Monday, January 25, 2010

Scarborough Fair dumplings

The worst of our cold seems to be over. I say this with confidence in January because the cold snap earlier this month is the worst this area has seen in well over a decade. It lasted so long that I was scraping the bottom of the cookbook; it has been a long time since I have needed a warm-me-up dinner more than three nights in a row.  One of those cold nights I made Scarborough Fair Dumplings.

I am fairly certain that you can guess the primary ingredients used in these dumplings. There is the standard dumpling: flour, egg, water, baking powder & the Scarborough Fair bit: parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme.  The beauty of these dumplings is that they can make a pot of plain boiling vegetable stock more interesting (although I would probably add some chopped carrots & white wine to make things more interesting).

- get out a big bowl & a sifter that can hold at least two cups.  Put the sifter in the bowl.

- into the sifter put 1/2 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder & 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.  Start sifting.

- when the ingredients in the  sifter volume are about half what they were, add a second 1/2 cup of flour (for a total of 1 cup of flour).  Sift until they content are again about 1/2 what they were.

- into the sifter put in dried parsley, dried sage, dried rosemary & dried thyme.  In my view a little rosemary goes a long way, ditto sage although a bit more is OKay, parsley is as nothing & thyme is my favorite so I tend to dump it in there.  If you must have proportions,: 4 parts parsley, 3 parts thyme, 2 parts sage & 1 part rosemary.

- sift until there is nothing left to sift.  Rub the big chunks through the mesh with your fingers if you have to.

- break an egg into a not-less-than-2-cups liquid measuring cup.  Add fluid to the 1 & 1/4 cup mark.  What you use is really up to you.  I have made them with water when I needed something pareve, but they were not so fluffy as when I have made them with milk.

- add the liquid to the large bowl of sifted ingredients.  Mix by hand.

- roll the dough into balls.  Bring your soup to a simmer.

- drop dumplings into broth.  Simmer covered for not less than ten minutes.

- serve immediately.

This is an easy recipe to prepare in the afternoon & then leave the dumplings resting for even several hours.  Then you can put it all together just before it gets to the table.

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