Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Kreplach – Dumplings Are Work, But Deliver in Loving Memories

September 17th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Years ago, at the legendary Grossinger’s Catskills Resort, kreplach, a type of filled dumpling, were served to guests at the resort before Yom Kippur. The holy day is a day of fasting and atonement for Jews around the world.

Kreplach are filling – so would carry the diners over till the next meal.

The origins of the dumpling with relation to the holiday s are “nebulous” according to Rabbi Edward David of the Young Israel of Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale. “They taste good.” Reason enough to serve them before the fast.

Chef Greg Bainbridge of the Lauderhill adult community Forest Trace, uses Grossinger’s recipes to replicate the dumplings for residents there.

He has shared the recipe, which we cut down, and has made an instructional video showing how to actually form these dumplings. For cooks: Take care not to overfill these; broken kreplach will result and sully the broth.

His special tips are at the end of the recipe along with a dessert version.

Watch chef Bainbridge’s video here.

Forest Trace Meat Kreplach

Note: This makes approximately 110 kreplach. Recipe can easily be divided for a smaller yield; keep all amounts proportional.

For filling:

2-1/2 pounds prime rib, roasted (leftovers work well)

1 – 1/2 cups celery-finely diced

1 – 1/2 cups onion-finely diced

1 teaspoon  garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 – 1/2 cups carrot- shredded

For Dough:

3/4 cup olive oil

4 teaspoons salt

2 – 1/2 cups water (more may be needed)

9 cups flour

Filling:

Slice and dice roast prime rib into 1/4-inch pieces. The fat removed from the inside of the roast will provide oil for sautéing the filling.

Place diced beef into heavy pot and sauté until fat from beef starts to cook out. Add celery and onion and lightly sauté until translucent (don’t overcook).

Stir in remaining seasonings.

Remove from the heat and stir in the raw carrots. Place filling in another container and set aside to cool.

Make dough: In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt and water

Start adding the flour a few cups at a time until you have soft dough, then add more flour until you have a stiffer but smooth, workable dough. It should not be sticky.

Take approximately 1/3 of the dough on a floured surface and roll to 1/8th inch in thickness (the thinner the better).

Using a 3-inch cookie cutter (or your average soup can), cut out circles and set scraps aside.

Carefully place about a teaspoon of filling in the center of the dough Fold dough over the filling and carefully crimp the edges, being careful to keep filling away from the edge or they will open while cooking. Continue with remainder of dough remembering to set the cutting scraps aside until the end. This allows the dough to rest and prevents“tough dough”. Place finished kreplach on a lightly floured sheet pan until all are prepared.

If you are making your kreplach for future use, freeze them on the baking pan and then store in ziploc bags in the freezer until ready to use. (They freeze well.)

To cook, bring about 10 to 12 cups of either beef or chicken stock to a rolling simmer (not boil).

Place 10 to 15 kreplach at a time in the stock; when they float, continue cooking another 7 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the stock and serve with your favorite sauce or in soup.

Tips from Chef Greg:

  • Make your dough ahead. I make mine the day before to let it rest and meld.
  • Take dough out of refrigerator and hour or so before rolling.
  • Don’t reroll dough scraps until the end. Allow the dough to rest!
  • Biggest Tip: This recipe makes about 110 individual kreplach which you can freeze and use for future occasions.

Dessert kreplach recipe

Filling:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples- peeled and diced
  • ½ cup pecans-chopped
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of black pepper

Dough:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Make filling: In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Sauté apples in the butter/margarine until they caramelize- do not overcook! Add cinnamon, pepper and pecans. Deglaze the pan with the apple juice; let apple juice boil then immediately lower temperature and let apple juice cook to reduce it to a syrupy consistency.

Make dough: In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt and water. Start adding the flour a few cups at a time until you have soft dough, then add more flour until you have smooth, workable dough.

Take approximately 1/3 of the dough on a floured surface and roll to 1/8th inch in thickness (the thinner the better). Using a 3-inch cookie cutter (or your average soup can with ends cut out), cut out circles and set scraps aside.

To fill, carefully place about a teaspoon of filling in the center of the dough Fold dough over the filling and carefully crimp the edges being careful to keep filling away from the edge or they will open while cooking.  Continue with the rest of dough, remembering to set the cutting scraps aside until the end. This allows the dough to rest and prevents “tough dough.” Place finished kreplach on a lightly floured sheet pan until all are prepared.

To fry: Fill a pan with canola oil and heat oil until cooking thermometer registers 325 degrees. Add kreplach, a few at a time, and deep fry until brown and crispy. Remove and drain on brown paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, brown sugar, or cinnamon sugar mixure.

Note: The raw kreplach can be frozen on a cookie sheet, then bagged in airtight freezer bags until ready to use.

Makes approximately 20 kreplach.

Tags: Holiday cooking · Recipes: What's Cooking!

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Art Ginsburg, a.k.a. "Mr. Food" // Sep 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Boy, do I LOVE homemade kreplach! They were practically required as an hors d’oeuvre at every party we did when my wife and I were in the catering business. We always used ground beef in them instead of prime rib, since it’s way less expensive but still tastes great. And that’s what my mom used way back when, too. Mmm, there’s nothing like homemade kreplach!

  • 2 Jan Norris // Sep 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    An hors d’oeuvre? Did you cook them then skewer them or what? I’m curious as I figure these are primarily eaten in soup, much like the Chinese won tons or Polish pierogi.
    The chef also provided a fruit version – but am unclear how that’s eaten traditionally.

  • 3 Art Ginsburg, a.k.a. "Mr. Food" // Sep 20, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Yep, we fried our kreplach and served ’em as a finger food, instead of cooking in broth and adding to soup. We served them with duck sauce since they’re like fried wontons, and they always made a hit!

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