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This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Recipe Fusion -- Collard Pot Liquor Dumplings

This is my version of a Soup Dumpling with Pot Liquor
When last we met, I was hard at work on a complex recipe that was a fusion of Chinese dim sum and a staple of southern food. Nothing in this dish can be called Asian cuisine. It is the method that is the fusion.

The joy of a Xiaolongbao or soupdumpling is that when it is eaten, delicious, hot soup floods the mouth along with the filling. The stock is very slowly cooked from bones so that it is gelatinous when chilled. The filling along with a cube of gelled stock is placed on the dumpling dough and gently wrapped with it. When the dumpling is steamed, the stock melts and mingles with the filling. Additionally there is a sauce that further enhances the eating experience.

Properly gelatinous pot liquor.
I had decided that a well made spoonful of greens with the pot liquor and a sliver of the smoked turkey wing it was cooked with would be a great single spoonful example of how I cook. I realized while Anthony Bourdain was having a foodgasm over a soup dumpling while visiting Taipei that I could wrap that spoonful of food in a dumpling and that would be awesome. Further, that dumpling would be made from the same rolled dough recipe from Southern Chicken and Dumplings. That way, the dish is entirely Southern with an international spin.

It's been taking me a while to get to the point of assembling everything, because of my physical limitations. I also had to shop for some equipment and supplies over a period of time. I've done a photo blog of sorts with the three major steps of putting together the dumplings. One step I didn't bother with detailing since I used an existing recipe save for one extra ingredient. I have a link to each of the photo blog at the top of each section.

Part One – Poultry Stock

I say poultry stock because it can be either chicken or turkey or both, as I did here. I used raw turkey wings (as opposed to smoked) and chicken feet. Chicken feet makes for a very gelatinous stock even though the little feet do freak me out a little. The rest of the ingredients are vegetables like onions, carrots, celery and garlic along with thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf. After roasting the poultry for about 45 minutes to an hour (skin should be golden), chuck them into a big, deep stock pot with the vegetables and other stuff. Cover everything with water. Use a plate to make sure all the ingredients stay submerged. Cover and bring to just before a boil. Turn down to a low simmer and let it go for 4 to 6 hours. Cool to room temperature then strain. The stock can be used at that point or refrigerated. Freeze if it is going to be sitting around for more than three days.

Part Two – Collard Greens

http://dlwarner.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_7478.html  Photo Blog Part Two – Braised Collards

It's hard to give amounts, because the bunches are different sizes depending upon whether or not the leaves are baby or big. I generally do 3 to 4 bunches to one smoked turkey wing. I did two wings to have more smoked meat for the filling. First you trim the leaves of big stems (if they are big leaves). Then, slice them into thin-ish strips. I like them thin to eat and they are better for the filling. Then, soaked them in a deep sink or gigantic bowl of cold water. Rinse and drain them. While they drain, slice the large onion into thin slices. Saute the onion in a large, heavy pot in a couple tablespoons of oil. I use olive oil, but vegetable oil works. Add the garlic. I use a whole head of roasted garlic. If it's raw, use three cloves that are mince finely. When the onion softens a little, add two cups of stock and the turkey wing(s). Simmer in the pot with a lid on it for 30 minutes. Add the greens. I simmer them until they are very, very tender – about 90 minutes. That's me. I like them that way, and they work for the filling. Separate the greens from the liquid and the wings. Put them in containers and refrigerate. If the pot liquor is successful, it can be cut into cubes.

Part Three – Dumpling Dough

I wanted this dish to be truly Southern, so the dough recipe is from a chicken and dumpling dough. That goes very well with the poultry based pot liquor. I Googled rolled chicken and dumplings. The recipes were pretty much the same. The only thing I did differently was add two teaspoons of thyme to the dough, because the chicken and dumplings I had as a child contained thyme. I rested the dough for 30 minutes before rolling it out. I rolled the dough to 1/8 of an inch or thinner and cut them into squares. I didn't have a biscuit cutter, and I am not good at making dumpling pleats. I chilled the squares for 30 minutes before assembling. Wonton wrappers will work fine instead of dumplings.

Part Four – Assembling

Stage the ingredients as the photos show. Keep the dough squares chilled until you are ready to assemble everything. The it's turkey first. I used smoked turkey breast I bought online as well as the turkey wings I cooked with the greens. Use only about a teaspoon. I think shredding will work better than the block I used. Next, is a teaspoon of greens. Finally, a two teaspoon block of pot liquor. It must be chilled to work! Quickly wet the edges of the dough with a brush or a finger and pinch the edges together. I placed the finished dumpling on squares of parchment paper in the steamer. Steam for 10 minutes.


The idea for the sauce came from my father. He liked hot pickled peppers and a little of the pickling liquid in his greens. He's also sometimes slice tomatoes into his greens. So, I did a pickled hot pepper sauce and a Japanese pickled tomato with rice wine vinegar that was sweet. Just Google Quick pickled peppers and quick pickled cherry tomatoes repectively for recipes. They are all similar.

The Result
The pot liquor melts during the steaming, so there is a lovely mouthful of that with the greens and the smoked turkey. The dumpling with the vinegar sauce makes it taste like a whole bowl of comfort food in one bite. It is extraordinary! So far, the dumplings still steam beautifully after two days of hanging out in the fridge. I really want to entertain with them to get some other opinions.

My first, completely original idea for a dish! I am beyond jazzed.

More updates on my writing and other things next time.

Stay Tuned.

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