You may have clicked on this link, thinking I was referring to Marilyn Monroe. I'm not. But don't go away--this is even better.
Because I'm talking about an even MORE glamorous, even MORE mysterious, knock-out gorgeous lady. That's right, folks: I'm talking about my grandmother, Marilyn Moskowitz.
Full disclosure: I am pretty sure my grandmother never actually made kreplach (Eastern European dumplings, boiled or fried, filled with either meat or cheese). Traditional kreplach are pretty work-intensive, as you must mix, roll and cut the dough, and make the filling from scratch. Grandma's kitchen style tended toward the less-is-more school of thought, when it came to prep. Once, when I was about twelve years old, I watched her cover a lasagna with pre-shredded cheese. I had never seen bagged, shredded cheese before.
"How come you don't grate it yourself?" I inquired.
"Because, sweetheart, I have better things to do with my time than grate cheese," she answered, pinching my cheek. I saw her point: spending time with me was definitely more fun than grating a block of mozzarella.
Though my approach tends to be the opposite of hers (I'd rather do more work and spend less money), I've had Grandma on my mind recently, so I decided to take the Marilyn approach to homemade kreplach: fresh, simple filling made from cooked chicken, onions, garlic, parsley, dill, salt and pepper stuffed into eggy dumpling wrappers, rather than the traditional fresh, eggy, time-consuming noodle dough. I floated them in simple, seasoned chicken broth with a bit of sliced, wilted kale, and nobody suspected the meal was made from anything less than scratch.
Wasn't she beautiful? My grandfather was a looker too.
The recipe is easy. First, you mix up the filling:
Then put a little on a dumpling wrapper:
Dab some water on the edges, then fold one side in like so, making sure to seal tightly:
Seal all the edges so it looks like this:
Make a bunch:
Cook them in chicken broth with sliced kale:
Ladle it up:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Pantry
- 1/2 medium onion, diced $0.50
- 1 1/2 lbs cooked, chopped chicken $3.50
- 1 clove garlic, minced Pantry
- 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped $1 for a bunch
- 2 sprigs fresh dill, chopped $1 for a bunch
- salt and pepper to taste Pantry
- flour, for rolling Pantry
- 24 dumpling wrappers $1.50
- 2 quarts chicken broth $4
- 3-4 stalks Lacinato kale, stem removed, sliced thinly $1.50 for a bunch
Recipe Serves 4-6
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and cook for 7-8 minutes, until soft and very fragrant.
- In a food processor, combine the cooked onion, chicken, garlic, parsley and dill.
- Pulse a few times, just until combined.
- Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
- Flour a flat, clean surface and set the dumpling wrappers along with a little bowl of water on it.
- Lightly flour a clean platter or baking sheet for the finished kreplach.
- Dab the edges of a dumpling wrapper with water.
- Form the kreplach as pictured above.
- Set the completed kreplach on the floured plate.
- Repeat until all dumplings have been formed.
- Heat the chicken broth in a large pot over high heat.
- Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the pot and bring the broth to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer.
- Add the sliced kale.
- Drop the kreplach into the simmering broth, and cook for 7-9 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through.
- Ladle into bowls (make sure to divide the kreplach and kale evenly).
- Serve hot.