Saturday, June 13, 2009

Daring Cooks/Dumplings

So, when this post is posted, I will probably still be dancing away at the wedding I am going to this weekend. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have learned how to post-date posting. So far the word post has appeared five times in this post (6). At least I will be dancing because seriously after all the dumplings I have made and ate this week, I am starting to look like one.


This month's Daring Cook's Challenge was hosted by Jen at Use Real Butter. And boy, did she pick a challenge. Aside from the fact that I really have no experience in dumpling making, nor have I ever watched anyone make a dumpling, we also had to make the wrappers ourselves. Jen obviously gave us perfect instructions on how to make and fold them, but I still faced some challenges determining how thick they should be. I ended up making them twice, because the first time the dough yielded about 10 dumplings, with absurdly thick wrappers, so I knew that wasn't right. When I finally understood (I think) what 1/16th of an inch means I got the hang of rolling and wrapping pretty fast.


We had creative license on the filling, but I wanted to try to stick to Asian or Asian-inspired flavors. That is not easy in Italy, where the supermarket doesn't even have a foreign foods aisle, so I made the pork potstickers that Jen suggested. I am very glad I did. They were perfect, my hands still smell like garlic and onions from all the chopping, but they are worth it. Tender and flavorful, I finally got my Asian food fix, which totally surprised me because I really have very little experience making Asian food. Although I am surprisingly good at eating it.
Speaking of surprising, in my rice pudding post I mentioned that there was a super top-secret surprise coming your way. Drumroll please. For this challenge, I took my creative license to another level and decided to make a sweet dumpling, a Coconut-Ginger Rice Pudding Dumpling with passion fruit curd to be exact. This was a bigger surprise than I expected, because even though I theoretically knew what was coming, I actually had no idea. These plump little rice pudding clouds exploded in my mouth. The passion fruit curd was the ideal contrast to the creaminess of the pudding, and complemented its coconut and ginger undertones. I cannot wait to make them again for someone other than myself, not only because I practically ate all of them myself, but also because they are so good that I just want to share the love.


Recipes:

• For the dumplings visit Use Real Butter, Jen has all the info there and great step-by-step photos and instructions.
• For the Rice Pudding, Coconut Ginger Rice Pudding

Passion Fruit Curd
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

3 large egg yolks, strained
Zest of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup passion fruit juice (I pressed the inside of about 6 passion fruits in a sieve, to yield this)
6 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

1) Combine yolks, zest, juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
2) Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is smooth.
3) Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour. Store refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.

20 comments:

Kiara said...

Ooooh, rice pudding...that's such a good idea for a filling for these.
I just might have to jack the idea from you :P

Anula said...

Nice presentation of your dumplings :) Look delicious!

singinghorse said...

Beautiful pleating! A combination of rice pudding and dumpling wrappers sounds like such a tasty idea. Congrats!

Megan said...

Your sweet dumplings are so creative. They look beautiful... and tasty!

Bumblebutton said...

Gosh I love your creativity. Know what you mean about looking like a dumpling...what a fun challenge, beautifully executed!

Mary said...

Your dumplings look delicious. Congratulations on a challenge well done.

lisamichele said...

OMG!!!! My little apple dumplings are NOTHING compared to a Coconut-Ginger Rice pudding filled dumpling with a passion fruit curd! That is a DREAM dessert dumpling and SO creative - something you'd find on upscale restaurant dessert menu! I'm in love and awe and bookmarking this! Bravo on an amazingly well done and ingenius dumpling challenge!

Sarah said...

The sweet dumplings are such a cool idea, and the passionfruit curd looks so delicious! My Mum bought me a jar last year and it was so good I just ate it with a spoon! I'll give it a try! I've just got to figure out if they're in season here... I agree with the other comments, so creative, I would have been to scared to try!

Chris said...

Love the combo in the sweet dumpling! Great idea! And yeah, it took a little practice getting the dough-folding right, but now we are all old pros. :)

jenncuisine said...

I love the idea of the passion fruit curd, that sounds simply divine! Beautiful dumplings!

Melissa said...

Mmmmm passion fruit dumplings - I bet those are good! Great job with your dumplings!

Audax said...

Coconut-Ginger Rice Pudding Dumpling with passion fruit curd WOW very creative and what excellent pixs also - seems like you had a ball and the pleating is super. Cheers. Hope the dancing well went.

Rose said...

Passion Fruit Curd - YUM!!! This sounds delicious! Well done =) Hope you danced the night away!

climbhighak said...

I had to laugh at the fact there isn't a foreign food isle in the markets of Italy. Why would would you want to eat food from somewhere else?

Jen Yu said...

Oh wow, you are such a cutie! I cannot imagine what your first attempt might have looked like since your second try looks fantastic - I mean FLAWLESS. And the dessert version is beautiful. Passion fruit curd? Color me jealous, I loooove passion fruit (with a passion!). Hope you had a great wedding and perhaps you should open up your own dumpling shop in Italy? :)

Shirley said...

That passionfruit curd is calling me!

ice tea: sugar high said...

rice pudding dumpling.. What a brilliant idea! Well done

Evan said...

Wow. A very original combination. I'm salivating at the thought of rice pudding dumplings and passion fruit curd.

~Madeline~ said...

Wow, how wonderfully creative! I never would have thought of a rice pudding dumpling, ever. Thanks for the inspiration!

Justine said...

your checkerboard cookies are beautiful and the dumpling is so creative