Drop Dumplings & Summer Stew

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Drop dumplings are one of those things that takes me back to my childhood. My mama grew up in rural Pennsylvania. My papi grew up with a Puerto Rican mother and German father who moved to the United States from their homes to make a new one. And while there are many people who would say the Puerto Rico is the United States….lets just say it doesn’t always feel that way if you grew up on the island.

 

Mama grew up on soul food, Amish food, and all things white/brown/starchy/filling. My papi’s father Billy loved German food but also 50’s style American food. Heavy/white/brown/starchy/filling. Between these two dumplings were a part of my life from childhood. And I didn’t discriminate. I loved all types of dumplings. From every culture. I couldn’t get enough of that starch life – which has stayed with me into adulthood.

 

During my pregnancy -that is still going on- I had a craving for all things German/Eastern European. Borsch. Dumplings. Pierogi. Sauerkraut. Basically lovely fermented/pickled tastes paired with starchy heavy ones. This dish is no exception. The summer stew is a tomato and lemon juice broth based stew. I threw in some lovely green veggies, and some white beans for protein. After the stew was ready I made a batch of dumpling dough, dropped them in, and allowed them to steam on top of the stew until they were ready. Finally I ladled out this zippy/starchy goodness into a little bowl and went to town.

 

The dumpling recipe I’ll include below can be used in conjunction with the stew recipe of without it. As I mentioned I love pairing drop dumplings with zippy or sour tasting stew/soup. But you could just as easily add these dumplings to another type of soup/stew you love – creamy, bland, spicy, you do you! Be sure the soup/stew tastes just right before adding the dumplings – you can always add a lil more broth or water to your stew/soup to account for liquid lost while the dumplings steam.

 

Summer Stew

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

~1 tablespoon olive oil

~himalayan pink salt or sea salt

~1 sweet onion, diced

~1 medium red pepper, diced small

~4 cloves garlic, minced

~2 cups curly kale, diced small w/out stems*

~1 can crushed tomatoes

~1 tablespoons date paste (or sweetener of choice OPTIONAL)

~1 large lemon, juiced

~3 small zucchini, chopped into bite sized pieces

~1 can white beans drained & rinsed OR about 2 cups white beans cooked

*Note: It can be nice to keep your kale stems and add them to smoothies during the week. Whenever I make soup/salad/yummy food that has kale, I simply remove the stems. Then I wash them and throw them into a container I keep in the fridge to make a smoothie with later that day. If you are not quite the kale enthusiast and might only use it in your smoothies occasionally then keep them in a sealed container in your freezer so they have a longer shelf life.

 

Directions:

1) Grab a large pot, that has a top, and place it on your stove. Turn the heat on to medium or medium/low for a minute or two. Once the pan has heated up add your oil and onions.  Sprinkle a light layer of salt over your onions, mix everything together well, and place the top on your pot. Allow the onions to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly to keep them browning evenly. If you find that you don’t have enough oil you can either add more or deglaze the pan by splashing a little water in there and mixing the onions around to get rid of any darkening thats happening in your pan.

2) Once the onions have cooked for about 10-15 minutes remove the top, add your peppers, a sprinkle of salt, mix everything together, and cook for another 10 minutes with the top on. Stir the peppers/onions regularly to keep them browning evenly – repeat the same style of cooking you used with the onions so we end up with lovely caramelized vegetables. These first two steps will create the flavor base of your stew and keep you from needing to add heaps of broth, salt, and other flavor enhancers.

3) Remove the top from your pot. Cook for 3 minutes longer stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic, a tiny pinch of salt, and stir together. Cook for about 1-2 minutes stirring regularly or until you can smell the garlic. Add the rest of your ingredients and about 12oz of water to these veggies. Stir everything together well. Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer with the top on your pot -slightly lifted to allow steam to escape- for about 20 minutes stirring every 5-8 minutes or so. If you are making dumplings I recommend making the dumpling dough now while the stew is simmering for 20 minutes.

4) Once those 20 minutes are up taste your stew – add more lemon juice or salt if it isn’t zippy enough. Taste again until you find something that is just right for you. At this point you can either eat your stew or add your dumplings. Serve fresh and hot.

 

Drop Dumplings

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

~1 1/2 cups gluten free, self rising flour

~2 teaspoons good quality baking powder

~1/2 teaspoon salt*

~4 tablespoons buttery spread

~1 large egg**

~1/2 cup warm water from the tap

*Note: Be sure that your self rising gluten free flour doesn’t have salt in it. If there is salt in your flour blend then reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon.

Note**: I used this Egg Replacer and followed the directions on the box for 1 whole egg. You can use a similar product and follow the directions on the box or use an alternative that you feel comfortable with.

 

Directions:

1) Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Using a fork mix everything together well. If you have the time/patience you can also sift these ingredients together.

2) Cut your buttery spread into the flour/baking powder/salt mixture until it looks like there are crumbs.

3) Whip your egg and about 1/2 cup warm water from the tap for 1 minute. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients then add the egg/water solution to your mixing bowl. Mix with a rubber spatula until the dough just barely comes together. The dough will look kind of messy or ‘shaggy’.

4) Make sure you have your stew or broth simmering on the stove – be sure to add 1/2 cup water to your stew/broth to account for moisture lost while these dumplings cook/steam. Once it is simmering drop the dumpling dough by the spoonful into the pot until all your dough is used up. Cook on low for 10 minutes. Then give the bottom of your pot a gentle stir, put the top on, and simmer for another 15 minutes.

5) Be sure to taste the broth/stew adding anything extra you desire before serving. Serve hot ‘n’ fresh and enjoy!

 

As always if you have questions or need help with substitutions feel free to reach out to me via the CONTACT tab above or scroll all the way down and click on the Instagram icon to get me there. It takes a little longer than it used to for me to respond to emails/messages but I promise I’ll get to you as soon as possible. I hope your week is going well!

 

Much Luv, Laters

 

 

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