Czech macro meal: Dumplings with root vegetable sauce

It cannot get more Czech than dumplings, really. When I look into Czech macro cookbooks, whether printed or online, there are always several dumpling recipes. And dumplings go in most cases together with sauce, usually a thick creamy one. And sometimes even with some “meat-like” protein ­čśÇ And/or sauerkraut ­čśÇ Well, I had a bit of all of these in this kinda festive meal…

The dumplings were my very first ones so there is room for improvement, most definitely. I struggled a bit… :-p But next time all will be easier and there will probably follow an improved version! But I think they were quite good… I had a cup of leftover rice with sweet rice, which I pureed in a blender with water (just enough to make blending possible) until I got a creamy porridge-like consistency. Then I added a big pinch of salt followed by a couple of spoons of brown rice flour and spelt flour and some fine oat flakes…and kept adding…and adding…until I got a rather tough firm dough which would not anymore stick like crazy to my hands ­čśÇ It took more flour than I thought…I can┬┤t give any exact measurement, sorry, you have to see for yourselves. I formed two big “sausages” of dough and placed them into a pot with boiling water with a pinch of salt. It is important to keep the water at a rolling boil. It takes about 20 minutes for the dumplings to get cooked, depending on size and consistency. Watch that they don┬┤t get stuck to the bottom (I had to lift mine carefully from the bottom with a spoon). They are cooked through once they float on the surface of the water. But check by cutting one of the rolls, the inside should not be too mushy or raw, but should have a spongey texture with some air holes, more like a bread roll. Cut the dumplings into 1 cm thick rounds with a sharp knife (you will need to hold them in place on the cutting board with a fork) or with a thread (traditional Czech method…) or (if you are a better equipped Czech person) with a dumpling cutter ­čśÇ

I think that next time I will: not use sweet rice (it gets too sticky in the dough), not blend the grains in the blender (the grains get too liquid and then you need a lot of flour to make a firm dough)… But you learn by experiment.

For the sauce I sauteed small chunks of onion, carrot, parsley root and celery root, on a small amount of water with a pinch of salt, covered by a lid. I blended the veggies into a puree in a blender and returned to the pot. I thickened the sauce with 1 tsp of arrowroot starch dissolved in a tiny amount of cold water (use a whisk to stir it in) and for flavour added 1 tsp of dark miso, 1/2 tsp natural mustard, a pinch of dried thyme and a dash of lemon juice.

As a “meat” I served cubes of smoked tofu “fried” on 1 tbsp of mirin (I don┬┤t use oil at the moment, so mirin does the job quite well :-D). I also made quick sauerkraut by sauteeing shredded white cabbage with a bit of water, 1/2 tbsp of mirin and 1 tbsp of ume plum vinegar, under a lid, for about half an hour.

 

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Filed under Complete meals, Grain dishes, Recipes, Sauces, Tofu and tempeh dishes

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