Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Skin Deep

Dumplings are one of those weird cultural overlaps. Depending on shape and a minimum of spicing variety, a mix of essentially similar ingredients can be called by any number of different names and claimed by any number of food traditions. For instance, I have just steamed in my (Chinese) bamboo steamer some little wrapped pockets whose filling I would think of under other circumstances as Italian (peas, onions, ricotta, parmesan, salt & pepper). In fact, I wound up wrapping them mostly in tortellini shapes, which Marcella Hazan is helping me get much better at. But, on the other hand, they were wrapped in wonton wrappers, and I did eat them straight from the steamer. I saved the other half to try in a pasta-type sauce.

These so-called dumplings are a recipe from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks, another blogger whose scope and activity make me look just like the amateur I am. But as to cooking, these made me feel more like a pro. They're incredibly simple, and incredibly good.

Update: 5/19/08, made these again and added basil and walnuts. Basil is, as usual, a very good idea.

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