Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Tryout Tuesday: a recipe edition

On the Tuesdays that we don't go scope out new restaurants, I've resolved to try new recipes. (A creature of habit, I seem to respond well to regularly scheduled programming.) The pile of old cooking magazines tagged with Post-It notes and a burgeoning cookbook collection (though it can't touch my mom's 300+ hoard) are crying out to be stained, splattered, and generally used.

The first dish of the series may or may not exactly count, because I've made the recipe once before. But it was a long time ago and this time I made it rather differently.

Here's the original recipe, swiped from the evah-so-handy epicurious (whose redesign is leaps and bounds better than the old one):

1/2 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon (generous) baking powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Whisk pumpkin, egg, salt, nutmeg and baking powder in large bowl to blend. Mix in flour (dough will be soft). Dip a spoon into boiling water to moisten & scoop up dough to drop in water. Boil dumpling until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to colander and drain. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add dumplings. Sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer dumplings to bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
It was good this way, but I liked my revised way better. First off, I used fresh pumpkin. Believe it or not, I happened to have some in the fridge: last week, I baked a whole sugar pumpkin, mostly to see what happened, since I couldn't cut through the skin without fearing for my life. It cooked, I scooped, and that's all there was to it.

I used whole-wheat flour and didn't measure it once. I'm sure I used much more than the recipe called for. I just kept adding big spoonfuls at a time, and mixed until it looked dumpling-worthy, i.e. when the dough pulls away from the sides (this was the first time that description actually made sense to me ... I must be learning something from all those times I've watched Foodgoat make dumplings). No nutmeg, as Foodgoat dislikes it, but did use pepper, paprika, and parsley, which means I have half of a cutesy girl band. I used olive oil instead of butter, and forgot all about the cheese. Otherwise, the technique was the same.

The pumpkin dumplings actually turned out quite well. The whole-wheat flour gave it a nuttier sort of taste, and the pumpkin and savory spices went well with the fried kielbasa sausage. We had a fine photo but the camera didn't think so, since it corrupted it and refused to give it up.

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