Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dumpling Dogmatism

We made jiaozi, savory boiled dumplings, last night. The recipe came from Beyond the Great Wall Recipes and Travels in the Other China by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugiud, which I have on Interlibrary loan, this book may end up being purchased, because I'm going to hate to part with it.

I like the recipes in this book because the authors stressed that there were as many ways of making noodles and dumplings as there are cooks who make them. Often, I find recipes about regional cuisine dogmatic, "This is the only way that these are made!" This always puts me off, I have an Italian cookbook with perfectly good recipes in it that I rarely use, because of the "my way or the highway" tone of the author. Even within my very small family there are numerous versions of the basic family recipes, each person adds their own personality to it.

The dumplings (pork and leek and pork and carrot) took quite a while to assemble, but they weren't difficult. Next time, I will set up to make them at the kitchen table instead of standing at the counter. (Who decided that ceramic tiles for a kitchen floor are a good thing??? They kill my feet and legs, and they are slippery when wet...but, I digress.) I substituted green onions for the leeks in the recipe, because they were what I had on hand, otherwise I followed the recipe. They were very good, but a tad salty, which for me, can be a plus.

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