11 June 2008

sweet pea.

Yay! It's Pea Dumpling time!

I'm sorry for my absence in the past two weeks. I was running on a huge lack of sleep from press checks for work and a really fun but really hot trip to New York City. It is really difficult to sleep when you feel like you are on fire. Just so you know.

Anyhoo... on to the peas. I saw this recipe on 101 Cookbooks and new immediately that I had found a home for the bag of frozen peas that had been living in my freezer for a while. I was so excited about making these I just can't express it! A quick and simple filling and pre-made won ton wrappers. Easy, right? Well... don't get your hopes up. Filling these suckers is a task. And your counter gets kind of gummy from the water/flour-ness of things. But it really is worth it. I made a double batch and have had them in the freezer ready to pop in a pan at a moments notice.

Plump Pea Dumpling Recipe
101 Cookbooks
The instructions here are for steaming the dumplings, but I prefered pan-frying them. Use just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Cover and cook in a single layer until the bottoms are deeply golden, flip, cover and cook until the other side is browned. I really liked the crispy skin that is created from the frying.

2 cups (about 10 ounces) cups peas (freshly shelled or frozen)
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
scant 1/2 tea spoon fine grain sea salt
1 small shallot, minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
zest of one large lemon

1 package of wonton wrappers, or round wrappers

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Salt the water (as you would pasta water) and add the peas. Cook until bright green in color and puffy, about a minute if the peas were frozen, less if you started with fresh ones.
Drain the peas and run under cold water for one minute to stop the cooking.

With a food processor (or hand blender) blend the peas, ricotta cheese, olive oil, and salt into a puree. I like a bit of texture, so I don't go too far. Return the mixture to a big bowl and stir in the shallots, Parmesan, and lemon zest. Taste. Add more salt if needed.

Fill the dumplings using an assembly line technique - a dozen at a time (for the most part following the instructions on the wrapper packaging). Place twelve wrappers out on the counter, drop a very scant teaspoon of filling onto each wrapper, rub the perimeter of each wrapper with a wet finger seal, fold (most packages have diagrams), and set aside on a plate. Do the next dozen and repeat until all the filling is used up.

Set up your steamer, rub each dumpling with a bit of olive oil, arrange the dumplings in a single layer (being careful not to overlap), and steam for about three minutes - until the dumplings are tender and transluscent. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and enjoy.

Makes about 4 dozen dumplings.

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