Monday, July 20, 2009

kreplach vs dim sum

I started making kreplach when I was 4! The first attempt ended in me almost dying when I fell off a broken chair and grabbed the pot of boiling water on my way down. The Polish neighbor who was assisting me, grabbed a towel and pulled all the skin off my burned leg and I ended up going through several skin graft operations and treatments as I could no longer walk. But I didn't lose my love of kreplach. My aunt Fanny was a real kreplach maker but hers wern't very tasty unlike my aunt Dora's who was a great Roumanian cook. She taught me to use the best cheese I could find. One day we were driving in Winnipeg Lake beach where she had a summerhome. She pointed out a cow in a backyard and we stopped to buy some cheese from the cow's owner. The cheese was still warm. It made probably the best cheese kreplach I've ever tasted. After that it was a very long time until I could really make a decent kreplach. I think my dear sister Bev still can't do it. But then she's been wasting all these years working as a doctor.

In the following recipe I write how I roll out the dough. It wasn't like that before I saw how they do it in Kowloon. The traditional POlish or Jewish way of perogie or kreplach making is to take at least half the dough and roll it out into a big rectangle with a regular big rolling pin. The dough is rolled out to be quite thin. Then a glass or cup is used to make circles throughout the rectangle. The glass has to be coated on the bottom with some flour so it won't stick to the dough. The major problem is that a lot of the dough is left after all the circles are made and this dough is used again. The next time the dough is much tougher and drier so it's a difficult job. It also takes longer and the dough just isn't the same on this new batch.

In Kowloon I was waiting outside a dimsum restaurant and in the window there were some Chinese chefs making the dough for dim sum. They took pinches of dough and rolled each one out separately for one dim sum and they used a small rolling pin. I couldn't find it in Hongkong but I did actually find it in Israel. I explained this method to a Ukrainian friend who also makes kreplach and she switched to my way also.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

red pepper pickled

1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3 or 4 cloves or clove spice
black pepper optional
Bring to boil. Add 2 red peppers cut up and cook about 4 minutes. Serve with chicken.

kreplach recipe

My kreplach recipe is very low salt but you can add salt if you want to the dough or to the boiling water or after; however, try it this way as it's very tasty.
Begin by boiling 2 large pans filled with water.
2 cups flour
1/3 cup cold water
1 egg
Add part of the water to the flour and egg in a food processer and continue adding water slowly until the dough begins to move as one piece (rather violenty too)
If you have too watery a dough, just continue to knead it with more flour.
Put aside and make the filling.

Cheese filling:
200 grams or 8 oz of low salt white cheese. Can be farmer's cheese. My cheese is about 50mg salt in 100 grams of cheese.
sugar to taste (up to 3 TBSP)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 heaping TBSP sour cream (I use low fat 9%)
Mix all but the egg and taste. when taste is right, then add a beaten egg and mix well.

Blueberry or fruit fillings:
Fruit plus sugar
cinamon optional
Cornflour if watery.

The pictures below show my small rolling pin.put flour on a level surface. I take a large pinch of dough and roll it into a circle about 2-3" in diameter. Roll fairly thin and then add cheese or fruit (small amount). I usually fold the circle over once and pinch up the edges. This technically is called perogie. To make kreplach, continue and take two corners and pinch them together.Be very careful that the dough is well sealed especially if the filling is fruit.

Add about 10 kreplach to the boiling water and after they all have reached the top of the pan, continue cooking about 10 minutes and then remove into a strainer. You might want to lower the heat while it's cooking and don't cover.

For cheese I like melted butter (unsalted of course) and a little sour cream. For fruit, you might want to put a little sugar on each one. Taste first.

kreplach, cheese and blueberry

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Diakeito crochet

I spent several hours today figuring out the pattern in the Diakeito magazine shown here (cover is the project). The yarn is Dialien and it's a beautiful pastel ribbon. Color is LE 605. I think it's a linen, cotton blend. The ball is 35 grams and is 123 m. The pattern calls for 230 grams so I have enough too. I began with the "magic loop" and then went on to make 2 hexagons and connect them. To my amazement I was spot on gauge which almost never happens to me. The hook is a Japanese 2.0 which is called for in the pattern.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

cucumber salad

This recipe from my old Betty Crocker book.
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 TB sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper.
Slice cucumbers into bowl and add rest of ingredients. refrigerate 3 hours.
6 servings, 10 calories per serving