make me think of the Dirty South, chicken and gravy.  They make me think of soup Chesha (aunt in Polish) taught my mother to make.  They make me think of pierogi!  
At the Farmers' Markets it seems that there is about a good 20% percent of people who do that little dog head turn when they read the word pierogi scribbled on my chalkboard.  I just say "it's a noodle stuffed with goodies, you boil, saute in fat of your choice and serve."  The goodies I use are for the most part entirely seasonal for the few exceptions, which are usually beer braised lamb (lately I been using Dynamo from Metropolitian Brewing for the braise and most of the time, especially in the summer months the lamb I use is Mint Creek Farms), white bean and parmesan, Yukon gold potato and Wisconsin cheddar, and truffle oil and mushroom.  In the later months of summer I make elotes pierogi with corn from Twin Gardens Farms and other locals and in the fall I use squash from Genesis Farms or Green Acre Farms to make a squash and pie spice.  I try to have a lot of fun with these dumplings because it is tedious work and takes many many hours to put them together when they are all handcrafted.  
Some of my favorite dumplings are the Chinese potstickers.  I also love gnocchi, Italian dumplings which are so easy to make and perfect around these winter months with all the left over mashed potatoes you might have in the fridge.  And shout outs to Indian samosas, Japanese Gyozas, German damphfnudel, and Mexican tamales!

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