Ricotta Dumplings With Crispy Chorizo, Mushrooms and SageNov 30th, 2009 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Cheese, Eggs, Flour, Greek, Greek Wine, Herbs, How To, Main, Michael Psilakis, Olive Oil, Pasta, Recipes, Sausage
It’s less than a month away from Christmas and many of you are in the holiday mode with parties, work functions and thoughts ofÂ Christmas with family and friends.
Some of your early birds have already begun shopping for gifts. The foodie in you (or your friends) always has room for another good cookbook. Why not make it a Greek cookbook? There are a few cookbooks I will recommend for this holiday season but I would like to once again highlight Michael Psilakis’ “How to Roast a Lamb”. The book combines storytelling by Michael and many, many recipes that were inspired by the Greek food Michael ate as a child.
One of Michael’s more popular dishes are his ricotta dumplings, very much likeÂ Gnudi. His dumplings are often ordered from the Kefi menu and after having made my own batch, I now understand the popularity behind these fluffy pillows of cheese. The book includes his Bon Appetit Recipe of the Year (2006) with sausage, dandelions, sun-dried tomato and pine nuts but I’m going to share my own creation, using Michael’s ricotta dumplings.
Here, I slice some dry Chorizo sausage, fry it up until crispy and throw a party in the skillet with some oyster mushrooms, some shallots, garlic and fresh sage. The other cheese used to make the dumplings is a Graviera from Crete. This cheese is firm and moderately briny. A firm Gruyere would work fine as well.
Sage is a hardy herb that resists a light autumn frost and it survives the cold Canadian winter. I have sage in my garden and I recommend you plant some next Spring as well.
Ricotta Dumplings Recipe
(Approx. 30 ricotta dumplings)
150 gr. of fresh ricotta cheese (place in a strainer/sieve to drain if too wet)
chilled all-purpose flour, as much as needed (approx. 50 gr.)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated Graviera cheese (or firm Gruyere)
3/4 tsp. of sea salt
1/2 tsp. of black pepper
all-purpose & semolina flour for the baking sheet
- If you have a wet ricotta (this recipe requires dry fresh ricotta), place the ricotta in a metal sieve with a pot underneath and strain overnight. This way, you will not need as much flour and therefore you will have light and fluffy dumplings.
- Liberally dust your working surface with flour. Assemble all your chilled ingredients. In a large metal bowl, combine the ricotta, beaten egg, grated Graviera, salt and pepper.
- Use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients well and squeeze down on the ricotta to break it up while mixing. Scatter a small handful of flour around the edges of your wet mixture and again with your spatula, gently bring the flour and part of the wet mixture (scoop, lift and overturn) towards the middle. Once everything is mixed, place another handful of flour on your work surface and transfer your dough.
- With a light hand, add some flour to the top of your dough and lightly work the flour (pressing)Â into the mixture. Keep on adding flour (slowly and lightly) until the mixture holds together and it is no longer tacky (sticky).
- Cut the dough in half and again in half, leaving you with four equal pieces. Treat your hands with flour and roll the dough into a sausage that is about 3/4 inch thick. Now cut into 1-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet that has a bed of some mixed all-purposeÂ and semolina flour. Your dumplings will look like small pillows.
- Chill the dumplings for an hour before cooking.
NOTE: Michael Psilakis’ original recipe is for 90 dumplings. Increase this recipe 3-fold to make a large batch. To freeze, lay out on flour & semolina covered baking sheets and keep them out (uncovered) room temperature forÂ 6 hours before freezing in zip-lock bags. Good for a month.
Ricotta Dumplings With Crispy Chorizo, Mushrooms and Sage
1/2 a dried Chorizo sausage (or 1/2 cup) thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 shallots (or 1/2 cup) finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of Oyster mushrooms, hand torn (or fresh mushrooms of your choice)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
1 tsp. of fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. of fresh sage, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
1 cup of baby spinach, washed and patted dry
salt and pepper to taste
Shaved Graviera cheese (Romano would also work well)
- Place a large pot of boiling water on your stove-top over high heat. Bring to a boil and add a good amount of salt. When the water returns to a boil, add your dumplings. If fresh, the dumplings will be cooked when they float to the top (a matter of 3-4 minutes). Frozen dumplings will take a litter longer to cook.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add your mushroom and sliced Chorizo (but no oil). Saute your Chorizo and mushrooms until until they take on a nut-brown colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- In the same skillet, add your olive oil over medium heat and add your shallots and garlic and saute while stirring for about 3-4 minutes. Now add the wine, your fresh thyme, sage and reduce on medium-low until the liquid has reduced to half. Add your Chorizo and mushroom and toss to coat. Season with some salt and pepper and reserve and keep warm.
- As soon as your dumplings have cooked, use a slotted spoon to scoop and transfer the dumplings to the skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat, add the spinach and toss to coat the dumplings with the sauce and to slightly wilt the spinach.
- Divide and plate. Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil, crack some fresh pepper over each serving and finish with shavings of Graviera (or Romano) cheese. Serve with a Chardonnay, like the Babatzim Chardonnay.
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or atÂ http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
Â© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis
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© 2009, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.